We need to talk about Ivan

There’s a growing discomfort over Camoron’s continual references to his late son; a feeling that the motivation is political, a mawkish attempt to shame opponents out of criticising his unelected government’s NHS and Disability Rights policies; “How dare you suggest I’d harm the NHS or Disability Benefits, I had a disabled child etc etc”. Here is that discomfort, brilliantly articulated by Alex on Sturdyblog. It’s painful reading, but I think he’s spot on with this.

I hope as many as possible actually do read it. If this man really is unscrupulous enough to use his dead child in an attempt to immunise himself from criticism in areas where he’s presiding over a great deal of harm and the infliction of massive hardship and misery – then it needs to be brought into the open. Just so that we know what kind of man the arrogant Etonian boy and Oxford Bullingdon Club member became. Because this is evil on a scale even Thatcher didn’t achieve.


I beg your indulgence. Resist the urge to take the understandable, but impetuous, position that a dead child should not be the subject of conversation in any context. Hear me out.

Ivan Reginald Ian was born in April 2002. He was diagnosed with Ohtahara Syndrome – a rare and debilitating combination of cerebral palsy and epilepsy. After an all-too-brief life of six years, Ivan died at St Mary’s in Paddington in 2009. Ivan was six. He was also the son of the soon-to-be Prime Minister, David Cameron.

I remember vividly the first time I felt an uncomfortable knot in my stomach about Ivan. I was thumbing through a copy of the Guardian and came across an article in which Cameron explained how his experience with Ivan had given him a passion and love for the NHS and the professionals within it. It was accompanied by this picture:

And then, a…

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11 responses to “We need to talk about Ivan

  1. I sincerely hope not- I don’t think any parent would whatever the circumstances. Gordon Brown has done the same and I’d like to think any Politician whatever his or her persuasion wouldn’t do it but were simply motivated to heap a bit of glory on an otherwise fucked NHS. I can’t allow myself to think another human being could be this callous so i’ll use it to reinforce my belief in the basic goodness of my fellow man- yes it’s easy to be cynical in the times in which we all live but some things are sacred. If we stop believing this then we need to question ourselves. I’m not trying to preach because every one has the right to believe in what they want but our morality is what seperates us from animals surely. Life and the preservation of life is central to all of this so i’m going to give him/them the benefit of the doubt to protect my own humanity/sanity. NUFC


    • Good on you – you’re less of a cynic than I am. There are plenty who find this all to easy to believe of Cameron, and I’m afraid I’m solidly among them.


  2. As a father and grandfather I do feel for David Cameron. That is where it ends I just do not trust the conservatives with any of the public sector , but especially the NHS. I am a member of the Labour Party and have been since the reign of Margaret Thatcher. Under Thatcher government, hospital and schools were left to rot . There is so much that is wrong can be related to that government. I will step down now off my soapbox. PS I was at the game last night , thought especially in the first half we were good but couldn’t keep it up. It was not bad considering we were up against a team that is pretty settled with a manager that has been there for a year.


  3. Thing is Rob I’m a traditionally cynical about most aspects of life, especially football as I’m pretty sure your aware of now but although there’s a good chance you’re right, for me it cheapens a life and it’s probably more a case of me not wanting to accept the facts as that little lad specifically or anybody in general deserve this legacy as his life was so cruelly shortened. It’s easier to expect higher moral principle of people than it is to dig a little deeper and reveal people for the horrible and nasty etc etc that they could be. I WANT not expect to be able to consider people such as David Cameron and Gordon Brown to respect the lives of their bairns at all cost and not to be cynically used to award them favour in the eyes of the electorate. I don’t want to dig because I’m scared of what may be revealed. I know that may seem nieve but without concrete evidence to suggest otherwise it will make ME have more faith in my fellow man- if someone can be so corrupted by power to allow themselves to act in this matter it says a lot about us all as human beings collectivley. I WANT to believe, in the same way as the little kid who could still hear the bell in the Tom Hanks Chritsmas epic, because to think any differently is surely a condemnation on us all. Another way to put it is that i’m possibly scared of the truth- it’s a horrible conundrum to try and make any sense of if you know what I mean.


    • I think I’m with you on what I actually want – maybe the difference is that, as a Leeds fan, I just assume I’m not going to get what I want! Thus, I might wish the best of people and situations, but I expect the worst – and sadly I’m normally right.


  4. Nail on the head my son, nail on the head.


  5. Michel Dyson

    Cameron is rabidly anti poor people God help us if he gets re-elected!


  6. Michel Dyson

    Cameron is an arrogant monster who will drag this country down if he gets a chance by an election victory. He comes from rich stock,could never understand being poor which is why he relentlessly slashes benefits. He’s worse than Thatcher! Only gets away with it because of Millibrand’s lack of charisma,even though he is 100 times the decency of Cameron!


  7. I work in the NHS. Whenver I hear Cameron talk about Ivan, I remember John Selwyn Gummer feeding his kids a cheeseburger for the cameras, or David Mellor wheeling his family out for the photoshoot after palying away from home. An dI think that maybe those two weren’t quite so bad, in comparison.


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