A photo-shoot too far for Cameron?

David Cameron has been accused of exploiting Armistice Day for political gain, raising questions of where politicians should draw the line when it comes to photo opportunities, and what behaviour is appropriate when honouring the war dead.

As The Mirror reports:

They … began a carefully-choreographed photo session. The Tory leader had clearly been instructed on how to behave and moved briskly from pose to pose in the 20 minute shoot.

He walked around the garden, often bending down to read the names of the dead etched on crosses and carefully studying the wreaths of poppies.

Photographers normally keep a respectful distance at such times. But Mr Parsons barked instructions and was sometimes just inches from the Tory supremo’s face. One shocked onlooker said: “The photographer was snapping away at every opportunity.

While some will rightly point out that The Mirror is hardly  impartial when it comes to David Cameron, it does raise a valid question.

No senior politician would seriously contemplate missing the wreath laying. Whether at the Cenotaph on Whitehall or in their home town or village, they must be seen there and be seen to be respectful.  The negative publicity for those who fall short of the media’s expectations is well worth avoiding.

Cherie Blair was taken to task for the crime of failing to wear black on Sunday, with the Telegraph describing her decision to wear a purple raincoat as an  “unforgivable lapse of taste”

So did Cameron go too far and was his pre-ceremony photo-shoot bringing partisan politics into this least partisan of days, or merely capturing his genuine respect for the fallen on film?

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8 Comments

  • Really….?

    Where are the comments about Brown having his photo taken there?

    This is a complete non-story – made up by The Mirror/Labour in their usual smeary way

    As you know it

  • There was a pathetic story of Brown not bowing his head

  • I think it is probably the press that is being disrespectufl this year with the raft of tit for tat stories that seem to have come about from Sunday not to mention the Suns terribly behaviour.

  • Lorna Spenceley 12th Nov '09 - 3:49pm

    I’m sure I saw footage of HMTheQ wearing a purple coat and hat at a wreath-laying yesterday. Has the Telegraph similarly taken our monarch to task over her choice of outfit, or is what is an ‘unforgivable lapse of taste’ on Sunday somehow entirely appropriate on Wednesday?

  • “Really….?

    Where are the comments about Brown having his photo taken there?

    This is a complete non-story – made up by The Mirror/Labour in their usual smeary way

    As you know it

    Brown had his photo taken officially. After the service. As did the Queen. By the official photographers.

    He did not take along his own photographer, and have a photo shoot, on his own, before the service had even happened

  • Lost LibDem 12th Nov '09 - 5:25pm

    I agree with Simon that it is largely the press that is being disrespectful.
    Nobody seems to question their presence and instrusion – splashing these non-stories across the tabloids.
    As for The Sun, their coverage of GB letter was an utter disgrace.

    Did anybody count up the number of chief executives from national newspapers at the Cenotaph?

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