Cam’s anecdotal “black man” joined Navy at 10


by Sunny Hundal    
3:01 pm - April 16th 2010

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A constant feature of last night’s Leaders debates was speed with which each belted out anecdotes to support their cases.

Quite early on Cameron cited the story of a “40 yr old black man” he met in Plymouth. Remember this was the question around immigration.

The man joined the Royal Navy 30 years ago? Cameron just makes it up as he goes along doesn’t he?

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


Good point. I remember thinking that while watching!

So Cameron wants to send 10 year old off to fight the Chinese!?

The bastard…

Perhaps he joined up as a cabin boy?

Martin Coxall?

Cjcjc?

Tim J?

Why so silent? Or do you think it’s admirable that your leader makes up black people to attack the government for not being draconian enough on immigrants?

It was anecdote heavy last night and they always sound crap whenever they talk like that.

Last time I checked, you could join the Navy Cadets at 10.

Does sound a bit odd. “In his 40′s” could just about work as you can join at 16 but that’s clearly not what he said.

There did used to be earlier entry but not recently enough that Cameron could have met one of them while he was 40.

A boo boo at the very least.

Or as someone more honest than you puts it:

http://dizzythinks.net/2010/04/cameron-cant-do-maths-and-brown-doesnt.html

The saner, less partisan, amongst you would be more inclined to put it down to a debating cock-up because of the speed with which things were happening and a mistake about how old the guy really was.

This is bit like Brown’s glaring cock-up when he said that Labour was going to allow us all to take out injunctions against the Police – something which, if it were the case, would please a lot of criminals and drug dealers. Of course, what he actually meant was the promise to have the right to take out injunctions against repeat offenders of anti-social behaviour and have the Police pay the legal costs.

The fact is, in the environment that these three guys are debating in, they’re inevitably going to make slips of the tongue. If they’re quick, like Clegg was last night, they can correct themselves and you know it was a slip. Saying this though, it’s an election campaign, so the slip-ups they make will be taken literally by opponents for mischief.

“…the slip-ups they make will be taken literally by opponents for mischief…” – well, who’da thunk it?!?

Or as someone more honest than you puts it:

http://dizzythinks.net/2010/04/cameron-cant-do-maths-and-brown-doesnt.html

The saner, less partisan, amongst you would be more inclined to put it down to a debating cock-up because of the speed with which things were happening and a mistake about how old the guy really was.

This is bit like Brown’s glaring cock-up when he said that Labour was going to allow us all to take out injunctions against the Police – something which, if it were the case, would please a lot of criminals and drug dealers. Of course, what he actually meant was the promise to have the right to take out injunctions against repeat offenders of anti-social behaviour and have the Police pay the legal costs.

The fact is, in the environment that these three guys are debating in, they’re inevitably going to make slips of the tongue. If they’re quick, like Clegg was last night, they can correct themselves and you know it was a slip. Saying this though, it’s an election campaign, so the slip-ups they make will be taken literally by opponents for mischief.

“…the slip-ups they make will be taken literally by opponents for mischief…” – well, who’da thunk it?!?

Are these flimsy attacks the best the Brownies can manage? Is the fact he came third in anybody’s analysis of the debate meant to be forgotten because of one obvious slip which had no effect on substance whatsoever?

Jeez – these right-wingers are so humourless and po-faced eh?

4 – Sorry, I’m not really paying attention here at the moment, because everybody’s minds are so clearly elsewhere.

In the matter at hand, it was clearly a cock-up. Or he made the whole thing up. Does it matter particularly?

@9

Your fella hardly did better than Brown. Epic fail, as I believe your target audience would say. (Just me who thinks the YBF is really creepy wanting a right-wing bias in education? Hitler Youth anyone?)

@11

I think the phrase you are looking for is “cock-up or conspiracy”. Either way it doesn’t bode well for someone who wants to be PM for the next five years.

15. Shatterface

The boy stood on the burning deck
His pockets full of crackers
A spark shot up his trouser leg
And burnt him on the knackers.

13 – a conspiracy? Really?

Personally I was intrigued by Nick Clegg’s anecdote about going into a hospital, finding a ward that wasn’t in use yet, and the ward sister explaining to him that it was because they’re weren’t allowed to recruit enough nurses from overseas.

Nothing to do with NHS hospital planning being ridiculously tortuous and complicated then?

