Author Archives: Rachel Coleman Finch

Opinion: what living on benefits really means

Rachel writes:

Every time I hear the phrase “a life on benefits”, it’s like a slap in the face to my brother, who lives in my spare room while looking for a job. He’s not lazy or a scrounger, he just can’t find a job. As Sarah Teather said two weeks ago

the term “scroungers” has become so pervasive in social consciousness that even those on benefits do not attempt to debunk the entire category, only to excuse themselves from the label.

I asked my brother if he was willing to share what his life on benefits was like:

Jonny writes:

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 91 Comments

Opinion: Conference crèche keeps parent activists

A baby in a sling makes an amazing Conference icebreaker. Over the five days I lost count of the number of people who stopped to admire my darling and ask questions, to the point where occasionally I gave the answers without being asked (“11 weeks”, “Nicholas”, “no, not after the Leader, after his father’s uncle). During the day, when I wasn’t carrying him, I frequently got stopped and asked “where’s your baby?”

Posted in Conference and Op-eds | Tagged | 5 Comments

Opinion: Schools should suit working parents

Like many parents of four-year-olds right now, I’m preparing for the big move to primary school this September. Our new school is doing a great job of easing the transition from nursery for our son; but as full-time working parents the difference between nursery and school is deeply stressful.

Nursery is run for working parents: open 8-6, three meals a day provided, flexible arrival and departure time, and one itemised monthly bill. School is very different: closed 14 weeks of the year, and finishing around 3pm the other 38. A whole mini-industry of breakfast clubs, after-school clubs, holiday clubs and summer schools has grown up to fill the gap for families who can’t have an adult at home so much of the time. Each one has its own waiting list, hours, costs, payment methods and reputation for quality … or not. Even school dinners are paid for separately. With less than 2 months to go, we’ve a lot of arrangements still to sort out.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 44 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarRichard Fortescue 27th Sep - 11:55pm
    David You make an interesting point, but it remains that I have a problem with selection at 11, for the reasons that Rebecca highlights. Comprehensive...
  • User AvatarManfarang 27th Sep - 11:53pm
    Jayne The Arab Times had a page in Malayalam. I knew a lot of people from Kerala when I lived in the Middle East. It...
  • User AvatarLorenzo Cherin 27th Sep - 11:51pm
    Matthew If Graham above is saying what you interpret him to be saying , as you are someone who is , as far as I...
  • User AvatarMark Robinson 27th Sep - 10:44pm
    Jock, I run a property investment business, regenerating town centres, I've been interested in getting to grips with LVT so will give this a read...
  • User AvatarSimon Shaw 27th Sep - 10:37pm
    @Tsar Nicholas "The most significant exhange of the evening was Trump’s condemnation of a switch in US policy to one of a nuclear first strike...
  • User AvatarRoland 27th Sep - 9:35pm
    @Bill - Just the use of the word 'partnership' instead of 'union' is to be commended! Just skimmed through the links, looks interesting because it...