Some nice work in today's Guardian, where John Harris asks leftist popstars how they feel about the endorsements they're getting from Cameron and chums:
When I mention his residual feelings about the long years of Thatcherism, however, out it all comes. "I think they were absolute fucking scum - especially Thatcher, who I think should be shot as a traitor to the people. I still think that, and nothing will ever change my opinion. We're still feeling the effects of what they did to the country now, and probably always will: the whole breakdown of communities, trade unions, the working class - the dismantling of lots of things."
It's hard to see how anyone who believes what Cameron believes could really have enjoyed the Jam - especially since, back at that end of his career, Cameron would have still been in The Bullingdon Club, still Thatcher supporting. It's hard to shake the suspicion that liking The Smiths and The Jam has been arrived at by back-projecting 'what would the man I'm meant to be now have been listening to then?'.
Otherwise, we have to believe one of three things - one, that Cameron enjoyed the music, but ignored the politics. But take the politics out of The Jam, and there wasn't a lot left.
Two, that Cameron enjoyed the music and approached the lyrics as a dialectical, maintaining some sort of dialogue as he pogoed: "Ah, when Paul Weller sings of thugs having attended "'too many' right-wing meetings", he is falling into the trap of portraying agression as being rightest, whereas, of course, with his money and take-away curry and a bottle of wine, the protagonist is, in fact, truly the right-winger in the tale, enjoying the economic benefits of twelve months of Tory rule, turning round the economy after the stagflation of the wasted Callaghan and Wilson years." But this seems unlikely.
Third, that Cameron was just too stupid to understand what the songs were about. This isn't impossible - indeed, it turns out to be true of one his colleagues, as Harris discovers:
In a recent Guardian webchat, Cameron was asked how he felt about Morrissey's Margaret On The Guillotine. His response?
Now, it is possible to enjoy a song with whose politics you diverge - Robert Wyatt doing Stalin Wasn't Stalling is a great piece of music, even though is somehow manages to ignore the actually-quite-stalling Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. But could an ardent Tory really listen to a song suggesting that right-thinking people would enjoy the execution of one of your party's touchstone leaders and think "well, that's a well-written tune. The calling for what would amount to a regicide is very amusingly phrased"?
Surely only if you didn't believe in anything very passionately could you make such a claim?