Notably, Cameron couldn’t name who composed Rule Britannia (Thomas Arne wrote the music — not Edward Elgar, as Cameron suggested — and James Thompson wrote the poem upon which it is based) and he couldn’t translate Magna Carta (it means, “The Great Charter”). Magna Carta was the 1215 charter that limited the powers of the English monarchy and set forth certain liberties for certain English nobles — it became the foundation for much of the following English, British and American liberties, including the U.S. Bill of Rights.
By the end of it, it was clear that Letterman’s “dumb American questions” were a joke at Cameron’s expense. He took the jibe well, however, and joked, “You have found me out. That is bad, I have ended my career on your show tonight.”
British media are having a poke at the prime minister today, but it’s not likely to cause Cameron any lasting harm — indeed, it may have stepped on the attention from the media to the speech of Liberal Democratic leader and deputy prime minister Nick Clegg at the Liberal Democratic Party conference this week.