It’s not often I feel sorry for our boorish, entitled, mundane-face-of-evil Prime Minister David Cameron. Nevertheless, I don’t have a heart of stone so today I’ll make an exception.
Poor David has been badly advised. During a conference week when his party’s looking as nasty as can be, he’s decided to do one of those “showing my nice side” interviews. Unfortunately, he’s rather overreached himself by attempting to prove that a) he knows all about looking after toddlers and b) he doesn’t patronise women. Oh David, you silly man. You really need to know your limits.
Cameron has been telling the Sun about his imaginary childcare woes (I read about this in the Telegraph so unfortunately cannot comment on the precise proximity of said interview to tits). Like many – by which I mean “no other” – parents our PM claims to worry about his two-year-old daughter drowning in the sink when he goes to the loo. Oh, how I laughed when I read this. Laughed and laughed. And then I stopped laughing because it’s not actually all that funny. It’s quite depressing to think of how incapable he is of coming up even the most simple childcare anecdote, the kind that an average teenager who’s only ever spent one afternoon babysitting could trot out in seconds.
Here is Cameron’s actual attempt to portray himself as a Prime Ministerial Charles In Charge who regularly gets a taste of just how hard those mummies/nannies work:
When you are left on your own, it’s a good reminder of how difficult it is to do anything else when looking after a little one because you worry they might drown themselves in the sink whilst you’re having a pee
It’s a real reminder of the responsibility
Yes, David, it sure is. Honestly, how hard would it have been to hire a copy of Three Men and a Little Lady and nick a “man doing childcare messes up” scenario from that? Okay, so that “leaving my kids in the pub” thing was home-grown and did work, a bit, but drowning them in the sink? No.
I have several theories as to how this ridiculous story arose:
- David Cameron thinks the song Your Baby Has Gone Down The Plughole genuinely documents how the other 99% of the population lives
- He was going to say “swimming pool” or “ornamental lake” but changed it to “sink” to sound more common
- Rich people have sunken sinks, in the way that 1980s yuppies had sunken baths, so falling in the sink is an actual risk if you are the child of someone wealthy
I can’t say for sure which of these it is but one thing’s for certain: this is not a common parenting worry. Rich or poor, it’s unlikely that you’ll have a child who drowns in the sink while you’re having a piss.
Then we’re on to Cameron’s “woman problem”. Weirdly, the press go on about this “woman problem” so much it feels as though we women, and not Cameron’s patronizing, boorish attitude, are the problem. It’s as though we’re being mean to him what with our reluctance to just accept him as he is. For god’s sake, ladies, we should just stop being so sexist-ist! As the Telegraph informs us,
Samantha [Cameron] was “very frustrated” by an incident in which he told Labour’s Angela Eagle “calm down dear”.
Mr Cameron said the comment, which is often used as an example to show how the Prime Minister is out of touch with women voters, annoyed his wife because she often says that to him.
Yes, and because addressing a female colleague in the same way your wife might address you is just totally fine!
The couple have been married for 17 years, with Mr Cameron describing his wife as a “brilliant mother who “is keeping me sane”.
See! He does appreciate the things women do, providing they’re wives and mothers. Or, to be more precise, providing they’re his wife and the mother of his kids.
Whoever thought this interview would reach out to anyone other than the utterly converted? Really, I could have helped prime Cameron to come up with something better, at least for a fee (hell, in times of need, I might even have done it for Workfare). Sure, I don’t represent every single woman in the UK. Nonetheless, I am a woman who is not David Cameron’s wife and that’s surely a start. Who knows how many other women who are real people without being either Samantha Cameron or “frustrated” female colleagues he might then go on to meet?
Seeing the nice side of the Conservative Leader in this way – so out of touch and so utterly unaware of it – is worrying. It’s almost, but not quite, as worrying as the nasty side to his party. It’s all part of the same continuum of arrogance and presumption. Why engage with actual people, the Tories think, when you can just make up stuff about them? But you can’t do that forever. In the end you can’t reflect people’s lives back to them if you’re not prepared to listen first.