POLITICS
01/07/2013 12:08 BST | Updated 01/07/2013 12:23 BST

David Cameron As Harry Potter: 11 Ways The PM Could Use His Magic Wand

One thing we have learned from David Cameron's trip to Kazakhstan is his desire to step into the shoes of Harry Potter. In fairness, the PM chose the boy wizard after being asked which JK Rowling character he would most like to be, telling students: "If you've got any sense you want to be Harry Potter." Assuming he gets his way - he is Prime Minister after all - what are the issues which need a magic wand waved over them?

1. Election results

First on Cameron's magic wishlist would surely be the outcome of the 2010 General Election. The Tories were up against Gordon Brown, who was deeply unpopular, struggled in the televised debates and had just branded a Labour voter a "bigot". What could go wrong, he might have thought.

Three years on, a spell to secure those elusive 20 seats would be very welcome. If latest polls are to be believed, the Tories are stuck in second place on 27% behind Labour on 37%, with the Lib Dems in third on 7%.

2. The Liberal Democrats

A consequence of Cameron's majority failure was the arrival in government of Nick Clegg's Liberal Democrats, to the horror of many Tory MPs.

So Clegg is installed as Deputy Prime Minister, merrily scuppering Tory policies, and Danny 'Ron Weasley' Alexander holds the powerful position of Chief Secretary to the Treasury.

3. Europe

There are plenty of issues the PM would like to magic away, but few are causing him more headaches than the tussle with Brussels.

Hamstrung by the pro-EU Lib Dems, Cameron is under huge pressure from backbenchers who want an in/out referendum yesterday. His pledge of a vote after the next election went down well, but when half of your backbenchers attack the Queen's speech, you know you've got problems.

4. Boris

A prime candidate to be turned into a toad, Boris has long been a thorn in his fellow Old Etonian's side.

Adored by the grassroots, the Mayor has plenty of colourful ways to say he doesn't want Dave's job - but nobody believes him.

Things like writing a book on Churchill ('to show one man can make all the difference') might be why.

5. The Economy

We might have avoided a triple-dip recession, but with stagnant growth and the slowest recovery for 100 years, Britain's economy is crying out for one of Potter's levitation spells.

6. MPs' Pay

The last thing any Prime Minister wants is to be asked to justify a pay rise for MPs. It looks awful, and they're already paid a packet.

But that's just what's in his inbox this week, as Ipsa prepares to award members a £7,500 increase.

nigel farage

Nigel 'Voldemort' Farage

7. Image Problem

Even Hogwarts was easier to get into than Cameron's school, Eton. Which is odd, because most of his inner circle seem to have gone there.

The old boys' network provides ammunition for his critics, angers backbenchers and has been criticised by senior Conservatives, who say it makes him look "privileged and out of touch."

8. Boundary Reforms

The government's attempts to magically transform Britain's electoral map failed when Nick Clegg ordered the Lib Dems to scupper them.

The redrawn version would have been a big boost to the Tories' 2015 election hopes, and backbenchers were furious when they were defeated.

9. Syria

Cameron's ultimate headache is one that is not of his own making. An estimated 100,000 people have died in the conflict. Does Britain stand on the sidelines or risk adding fuel to the fire by arming the rebels? Differences with Europe and Russia make this an almost impossible task for the PM to navigate.

10. Ukip

Voldemort to Cameron's next General Election hopes, Nigel Farage is making an art of pinching Tory voters. Appealing directly and unashamedly to the 'swivel-eyed loon' element within the party, Ukip have performed strongly in recent by-election and council polls, and could be fatal to the Tories in 2015.

11. Gay Marriage

The issue to detoxify the Tory brand, win over floating voters and banish the 'nasty party' image. That's what Cameron must have hoped. Instead, it has become a symbol of the disconnect with his backbenchers, and revealed the odd views that some senior Tories hold on homosexuality.