Ivan – a legacy?

Well, I might have spoken too soon. The BBC’s Nick Robinson points out that PMQs were suspended because Gordon Brown identified with David Cameron’s loss. It doesn’t happen often that Parliament is suspended, however briefly, over a little boy’s death. “The two men spoke tonight – they don’t normally get on – but they have never been closer.”

  • moggy

    Grief unites. People pull together in a tradgedy. A shared experience can over come pettiness or even dislike. People reach out to others with the same experience on a human level me thinks.

  • fin

    indeed moggy, David, Gordon, and the Iraqi, serb and Afgan parents whose kids were born with deformities from uranium tipped shells or blown to bits can reach out to each other, methinks not,

  • The Impartial Observer

    Firstly I’d like to express my condolences to David Cameron on the sad loss of his son. I’d also like to say that I thought Gordon Brown’s statement to the Commons today was deeply moving, Brown knows more than anyone else what Cameron is going through.

    I want to phrase this statement very carefully. I do not believe that Cameron would want to use his son’s death for political advantage. But looking at the reaction to this tragedy in the MSM and the blogosphere, it’s clear that there is genuine public sympathy for Cameron. One of the charges put against him is that he’s a privileged toff who doesn’t understand what ordinary people have to contend with in daily life. Tomorrow people will be reading about how Cameron slept on hospital floors beside Ivan and how he has cancelled interviews and press conferences because his son was unwell. That will show him as a loving father who put his family first. Cameron has often spoken of his appreciation and admiration of NHS doctors and nurses who looked after Ivan and one of the issues he has raised is about stifling bureaucracy in the public sector. The Tories have hinted at allowing public sector professionals more freedom to carry out their duties and at clipping the wings of the managers who have built up in the public sector since the 1960’s. Many people will recognise that and perhaps they will be more willing to consider whatever proposals Cameron makes and recognise that he does realize what ordinary people have to experience in their lives and that there is conviction in his agenda.

    Of course David Cameron would not have wanted it to have happened this way.

    R.I.P. Ivan

  • Yesterday, I posted a comment of condolence on the earlier blog. I am now ready to say something a little bit more dispassionate and detatched regarding the wider consequences of yesterday’s news.

    Firstly, my personal reaction. Like most men, I dont cry very often. When I saw the photograph of David kissing his son, I did shed a couple of tears. I dont know if that was because I am also a parent, that David Cameron is the leader of my party or because I was simply reacting like a normal human being would to a similar tragedy.

    I cant speak for the feelings of others but even without tears, if most other people had their heartstrings pulled, I think this event will have political consequences. Firstly, people will hunger for detail about the Camerons as a family. They will be fascinated by the fact that they were carers to a severely disabled child. They will see and hear the kind comments that Cameron has been making about the Health Service. He has already said much in public about the Health Service. I think that many people will now dwell upon this.

    Labour is already well behind in the opinion polls. The Conservatives have kept a stable poll rating above 40% for some time now. I have no doubt that the Conservatives will have been able to win the next election regardless of the loss of this child.

    The opinion polls, broken down, revealed that Labour was behind on most issues, except in relation to the Health Service. Over the years, the Tories have always been behind on this issue. Much of Labour’s propaganda, e.g. that the Health Service is safe in their hands, has resonated with voters.

    See, e.g. the blog of 23rd Feb on this link re latest ICM Guardian poll


    Will the Conservatives now be ahead on health? I dont know but I think this will make a huge difference. I could not see any way back for Gordon Brown before this. Now, I see a landslide coming.

  • The Cameron family have suffered a sad loss but is their experience of the NHS the same as others?
    A lot of people are left hanging about,have appointments cancelled and have operations postponed in NHS hospitals.
    I remember a friend who went to an A&E;department,while he was waiting a badly hurt man came in.My friend asked if this man could be treated before him.At this the staff became angry and told my friend he could go home if he didn’t want to take his turn.
    I can’t imagine a situation where NHS staff would have been rude to Mr.Cameron neither can I imagine Mr.Cameron wishing to use this tragic situation for any political advantage.

  • “….neither can I imagine Mr.Cameron wishing to use this tragic situation for any political advantage”

    I totally agree but I think the advantage will emerge without the politicians saying anything on the subject.