Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Our Hearts Go Out to David & Samantha

As most of you will have heard by now, David & Samantha Cameron's son Ivan died this morning. He was only six years old. He had a short life but was clearly at the heart and soul of the Cameron family. His parents doted on him and will be absolutely devastated.

I have read a lot of the reaction on blogs and Twitter and it's so heartwarming to see the kindness being expressed and the apparent empathy with the Camerons. Nothing can prepare you for losing a child. Nothing. I hope David and Samantha take all the time they need before returning to the fray. Their family comes first.

UPDATE: The Conservatives have released the following statement...
“It is with great sadness that David and Samantha Cameron must confirm the death of their six-year old son Ivan. Ivan, who suffered from cerebral palsy and severe epilepsy, was taken ill overnight and died at St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington, early this morning. David and Samantha would ask that their privacy is respected at this terribly difficult time.”


UPDATE: The Prime Minister has issued this statement...

Sarah and I were very saddened to hear of the death of Ivan and we have sent our condolences to David and Samantha. The death of a child is a loss no parent should have to bear. I know Ivan was a child who brought joy to all those who knew him and his was a life surrounded by love. The thoughts and prayers of the whole country are with David, Samantha and their family.

61 comments:

simonemmett said...

Well said.

Jonathan Cook said...

Best wishes to the Cameron family. This must be an awful time, but I know that they will look back for years to come and cherish Ivan's life.

Plato said...

Such sad news. Best wishes to his family.

IUnknown said...

Such sad and tragic news... my sympathies to Mr Cameron and his family.

Sixxstring90 said...

My deepest thoughts and sympathies are with the Cameron family at this present time

Andy said...

Iain, on your tweet you asked for advice as to whether or not you shoudl give interviews on this.... Well, I'm not going to advise one way or another but, for what it's worth:
- on the one hand, I don't believe you're particularly close to the family, are you? You just happen to be a Tory. Might close friends be better?
- on the other, you have only just published the excellent interview you did with him: one could argue that gives you a particular insight?
- there again......I would be aware of the risk of becoming perceived as a 'rent-a-quote', with a view on anything and everything! Pls don't take that the wrong way - I have generally been very impressed with your media appearances, but wouldn't want you to over-do it!

So - 2 against, but also one strong argument for.....take your pick - sure you'll do the right thing!

ghanimah said...

Terrible news, my deepest condolences to David and all his family

Unsworth said...

Grim and upsetting news, although not unheralded I suspect. David and Samantha Cameron deserve our sympathy, admiration and forbearance at this time. They should be allowed some peace, time and space.

David said...

Prime Minister:

"Sarah and I were very saddened to hear of the death of Ivan and we have sent our condolences to David and Samantha. The death of a child is a loss no parent should have to bear.

"I know Ivan was a child who brought joy to all those who knew him and his was a life surrounded by love. The thoughts and prayers of the whole country are with David, Samantha and their family."

acadman said...

Absolutely terrible. As the saying goes, 'you don't know your born' when it comes to understanding how lucky you are not to go through this kind of grief.

acadman said...

I should have added that I definitely don't think anyone giving interviews is right. I discrete period of silence to allow the family to grieve in peace is what is called for.

Dick the Prick said...

Absolutely tragic but the lad was well loved and had a doting family. My heartfelt condolences go out to the family and to the other two niblets.

jcevans2 said...

My condolences to the whole Cameron family. You are in the country's prayers.
The words of Lincoln after the death of his son Todd may give readers a insight into what they are going through right now.
The whole family deserves the right to respect and privacy at this sad time. He should be with his family as long as he needs to.

Menelaus said...

Deepest condolences to the Cameron family; this tragedy transcends party political considerations.

Those of us who are parents will be holding our children a little closer tonight on this news.

jon dee said...

Sad,sad news.

Paul Burgin said...

Deep condolences to the Cameron family. For those of us who have never had children, the acute pain of such a loss is almost unimaginable, but the wrench is felt all the same. As the PM said, Ivan Cameron was a child who brought joy and that must not be forgotten

Oldrightie said...

I lost my youngest daughter 3 years ago, though an adult they are always your child. The grief is a burden more easily shared than suffered alone. Such is the special bond of a loving family. My deepest sorrow for the loss of Ivan and my heartfelt sorrow for a wonderful family, in their difficult pain.

John said...

This is truly awful news. I can't even begin to imagine what the whole Cameron family are going through - remember, Ivan had brothers and sisters too.

