Prime Minster David Cameron and wife Samantha are very busy people. Two months ago each thought the other had the care of their 8-year old daughter in a Sunday pub lunch in Cadsden near Chequers. They were there with two other families, it was a hectic leaving time. The little girl wandered off to the toilet and the Camerons with their other two children in tow (one an infant) headed off in different directions.
It was not until they both arrived home they realised the child was left behind in that Pub.
Now the story ends well, the child was safely cared for by astonished Pub staff and reunited minutes later with her worried father.
Two questions please?
1. What if my wife and I had done that with one of our three under 12 children, where would we be?
Is it not likely one or both of us instead of sitting at home entertaining, would be in the Crown Court dock facing a stiff fine, possible jail sentence, house arrest and/or have our child temporarily placed in protective services custody whilst an evaluation of our fitness to be parents is conducted?
One need only conduct the most casual of Google News searches to learn the fate of other parents who did similarly stupid things forgetting their children. Nearly each case ended in the arrest and prosecution of a parent for neglect. While charges in the Cameron’s case are usually minor the point is made… there is a price to pay for not taking adequate care of your child.
2. Where the hell was Mr. Cameron’s security detail?
I was covering The White House recently and still receive all press briefings and pool reports. Every minute of every day is tracked and it seems inconceivable that the head of a detail for the head of government would not do a quick headcount and check with both cars that all children under their care were accounted for?
While everyone breathes a sigh of relief, I am reminded of a fairly recent scene from these perilous times on the television machine. President Bartlett, the fictitious character on The West Wing screamed at his University age daughter in the Oval Office in the season one episode: Mr. Willis of Ohio:
- “The nightmare scenario, sweetheart, is you getting kidnapped! You go out to a bar or a party in some club and you get up and you go to the restroom and somebody comes from behind and puts his hand across your mouth and drags you out the back door. You’re so petrified you don’t even notice the bodies of a few Secret Service agents laying on the ground with bullet holes in their heads.
- Then you’re driven away in the car. It’s a big party with lots of noise and lots of people coming and going, and it’s a half hour before someone says: ‘Hey, where’s Zoey?’ It’s another fifteen minutes before the first phone call. It’s another hour and a half before anyone even THINKS to shut down all the airports! Now we’re off to the races!
- You’re tied to a chair in a cargo shack somewhere in the middle of Uganda and I am told that I have 72 hours to get Israel to free 460 imprisoned terrorists. So I’m on the phone pleading with Ben Yamin and he’s saying: ‘I’m sorry, Mr. President, but Israel simply does not negotiate with terrorists, period, it’s the only way we can survive.’
- So now we got a new problem because this country no longer has a Commander-in-chief, but a father going out of his mind because his little girl is in a shack somewhere in the middle of Uganda with a gun to her head!
- Do you get it?!”
And in a later season series that exact story line happens… Zoey is kidnapped, the President invokes the 25th amendment and removes himself temporarily from office. Security of the head of government’s family is paramount for these very reasons.
And is it a coincidence this story leaks on the day Mr. Austerity, whose cuts are destroying families and children’s lives across the UK, announces his new signature £450m troubled families programme?
So is it IOKIYAPM (OK if you are Prime Minister) or am I just being dramatic? Just sayin’
Denis G Campbell is the author of 6 books including 'Billionaire Boys Election Freak Show,' 'The Vagina Wars' & 'Egypt Unsh@ckled.' He is the editor of UK Progressive Magazine and provides commentary to the BBC, itv Al Jazeera English, CNN, MSNBC and others. His weekly 'World View with Denis Campbell' segment can be heard every Thursday on the globally syndicated The David Pakman Show. You can follow him on Twitter via @UKProgressive and on Facebook.
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