'Oh, so that's who Richard Morris is..." Lord Hattersley on The Daily Politics

'An influential activist' - The Guardian

'Iain Dale, without the self loathing' - Matthew Fox in The New Statesman

You are a tinker...' - Tim Farron

Monday 18 July 2011

Can someone ask Quentin Letts or Max Hastings if they know what a loaf of bread costs?

For everyone who missed it, here's a link to the ridiculous piece Quentin Letts wrote in (of course) The Daily Mail last week, criticising Nick Clegg for doing the school run. I imagined the world would largely dismiss it as utter nonsense. More fool me. I caught 2 minutes of the Andrew Marr paper review yesterday, only to heat Max Hastings endorsing the piece. 'I want the PM and DPM running the country, not doing the school run' he intoned

Words fail me.

No doubt Quentin and Max are bemused in the first place that Nick's kids are home at all - they presumably think they should be ensconced in some boarding establishment (let's not forget David Cameron once described Samantha Cameron as having had a very ordinary upbringing, on the basis that she went to a day school...).

But putting aside the blatant sexism in Lett's piece, (if you can, it's not easy) then there's another whole set of reasons why I'm glad Nick does the school run.

We complain endlessly, and with good reason, that our politicians are out of touch with the real world. They they've no idea how hard it is to balance a household budget, keep family life on the straight and narrow, cope with the daily commute.

So when I hear Nick is doing the school run, I take some comfort in the fact that maybe he does experience a little of what us ordinary folk deal with every day. Similarly I saw Ed Davey on the commuter train from Surbiton into Waterloo a couple of weeks ago. No ministerial car from the front door for him.

We should be applauding our politicians for doing everyday things and making it easier for them to do so. Because then they'll appreciate better what real life is like for the rest of us.

And as a bonus. Isn't it lovely that Nick likes spending time with his kids

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