Family? What family?

Here it is now officially acknowledged what I’ve said all along, that the family cannot exist any longer as we know it because the parents are working all the time and get estranged from their family.

I am not talking about the absent parent, who serves as soldier or works abroad and comes home only so-and-so often. I am talking about the average family, that has now become detached from itself by working all the time. Kids in school all day, parents working all day, where is the quality time that is necessary to give families the feeling that they actually are families.

By now it is seen as normal that women do not want to be stay-at-home mothers any longer and perceptions of what women are supposed to be doing with their lives have also changed.

When the typical family composition consisted of the working dad and the mum at home, we now do not even know this any longer.

I am glad that the Conservative taxation policies allow families with an in-house mother a 10% better income, yet the strategy that single mothers have to sign on for work once the child is seven still stands.

The Home Front  report  by Jen Lexmond states that

“one-in-eight fathers work more than 60 hours a week, and typically, fathers increase their hours after their youngest child reaches the age of six

the number of working mothers has tripled from one in six in 1951 to two in three now, with 6% working more than 48 hours and 3% more than 60”

I am not sure I agree with the recommendations by the Home Front, who call for Sure Start centres to become open to all because we already see a discrimination against benefit recipients in play centre holiday provision, which is only affordable for working parents now.

We need to look at the cost of living for a family and determine how much money a family has to earn to make ends meet and that should be the basis from which to devise a sensible policy that allows parents again to be parents instead of just working for the kids, but they never really spend time with.

You may say, well the upper classes really never meet their children either because they stay at boarding school, yet that is a totally different system whereby children are supervised at all times within a set environment, whilst for the rest of us, we always have to worry what the kids are up to when they are out of school.

I do not think it is the small stage of the child that causes all the concern because working parents get a lot of child care vouchers but it is the later stages of a child’s life when the kids form social relationships with the family that is missing the necessary time to do so.

We have created this equal society whereby women are treated like men but forgotten that woman and children are better off spending time together during the toddler stage.  I think it will cause too much confusion for employers and adults if both parents can take more time off as often jobs and employers rely on the always there person who knows the jobs, the customers and the problems in a job. I think all those fancy ideas might be one more reason why business are packing up and leaving Britain to set up where human relationships are not so complicated and less regulated as in our highly developed and politically correct society.

benefit changes for single parents

Since 25 October 2010 single parents have to change from Income Support to Job Seekers Allowance and stay able to work at least 16 hours per week. Whilst I generally agree to that policy I still wonder how practical this is to keep up.

First of all will employers want single parents and under what conditions would  they have to be employed?

When many working contracts already deny responsibility for sick-pay what is a working parent supposed to do when the child becomes ill and has to stay at home  with Chickenpox?  Will employers be able to put up with it?  Will parents be able to claim the loss of earnings through the benefit system?  That seems to be forgotten in this benefit equation is the fact that parents are responsible to look after their kids around the clock and they have to be supervisedand especially so when they are sick. We cannot assume that working single parents have another family member that can take in a sick child whilst the parent goes out to work. I wonder where the answers to those questions are.

changing attitudes in fathers

Another way of looking at the welfare reforms, and in particular that single parents, and that will be mostly mothers, will have to seek work when their youngest child turns 7, is that fathers have become unreliable in that role.

It is not simply that lifestyles have changed and people do not get  married any longer, it is a broader problem in that many men do not wish to pursue their responsibilities as fathers and run away from the problem.

It would have been unthinkable 50 years ago to say a man suspected of domestic violence can be banned from the home for 4 weeks, but since men have become more violent, less reliable and more irresponsible, they load the responsibility of parenthood completely onto the mother (a few men are  the exception from the norm, in that they are left to care for the child alone) so that women have to seek solace in work instead of being able to rely on their partner as breadwinner till the child is older, as it used to be.

50 years ago women would have stayed at home until the child was well settled into school and often secondary school until they went out to seek work but now, their often, idly spent days as single parents can get them into more trouble by becoming vulnerable to volatile relationships or substance abuse.  Single mothers have to work harder to get basic child support today. For example fathers abroad have to be sued through the courts for payments. The wider decline in domestic living arrangements is also to blame, people do not marry, they have loose relationships, which encourages irresponsible fatherhood.

Fathers now find it easier to bring excuses as to why they cannot pay for a child, they do not have to put their name on the birth certificate even though they know they are the father.

I more than welcome the proposals that violent partners can be banned from the home if the other partner complains of domestic abuse. It is one step into the right direction. The problem of domestic abuse is rising in both heterosexual and same-sex relationships. But it still has to be made easier for women to claim child support from fathers. Fathers that fail to pay child support voluntarily should be made to pay the cost to administer child support claims. Foreign fathers have to be approached through courts in the 100 countries the UK has an agreement with.

With the measure of a benefit ceiling for families  with children, even if they are married, we get the clear message that lifestyles are changing towards less children per family for benefit recipients and more responsible planning of our lives. We do get those 2 types of problem families these days, the single parent and the multi-children married household who have children in abundance regardless of their ability to pay for their kids. Yet domestic abuse takes place in both instances of family life and it is a great step into the right direction to help people enjoy their private life without threats of violence from a partner.

