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LONDON — An attempt by Britain’s prime minister to connect with ordinary voters during the election campaign appeared to fail Tuesday after cameras captured him eating a hot dog with knife and fork.
David Cameron, the blue-blooded son of a stockbroker and who was educated at elite private school Eton College, is often caricatured as out-of-touch with a country struggling with his Conservative government’s austerity measures.
He attended a barbecue in Dorset, southern England, on Monday, but instead of demonstrating the common touch he was pictured taking a mannerly approach to the all-American snack — earning him online ridicule.
“Hahhaa, David Cameron eating a hot dog with a knife and fork. Silver service only for the privileged!” was typical of the comments on Twitter Tuesday, 30 days ahead of Britain's general election.
"What kind of monster eats a hot dog with a knife and fork?" asked another.
It wasn't clear if Cameron was unaware of how most people eat their hot dogs or if he was simply trying to avoid repeating the mistake of his main opponent, Labour Party leader Ed Miliband, who was recently pictured making a hard job of eating a bacon sandwich.
Cameron's cutlery awkwardness was an echo of the moment when King George VI and Queen Elizabeth ate their first hot dogs during a royal visit to President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s family home in upstate New York in 1939. The baffled queen chose a knife and fork despite Roosevelt’s suggestion that she use her hands to eat.
However, he wouldn’t be the first lawmaker to raise an eyebrow for using cutlery. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio ate a pizza using a knife and fork during a 2014 visit to a Staten Island restaurant weeks into his new job, provoking howls of outrage.