Coffee House

Cameron, Villa and the succession

9 August 2010

The Prime Minister is, as we know an Aston Villa fan. So we can expect him to be
disappointed at Martin O’Neill’s departure. On his trip to Birmingham the other week,
Cameron’s support for Villa caused the PM to, as the phrase has it, misspeak. He told the Birmingham Post that with “the Governor of the Bank of England as a supporter, the next King of
England and the current Prime Minister, [Aston Villa] got a good set” of fans in high places. But his reference to the next King of England being a Villa fan will raise a
few eyebrows as it is Prince William — not Prince Charles — who is the Royal Villain.

Now it is obvious that Cameron just slipped up and that he didn’t mean to impart any information about the succession. But it is an illustration of how tricky the tight-rope a modern Prime
Minister walks is. If he speaks off the cuff, he’s bound to make the odd slip. But if he doesn’t, he’ll seem stilted and aloof.

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Show comments
  • Robert Taggart

    Who does our President support ?
    Oh, Ah, Dammit, We have yet to grow-up !

  • David Ossitt


  • Nash

    Surprised that none of your commentators were aware that Cameron’s godfather was Chairman of Aston Villa.

    Surprised also that none of them picked up the fact that people of his age and older from West Berkshire (Newbury) and Northern Hampshire (Basingstoke) tend to be Villa fans (before the rise of Reading) or Chelsea fans if they ex-Londoners.

    Your commentators aren’t out of touch are they?

  • Dimoto

    Prince Charlie is more of an Aston Martin (and Lagonda) fan.

  • Victor Southern

    I bit of Americanisation creeps in. Their politicians have to wear their team allegiances on their sleeves and not only football but 3 or 4 sports. Even the most eminent politicians cannot possibly say they give damn if the Yankees beat the Red Sox or whatever. It is cheap populism and it offends more than it pleases.

  • Nicholas

    Why should the rules of succession be changed just because the dumbed-down, reality TV generation and their media rabble rousers don’t particularly like the cut of Charles jib?

    Perhaps Charles and William should be bullied into doing a TV debate followed by phone-in voting for which one should become King? That’s about what this very stupid country deserves.

  • Ian

    “King of England”? Is the rest of the UK going to be independent?

  • Noa Zrk

    “Now it is obvious that Cameron just slipped up and that he didn’t mean to impart any information about the succession”.

    So, if it’s a non story, why mention it, or Turkey or Pakistan, or school milk?
    In fact it’s time the Spectator took a totally Panglossian approach to the wonderful coalition government and asked, nay demanded! that they all award themselves bshoprics at the very least, but preferably, earldoms, for the splendid job they have done for football, for the UK United, since their close season transfer in May to a club that was then in the hands of the administrators and is now in the sure grip of the receivers!

  • VerityWatch


    And he can’t be a Villa fan why?

  • James M

    While I would not wish to argue that HRH The Prince of Wales is a diehard football fan, he has visited the mighty Burnley FC on a number of occasions and expressed his support for us.

    He clearly wishes to support the best set of claret and blues in English football!

  • Fex Urbis

    Verity is a class A bore.

  • Ian Walker

    Off With His Head!

    Or not.

  • strapworld

    I’m with Verity on this one. A bit like Blair watching Jackie Milburn at Newcastle (a total impossibility).

    Brown, to be fair, was a true football supporter of some Scottish team.

    But on King William. Cameron may well be in possession of facts not known to we common people!

    Sad to see Charles Kennedy announcing the breakdown of his marriage. Pass the whisky.

  • dexey

    I hope that it was truth and Charlie is being passed over.

  • John David Barnett

    Mr Cameron is a fine man. Our country is in good hands.

  • Fatbloke on tour

    Dave the Rave is a charlatan of the highest order when it comes to football, just trying to appear normal, well as normal as one of the upper middle class desperately trying to join the ranks of the junior gentry.

    Now please remind what he said about football in his maiden speach?

    Love the verbal slip up, another one to add to his growing collection, what next Eye to have a “Cameronballs” section?

    Funny how Sniffy seems to misspeak.

  • Verity

    “The Prime Minister is, as we know an Aston Villa fan.”

    Yeah. Right. And I’m a fan of the Winnipeg Ice Hockey team.

  • John David Barnett

    HRH has many positive virtues.

  • Frank P

    Silly Season under way; on your bikes boys, we’ll see you when yo get back.

  • Michael

    Prince Charles is of course of an age group from a more civilised era, when to have zero interest in football was considered a virtue.
    One of his positive points.

  • TrevorsDen

    Better to speak off the cuff as long as the gist is sensible.

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