JAN MOIR: In his hotly-anticipated TV interview, David Cameron was a rescue pup… rescuing himself 

The Cameron Interview! Tom Bradby’s scoop set-to with the former prime minister was given the kind of heroic billing usually reserved for a titanic clash of sporting giants.

Pre-match advertising showed the two men in granite profile. Tom on the left, looking like a polar explorer who had just had a reviving square of Kendal mint cake and raised his eyes to the thawing horizon. 

Dave on the right looking downwards, almost biting his lip, as if Tom had just asked him to dance and he didn’t want to cause offence by saying no.

The former PM's revelation Boris sent him a text saying that Brexit would be ‘crushed like a toad under the harrow’ before publicly giving it his support left Bradby looking politely aghast

The former PM's revelation Boris sent him a text saying that Brexit would be ‘crushed like a toad under the harrow’ before publicly giving it his support left Bradby looking politely aghast

The former PM’s revelation Boris sent him a text saying that Brexit would be ‘crushed like a toad under the harrow’ before publicly giving it his support left Bradby looking politely aghast

Then it was showtime, with Bradby’s portentous voiceover booming on about a ‘divided and angry nation’ as the cameras rolled on a 30-minute special broadcast on ITV last night.

This was Cameron’s first major television interview since he left office three years ago and honestly, it should have been on for an hour at least. 

I mean, has anything interesting happened in politics since he departed? Don’t all scream at once. Soon Tom – by now sitting on the right – was asking what we all wanted to know. 

Did Cameron blame himself for the Brexit fiasco? Yes, a bit. Sort of, not really. If you must, now and again, is that the time? How quickly can we get on to slagging Boris?

Pre-match advertising showed Tom on the left, looking like a polar explorer who had just had a reviving square of Kendal mint cake and Dave on the right looking downwards, almost biting his lip, as if Tom had just asked him to dance and he didn’t want to cause offence by saying no

Pre-match advertising showed Tom on the left, looking like a polar explorer who had just had a reviving square of Kendal mint cake and Dave on the right looking downwards, almost biting his lip, as if Tom had just asked him to dance and he didn’t want to cause offence by saying no

Pre-match advertising showed Tom on the left, looking like a polar explorer who had just had a reviving square of Kendal mint cake and Dave on the right looking downwards, almost biting his lip, as if Tom had just asked him to dance and he didn’t want to cause offence by saying no

‘If you ask me if I have regrets, yes,’ said Dave, asking and answering his own questions as Tom looked on, momentarily surplus to needs. 

‘Am I sorry about the state the country has got into? Yes. Do I feel I have some responsibility for that? Yes.’

He added that viewers would have to ask themselves how much of that blame he had to shoulder, before we moved on to a courteous but vicious filleting of the current prime minister.

If you thought that Cameron might have offered support to his beleaguered successor and fellow Conservative, then you were very much mistaken. 

Cameron added that viewers would have to ask themselves how much of that blame he had to shoulder, before we moved on to a courteous but vicious filleting of the current prime minister

Cameron added that viewers would have to ask themselves how much of that blame he had to shoulder, before we moved on to a courteous but vicious filleting of the current prime minister

Cameron added that viewers would have to ask themselves how much of that blame he had to shoulder, before we moved on to a courteous but vicious filleting of the current prime minister

By the time he was finished, Boris was steak tartare. Proroguing of Parliament? ‘It looked to me from the outside like rather sharp practice, trying to restrict the debate,’ said Cameron. 

Taking away with whip from 21 ‘loyal’ politicians? ‘A bad decision and if it was reversed, a disastrous decision.’

And most damning of all, his underlying intentions? Cameron concluded that it was a career move, nothing more and that ‘people have their own facts and their own truth’.

His revelation that Boris had sent him a text saying that Brexit would be ‘crushed like a toad under the harrow’ before publicly giving it his support left Bradby looking politely aghast.

The interview took place in a classless, faceless room with bare brick walls, furnished with an Anglepoise lamp, a potted plant and the kind of low slung leathers chairs you might find in the waiting room of a Danish dental surgery.

This was Cameron’s first major television interview since he left office three years ago and honestly, it should have been on for an hour at least

This was Cameron’s first major television interview since he left office three years ago and honestly, it should have been on for an hour at least

This was Cameron’s first major television interview since he left office three years ago and honestly, it should have been on for an hour at least

If the lights had been dimmed a fraction more, it would have been impossible to distinguish between the two men.

Each wore identical suits and matching blue shirts, open at the neck. Each sported smoothly parted hair and fondant pink complexions, with a lot of forehead going on. 

The only difference between Tweedleposh and Tweedleposher was that Tom was paler of hair and pinker of sock.

Still, it was a neatly conducted interview; pertinent, cogent and unafraid of difficult questions. 

‘Why didn’t you stay on and help?’ Bradby asked, of Cameron’s resignation. (‘I profoundly believed the country needed a new prime minister.’) 

‘It is haunting you, would you say that?’ he asked at one point, before wailing on a bit too much about austerity. ‘The people were suffering,’ he keened.

In this Crufts of a contest, Bradby opted for a persona that was piercing, dogged yet suave; a silky terrier going for gold in the agility class. 

Each wore identical suits and matching blue shirts, open at the neck. Each sported smoothly parted hair and fondant pink complexions, with a lot of forehead going on

Each wore identical suits and matching blue shirts, open at the neck. Each sported smoothly parted hair and fondant pink complexions, with a lot of forehead going on

Each wore identical suits and matching blue shirts, open at the neck. Each sported smoothly parted hair and fondant pink complexions, with a lot of forehead going on

Cameron was candid, heartfelt and honest – part regretful gun dog who mangled the mallard, but mostly a rescue pup hellbent on rescuing himself.

Let us not forget that Mr Cameron exposed himself to this television grilling not because he wanted to air his thoughts on current politics or to offer his opinion on the Boris administration – although he did both those things – but to plug his new book, For the Record. To cash in his dwindled pile of chips.

He was visibly emotional when talking about his late son Ivan and there were moments when I felt slightly wistful about this essentially decent man who declared to Bradby that he would not return to frontline politics. 

After all, he somehow managed to keep both country and a coalition government together for five years. However, that was in saner times.

Yet if David Cameron has no intention of entering the political fray once more, perhaps it follows that he should not have attacked those still toiling in the trenches at this critical moment? Not when he has a book to sell, darlings. 

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