It seems like a cheap shot to judge parents for losing a child temporarily, even if the parents in question are the Prime Minister and his wife. Haven’t we all done it?
That seemed to be the general tenor of the discussion I caught briefly on the radio this morning after the news broke that the Camerons inadvertently left their 8 year daughter in a country pub after Sunday lunch.
I happen to disagree, because I think that there is a distinct difference between losing a child somewhere unfamiliar and leaving a child somewhere altogether because you returned home without them. I know both happen. I have had the odd heart-hammering moment when I cannot see my child where I thought they should be at a given moment and panic ensues.
It’s not that I don’t understand…
Except… actually, it is that I don’t understand. For a child to go missing, well, that doesn’t require a parent to necessarily act negligently, it can happen in a moment. To drive off without a child, assuming that your partner is with them requires at least one less than entirely responsible action on your part – it’s not just some bad luck.
It requires you to not check out your assumption about your child’s whereabouts with your partner, then get in the car and drive off x 2. Assumptions are a dangerous thing and when both of the Camerons assumed that their daughter was with the other without actually confirming the facts, an error of judgement was committed. Fortunately, no real harm was done.
Sadly though, many of the assumptions that Cameron makes about the UK, it’s people and economy, are also wrong and harm is done every day. Check it out, Mr Cameron. Talk to some real people, people who can’t afford a pint in a pub, let alone a Sunday lunch. Check out some of your assumptions about real people in the UK and the real lives they lead and then see if you can fish the country out of the toilet as easily as you were, thankfully, able to collect your daughter.
I am sure they won’t do that again and their daughter will be safe in their care. It’s us that I’m more worried about. I am now counting down the days to the next General Election, planned for the 7th May 2015. It’s going to be a long wait – 1059 days to be precise. 1059 days unless the sheep bleat and the coalition collapses. I can but hope.