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>Politicians please leave your families out of this election


Another week, another raft of newspaper articles featuring politicians pitching their stalls in advance of the forthcoming election.

And lots of these pieces include family photos – them showing their softer side by being pictured surrounded by their partner and adoring family.

I have no issues with a politician and their partner pushing themselves in the media – most marriages (and most politicians are married) are partnerships and one person going into politics generally means the other realises that their life is open up for scrutiny.

Not so the children – nobody asks them if they want to sign up for a life in the public eye, to be a cute accessory that may increase the electability of their parent, to be currency in a political race.

And the trouble is that once your children have been photographed and published, there is no turning it back, wiping it out and making it go away.  Those images and interviews will always exist and come back to haunt them in the future.

Its all very well being teased about something you’ve done and chosen to do but a little different if you had no choice in the matter.

I wonder why its considered acceptable to make politics a family business?  I certainly would never dream of taking either of my girls into the office world, of having them accompany me to a pitch for new business or to using them to gain advantage with my clients or colleagues?  So why do we let politicians do something that we wouldn’t do?  Why do we let it influence our votes?

Perhaps this election could be fought over policies and performance and for families to not be used as an accessory?

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6 comments to >Politicians please leave your families out of this election

  • TheMadHouse

    >I agree with you. David Cameron commenting on the fact that Sams pregnancy wasnt really convenient made my blood boil

  • It's a Mummys Life

    >Very good question. I find it all so superficial. It's like PR 101, whack the kids in and you're sure to get the female vote. So insulting and exploitative

  • Gappy

    >It's funny isn't it, the way they try desperately to make themselves appear more human and ordinary.

    Everybody knows they're martians really.

  • Working Mum

    >Twas ever thus.

    Doesn't fool me, though!

  • cartside

    >I agree that the children don't get asked or can't make an informed choice and that that's ethically not right. However, I don't think having a family can be kept separate from work, and I also don't think politicians should make that separation. Yes, for politicians there's the exploitation issue and the attempt to get the female vote. This is problematic. But in general, I also think it sends out a message that a family person can make a political career and that it's not mutually exclusive. By the way, I occasionally do bring my daughter into work if I don't have childcare and need to help out. I don't like doing it because I don't think it's right for her, but for my work – if they require me to work after 6pm and hubby is busy, without extended family around, well what can I do? And my work is ok with that. Similarly my work benefits from my personal life, from the experiences I make there and which I can transfer, it can be a win win situation.

  • Grit

    >i find the political pr of 'sweet family' patronising and offputting.

    i'll leave aside the false image of life it unhelpfully presents – i suspect we will be screened from images of cameron shouting at his kids or samcam smacking her toddler's hand in netto.

    being a parent is a hard work activity involving emotional labour and financial strain.

    i find it patronising that they think they can make me vote on the success of their image presentation rather than their policies.

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