Friday, 14 March 2008

Keeping it in the family

So, Dave Cameron loves his family. Bless. We might have guessed for ourselves, but thanks to his kind hospitality to a passing TV crew, he's laid the issue to rest. Quite how he withstood the Pavlovian urge to ram a burger down their precious little throats we may never know. But, admirable though this home and hearth stuff is, is it possible he's become a little myopic? As Dave says: "nothing informs my thinking more than family," and he's not wrong. Let's run down some big ideas:
  • £20/week for staying married
  • Free maternity nurse/cook/mother's little helper for all new parents
  • Shared maternity/paternity leave for greater flexibility
What this all says about life chez Cameron is an interesting question, of course (sounds like he's finding it just a little tiring, doesn't it?) but there are bigger fish to fry. Clearly, he's getting his ideas about what families really need by looking at his own problems experiences: is this the best place to find national policies? There's two questions he doesn't seem to have asked himself:

1) Are families really that important?
2) Are my ("comfortably well-off" upper middle-class) problems really the major concerns for most families?

Fans of cognitive biases will of course recognise a blend of the availability heuristic, framing, and anchoring. In other words, he's a small-minded narcissist who looks at major social and political questions through his own narrow and skewed worldview, and doesn't even realise he's doing it.

In his words "I'm asking people a very big thing, which is to elect me as their prime minister. And I think people have a right to know a bit more about you, your life and your family, what makes you tick, and what informs your thinking."

Well, now we know. Thanks Dave.

No comments: