Joan Smith: Sam Cam up till midnight! Outrageous!

I secretly hope she was just limbering up on Friday night

Related Topics

Once again it was Twitter that broke the big story: Sam Cam went to a rave in Ibiza last weekend. She was spotted by a British user of the social networking site who spoiled her coup – that rare occasion when the words "rave" and "Ibiza" and "prime minister's wife" could legitimately appear in the same sentence – by commenting that it was funny to see Mrs Cameron among so many "young ravers".

Oh, come on. Mrs Cameron is 40 and it hardly takes much energy to stay until the end of an event which apparently finished at ... midnight. I mean, what's happened to Ibiza? I go to dinner parties in London that end later than that.

When I had a little drinks party last winter, people slept in every room of the house and the last guests left after breakfast the following morning. I secretly hope Sam Cam was just limbering up on Friday night, getting ready to move on to the real party while the twentysomethings stretched, yawned and went to bed.

All right, I know Norma Major didn't go to raves. I can't think of another prime minister's spouse in history who's queued for a budget flight to Ibiza, checked out the scene and joined a crowd of thousands to watch the dance DJ Pete Tong, although I suppose Denis Thatcher might have gone to Spain for the golf. It's a generational thing, and Norma's husband John Major just happens to be the last British prime minister born before the baby boomers came along and changed (almost) all the rules.

Gordon Brown is technically a baby boomer but it's even harder to picture him at a rave than it is Disraeli, who did at least have a bit of louche style. Brown even went on holiday in a suit, looking as though he was desperate for an international crisis to erupt so he could get back to the office.

I know we all hate Tony Blair but one of Brown's misfortunes was that his predecessor created a new style of prime minister, relaxed and informal as well as (in the end) widely loathed. You may not want to be reminded of this but back in 1997 the Blairs were youthful and almost cool, filling 10 Downing Street with pop singers and soap stars.

The Camerons are the next generation and there's no denying they're the baby boomers' cultural heirs. They don't share the centre-left politics – I guess it's hard if you're that rich – but they've absorbed the rest of our assumptions wholesale. Age-appropriate behaviour, what's that? The youngest of Sam Cam's children is less than a year old but that doesn't mean the PM's wife can't go to parties and stay out really, really late, sometimes coming home after midnight!

The astonishing thing is how long it's taking the rest of the world to catch up. I'm forever reading that this actress still looks amazing at 50 or that TV star turned up in wellies at Glastonbury, even though he's entitled to a bus pass. So what? The seven ages of man (or woman) always seemed a pretty crap notion to me, involving giving up most of the things you liked – rock 'n' roll, fashion, sex, parties – without getting much in return.

I used to love Blondie, now I listen to Lady Gaga and I'm not going to pretend I'm suddenly a big fan of Mahler. In this world that knows the rules have changed but hasn't got used to it, Sam Cam is at a dangerous age. When her husband joined her at the weekend, she stepped out in a blue halter-neck dress that showed off her upper arms; there's almost a fatwa on bare arms if you're a woman over the age of 29, but that's something else no one's told the PM's wife. Obviously she doesn't think she's too old to have fun – and that's just about the only thing I can ever imagine agreeing on with a Tory.

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Mosul falls: Talk of Iraq retaking the town, held by IS since June, is unconvincing  

Isis on the run? The US portrayal is very far from the truth

Patrick Cockburn
Photo match: Nicola Sturgeon on the balance beam on 27 April. Just like that other overnight sensation, Russian Olympian Olga Korbut, in 1972  

Election catch-up: SNP surge, Ed Balls’s giraffe noises, and Cameron’s gaffe

John Rentoul
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk