Kindergarten Politics

On a transatlantic flight last year, I was sat across the aisle from a 3-4 year-old, who was deeply engrossed in playing a puzzle game on her iPad. I couldn’t see what it was, save that it involved ballerinas and unicorns (and, yes, you have just worked out where this is going…).

She’d repeatedly get to the same point on a level and fail to achieve whatever it is that one achieves with dancers and mythical beasts, twitch petulantly and start again. And she’d do EXACTLY the same thing again. Over and over again, with an obviously rising level of frustration. Her father was watching and did his best, suggesting gently to her that she might want to try doing something even a little different from what she’d tried before, and offering a few suggestions as to what she might try. She wasn’t having any of it: as far as she was concerned, the game was at fault for refusing to respond to the way she thought it ought to work. She finally turned to her father and cried out, “It’s not my fault!”, and went back to the process. After a couple of hours of this, I was just waiting for the iPad to be hurled across the cabin. Her father was clearly of the same view and then gently but firmly said, “That’s quite enough for now”, and removed the iPad. After a brief squall, she settled down to a half hour of sulkily kicking the arm of her chair, to no-one’s discomfort but her own.

At three years old, you have an excuse. At 62 years old and – albeit in name only – the leader of a major democracy, you do not – and should not – get away with that sort of behaviour. Parliament, in loco parentis, has to put a stop to this nonsense.

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