Thursday, 19 August 2010


Bless him. Isn’t the Deputy Prime Minister just one of these people you wish you’d always had around you, and now you’ve got him you just don’t know where you would be without him?

Today he has been giving us parenting classes. He has “condem”ned (was that clever or what?) Britain’s falling level of social mobility and told parents they should do more to help with their children’s education to remedy this.

Mothers and fathers, he said, had a responsibility encourage their children’s education even if they are busy and tired. Aw bless... he’s a wee sweetie isn’t he?

He admitted that he was walking on dangerous ground telling parents how to bring up their children but said that politicians must not remain silent on such important matters.

Why not Nick? I’d have thought it was a superb idea. You know, it would give them more time to get on with the job they were elected to do. Just what on earth is it about politicians that give them some sort of right to be telling us how to bring up our kids?

Are they particularly good at bringing up kids?

Oh and do you mean ALL politicians Nick, or is it just Liberal ones, or Tory and Liberal ones. Should I not take notice of what Mr Straw says because he’s Labour? And is it just elected politicians or do lords also have this amazing ability when it comes to child rearing? Is it possible that SNP politicians are better at kiddy raising than Liberals, or maybe worse? What do you think’re the expert.

There’s more though: “Parents hold the fortunes of the children they bring into this world in their hands. All parents have a responsibility to nurture the potential in their children,” he said.

So anyone that’s likely to be listening to you is probably aware of that Nick. Most of us are not entirely thick even if we didn’t get to go to Westminster School.

He also shared with us his view that bad parenting did more to hold kids back than poverty. So as well as being an expert in child rearing he (and possibly all politicians or those sorted out above) is a sociologist with a deep understanding of what makes people successful in life, and the relative effects of parenting and poverty including factors like; inherited intellectual prowess; type of schooling and quality of teaching available in areas where kids from poor backgrounds are likely to live; peer pressure; lack of facilities for study; lack of ambition of school teachers; inability to afford college or university; unlikelihood of being able to get into Oxbridge, St Andrews, Edinburgh, London...and so on.... Still, I’m sure if you give him a call he’ll explain it all to you.

Amazingly he did admit that his own incredibly wealthy childhood (it’s said he makes the Camerons look poor) had a part to play in his rise to the position of Deputy Prime Minister, but declined to comment about whether he would have been equally successful had he not been wealthy.

Right Nick, you’re in charge this week. Don’t let it go to your head. Only real numpties like Harriet invite their granny round for a cup of tea at No 10 when the boss is away... and only real numpties think that because they, by sheer fluke, got to be Deputy Prime Minister that gives them the God given right to lecture the rest of us on domestic matters about which they know little.

Pics: Cleggy looking a little hurt by my remarks, and lower down, at Westminster School where they did classes in being Deputy Prime Minister.


  1. I think it's already gone to his head Tris. Any time I've watched the news this week he's there being interviewed by someone. Same old, same old...

  2. I'm sure he has work to do somewhere that he could be getting on with SR. If not maybe he could pop home and help his kids with their homework?

  3. "Just what on earth is it about politicians that give them some sort of right to be telling us how to bring up our kids?"

    It is vital our politicians moralise. I don't want to live in a society where people do not.

  4. I’m not so convinced that politicians should have a moralising role. They tend to sound preachy and invariably come out looking like hypocrites when the skeletons in their own closets come home to roost. Of course politicians don’t seem to care about looking like hypocrites, even Lib Dems. Hence their volte face over nuclear things and their obscene rush to embrace AV despite their own Lord Jenkins telling us all it was worse than FPTP.

  5. I dunno Dean. They are not experts or morality. One day they are newspaper men or lawyers or domestic science teachers or research assistants and the next they are moral philosophers.

    Clearly in a right minded parliament they have to make decisions based upon moral considerations; that I accept. Of course in most cases Westminster the decisions are made for them. By Whips (who are also not experts). They sit there listening to speeches (or they sit in their offices or the bars NOT listening to speeches), but it makes no difference what anyone says, because, at the end of the day (literally) they vote the way they have been told to vote. Now there's a moral puzzle for you....

    But I doubt it gives anyone, Nick Clegg or Nicola Sturgeon, any right to tell us individually, how to live our lives. Nick’s opinions may be that parenting is more important than the financial situation that kids are raised in. But to me that sounds like a politician’s sneaky way of saying we’re not going to help poor people; they must help themselves and (and here is the worst bit) he makes it sound like it is accepted fact ... but he provides no academic proof; no papers, no research. In short appears to me to be his personal opinion.

    Like everyone else he’s entitled to that opinion, which may or may not be right, and entitled to express it, but it doesn’t make it perceived wisdom.

  6. Yes. I agree Munguin.

    Of course there may well be something in what Cleggy says. He may be right... but his own upbringing hardly gives him any experience of what it’s like trying to get from, for example, a rundown estate in Glasgow, to St Andrews University.

    I know that sort of thing can be done. David Davies is a case in point, as indeed is the last Deputy Prime Minister

    But there can be little doubt that even with the best parenting in the world it is harder to make the leap the larger it is.

    It is dangerous to take small samples or single examples and to make political or moral messages from them.

    For example, is Mr Davies also is proof positive that single parents are the best way to bring a lad from a council house to Westminster? Special circumstances may attend, as for example in the case of M’lord Prezzer who was there to try to keep the real Labour MPs in place at the beginning of Labour’s experiment at being soft Tories.....and nothing else. Prezzer could make his “deputy” speech at the end of conference and all the flat caps would be thrown into the air as he spouted some soon-to-be forgotten stuff about socialism.

    No! Political parties should have a moral backbone to them, but individual politicians should refrain from moralizing as if they were experts.

    Imagine if Thatcher had done something like that, and then Mark had turned out to be the internationally hunted coup raiser.... How embarrassing!

  7. I knew I'd seen that picture before.

    As to his parenting skills!

  8. Good one cynical... well, good two actually...

  9. I suppose when one is a millionaire plus it gives them the 'right' to tell others how to behave and bring up their offspring maybe we should all follow the Tory treasurer and live here but not pay any taxes and demand that they are all born with silver spoons in their mouths. Why do we put up with this nonsense?

  10. I have no idea Cynical, except to suggest because we're British, and as such a bit of a push over for politicians. They can throw any crap at us and by and large we shake our heads and tut tut and then we get on with making a nice cup of tea, or going down the pub and getting blasted.

    The French would be more likely to have a riot.

    That works. The poll tax riots in England worked... Not that I'm against that kind of thing, but I bet it made the politicians of the day sit up and take notice for a while when they thought that we'd grown a pair.