So yesterday I had an email from a very nice man from The Independant newspaper asking if he could talk to me about my views on the political parties for the next elections. I agreed it’s the first time my generation have been of interest to political parties, normally no one has given a crap about who we’ve voted for.
So we had a chat on the phone and I explained that I thought that none of the political parties were doing a very good job of listening to women and what they want or need.
My points were:
Simplifying the process and encouraging women to start their own businesses. It gives women the ultimate work/life flexibility. In rural areas essential as there is very little employment, flexible or otherwise.
Childcare Vouchers – essential to working women, childcare for one small child here in Cambridgeshire is £800 a month. A family of four living on £35k a year are not rolling in money with the cost of housing, childcare, food, and fuel and therefore certainly shouldn’t be penalised for working by taking away their childcare vouchers. Because apparently £35k makes them ‘middle class’ no it makes them struggling to make ends meet!.
I meant to have a rant about education and the fact that a quarter of children at 11 can’t read or write – but I didn’t get time.
I also said that on the positive side that Labour’s flexible working policies have been brilliant but by extending it (3 years maternity is currently being mooted) they run the problem of possibly making mother’s unemployable as companies don’t want to deal with large amounts of paperwork and women taking large chunks of time out. On the not so good side they have created a huge government which is unsustainable and thrown lots of money at banks without reform, and that it needs to be reigned in but I don’t think they with the current leadership are able to do that.
But I’m also not convinced that the Conservative Party are up to the job. They have yet to put forward any innovative policies, just the same old, same old with a new spin.
So what did all my important views and insights get boiled down to
“Labour don’t seem to be doing particularly well due to the amount of money they have thrown away, and thrown at the banks. I’m undecided, but I won’t be voting Labour. Yet the Lib Dems need to convince me. I’m sure Brown is very nice, but is hard to warm to. Cameron seems more human, with a seriously ill child, and that’s really helped him appeal to mothers.”
Argh! A throw away comment about Gordon Brown a the very end of the conversation! What I actually said about David Cameron was that as he’s had a very sick child (now sadly deceased) and he seems to understand the NHS (that said thinking about it so has Gordon Brown!) and that has made him seem more human to women.
If they’d asked me what I thought about the leaders as individuals then I would have given a much better answer, you know left out all my opinions about the state of the country and how to improve it for women and children and talked about what they wear or something!.