My thoughts are with the whole Cameron family. Hopefully they'll get the privacy they need and deserve.

Loki said...

How truly awful for them, I do hope that the press give them space to grieve privately for their terrible loss.

Cath said...

Some of Guido's correspondents are saying that Nick Robinson said that Cameron could not expect any electoral advantage because the Browns had lost a child too. This beggars belief, does anyone have proof or a context on those remarks?!

Richard Abbot said...

In the light of this, in the grand scheme of things, politics (who's up, who's down) is pretty irrelevant today.

Iain Dale said...

I just listened back to Nick Robinson's comments. If he did say that I didn't hear it. All I heard was a father expressing his condolences and being as empathetic as he could be. For God's sake lay off him. If he did say it, it would have been a slip of the tongue and he would have instantly regretted it.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

It's right at this time to observe a proper silence and send my condolences to the Cameron family.

Dual Citizen said...

Very sad news. My deepest sympathy to David, Samantha and their family.

JuliaM said...

"If he did say that I didn't hear it. All I heard was a father expressing his condolences and being as empathetic as he could be."

Easily verifiable, I'd have thought...?

"For God's sake lay off him. If he did say it, it would have been a slip of the tongue and he would have instantly regretted it."

You're too kind, Iain. If he did say it, he deserves all the opprobium that can be heaped on him.

Plato said...

He did say on R5 that it was extraordinary that both party leaders had children die.

Didn't hear him mention 'political' advantage.

And JuliaM - ditto

Newmania said...

NO worst, there is none. Pitched past pitch of grief,
More pangs will, schooled at forepangs, wilder wring.
Comforter, where, where is your comforting?
Mary, mother of us, where is your relief?

Gerard Manley Hopkins

It must be a simply terrible time and best wishes are all I can offer

dalesman said...

It's tragic for the Cameron family, my condolences to them.
I hope the press leave them in peace.

joseph.sanderson said...

Nick Robinson responded to a question from one of the BBC anchors, the fact that he even bothered to respond to such a disgraceful question was wrong.

So, I for one will not go easy on him, I do not know him personally, so I can only judge him on how he responded to the question.

It seems that the majority of the 'Westminster Village' insiders, are totally out of step with public opinion, biased political reporting is never good, and as we have just seen Mr Robinson has proved just how unethical he really is.

Cath said...

er.......that's why I asked about context. I assumed he had been trapped into it by a dumb filler question.

Not unreasonable to ask whether he did say it though, it's pretty callous. Not sure I quite deserved the "for God's sake lay off him", Iain, many would be much, much stronger in their criticism.

Paul Halsall said...

Very sad news. Parliament was dignified, and the turnout in the House was impressive.

Jess The Dog said...

Although a light may seem to have gone out in their lives, it will not have gone out in their memories, and the love and devotion the Camerons had for young Ivan will have brought him much happiness and fulfilment in his short life.

Regarding the Tweeter question, if it isn't too late: do whatever you think is right, from the heart. It will be right.

Doug said...

My love goes to the Camerons today.

I have some remarks about Brown's statement that I will leave for another day.

Victor, NW Kent said...

I am terribly sorry for the Cameron family. This is a sad bereavement and the matter was treated in a dignified way in the Commons today.

Liz said...

Unspeakably sad. Best wishes to his family.

Chalcedon said...

Our deepest sympathy for David and Samantha. It must be absolutely terrible to lose a child like this.

North Briton Hunter said...

Glad to see the comments here are distinctly more respectful and sensitive than those at Guido's.

Plenty said...

Best wishes to David and Samantha. I notice that LabourList only has a NIB on the story. Any comments?

canvas said...

I can only imagine how difficult and painful this must be for David and Samantha Cameron.

It's such sad news. I admire them both for the strength and courage they have shown throughout Ivan's tragically short life.

I wish the family all the best.

Manfarang said...

Blessed are they that mourn,for they shall be comforted.

Jim said...
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Neil Welton said...

So sad to hear the news, Iain. Many years ago I helped to care for children just like little Ivan in a specialist care centre and, well, I know how sad it is for the parents when their little ones go to sleep. I would just like David to know that many in the blogosphere, even though we don't always agree politically, will be thinking about him and his family - not only today, but also in those difficult weeks and months ahead.

TwoIfBySea said...

The Camerons should be proud that for his short life they provided him with a loving, happy family who cared for him so very much.

It was evident that Ivan was a very much loved child and I have the upmost respect for them during this horrible time. That poor wee soul, it is heartbreaking.

