UPDATE; 15th May, 2010. A mother who kicked and punched her baby son so hard she damaged his vital organs, went to prison yesterday for a minimum of 16 years. (report here)
Two parents are to be sentenced for child cruelty. Their little 8 year old daughter, starved and neglected, hanged herself. (details here).
David Cameron is not an open book. He is naturally diplomatic and charming, but he can be enigmatic, prompting some people to say they don’t understand him. Call him a toff, call him aloof, as his enemies do, one thing that nobody can deny is that he is a loving and devoted father.
Throughout Labour’s tenure in office, there have been appalling examples of child cruelty, when the vulnerability of our kids under Labour has been brutally revealed. Ed Balls has bullied and blustered, but he has entirely failed to convince me that he is on top of this issue.
When David Cameron speaks on the subject of children and child cruelty, he reveals a vein of sensitivity that other politicians do not have. There was a case when a 12 year old boy (Alfie Patten) was thought to have fathered a child. (It was later discovered that he was not the father). Gordon Brown refused to comment directly on the case, (ducking out as usual) but Mr. Cameron did comment and I was struck by his reply. With his usual tact, he said that it was always a happy occasion when a baby was born. But he then said when he looked into the eyes of Alfie Patten (he was by then 13, but looked about 8 years old) he was conscious of a deep sadness, because Alfie was so afraid and could not handle the responsibility of being a father. (details here).
One of Mr. Cameron’s most outstanding House of Commons performances was when he questioned Gordon Brown about the death of Baby Peter and demanded an investigation, which was first flatly refused. To Gordon’s everlasting shame, he could only see the situation in political terms. Disgustingly, he accused Mr. Cameron of playing politics. It was a dreadful, painful, but revealing exchange. This is typical Gordon Brown. I nearly puked.
David Cameron has said he will do all he can to protect kids from the sexualisation of children and I absolutely believe that. Nobody can do everything, but he will try his hardest. I believe this is an issue that deeply matters to him.