The point is being missed: it wasnt that he got the age wrong, but that he made reference to the man’s colour which is entirely pointless and exposes Cameron’s still present thinking of black as Other and therefore revealing that even when the conservatives have airbrushed themselves as he has, they are still the racists underneath…

@15

Well, that’s how the cliché would put it… ;)

I’d rather just say he’s a plonker. And definitely not PM material. I suppose one should apply Hanlon’s Razor in this instance.

20. Matt Munro

@ 17 – Remind me how many BEMs there are in the labour cabinet, after 13 years in power ?? *THEN* call other parties racist.

21. Charlieman

@11 Tim J: “In the matter at hand, it was clearly a cock-up. Or he made the whole thing up. Does it matter particularly?”

It matters not. If a politician hires a couple of non-white models to pose beside her/him for election leaflet photos, that would be a foul. If a politician composes an allegory, it is wise for her/him to get the hypothetical facts right. But allegory is fair play as long as credibility is not too far stretched. In this example, so what?

Was the race of the allegorical person important? It did not matter to the story but Flashman thought it pertinent to say that he converses with black people who are not his servants. Again, so what? As much as I despise Flashman, I acknowledge that he is not a conscious racist and has non-white friends.

22. Robson Jones

Cameron gets exposed by the minute, the mans a joke a prize buffoon.

Please, oh please don’t let him get near power.

With Con HQ going into meltdown over the latest polls it doesn’t matter much but, FWIW, Cameron’s black man has been found:
http://www.thisisplymouth.co.uk/news/Cameron-got-wrong/article-2032336-detail/article.html
And apparently in the Navy for 6 years, not 30. And he’s 51. And he doesn’t support any of the major parties on immigration.

So, basically, Cameron was wrong on pretty much every count.

25. don'tmentiongay

“Quite early on Cameron cited the story of a “40 yr old black man” he met in Plymouth.”

Aw come on, maybe he’s meets up with so many sailors that it’s only natural that he forgets names, ages etc?


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Ben Cooper

    RT @libcon: Cameron's anecdotal "black man" joined the Royal Navy at 10yrs of age http://bit.ly/cczaZA #ukelection

  2. Daniel Selwood

    RT @libcon: Cameron's anecdotal "black man" joined the Royal Navy at 10yrs of age http://bit.ly/cczaZA

  3. Gary

    RT @cobaltmale: RT @libcon: Cameron's anecdotal "black man" joined the Royal Navy at 10yrs of age http://bit.ly/cczaZA

  4. Jason Barlow

    RT @libcon: Cameron's anecdotal "black man" joined the Royal Navy at 10yrs of age http://bit.ly/cczaZA

  5. Adam Corner

    RT @libcon: Cameron's anecdotal "black man" joined the Royal Navy at 10yrs of age http://bit.ly/cczaZA

  6. Carl Hodler

    Hilarious! RT @libcon: Did Cameron's anecdotal "black man" join Royal Navy at 10yrs of age? http://bit.ly/cczaZA (via @pickledpolitics)

  7. Louise Johnson

    Watch Gordon: he, it appears, can do mental arithmetic! RT @libcon Man joined Navy aged 10? http://bit.ly/cczaZA

  8. Ana ??????

    RT @pickledpolitics: Hilarious! RT @libcon: Did Cameron's anecdotal "black man" join Royal Navy at 10yrs of age? http://bit.ly/cczaZA

  9. sophwills

    RT @UKLabourParty: Tory David Cameron anecdotal "black man" joined the Royal Navy at 10yrs of age http://bit.ly/cczaZA RT

  10. Andrew Barnes

    RT @libcon: Cameron's anecdotal "black man" joined the Royal Navy at 10yrs of age http://bit.ly/cczaZA

  11. UK Labour Party

    Tory David Cameron #pinokio met a man of 40 who was in the navy for 30 years http://bit.ly/cczaZA RT

  12. Andy Buckley-Taylor

    Tory David Cameron #pinokio met a man of 40 who was in the navy for 30 years http://bit.ly/cczaZA RT

  13. Andy Sutherland

    Cameron's anecdotal "black man" joined the Royal Navy at 10yrs of age http://bit.ly/cczaZA /via @libcon #ge2010 #toryfail

  14. Danielle Murtagh

    RT @UKLabourParty: Tory David Cameron #pinokio met a man of 40 who was in the navy for 30 years http://bit.ly/cczaZA RT

