David Cameron has today come under fire after he used the phrase ‘a bunch of migrants’ to describe the refugees Jeremy Corbyn met on a recent trip to Calais. Various politicians and columnists have since claimed Cameron’s words were ‘divisive’ and ‘dehumanising’.
Alex Salmond has gone one step further and accused him of making the controversial comment on purpose as part of a ‘dead cat strategy‘ to distract from the government’s ongoing Google tax row. However, Anna Soubry has leapt to Cameron’s defence claiming the phrasing was a slip in the heat of the moment — adding that anybody who says that it was scripted is ‘being silly and playing cheap politics’.
Yet this wouldn’t be the first time David Cameron used the phrase ‘a bunch of’ in a negative context as part of a speech. Ahead of the Syria vote, Cameron spoke to the 1922 committee, urging them not to associate with ‘a bunch of terrorist sympathisers’:
‘You should not be walking through the lobbies with Jeremy Corbyn and a bunch of terrorist sympathisers’
Given that the comments caused widespread outrage in the Commons at the time, Cameron would have known just what to say this time around if he had wanted to ‘throw a dead cat on the table’.