Friday, 14 March 2008

Why Cameron should leave his family out of it.


There has been much play in the papers about David Cameron inviting a camera crew to film his family eating breakfast. 

The Daily Mail for one judged that it was 'a swipe at Gordon Brown who is visibly uncomfortable talking about his private life and interests.' 

Because like many politicians and public figures, Gordon Brown is wary of the media getting too close. As others before him have learnt, the media will be reluctant to leave your door once you have ushered them over the threshold.

The ITV crew were invited by Cameron for a tie-in with a Conservative announcement about maternity leave. However, the real message for the public was this: 

Brown is odd and aloof, Cameron is a man of the people. Cameron understands you guys out there. Cameron understands your family life. Hey look, Cameron eats Cheerios and plays wih his kids. Not like that weirdo Brown. I wonder what Brown's family does for breakfast? Cold porridge and bible passages no doubt. Cold bloody porridge and miserable bloody bible passages. 

Now putting aside the sheer desperation of parading your disabled child on the eve of a policy announcement, this piece of public relations grates to a painful degree. In fact ever since I saw John Gummer shove a burger into his child's unsuspecting face during the BSE crisis, I have become increasingly uncomfortable with politicians using their families for political gain. 

Now I don't want to sound pious here. If Cameron really wants to pimp out his kids to the morning papers, then that's up to him. But if we have to sit here and suffer our national political debate descending into a battle of who's got the most fashionable kitchen, then something is going to go seriously, seriously wrong.

7 comments:

Timothy said...

That chair the Cameron with the spots on is sitting in is pretty groovy though.

I feel sorry for the kids, though. This sort of thing never did the Blair's kids any favours.

Anyway, we're probably better off with a leader who is openly odd in some respect. I mean, given how strange the job is, so demanding and all-encompassing, anyone would have to be odd to a great degree to be near to getting it.

It's the ones who have managed to hide it that you have to worry about the most I think.

The Tory Troll said...

Absolutely. Anyone who is constantly telling you how normal they are is questionable. If I was Brown I would keep as far away from all this Hello magazine stuff as possible and just concentrate on the politics.

Jim said...

I have to say I am a fan of Cameron. He has stayed the course and is emerging as a credible alternative.

This did leave me a little uneasy though.

asquith said...

The slew of recent posts on Iain Dale's diary reveal what the Tories really think about family values.

Additionally, there's a thread on ConservativeHome praising Jeremy Clarkson. Here's my contribution to the debate:

"Ah, yes. Someone who lives with a wanton disregard for other people and the world he lives on, whose sole purpose in life is enriching himself and his mates, and who scorns and despises anyone who is idiotic enough to support him.

Good to see some traditional Tories are still around despite Camoron's makeover."

I might add that your post on the 2nd of this month arguing they are fake and unpatriotic has been completely vindicated.

Anonymous said...

I think it shows how down to earth he is.

A lot of people can relate to eating a leisurely breakfast in your massive expensive house with your blue-blooded wife.

Oh wait...it just shows how out of touch he is.

Oh well. Good on him for trying at least.

BenefitScroungingScum said...

I didn't watch it and don't agree with children and families being dragged into politics. BUT, having a profoundly disabled child such as his appearing on tv can only be a good thing as far as I'm concerned. Disability is something to be hidden away as far as most of the media are concerned apart from the odd token character in soaps, usually played by a non disabled actor. The one positive I can see in this (and I'm no Cameron fan as you know) is the child being a normal part of the family. Even if they aren't a normal family. BG

The Tory Troll said...

You make a fair point. However, I doubt that these were the thoughts going through Cameron's mind. Or at least if they were they were probably followed by the thought 'and how good that will make me look.'

You're right though. Good things can often come out of not so good intentions.