Shelagh Fogarty 1pm - 4pm
Bereaved Caller: "People Don't Understand What They're Saying" About David Cameron
16 September 2019, 16:28
This caller, whose disabled son also died aged 6 like David Cameron's son, said in an emotional conversation that "people don't understand" the awfulness of losing a child, following The Guardian's article which called Cameron's pain "privileged."
The caller Lisa shared, “My son died 20 years ago, he was age 6 actually, very similar to David Cameron’s son – he had learning disabilities.
“What I didn’t have, Shelagh, was the money to pay for his funeral, I didn’t have the money for his flowers, I didn’t have anything as a single parent. So I had to beg, borrow and steal to make that happen.” Talking of David Cameron, she said: “So not that I think his suffering is any less.”
She then reconsidered and said, “Well – yes less. Because if I’d had money, I wouldn’t have had to have gone through those things. 3 days after my son died, the local authority turned up and took my car back. He hadn’t even been buried.” She continued to talk about the pain of her harrowing experience.
Shelagh said: “You seem to be saying the loss of your child and the loss of David Cameron’s child would have felt the same in your hearts as parents?”
“Absolutely, absolutely,” replied Lisa.
“But the second your child died, insult was added to injury because you were poor.”
Lisa agreed, “And it continues.” She then continued to talk her financial strain and also the strain of her child’s death, with emotion clearly still raw.
“It’s like it happened yesterday. I don’t think people understand the concept of what they’re saying about David Cameron.”
This came after outrage from many, including Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid David, at a Guardian article which called David Cameron’s loss of his severely disabled six year old son as “privileged pain”.
The caller Lisa did brandish his policy “shameful” and said, “I think what David Cameron has done is turn his back on all of us”, but she distinguished this entirely from the loss he had.
Shelagh said: “The most amazing thing in the brief time I’ve spoken to you is that all of your criticism there about David Cameron is about policy, not person.
“You have not lost your capacity to be compassionate about a man who lost his child, but you have every right to feel anger and direct that anger where you think it needs to be directed.”
The article has since been amended to remove these comments and The Guardian have said: "The original version of this editorial posted online fell far short of our standards. It has now been amended, and we apologise completely."
Watch the moving call above.