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 AvatarEddie Sammon 29th May - 3:07pm
    Paul Holmes, sorry you are right that this criticism can equally be applied to those who wished the party to become more aligned with the...
  • User AvatarPeter Sigrist 29th May - 2:50pm
    @John Tilley - I suspect you refer to the Sigrist whose name was on the flight controls of the Sopwith Camel. Unfortunately, I can claim...
  • User AvatarPaul Holmes 29th May - 2:47pm
    Eddie, when Norman says we 'should not be an adjunct to another Party' you say you see this as a 'polite critique of those who...
  • User AvatarPeter 29th May - 2:44pm
    I have frequently seen reference to the "evil, wicked Tories" on this site. It is not a good direction on a number of levels. I...
  • User AvatarMavarine Du-Marie 29th May - 2:37pm
    @Phyllis: I was taking the word *Know* literally to that of the personal level, as suggested by postings on here which some members inside the...
  • User AvatarEddie Sammon 29th May - 2:27pm
    A very good article. I feel fairly confident when I walk alone at night and I want more people to feel like this. There are...
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