  15. Emma

    RT @libcon: Cameron's anecdotal "black man" joined the Royal Navy at 10yrs of age http://bit.ly/cczaZA

  16. Phil McNally

    Cameron's anecdotal "40 year-old black man" who served in navy "for 30 years"-the navy employs 10 year-olds? http://tinyurl.com/y7gzqpz

  17. Wesley Rykalski

    RT @againstcameron: Cameron's anecdotal "40 year-old black man" who served in navy "for 30 years"-the navy employs 10 year-olds? http://tinyurl.com/y7gzqpz

  18. Jen Saunders

    RT @pickledpolitics: Hilarious! RT @libcon: Did Cameron's anecdotal "black man" join Royal Navy at 10yrs of age? http://bit.ly/cczaZA

  19. Holly

    RT @againstcameron: Cameron's anecdotal "40 year-old black man" who served in navy "for 30 years"-the navy employs 10 year-olds? http://tinyurl.com/y7gzqpz

  20. Lolwhites

    RT @libcon: Cam's anecdotal "black man" joined Navy at 10 http://bit.ly/buBWQf Don't worry David, it's OK to fantasise about black sailors

  21. cw

    Liberal Conspiracy » Cam's anecdotal “black man” joined Navy at 10: Cam's anecdotal “black man” joined Navy … http://tinyurl.com/y7gzqpz

  22. Liberal Conspiracy

    Cameron's anecdotal "black man" joined the Royal Navy at 10yrs of age http://bit.ly/cczaZA

  23. Aidan Flood

    RT @libcon: Cameron's anecdotal "black man" joined the Royal Navy at 10yrs of age http://bit.ly/cczaZA

  24. sunny hundal

    Hilarious! RT @libcon: Did Cameron's anecdotal "black man" join Royal Navy at 10yrs of age? http://bit.ly/cczaZA

  25. topsy_top20k_en

    Cameron's anecdotal "black man" joined the Royal Navy at 10yrs of age http://bit.ly/cczaZA

  26. Craig Brown

    RT @libcon: Cameron's anecdotal "black man" joined the Royal Navy at 10yrs of age http://bit.ly/cczaZA

  27. Chris Paul

    RT @pickledpolitics: Hilarious! RT @libcon: Did Cameron's anecdotal "black man" join Royal Navy at 10yrs of age? http://bit.ly/cczaZA

  28. UK Labour Party

    Tory David Cameron anecdotal "black man" joined the Royal Navy at 10yrs of age http://bit.ly/cczaZA RT

  29. John West

    RT @libcon: Cameron's anecdotal "black man" joined the Royal Navy at 10yrs of age http://bit.ly/cczaZA

  30. Graeme Robertson

    RT @libcon: Cameron's anecdotal "black man" joined the Royal Navy at 10yrs of age http://bit.ly/cczaZA

  31. Nick Hider

    RT @libcon: Cameron's anecdotal "black man" joined the Royal Navy at 10yrs of age http://bit.ly/cczaZA

  32. Stuart John Bulloch

    RT @UKLabourParty: Tory David Cameron anecdotal "black man" joined the Royal Navy at 10yrs of age http://bit.ly/cczaZA RT

  33. Robert Simpson

    RT @libcon: Cameron's anecdotal "black man" joined the Royal Navy at 10yrs of age http://bit.ly/cczaZA

  34. Heather McGarrigle

    RT @pickledpolitics: Hilarious! RT @libcon: Did Cameron's anecdotal "black man" join Royal Navy at 10yrs of age? http://bit.ly/cczaZA

  35. Jamie Ellison

    RT @UKLabourParty: Tory David Cameron anecdotal "black man" joined the Royal Navy at 10yrs of age http://bit.ly/cczaZA RT

  36. paulbeard

    RT @libcon: Cameron's anecdotal "black man" joined the Royal Navy at 10yrs of age http://bit.ly/cczaZA /via @geeoharee // Cabin boys in '10?

  37. Natalie Catchpole

    RT @libcon Cameron's anecdotal "black man" joined the Royal Navy at 10yrs of age http://bit.ly/cczaZA / *Knew* DC had never met a black man.

