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Cameron says Runaway Fathers Should be Shamed

David Cameron (cover of GQ magazine)British Prime Minister David Cameron launched a Father’s Day attack on the fathers who have abandoned their families in an article for The Sunday Telegraph, marking the special celebratory day. In the article, he calls for the runaway fathers to be branded by society just as drink drivers are. This is one of the most outspoken interventions he has ever made to defend traditional family life, which he calls a vital element of society.

Cameron says that the UK needs to be genuinely hostile to absent fathers, who deserve to have shame piled on them, as they are unacceptable. He also stressed how determined he is to give married couples tax breaks, which is a controversial policy strongly calculated into the Conservative manifest before the general election last year and is still popular with the Right of the prime minister’s party. An at least £150 per year tax cut was promised to married couples from the Tories, which Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg called patronising drivel from the Edwardian age. It was believed that the idea was set aside.

However, Cameron wrote in his contribution to the newspaper that he wants to recognise marriage in the tax system so that the value of commitment is shown. He also attacked fathers who don’t show long-term commitment, saying that they need the message to hit home that what they are doing – leaving mothers to fend for themselves – is wrong and unacceptable. He noted that mothers do a heroic job against the odds.

His praise for mothers having to take care of children alone helps differentiate him from Tory critics, who have been accused to trying to disgrace lone parents. Cameron says that fathers have to decide to emotionally and financially support their children, even if they are separated from the mothers. This includes taking interest in the kid’s education, going to plays and just spending time with them over the weekend. He then called for a new appeal to get fathers back into the lives of all children.

Cameron also praised the government’s family friendly reforms as a step forward. This includes more financial help for relationship support, benefit changes and flexible parental leave from work.

The Prime Minister said that he got many of his values – responsibility and optimism – from Ian Cameron, his own father, who died at the age of 77 just last September. His father had been admitted to the hospital after suffering a stroke and having heart problems. His death came only a couple weeks after the birth of Cameron’s 4th child – now 10-month-old Florence. His other children are 5-year-old Elwen and 7-year-old Nancy. His first child, Ivan, was born with epilepsy and cerebral palsy and died at the age of 6 in 2009.

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