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 | 43 Comments



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarTony Rowan-Wicks 18th Sep - 6:32pm
    56:44 for No. Tomorrow we start to hold our dear friends in the Union with no bad feelings
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    From BBC SCOTLAND Facebook's research shows the site saw 2.05 million interactions directly related to the "Yes" movement during the five week period. There were...
  • User AvatarJohnTilley 18th Sep - 5:55pm
    A relevant quote from North America which may add to this discussion --- ". The urgent task for those who want to shift policy in...
  • User AvatarJayne Mansfield 18th Sep - 5:53pm
    I believe that all candidates should be selected on merit. Unfortunately they are not, and that is why there are so few Bame people in...
  • User AvatarEddie Sammon 18th Sep - 5:35pm
    This is a good article. I think the anti-politics feeling would reduce if people embraced real centrism - not the Tony Blair mish mash of...
  • User AvatarBill Le Breton 18th Sep - 5:25pm
    What the clu*eless nabo*bs of academia and Westmonster (thanks Flo) will never 'get' is that anti-politics is politics. When we are political we are successful,...