I’ll assume that Andrea Leadsom knew exactly what she was doing when she made her comments to the Times and then denied making such comments once they’d seen print. To assume otherwise requires me to attribute to her a level of stupidity that would make it impossible for her to even function as a human being at all.
But, either way you cut it, she either is incredibly stupid or she thinks that we, the public, are incredibly stupid. Neither of those things makes for a good trait for a Prime Minister at the best of times, and we don’t need to remind ourselves that these are far from the best of times.
Her misplaced mock outrage appears to stem from the fact that she had said that she doesn’t want the press to report that she’d be a better PM than Theresa May because she has children and May doesn’t. But then she follows that statement by declaring that she is indeed a better prospective PM because she has children and May doesn’t.
I can’t believe this really needs spelling out, but Andrea, that’s the same structure as saying, “I don’t want this to be reported as if I hate black people, but I really hate black people.” The pre-emptive denial doesn’t negate the statement made after it. It just compounds the offence by showing that you really do know better. That you need this to be pointed out to you just proves how incapable you are to lead the UK.
You shouldn’t have said it. You shouldn’t have attacked the reporter who reported it. And you should apologise both to her and to the public, for treating us all with contempt.
As for your claim that being a mother necessarily creates a sense of empathy that aids good governance, that is itself completely lacking in empathy. If your claim was true, we would not have so many mothers (and fathers) failing their children in this country today. And we would not have so many wonderful wider family members taking care of those children and making the right decisions for those children when their parents are incapable of making those decisions. I say that from personal experience, Andrea.
I understand that you probably haven’t given any thought at all to things like this, really. I’d guess you’ve probably lived a reasonably sheltered and comfortable life. And that is no bad thing. But, if you plan to be the Prime Minister, you really should have made the effort long before now to learn about life for the millions of us who don’t have City jobs with disingenuous job titles. Maybe then you’d have realized just how stupid your comments to the Times reporter, and your subsequent attack on her integrity are.
I don’t want a Prime Minister who would impugn the credibility of a journalist for no other reason than to advance their own career. I certainly don’t want a Prime Minister who does such a ham-fisted job of impugning the credibility of a reporter for no other reason than to advance their own career. And I don’t want a Prime Minister who thinks that having children is a necessary condition for feeling empathy, as you strangely seem to believe. The Chilcot Report has shown us the damage that can be done by a reckless Prime Minister with delusions about the world. We don’t need another demonstration just yet, thanks.
Were I in your current situation, I’d withdraw from the race and request that another candidate take my place. But I’m guessing you won’t do that. So, instead, I’d suggest you put your hands up and admit you were wrong to say what you did to the Times and that you were wrong to then attack the Times for reporting it. You know, like a mature and reasonable adult. Because we really need our next Prime Minister to be a mature and reasonable adult. The last Prime Minister took us out of the EU on the basis of a referendum designed solely to solve Tory in-fighting. That’s childish, like your comments of the last 24 hours are. We don’t need another Prime Minister like that any time soon, either.
Honestly, I think we both know you’re really not the Prime Minister that we need right now. But sadly, you might just be the Prime Minister we deserve. If so, the Tory party membership will elect you to office. In which case, god help us all. That said, the alternative isn’t great either.