Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
The Guardian - UK
The Guardian - UK
As told to Catherine Bennett

Lady Cameron’s diary: new job pays peanuts but it does get Dave out of the house

Samantha Cameron poses beside a huge floral display.
Samantha Cameron at the annual Lady Garden Foundation charity lunch at Langan's in London, September 2023. Photograph: Dave Benett/Getty Images

Oh. My. God. Though I knew something was up the other week when Dave came down early going what happened to the encyclopaedias? I’m like, well it is after 10 and I am literally curating casual slash pulled together looks for work-to-weekend wear, but since you ask, Nicky once said geography was common so you threw them all out. Why?

He’s like, no reason, I’m like let me guess – boring Chinese thing?

Or has Lex maniac invited you to his old melon farm, well don’t let me stop you, take in Bali make it a whole gap yah and build a fucking orphanage why don’t you, leave the rest of us to work in peace. Btw those bins aren’t going to empty themselves. And turn the thermostat back up on your way out.

Next thing he’s running in going babes I think I may have something for that diary of yours! I’m like well no reason you would have noticed I gave up my diary in 2016, just like I stopped saying yay and awesome, I did not have the heart for it plus I needed the me-time.

And if you’ve beaten your dishwasher-stacking PB again, great, you don’t have to tell me every time.

Dave’s like, honestly listen babes – or should I say Lady Cameron of Chipping Norton! I’m like WTFF? He goes you know Shakespeare once said there are no second acts in something or other? Me: that was Jilly Cooper.

Dave’s like whatever, tada – meet Britain’s new foreign secretary! Hang on *answers phone* – Wycki, really, please call me Dave, no actually I normally nap around now, laters? – Wycki even promised I’ll never work weekends! Surprisingly bright for a Wykehamist but obviously in awe, I thought an affectionate nickname might put him at ease.

I’m like holy crap you ARE taking a fucking gap year, Dave’s like well, only if it’s OK with my brilliant fam – though non-swank I’d think I’d be pretty good at it.

I’m like Nancy, grab a pen. We finish with:


– Gets Dave out of house :)
– Piece of piss
– Peerage
– Compassionate conservatism lol
– Boosts Cefinn, OKA profiles/profits
– Ker-ching (added Dave value)
– Networking
– Snooker with Willie in Lords :)
– All Johnsons go insane :))))))
– End of Greensill-shaming. Ditto China, Brexit, Russians, Saudis, Big Society, Austerity
Chevening vg for parties
– Carlton Gardens vvg for shops
– Savings on wine/staff/
– Private jet (plus ones?)
– Only for one year, max.


- High risk overwork/exhaustion
– Using titles common? (Mummy to check w. Nicky)
– Shit pay, China work on hold
– Everyone suddenly remembers Greensill, Austerity, China, Brexit, green crap, HS2, Rebekah, Coulson, Murdoch, Hilton, Greene, Mone, Chernukhin, other Russians we forgot
– People still hate Dave
– Dave forgot to bury the £12,000 a time Shanghai horror :(((
– Non ker-ching
– Bad for Cefinn, OKA
– Carlton Gdns & Chevening interiors probs disgusting (fumigated post Johnsons?)
– Eats into tennis, fishing, hunting
– Awks: Swire in Lords, Govey in cabinet.
– After one year (max) back home & poorer.

Dave’s like, so we agree? Nancy’s like, as in, it’s career suicide and btw we left out the happiness project, what were you lot even on? I’m like excuse me don’t forget La Swire’s book, the perving level was insane *hard stare* naming no fucking names. Nancy goes, actually the most embarrassing bit is where Dad says “What more do I want? A great day on the beach, I’m with my old friends the Swires and I’ve just won a war”.

Dave’s like God ha did I, good times, remind me which – no wait – got it, Libya, well zero regrets. And non-swank if that life experience is why people think I really could ride to the rescue in The Ukraine or anywhere diplomacy has failed, call me old fashioned but I actually believe it would be wrong to let them down? Like I’ve already drafted this peace effort *reads from phone*:

“Vladimir,” – no that’s fine, we go way back – “David Cameron here. Thinking of you in these impossibly difficult times, sorry to bother, but could I trouble you for a very quick word? Think there is a simple misunderstanding that I can explain. Please call me any time on this number. Can I give you lunch once the military operation is done? Ta and best wishes, Dc.”

And get this for diplomacy: “Benjamin, hi, David Cameron here. I know you are manically busy (and coping extremely well). But do you have a moment for a word? Am sure that goodwill and common sense can fix this. Lady Cameron sends her warmest as do I, Dc.”

Me *proud face*: well I did read midlife gap years are a thing. Nancy: and we’d defo all be honourables?

Immediate downside: Dave WhatsApping gap yah impressions every 10 seconds. “Literally in Keev!” “Incredible wine”. “Amazingly warm people”. “Lush dins”. “It’s just Ukraine, no The!” “Volodymyr v bright, surprisingly shy, hopefully put him at his ease”. “Major tummy trouble, have pills”. “Slava means Glory! Who knew?!?” “Have these weird bites, photo follows”. “You would not believe how little English spoken here”. And now, “Finally escaped (close thing actually) & thoughts heading Cheveningwards, are we thinking EPIC party? Slava Cameroni!”

Well I said to Mummy it’d be totally yes if this was 2010 with the Swires, the early Osbornes, the Fartmeister – whatever happened to Tommy Strathclyde? – and the Goveys so eager to cook and clean, they even bought your elephant lamps, I’m emosh just remembering the cocktails & charades. Who do we ask now? The new Osbornes and their screaming kids? No not the Sunaks. Mummy’s like well there’s Willie and me and what about that delightful Sheikh, I go, well try getting his wife to make fish pies, trust me I tried. What? No of course not Lex, Dave never let Greensills in the actual house.

She’s like, and Dave’s Chinese friends? I’m like Mummy you know they haven’t been the same since you tried to sell the Xis a Pagoda Chinoiserie TV cabinet. Though they did just send another cringe panda cuddly. I’d dump it except you never know, when Dave’s gap year is over we might need to be their friends all over again.

  • Do you have an opinion on the issues raised in this article? If you would like to submit a letter of up to 250 words to be considered for publication, email it to us at

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.