A bit of slackness and complacency can creep in.

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Could you any of you help me with this underline phrase, what do they mean?
Even during Cameron's ascendant period, his circle of able intimates always felt smaller than Blair's. Now, with his policy guru Steve Hilton absent much of the time on an ambiguous "sabbatical" in California, and his spin doctor Andy Coulson lost to the phone-hacking scandal, Cameron is served by a No 10 that many observers of Whitehall consider underpowered or even chaotic. "David is not an intellectual," says his former adviser. "A bit of slackness and complacency can creep in. He is coasting a bit now."

Thanks for your help.
  • ecording

    This quote is poorly added to the article; it's vague even for a native English speaker. My best guess is that David is becoming complacent in his PM duties and allowing his attention to his duties to weaken. He's on the decline in his ministerial power and popularity.
    Tried my best; hope it helps.

    Beryl from Northallerton

    Senior Member
    British English
    >> "A bit of slackness and complacency can creep in. He is coasting a bit now."?

    Immediately before, he's criticised for not being an intellectual, so I would regard 'a bit of slackness' as meaning that Cameron lacks the intellectual rigour that the speaker would expect from an intellectual; similarly 'complacency' is another vice that the speaker would presume to be absent in an intellectual.

    "slackness and complacency can creep in" = Cameron is prone to exhibiting these flaws, here and there, now and again.

    Please name your source, Dreia.

    Ben pan

    Senior Member
    Regularly, the performance of PM`s office relies heavily on eligible and effiient auxillaries. This can be seen from Blair`s example. When auxillaries collapse, we go back to the PM to see whether he has some personal qualities to compensate for the defect of the other side. The author explicitly compares the two No. 10, but implicitly suggests the difference between Blair and Cameron.
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