These basics have proven foreign to our beleaguered PM and his coterie of expensively clueless advisors. The self-inflicted difficulties Dave has faced over Daddy's offshore doings was excruciating, and has proven to be his most painful week in office. Yes, worse and more damaging than budgetgeddon and their disingenuous hand-wringing about the steel industry. Dave knew his offshore offloading was going to look bad, so he should have dumped it all at the start of the week rather than let political enemies take chunks out of him. Some PR professional he's turned out to be.
There are a couple of things worth noting about the coverage. Over the last six years, the majority of the press and broadcast media have given the Tories a relatively easy ride, at least compared to that received by Labour. Because the environment was relatively benign to them, it has allowed top Tories - particularly Dave, Osborne, and Johnson - to inculcate complacent habits. Johnson thinks he can turn up to an interview unprepared and dribble oh-so comedic inanities and get taken seriously. Osborne can't resist kicking the poor and disabled, because he thinks the media are forever onside. And this week Dave made a similar calculation over his tax affairs and was found wanting.
What he doesn't get is the priorities of the Tory-supporting sections of media have shifted. They will always cheer him against the Bolshevists on the benches opposite, but right now, little else. Dave has forgotten there is a referendum about Britain's EU membership on, and the majority of the Tory press for their own sectional reasons want Britain out. They also know a good chunk of the electorate who don't pay close attention to politics, but lent their votes to the Tories last year quite like Dave and are inclined to take what he says at face value. He is the Prime Minister, after all. In this respect, his person is an asset to the Remain campaign. For the ragbag of outers, the Panama story is a God send. Damage Dave, damage the chances of us remaining in the EU.
Will it work? If it doesn't, it won't be because the far-outers like The Mail haven't had a damn good try. Yet their scorched earth approach presents them with not a few problems too. If the Tory press want to go hard on offshore stories and tax dodging, bring it. The people damaged by this line of attack aren't just Dave, but our chancy chancellor, a lot of Conservative MPs, the various interests who bankroll the party and, not least, the proprietors of the Tory press themselves. What can you say? Privilege makes you stupid.
If Dave is wondering when this is going to stop, someone will have to break it to him that it won't. Between now and referendum day he's slowly discovering what it's like when the gutter media have got it in for you.