When I first heard of this, I thought it was a spoof – a joke among West Wing fans, based on Josh Lyman’s  Secret Plan To Fight Inflation.

On reading the Secret Plan, leaked to the press this week, it was more like reading the musings of some guys in the pub.

Does the Coalition know that not all women are mothers? And that policies on tax credits, school holidays and maternity services also affect the rest of the family, ie. fathers.

Why concentrate on policies that any sane person would call “Family” policies?

And if you are going to do it, then offer something that will actually benefit families.

We don’t want shorter school holidays – if you shorten the summer holidays, does that mean that the children will have more holidays at another time of the year? Or do they cancel them altogether? And do they really think that the teachers unions are going to go for that? Not to mention the problems caused in companies across the country when every parent tries to go on holiday during the 3 or 4 weeks. Here in Switzerland, the government sponsors Childrens’ Camps where school children can spend a week in the mountains or learning to sail on a lake, either residential or day visits. But then that costs money, something that the Coalition does not want to throw at this problem.

We don’t want a No 10 summit for women in business – sounds to me like a glorified cocktail party where they are sure to call the women “Mumpreneurs“, and is deeply patronising. Do they hold summits for men in business? No, I thought not.

We don’t want to shop around for maternity services. We want decent maternity services in every major city.

We don’t want fluffy wimmen’s policies. As one poster on Mumsnet commented:

We apparently should not worry our pretty little heads about when we will withdraw from Iraq, and Afghanistan, unemployment, the NHS, crime, policing numbers, trident etc, we should only worry about children related issues and leave the important issues for men! What next making the ballot paper pink with pictures of kittens to encourage us to vote?

Treat us with respect, listen to our concerns, act on our concerns by modifying policies to actually help women. Instead of passing bill after bill that disproportionately hits women.

Give us equal pay. Not in 70 years. You have the power to make companies treat men and women equally. Stop faffing about and use that power.

Women are mothers and childless, carers and carefree, working and stay-at-home. We don’t all see the world through pink-tinted glasses. We have different opinions on just about everything. Except that this leaked document is not worth the paper it is printed on.





  1. September 14, 2011  6:28 pm by Little Me Reply

    Beautifully put - far more calmly than I managed! I have to say that in France I don't notice as much patronising rubbish as what comes out of the mouths of the UK politicians.

    David Cameron has been shown again and again to be sexist. I am fairly sure that British women are intelligent enough to see right through this hastily scribbled potential policy.

    Luckily I can't vote over there, as I would no longer know who to trust with my interests, which are far moer wide ranging than my role as mother.

    (And, as a child, I would have been horrified at the very idea of school holidays being shortened. Over here the school holidays are much longer, and we cope!)

    • September 14, 2011  8:58 pm by mmelindor Reply

      You are absolutely right that David Cameron has shown himself in a bad light. His comments in the past months to ministers in parliament are surely the tip of the iceberg - can you imagine what he is like in private if that is how he treats women in public?

      He is surely ensuring that the next generation will never vote Tory, by talking of shortening the school holidays.

  2. September 15, 2011  10:01 am by Ella Reply

    Absolutely ! Though if someone had offered me shorted holidays two weeks ago when my eldest was hiding behind doors ready to throw water on his younger brother .......

    • September 15, 2011  3:34 pm by mmelindor Reply

      That would indeed have been tempting. Good job the idea was not mooted last month.

  3. September 16, 2011  12:01 pm by mum of all trades Reply

    You have once again hit the nail on the head!
    Thanks so much for taking part in Weekend Wonders last week. Hope to see you again this week!

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