Anorak News | Father Of The Nation

Father Of The Nation

by | 12th, November 2004

‘TONY Blair may not officially be the father of the nation, but he is great dad.

”We’ve already put his name down for breakfast club”

Just the other day, Tony let it be known that he was the “primary carer” of his children during the 1980s when Cherie was carving out a career in the law.

Back then, Tony tells us, it was “unusual to see a dad pushing a buggy”.

It still is an unusual sight in some places, particularly around the more elite parts of Islington and Hyde Park where buggies, or prams as they were known in predecimal times, are operated by small Filipino women called Monica.

In other places, mums and dads get less help, and these are the areas which the Telegraph says Tony wants to enlighten.

“Hard-working parents” is the new catechism in the Blair household and the crèches and nurseries in and around the Houses of Parliament.

And both Tony and Michael ‘Mike’ Howard (old enough to be a grandfather at 63) want to woo their vote.

So on the same day, both Tony and Mike went back to school in the London area to meet the kids first hand and deliver their plans for their future in what the Times calls the battle of the “superdad”.

First up was Mike, who clutched a fresh-faced, white male child to his manly chest and did his best to look paternal.

He even managed to stick one of his manly hands into a tray of paint and make an impression, if not on the child than at least on a piece of paper.

Meanwhile, over in the Guardian Tony’s meeting with some older children, at least one of whom is black and female, thus scoring Superdad big points with the ethnic minorities and distaff vote.

Tony sits at one the end of a canteen table, his customary mug of tea before him and a biscuit (which is most likely a Nice and is more certainly not a Garibaldi) to his lips.

And Tony tells the kids that he promises to put an end to the awfulness of “latch-key kids”, guaranteeing care for children between the hours of 8am to 6pm.

The idea is to give every child between the ages of five and 11 access to “breakfast clubs” in the morning and after-school clubs in the evening – a practice formerly known as “detention”.

And this making use of school facilities out of normal working hours would take place all year round, not only in term time.

Looking at the plan, the Times thinks there is “considerable merit” in this proposal, and making use of school buildings is sensible, or common sense as the Tories would have it.

But before we congratulate Tony on a brilliantly original idea, know that it’s not all that new – especially if Tony can slip in some dormitories.

It’s called boarding school. Which is a scheme offered at some great old institutions, just like Tony’s old alma mater at Fettes College, Edinburgh.

And it never did Tony any harm. Did it?’

Posted: 12th, November 2004 | In: Uncategorized Comment | TrackBack | Permalink