  38. AnneMarie Cunningham

    watch GB's reaction:) v funny! RT @libcon Cameron’s anecdotal “black man” joined the Royal Navy at 10yrs of age http://bit.ly/a92tkg #ge10

  39. Mehdi Hasan

    RT @pickledpolitics: Hilarious! RT @libcon: Did Cameron's anecdotal "black man" join Royal Navy at 10yrs of age? http://bit.ly/cczaZA

  40. Peter Boyle

    RT @libcon: Cameron's anecdotal "black man" joined the Royal Navy at 10yrs of age http://bit.ly/cczaZA #ukelection

  41. Left Outside

    @krishgm http://bit.ly/cczaZA We've all had a good giggle. "Never attribute to malice what can be attributed to stupidity" is the consensus.

  42. Aliya Zaidi

    RT @libcon: Cameron's anecdotal "black man" joined the Royal Navy at 10yrs of age http://bit.ly/cczaZA #ukelection

  43. UK Labour Party

    Tory David Cameron #pinokio met a man of 40 who was in the navy for 30 years http://bit.ly/cczaZA RT

  44. Joshua G B Hardy

    http://liberalconspiracy.org/2010/04/16/camerons-anecdotal-black-man-joined-the-royal-navy-at-10yrs-of-age/ Cameron makes it up as he goes

  45. Laurence Hardy

    RT @joshgbhardy http://bit.ly/ak33aq cameron makes up as he goes.

  46. earwicga

    RT @libcon Cameron’s anecdotal “black man” joined the Royal Navy at 10yrs of age http://bit.ly/a92tkg

  47. Freedom Fighter

    RT @againstcameron: Cam's anecdotal "40 y/o black man" who served in navy "for 30 years"-they employ 10 y/o's? http://tinyurl.com/y7gzqpz

  48. Susan Kennedy

    V Funny. Didn't spot last night. RT @amcunningham: watch GB's reaction:) v funny! RT @libcon Cameron’s gaffe http://bit.ly/a92tkg #ge10

  49. jonardern

    RT @libcon: Cameron's anecdotal "black man" joined the Royal Navy at 10yrs of age http://bit.ly/cczaZA

  50. Come on, chaps. If you can’t do jokes, we’ll laugh at you | Marina Hyde | The Leaders Debate

    [...] To put it another way, it’s the jokes that weren’t made on Thursday night which had the most devastating potential. Consider Cameron’s alarm bell-ringing tale about having met “a 40-year old-black man” who had come to Britain aged six, served 30 years in the Royal Navy, but who was now embarrassed about our dysfunctional immigration system. Had either Brown or Clegg the quick, poacher’s ear of a comic, they might have interrupted to express enormous admiration that Mr Cameron had unearthed the navy’s last cabin boy. It certainly wasn’t a bit of footwork beyond a galaxy of tweeters, who immediately jumped on the mistake. [...]

  51. Cameron’s anecdotal black man doesn’t back migrant cap « Left Outside

    [...] anecdotal black man doesn’t back migrant cap David Cameron met a black man recently. Much mirth has been caused by his ridiculous statement that his anecdotal black man joined the [...]

  52. Samuel Smith

    http://liberalconspiracy.org/2010/04/16/camerons-anecdotal-black-man-joined-the-royal-navy-at-10yrs-of-age/

  53. K Consciousness

    David Cameron met a 40 year old black man who joined the Navy when he was 10 – http://tinyurl.com/y7gzqpz

  54. Ryan Bestford

    Cam’s anecdotal “black man” joined Navy at 10 – http://bit.ly/9S6KVY (via @LibCon)

  55. Leaders’ wives on the campaign trail: week two « A Rye View

    [...] as a result and the 57 per cent who had no view? To use a well-used phrase this week, “I met a woman..” who said she can’t follow politics because she can’t bear the media focus on the [...]

  56. Chris B

    RT @againstcameron: Cameron's anecdotal "40 year-old black man" who served in navy "for 30 years"-the navy employs 10 year-olds? http://tinyurl.com/y7gzqpz

  57. O RLY? « Bad Conscience

    [...] OK, he won’t say it like that. But I predict he will say something very similar. And it will be even better than the time he told us about how he met a 40 year old “black man” who had been in the Royal Navy since he was, er, 10 years old. [...]

  58. dickie t

    @DannyJohnJules retro election reference: http://t.co/YJi68Bz3

  59. Danny John-Jules

    RT @RichTWarms: @DannyJohnJules retro election reference: http://t.co/AUma0SNd THE POOR MAN OBVIOUSLY LOST HIS MIND IN THE MIDDLE PASSAGE!





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