I think it is up to men to proof they are not prats and up to men to change their behaviour because ultimately the men are more able to earn and plan family life when women sometimes can easily be made pregnant. Of course ideally girls and women would want to plan their own lives more consciously but that is the ideal and still not the norm in all social circles.

Nick Clegg the bearer of good news

The Coalition government has decided to give Nick Clegg the plum job of announcing the good news for the low income families of Britain, which are

  • 15 hours of nursery education per week for 2-year olds from poor families
  • extra help for students from low income families

In total 7 billion pounds in educational subsidies are made available to help those that cannot pay for essential services. That announcement comes ahead of the publication of cuts and follows the news that universities could charge up to £12.000 for university places per year, with noo upper limit being set.

I think it is a welcome and necessary measure to narrow places for top quality education to those who have the most talent to circumvent the current education mish mash of university places for all regardless of talent. I am just hoping that talented poor students will get the necessary bursaries to participate, as this is in the national interest to educate those with the most talent and not just those who have the most money.

Indeed the life chances of every child should be the same, but we cannot make parents better than they are with injections of money but we can assist those without money to help their children. Yet the emphasis on family development is made through many schools’ family policies that helps parents as well as children through primary school based parents initiatives and courses for parents.

The promotion of social mobility is a most necessary strategy but I feel will have to be accompanied by a change in business strategy to serve communities rather than continue with isolationist business models that tend to serve customers in the home rather than bring communities together.

Dickhead

is what I thought when I read Tony Parsons’ resume about Keith Macdonald. But the Dickhead in my view is not Keith Macdonald but Tony Parsons who takes pleasure in almost graphically describing Mr Macdonald’s reproductive organs as meat and two veg.

Again a mayor newspaper has to lower itself to belittle parents who get support from the state to raise their family. People who are the most helpless and vulnerable in our society and do nothing wrong in the eyes of the law. In fact the government likes people having children because if we all lived like some big earners then the population numbers would drastically drop.

Now to the morals. One can discuss the morals of course but its not like as if all wage earners are excellent examples in that department and are not exactly role models because they do not live model lives themselves. So what is it with Tony Parsons, why can’t he keep his mind on his own Sunday dinner instead of telling us what Keith Madcdonald has on his plate or in his pants.

Having children these days is not a question of money, as we live in a welfare state, the state subsidises those brave enough to have children without a wage but those who earn often do not want to get married and have kids and rather do other things instead. If we had a situation, in which all wage earners had 2.4 children, instead of living any which way they like themselves, I would give Tony Parsons some credit but because things as they are, I don’t.

Money is  not the law, Mr Parsons and not having a job cannot be blamed on the jobless but on the employers that don’t give them a job. We cannot force anybody to give a job to all who need it.

Mr Parsons calls all parents on benefits beady-eyed spongers and looking at his photo he is the one who is beady-eyed. I am so really fed up with the constant belittling attitude some wage earners publicly pronounce against those who have to struggle to raise their children and make the best of what they’ve got. It doesn’t give tax payers the right to rubbish parents just because they earn a wage and others don’t.

It’s just that those victims of publishers like Mr Parsons have no legal remedy available to them, that people like Mr Parsons write the most disgusting comments about struggling families and parents who have to live on very little. Is it any wonder that with such hateful attitudes in the public sphere Britain came at the bottom end of child-friendly countries in a study of the UN. See also HMRC targets tax-payers with Swiss bank accounts.

Marriage bliss

When I do not usually advertise commercial products, this one is well worth mentioning because it does deliver outstanding value for money and solves a social problem of gigantic proportions. It is about the decline of marriage in the UK. Of course people tried to approach that problem from the angle of social problem and religious problems but looking at this offer, it is all about the price. If the price is right, people might take the plunge again and get married.

Marriage has become unaffordable for many and that is as simple as it is. Get married from £199 including wedding outfits, nightie, 2-night stand in a hotel and cake. Please click for more information, It is offered by the Premier Inn hotel chain at five of its hotels. People should make use of that opportunity so that it becomes a regular feature of our lives.  I think we might see a revival of marriage and increase in weddings in the UK.

I do not think that cheap marriage break offer is available at the Premier Inn website but think it is worth ringing them up if you think to tie the knot at an affordable price. Please ring them on 0871 527 8000 to enquire. I understand this is a special promotional offer and couples have to apply to be accepted for this limited offer.

However I have been made aware this morning in church that the Church of England’s wedding website is one of THE most popular wedding websites in the country and advises couples that a wedding can cost as little as £350, what a bargain.  That is the current  legal cost of fees. One can get wedding gowns and bride grooms outfits second hand at Oxfam and have a cake and wine reception at the church hall afterwards.

When so many complain that our cultural problems are huge, with single mothers, decline in social values and you name it, then if we look at how we price people out of doing the right thing, we should ask ourselves why no-one thought of that before.

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