We’re a little slow off the mark with this one (too much off-line mischief) but we had to get it in. Father’s Day is supposed to be, despite its highly commercial origins, a time when we celebrate all that is good, not just about fatherhood but about fathers in their own right. As a self-confessed Daddy’s girl, it holds a special place in my heart and I usually pick the most revolting card I can find and hand it to my father, with love. It’s tradition. This year, I gave my father a card which read something along the lines of: you know the way I turned out? Well, it’s all your fault. (Don’t worry, he loved it. It was all in the tender eye roll).
So being rude to your own father on Father’s Day is perfectly acceptable. In fact, it’s tradition. But being rude about fathers in general, as a high-profile politician, just isn’t cricket. Yet that’s exactly what David Cameron did.
On what was supposed to be a day when an entire nation was focused on fatherhood as a force for good, our prime minister chose to look the other way and criticise absentee dads for their lack of care. I don’t think anyone would deny that there are fathers who shirk their responsibilities; this is an unfortunate reality, notwithstanding those fathers who want to make contact with their children but genuinely can’t for various reasons. The issue itself though, is not the issue. The issue here, lies in our Prime Minister’s timing.
And it’s not the first time his instincts have let him down (for instincts we may want to read PR team, perhaps, as apparently thinking for oneself is no longer fashionable). Remember the debacle over our multi-cultural society? David Cameron made the speech with a view to highlighting what he perceived was a failed experiment; that multiculturalism had not worked. Setting aside for a moment the rather simplistic argument he makes (and which we touched upon in another post), the speech itself was made on the same day the BNP chose to come out and demonstrate. What kind of message does this send out to a nation and would the implicit connection not anger and alienate millions of people in our country who genuinely love England and feel at home here?
The delicacy of such a topic cannot be underestimated and so choosing to make this speech at a time when the BNP were marching on our streets seemed not only tactless but lacking in the kind of sophistication we should be entitled to expect from our elected leaders.
Coming back to the present faux pas on Father’s Day and thankfully, some common sense prevailed as organisations like DadsHouse, interviewed here on Sky News for its reaction to David Cameron’s poorly timed outburst, offered some much-needed damage control in the aftermath. It would not do our Prime Minister any harm to meet with organisations like these and really understand the root cause of some of these problems and also to see the work these charities do, work which our government really should be supporting.
For bad timing, bad vibes and bad business, we award our Fudge of the Week to our very own coalition leader, Mr David Cameron. Here at Researching Reform we can hardly wait for the next instalment of What Cameron Did Next……