The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Peter Worthington Headshot

Why I'm Glad the British PM Left His Daughter at a Pub

Posted: Updated:
Print Article

It could happen to anyone.

That it happened to British Prime Minister David Cameron is a bit unusual, but in a very "human" way, it makes him more appealing.

He and his wife Samantha forgot their eight-year-old daughter in a pub, and only realized she was missing when they arrived home.

In something resembling panic, they called the pub -- The Plough in the village of Cadsden where the family had had a Sunday lunch -- and learned the kid was okay and probably enjoying a lemonade or glass of cider. Dad promptly returned to take her home.

It's not quite as weird as it at first seems. Apparently the daughter, Nancy, had gone to the washroom as the family was leaving -- one car for dad, another for mum and the kids, all under the supervision of PM's security detail. Apparently everyone thought Nancy was in the other car.

No harm was done, but Cameron's security detail -- which traditionally is more restrained and less obvious that the Secret Service throngs that attend the U.S. President and family on outings -- is somewhat embarrassed at the oversight.

Some people find the incident almost endearing.

It's kind of reassuring to think of the PM having a family outing with the kids, and somehow losing his daughter Nancy. She apparently relished all the attention she got in the pub while awaiting her parents discovery that she was missing.

It is sort of mindful of the days when heads of state could mingle safely with the people, and without the constant need for high-alert security.

Mackenzie King, when he was Canada's PM, used to regularly walk his dog on the streets of Ottawa without security people dogging his footsteps. Even U.S. Presidents could mingle safely with the electorate.

The incident of David and Samantha Cameron forgetting about one of the kids doesn't rank with President Barack Obama's off-duty Secret Service team bringing some 20 prostitutes into their hotel for a party while the Prez was attending the Sixth Summit of the Americas in Colombia in April.

The visit was intended to shore up Obama's credentials as an internationalist for the U.S. election campaign, but Secret Service hi-jinks with Colombian damsels of the night tended to steal the show from Obama. The consequence: Firings, reprimands and red faces.

In 2010, at age 43, Cameron became Britain's youngest PM since 1812. He blows hot and cold on conventional Conservative issue. He believes British Muslims "have a duty" to integrate into British culture, and is a "skeptical" about the European Union. He's opposed to Britain banning the fox hunt, and encouraged MPs to give Tony Blair's last speech in Parliament a standing ovation for Blair's "considerable achievement of bringing peace to Northern Ireland," and for supporting America.

Cameron has called himself a "liberal conservative," which is perhaps wise since he leads a coalition government with Liberals. He's been outspokenly critical of teachers, and has suggested higher standards be applied to them -- thus incurring the wrath of the union which could lead to a teachers' strike.

Sometimes known as "Dave the Chameleon," Cameron is an unabashed family man and any suggestion that he was negligent about his daughter at the family outing at a pub, is not only unfair but is without substance.

As said at the beginning of this column: It could happen to anyone.