Bucket of Tongues said...

Real shame. Thoughts going out to them.

Mirtha Tidville said...

Words are useless at this time. With deepest sympathy. May Ivan Rest in Peace

Keith & Sue Barton & Ken Wood said...

All of us in Longbridge send our condolences.

BeadieJay said...

"Our Hearts Go Out to David & Samantha".

There's nothing else to say - my heart goes out to them. May Ivan rest in eternal peace.

David Lindsay said...

There was no reason to cancel PMQs today, nor to refer to the Right Honourable Member for Witney as "David", especially since he prefers "Dave" anyway.

This does not happen after Gordon Brown's weekly count of those of his, Blair's and the Tories' victims whom he wickedly claims have "given their lives for this country" (for Blair's bank balance, more like) in Afghanistan and Iraq.

No other place of work would suspend its normal business because an employees' small child had died. A card would be passed round, that sort of thing. But work would go on.

The impression given was of a club, not a workplace. And not a House of Parliament.

Oscar Miller said...

Very saddened to hear this heartbreaking news. Best wishes and deepest condolences to the Cameron family - they have all my sympathy.

As for politics - that can wait for another day.

trevorsden said...

Mr Lindsay - I now of no record to the effect that Cameron has said 'call me Dave'. Blair did not actually say call me Tony - But Brown did go on record as saying call me Gordon when he became PM.

It would also appear that Draper made some disparaging remark about Cameron and going to church or not with his children on R5 ( a comment on Brogans blog)

Rightwinggit said...

" North Briton Hunter said...

Glad to see the comments here are distinctly more respectful and sensitive than those at Guido's."

Ahem. When I found out about Ivan, after wiping my face and waiting for the pain in my gut to fade, I posted "Cancel PMQs" We're not all rabid over there, mate.

The Grim Reaper said...

Very sad news. My condolences go out to them at this difficult time.

King Athelstan said...

Had a right go Yesterday, couldn't feel worse now.

troymolloy said...

I've been in a news vacuum for the last 24 hours so am learning this only now, through this blog. Terribly sad news.

Jim said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Shamik said...

This is a terrible, terrible tragedy; my heart goes out ot them.

How anyone, anyone at all can seek to gain political advantage or attack Mr Cameron or the Prime Minister at this time beggars belief.

Some of the comments on Guido's blog really are a new low.

trevorsden said...

Jim - your a tit.

Two things stand out to-day

One is Mandelson's bringing out theRoyal Mail bill a day early !!

The other is Drapers comments on 5 Live.

I guess the third is Jim's effort.

I am terribly sad at Ivans death. The parents must feel appalled shocked and helpless.
I cannot say I found parliaments mawkish response very edifying though - but thats just me.

What sadly is true is this
Brown will have to mouth platitudes for the deaths of at least 4 more sons at the next PMQ's.
Will he mean it?
If so why has he continually under equipped our armed forces.
Why is he capable of announcing those deaths at PMQs but not carrying on today?

Just why do they do that at PMQs ? To prick the coming attacks against them, to set a sombre tone?
Is it not totally disrespectful to our dead - completely the wrong arena??

Is it not time to change?

Gerry and Kate said...

God help them in their hour of need. This is such sad news.

Thatsnews said...

This is very sad news. I find myself moved in a way that I would not have thought possible.

It's just that they obviously loved Ivan so very, very much. He will be missed, but they'll still love him and keep him in their hearts.

All of the horrible families Ivan could have gone to and thankfully he went to spend his life with David and Samantha, a good, decent loving family who did all that was expected of them and then did much more than was expected of them.

Lady Finchley said...

I am sorry to see the mood spoiled by those who thought cancelling PMQs was mawkish. Most of the MPs I know simply did not have the stomach to engage in the bloodsport that PMQs has become after the terribly sad news of Ivan Cameron's death.

As for the wit who compared the death of a child to the death of soldiers - you are an insenstive fool. Their deaths are equally tragic for their families - they too are somebody's sons and daughters - but they are soldiers who chose the armed forces and made the choice to possibly die for their country.

I cannot believe I am saying this but the PM was genuine and heartfelt and even eloquent.

Every time I see that beautiful photograph of David Cameron gazing at Ivan with such pure love, I well up again. I have had e-mails from friends in America expressing condolences and so many of our constituents too.

Retep Savid said...

Very sad news, my heartfelt wishes to David and Samantha and all others who lost children yesterday and are not acknowledged.
Also just for once I believed Gordon Brown yesterday!