April 9, 2010

Wait, How Many Free Diapers Do British Kids Get Every Day?

The NY Times has caught onto the supposed Mumsnet Election Fever that's sweeping British politics at the moment. Both the Labour PM Gordon Brown and his conservative Tory challenger David Cameron and their wives are working the family-friendly angle. Cameron, the Times says, is positioning himself as a "cosmopolitan, sensitive new man, devoted to his equal-partnership marriage and to causes like better maternity benefits and better pay for women."

And he's the conservative.

And so the men are mocked in online chats for not naming their favorite cookie [Brown]. And for not knowing how many free diapers disabled babies get each day from the National Health Service [Cameron].

It all sounds like hooey to me, and not just because of the whole cookie-vs-biscuit, diaper-vs-nappie gap. Is 4-vs-5 nappies/day for disabled kids a contentious topic right now? Is there a debate over why disabled kids get nappies and other kids don't? This all seems like so much campaign nonsense, the result of one guy whose Twittering wife is more popular than he is, and the other whose party's most enduring icon is Margaret Thatcher, who tried to crush the British Welfare State with her giant balls of steel.

Love the scare quotes: British Candidates Court 'Womens' Vote' Online [nytimes]

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