Iain Dale has written about the press criticism of David Cameron's trip to Rwanda in the Telegraph, and for much of the article tries to justify "Dave's" 24 hour round trip photo opportunity as part of Cameron's learning curve about the world and events.
Perhaps David Cameron does need to learn about these things. However, Iain, you cannot attack the press for being critical of Cameron when he does go the North Pole or plays at being a school classroom assistant or if they ask about his carbon footprint for a 24 hour trip to Africa because on each of these occasions David Cameron has actively courted the press in order to present himself as a media savvy, cool sort of bloke.
Iain goes on to compare Cameron's various trips and journeys with Paddy Ashdown's own travellings after the 1992 election.
"After the 1992 general election Paddy Ashdown, who had just fought his first election as LibDem leader, took three months off to tour Britain to try to reconnect with normal people.
What he found inspired him and set him up for the next five years of leading a political party.
He believes those three months were crucial to the success the LibDems achieved at the 1997 election, when they gained their highest number of seats for 70 years"
I'm afraid Iain that David Cameron is no Paddy Ashdown.
Firstly, Paddy didn't have a team of press men with him, PR gurus, advisers and TV crews. Paddy toured Britain and stayed with people across the country in an unobtrusive way. He wanted to be part of their lives , see what they saw and learn from them. He did not go around the UK looking for a sound bit, a TV interview or front page news items. This is where Cameron has gone wrong.
If David Cameron genuinely wants to learn about the world and the problems in the UK, then why doesn't he do it privately ? If you focus too much on press coverage, don't be surprised if the press don't give you the coverage you want.
Update : I realise now why iain was so keen to defend Cameron. It appears Iain is joining "Dave" on his trip.