The BBC tells me that David Cameron was once in the habit of signing text messages to Rebekah Brooks "LOL". What, THE David Cameron? The Prime Minister? Not some other David Cameron - Mr Cameron, the Prime Minister, right? And this mere weeks after a Tory MP said on television that one corporate lobbyist should not be taken seriously as "he is a PR man who uses emoticons". What does that make the Prime Minister - "a PR man who uses text speak"? What would Nancy Mitford have said about this latest development? What makes it better (or worse) is that, says, the BBC, Mr Cameron stopped using "LOL" after discovering that it means "laugh out loud" and not "lots of love"; I would love to have witnessed the conversation (with whom, and about what?) in which he made this discovery. Again, does anyone please have a telephone number for Nancy Mitford? If the Prime Minister wanted to prove that he is not an out-of-touch elitist, then he has, rather unfortunately, succeeded.
I think also of Hazel Blears waving that cheque with which she voluntarily repaid some sums that she had contentiously received from the Exchequer in expenses. Some critics contended that, in demonstrating her apparent ability to so effortlessly write a cheque for several thousand pounds, Ms Blears was misjudging the mood of the moment during the expenses scandal, with her cheque thus becoming an emblem of the times. Similarly emblematic, and with an equal lack of awareness of its significance on the protagonists' part, is the casual way in which Lord Rothermere and other news magnates talk about having texted the party leaders. Most of us only give our number to, and receive texts from, people that we know pretty well, although I accept that people have 'work mobiles' on which they receive messages from work-related contacts. But it fascinates me that Lord Rothermere did not think it remarkable that he was able to text his congratulations to two of the party leaders after the first of the 2010 TV leaders' debates.