Too much travel and too many meetings make it hard to hit the keypad and write stuff here. But, today’s ridiculous preoccupation with David Cameron’s abandonment of his daughter in a pub forced the issue.
Apparently, the Prime Minister and his family went for a pub lunch with friends a couple of months ago. They got in separate cars to go home and only discovered when they got home that their daughter Nancy wasn’t with either of them. She had gone to the loo and got forgotten – being picked up 15 minutes later by a ‘distraught’ father.
I wonder if he was actually ‘distraught’ because he knew the media would get the story and make a meal of it?
Now, I can think of many reasons for criticising David Cameron. In fact, make that ‘many, many reasons’, starting with his policies, going though his values and continuing along the road of his leadership competence. But, to spend a whole day debating his parental competence is just absurd. If anything it exposes the pathetic lack of perspective offered by people who like to point a finger and sneer behind a hand. He didn’t abandon his daughter and she was totally safe while she waited to be picked up.
In other words, this is a non-story. Except, of course, in the hands of those who think it contributes to a growing picture of an incompetent man. Give the guy a break! I don’t ever remember losing my kids in a pub, but I do remember losing sight of my son on the beach once. Cue the media to rubbish my performance as a bishop and a human being.
While I’m at it, what’s all the nonsense about the PM relaxing too much? Haven’t we all complained that people in high-pressure jobs like his need to be counter-cultural and learn to get some space? You know, for weird stuff like thinking or dreaming or reflecting or reading or playing a game? Don’t we constantly hear of PMs from earlier days who used to read widely and write books while thinking about politics and the ways of the world? And don’t we constantly wish our PMs would think more deeply, act more wisely and live more healthily?
Maybe. But we also admire the French for having lunch breaks and sleeping properly at night. And we persist in this ridiculous notion that the PM must flog himself to death just to prove he isn’t slacking while there is so much to do in a tough old world out there. This all becomes a PR game in which too much energy, time and talk goes into creating images instead of dealing with reality.
Time to grow up, I think.
(I forgot to note that the ‘Nancy affair’ reminded me immediately of the episode in the gospels when Mary and Joseph forgot Jesus and left him in Jerusalem for several days. At least when Dave got back to the pub Nancy wasn’t having an argument with the local vicar…)