Now-withdrawn Tory leadership candidate, and therefore one-time prospective next Prime Minister, Andrea Leadsom suggested to The Times this week she would make a better premier than opponent Theresa May because, unlike the Home Secretary, she has children and therefore has – in her opinion – “a real stake in the future”.
Leadsom has denied this was her intention:
Truly appalling and the exact opposite of what I said. I am disgusted. https://t.co/DPFzjNmKie
— Andrea Leadsom MP (@andrealeadsom) July 8, 2016
However, the transcript is pretty damning, mainly because she ACTUALLY SAID IT. Some groups have accused Leadsom of “weaponising parenthood”, but does being a parent make you a better prime minister? I’ve crunched the data and here’s the evidence:
- When negotiating with ruthless dictators, a parent wouldn’t need to rely on aggressive condemnation that could escalate the situation towards a conflict, they could simply tell the tyrant they were “disappointed” in them and they would instantly concede.
- Prime ministers have to constantly deal with various groups haranguing them for such petty demands as fair pay and robust contracts. A parent could convincingly demand that those who had the most cash should share it with those less well off or risk going to bed with no story.
- Imagine how a parent could quell a backbench revolt – “Oh, Tim Farron thinks that is a better policy? Well, why don’t you go and sit with Tim? I’ll help you pack your things.”
- Once debate got too heated in the House of Commons, there is a risk a parent PM would just crack, stop proceedings and sit them all in front of CBeebies for the rest of the session while they simmered down. Nothing would get done.
- Answering each of Jeremy Paxman’s questions about the intricacies of their policies with “because I say so” would become irritating after a while.
- Have you even tried doing something as simple as put together a slice of toast and jam after being woken up three times in the night by a toddler? This person has their finger on the nuclear button – imagine the damage they could do before they have fully caffeine-loaded for the day!
Inconclusive, right? You may be thinking that most PMs in the past have been parents and none of the above has happened. BUT THAT IS WHAT THEY WANT YOU TO BELIEVE. Think on…