It was @rupertmurdoch no less, who tweeted over the weekend: “with UK on terror alert, Cameron off on holiday in Ibiza. Unbelievable.”
Well, it was never really a great love affair with Dave was it? Murdoch, like many even in his own party, never seemed truly convinced by the PM. But I take issue with having a pop at the man for taking a family holiday. Being a bit cash-strapped at the moment, and sick of the cold weather, I admit to being a little envious this half-term week of the PM’s ability to get away, but to attack him for his timing is perverse.
The events in Woolwich last week were appalling, and no one can feel anything but sympathy for drummer Lee Rigby’s family, whose lives will never be the same, but let’s be honest, for the rest of us our lives have carried on. They have to. It all depends on the degree of separation.
London did not feel like it was on “terror alert” on a sunny Saturday by the river. There, we bumped into another group whose lives were touched by sadness last week, the funeral party for The Times’s much respected foreign editor Richard Beeston, a man I had met once. His family’s lives, too, will never be the same. The rest of the party, however sad they were then, will move on. Indeed, as we sat outside for a pub lunch moments later, enjoying the sun, all seemed well with the world.
Most of us do not change our habits or plans in the wake of terror incidents, unless forced to by the authorities. Why would we? It would be fatuous to decide whether or not to go for a pub lunch in west London based on a solitary attack in South-east London a few days previously. It would be for the PM to cancel a holiday too, where he will be linked by phone and email anyway. We are all of us better at our jobs for spending “quality” time with our families. And that goes for the Prime Minister, too.