Bunga-bunga royal wedding

A common mistake made by non-Etonians (or should that be un-Etonians?) is to lump us all together in the same boat when there are as many varieties of Etonian as there are butterfly. It is a school, after all, whose alumni range from Michael Bentine to Dominic West; from William Gladstone to Jeremy Thorpe; from Keynes and Orwell to the brothers Wales. To tar such varied characters with the same brush is surely to commit a grave category error.

Take our dear PM. He would not be the first to admit it, but he is far from the most thoughtful of Old Etonians. Dave has always been an OE in a hurry - not necessarily on the make but certainly anxious to crack on. This tendency only being exacerbated during his time as "head honcho in Carlton TV's award-winning PR department".

Since then he has, like all PR people, fallen into the bad habit of confusing making a flurry of "significant announcements" with attempting to achieve something of worth.

Looking back on the coalition's first year - an anniversary unlikely to be commemorated with Dave'n'Nick mugs - one finds it hard not to note the absence of beef. It has been all jaw-jaw except for the unfortunate war-war we have been conned into entering by Nicolas Sarkozy, le petit bombardier. All of which has made the backbenchers twitchy. In their collective gut, they have never trusted DC and now, in what passes for their collective mind, they are compiling a list of reasons to support their bowels. Seldom good news for a sitting PM.

So, thank heavens for small weddings (I'm in pew J36, groom's side - what about you?) and the chance for the Great British populace to do what it arguably does best: watch a bit of telly and then get hog-whimperingly tight for a long weekend. It is another of those "we all can't remember where we were" moments that becomes imprinted on what passes for the national consciousness.

In my role as linkman between parliament and the royal family, I have been responsible for making things go with the requisite swing (hence Dave's let's-all-have-a-party speech - quite possibly the most popular of his premiership) and I have been assisted in this role by none other than Silvio Berlusconi. The Italian PM (a thinking man's Giles Coren if ever there was one) has sportingly taken time off from following his own trial to lend a hand. He has gone down magnificently: the Queen falling for his easy charm, the Duke enjoying his man-of-the-world approach to the globe's problems, and the princes admiring "his way with a lady".

The only grit in the oyster is provided by the PM, who is no more comfortable in the company of Berlusconi than he is with the Mayor of London. As he whispered to me only yesterday: "If that buffoon can be elected prime minister three times, what might Boris do?"

Next week: Alan B'Stard

This article first appeared in the 25 April 2011 issue of the New Statesman, Easter special