Some six months after the events, the PM said that he “deeply regrets” causing offence, and that the comments made in the House of Commons just “came out wrong and caused the wrong impression”.
In case you don’t remember, in April, Cameron told shadow chief secretary to the Treasury Angela Eagle to “calm down dear”, echoing Michael Winner’s catchphrase of an advertising campaign some years back. Incidentally, Michael Winner was one of the first to rush to Cameron’s defence, describing Harriet Harman as a politically correct “lunatic” in the same sitting.
Also in April, Cameron suggested that controversial Conservative MP Nadine Dorries was “extremely frustrated”.
His rather late apology also featured in the Sunday Times, where he confirmed something we’re fairly sure he’s never been accused of: “What I find frustrating is that I'm not a sort of 'All right, luv, I'm down at the pub tonight' whatever. That's not me. But obviously I've come across in this way…" Cameron down the pub?
So, can seemingly patronising, belittling, patriarchal comments really just accidentally tumble out?
Should a man with his finger on the nation’s biggest buttons be able to excuse ‘sexism’ as a foolish fumble, and should we be happy that he can tie himself up so cringingly when under pressure?
On the other hand, does a family man with an independent professional wife and a clutch of powerful females in his employ showcase enough of a progressive attitude through action, rather than words? And, in the jostling, insult-slinging environment of the Commons, is a winky put down just par for the course?
In short, does Cameron’s apology cut it?
(pics: 'ukhomeoffice' on Flickr, 'Supermac1961' on Flickr)