Saturday, 3 March 2007

Non-Working Mothers

Despite the date this is still Friday's post.

Pc in use (one pc family), fell asleep in front of TV, woke up after midnight. Shite! My blog! Only two posts and I've missed one! Get up and type! No, get coffee! Type! Problems logging onto web (still dial-up)! I know, dial-up: dark fucking ages but here I am waiting for a connection! Got it now! Log on! Shite! How do I log on to my blog! Got it! Now typing and no coffee. Still waiting on kettle to boil! Boiled now! Stop!! Get coffee!

Got coffee, had ice-cream and now I can relax and type except I'm cold and tired.

This will need to be a short piece. Was going to be a long rant about non-working mothers but wil need to be a short rant instead. I use "mother/mothers" for "parent /parents" only because the article I read in The Guardian ( and the radio interview I heard on BBC Radio 4 ( used "mother/mothers".

Tony Blair commissioned a major review on Equality and this was published Friday.

Madeleine Bunting (in The Guardian article) said, "
The startling conclusion was that the biggest discrimination in the labour market was that metered out to mothers of small children - bigger even than the discrimination experienced by Pakistani and Bangladeshi women, who have the lowest rates of working outside the home and some of the lowest skill levels. This headline startled me, as did Trevor Phillips arguing on the Today programme that the cost of this unemployment of mothers with small children was £28bn to the Treasury in lost tax receipts."

Bunting goes on,"(I)
t's not just saying that stay-at-home mothers are not contributing economically, it's saying they actually cost the country. It's a horrible way of looking at mothers of small children - they are well used to being regarded as losers in a competitive, hyper-consumerist world. Now their work of care and nurture is to be regarded as a burden on the nation I'm sure this wasn't what the Equality Review meant to imply..." but that's the perception given.

What has our society come to when our key role - or so it seems - is simply to pay tax?

Not paying tax = unworthy, scrounging

Are our children - society's future - so unimportant that their care should be taken over by another?

Are mothers so unimportant that they should hand over their children (and their childcare) to another?

Yes - if the tone of the report and interview are taken at face value!

Get a job
Pay tax
Pay for childcare from net pay
Childcare provider pays tax

That's how the system should work. You are only as good as your last tax payment.

This reduces mothers to the roles of slaves. Have children if you must but get back to work asap so that you can start to contribute to society again. Work! Work! Work! Pay tax! Pay tax! Pay tax!

Have we lost so much understanding, compassion and humanity that our lives have come to this?

Sadly it appears so.

However, there are proposals to increase maternity leave and to allow paternity leave. How does this fit together? Do they? Perhaps the radio interview gives the wrong slant on the review.

I don't know. I'm confused

I know promoting the family is seen as a right wing view whereas my leanings are markedly left. I don't see the family as the panacea of society's ills but viewing mothers as tax cows is totally wrong.

Well, it's very much into Saturday morning now,
I've had a good long rant, I'm just finishing and I'm ready for my bed.

Let's see ...whatever Saturday brings.

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