Cartoonist Steve Bell reveals in the Guardian today why he draws the Prime Minister with a condom on his head.
Bell writes: "When I first drew David Cameron at a party conference I saw smoothness and a distinct air of plausibility... the more I saw of Cameron, the more his smoothness seemed to develop and encompass all his other features.
"His well-upholstered, upper-class plumpness and his big, watery eyes were bound up more and more in his baby-bottom complexion. His smoothness soon seemed to take on an other-worldly quality, a kind of androgynous sleekness that accompanied his transformation of the erstwhile "Nasty party" into the Sunshine, Springtime and Fluffy Cloud party...
"Then came the prolonged expenses scandal and Cameron's energetic protestations of complete transparency. The only fully transparent organism that I could think of was a jellyfish; either that or, what was it about those odd folds of skin from his ear to his neck? A balloon that's been twisted.
"This January the Tories' first election billboard appeared, with Cameron's supposedly airbrushed face looming large on the left. But I knew, having inspected him at close quarters, that he really was that smooth. He was going to cut the deficit, not the NHS. Total moral opportunism combined with a complete, engorged and erectile sense of his own responsibility. Thus it was that the condom unrolled over his smooth head. It seemed so perfect and so apt, to me at least, and so after some initial opposition, I elected to run with it."
Bell recounts how he met up with Cameron during the general election campaign at a service station. "We shook hands. He asked me: "The condom . . . where does that come from?"
"A dozen things passed through my mind, such as: "They have machines in places like this . . ." I thought for a moment. What I said was, "It's to do with the smoothness of your complexion," though actually at the time his face was looking a little raw. He seemed genuinely interested and claimed to have enjoyed the one I'd drawn of him in that day's paper as a large sausage on a butcher's weighing machine."