Saturday, 12 June 2010

I am an agent of social decay

Hopefully this is a gentle, cosy blog.  A blog about attempts to crochet toys which mainly go wrong and end up looking like aliens.  A blog where I sometimes mention a lovely little boy and a gorgeous man, and planes plunging at 1000mph into active, exploding volanoes in Iceland, exacerbated by the songs of Bjork.  You know – everyday stuff.

It’s not really about issues, or heavy duty topics, or politics, or the end of the world.  Even during the election one tried to keep it, you know – light.

But today I am angry.  Very, very angry, and I’m going to use this blog to rant.

Frank Field.  Yes, you.  You have suggested that pre school clubs, which enable mothers (note – never the father, always the mother, for we are the ones to blame for social decay, obviously) to get to work by 9am are somehow a signifier of maternal failing.  We don’t love our children, or care about our children, enough to make them breakfast ourselves.

How DARE you, how absobloodylutely DARE you suggest that working mothers are somehow lacking in parental skills and parental love.  How DARE you suggest that because we send our children to pre school clubs - because we have work - that we are somehow failing them, ruining their lives, contributing to this tedious, oft repeated load of old TRIPE commonly known as “broken Britain” (and I swear, if I hear that phrase one more time I will put my boot through someone’s head – and I don’t even wear boots). 

I have breakfast with my son before he goes to school.  We get up a bit earlier you see, Frank.  D’oh!  And do you think I want to work full time?  Do you actually think I want to get someone else to pick my son up at 3.30pm while I’m out there earning the money to pay for the roof over my head?  Affordable housing would help, Frank.  Affordable bloody housing. 

And you always refer to the feminine, Frank.  The “she”, the “mother”.  Never the father.  Never the man.  How does a single mother cope, Frank?  How does she pay the bills if she doesn’t work?  Tell you what, love – how about I become a stay at home mum and get YOU to pay my welfare bills, put me in a council house – or, you know, not, because there’s a shortage of council housing, a shortage of childcare provision too, so I’d find it difficult to get a job once I’d given up work.  Hey – I’d plunge my child into poverty, and then you’d be calling for my head.  But at least I’d be at home, living hand to mouth, stressed, depressed, unable to afford the mortgage, but doing the traditional thing, the way you people want it.  The way it is in la la land, inhabited by none but rich people, people who have something the likes of me don’t have. 


So I can’t give up work, can I?  Because then I’d be a feckless, single mother, spending the taxpayers blessed money on gin and fags, wouldn’t I?  Way to go with the moralising, you out of touch loon.

Catman tells me to calm down and wait for the budget on June 22nd.  But it doesn’t matter anymore.  Even if they don’t cut my child benefit, or cut my child tax credits, the words are out there now.  Frank can’t take them back.  They’ve been printed on the BBC site (although at the time of writing, the stuff about parental failings has been removed – wonder why that is?).  You want signifiers?  I’ll give you signifiers.

The man that David Cameron has appointed to look into “tackling poverty” has signified to me, very clearly, that woman are to blame for all the ills in society.  No word of single fathers (and yes, they do exist, and work as hard as any other single parent, but are somehow exempt from being agents of chaos it would seem), no word of men who walk away from their responsibilities and leave women, quite literally in my case, holding the baby with no job, no money, no support and but two alternatives – throw yourself on the welfare state, or go to work and magically find the vast sums of money for decent childcare (which is scarce, believe you me).  And either one you choose, you will be criticised and condemned.  Simply for being a woman.

Welcome to our Coalition overlords

I would swear copiously at this point, but this is a cosy blog.


The Coffee Lady said...

I am going to gather all the furniture in my house into a big pile, climb to the very top of it, and clap this post very loudly.

@KateVWilliams said...

I'll join you Coffee Lady. Frank Facking Field.

Emma (silverpebble) said...

I applaud this too. Aren't mothers on benefits criticised too? OK Mr Field, then what do you suggest?

Limecat said...

I wouldn't go piling your furniture up outside your house, MsCoffee. They'll have you up in front of the beak for bad parenting skillz if you do that.