We’ve all become used to David Cameron’s standard patronising response to women in the House of Commons; “Calm down, dear”.
He hit a new low today, When Dennis Skinner, at 80 years old a veteran of the House, asked why Jeremy Hunt, the Culture Secretary, enjoyed better employment rights than the rest of the workers in Britain, and suggested that it was so Cameron could use Hunt to shield himself from criticism, Cameron could have just said that the suggestion was rubbish. It wouldn’t have been a good answer, and he would have been criticised for not answering properly. What he actually said was worse though: “Well, the honourable gentleman has the right, at any time, to take his pension and I advise him to do so.” In other words, “You’re old, so I’m not going to bother with you!”
It’s no great surprise that Cameron is happy to make disparaging remarks about old people. He is, after all, prepared to rob them to pay his banker friends. Nor is it the first time he’s picked on Skinner, saying in January, “I often say to my children ‘No need to go to the Natural History Museum to see a dinosaur, come to the House of Commons at about half past twelve’.”
Dennis Skinner has a thick skin, and shrugs off these insults. In a way, when his opponent resorts to such tactics, it’s a victory for him. Cameron should realise, however, that his intended target is not the only one who might take his comments amiss.
Elderly people, take note of what the Prime Minister thinks of you.
- David Cameron’s jibe at Dennis Skinner: forget the ageism, it was just badly done. (libdemvoice.org)
- Cameron may live to regret his support for Hunt (newstatesman.com)