Its Mothering Sunday and I have made my own breakfast, which has caused me to reflect on if I really want to do anything ever again for my still sleeping daughter. The nature of motherhood is, though, that you will always think of your children, even when you are old and grey and your children have children of their own. Politicians know this and over the years we have been pigeonholed, most notably as “school gate mums” in 2005. Ukip will tell you that the future of your children depends upon you voting for them. That your children can not possibly compete with workers from Europe. I think they are wrong, I think there are some very important reasons why on Mothering Sunday you should look at Ukip and say “No Thanks”.
I am the sort of mother that has a healthy regard for the safety of my child but is lucky enough to live somewhere my child can run around outside and I really have no need of worry. This is her standing on the roof of a building without a safety rail, a harness or a hardhat.
Although to be honest I wasn’t there and if I had been there is NO way she would have been out on the roof.
Ukip are notionally libertarians, thus for a small state and against the nanny state. They would like cigarette smoke to be wafting around your children, they are against plain packaging on cigarettes ( wrongly claiming that the Austrailain experience has been negative ) and want to reintroduce smoking into public spaces. I was a smoker, I gave up when my dad died last year I didn’t want my daughter one day doing the same. I am all for the nanny state when it forces and coerces people away from the bad choices they have made or might make. I have no sympathy for the tobacco industry, they wilfully lied to the public for years, and I am happy to accept a loss of tax revenue if people are no longer killing themselves and others.
So don’t vote Ukip if you want to ensure that your kids have a government that is somewhat concerned about their future health and wellbeing.
In 2012 the Olympics came to Britain and the phrase “plastic brit” crept out of the Mail Sports pages and into our consciousness. My daughter is the child of an immigrant, this according to Ukip makes her an immigrant too. She was born in the UK but if she had not she would be in Nigel Farage’s mind a second class citizen, a plastic brit. Much has been said about his wanting to remove laws that protect against discrimination. He denies vehemently that he meant laws against race, but this is what he said:
“I think the situation that we now have, where an employer is not allowed to choose between a British-born person and … would argue that the law does need changing, and that if an employer wishes to choose, or you can use the word ‘discriminate’ if you want to, but wishes to choose to employ a British-born person, they should be allowed to do so.”
Clearly, in his own mind, he does not see those Brits who were not born here as equal. Suzanne Evans can scream on Twitter that there will be no policy discriminating against anyone but I recognise dog whistle politics when I see it.
So, as I look to my daughters future, I will err on the side of caution and not vote for a party that harbours those with the view that anyone might be a second class citizen.
I have written about appropriate sex and relationships education for children before, here and here. I want my daughter to grow up a confident woman. I do not want her to to be a victim. UKip pander to the “man” and it is usually a man ( it is nearly all men you see getting their knickers in a twist on social media ) who think that teaching kids the underwear rule is to sexualise them. Ukip have chosen to ignore all the research and go with the Daily Fail and Express. As a mother I agree with Chole Hamilton, writing in the Independent:
“It is our responsibility, as adults, to equip children with the skills and information they need to recognise and report abuse. It’s terrifying to think how many primary-school children might have suffered in silence, confused and unsure about whether they should report inappropriate behaviour, unsure even if the behaviour is inappropriate. If we don’t educate children from a young age about the difference between consent and abuse, we are leaving them vulnerable to all sorts of unimaginable horrors.”
If you would prefer that all children grow up informed, regardless of their parents ability or willingness to do so, don’t vote Ukip.
If you have a daughter who you want to grow up strong and independent minded, don’t vote Ukip. They preach meritocracy, but that can not exist until men are chosen for the jobs and roles they have on merit alone
- The full time gender pay gap is 10% , and the average part-time pay gap is 34.5%.
- It is estimated that for each year a mother is absent from the workplace her future wages will reduce by 5%.
- Approximately 70% of people in national minimum wage jobs are women.
- 54% of women working part-time have been found to be ‘employed below their potential’, which amounts to 2.8 million women.
- Women make up only 17% board directors of FTSE 100 companies.
- A study by the Fawcett Society found that 51% of women and men from middle management to director level identify stereotyping as the major hurdle facing women at work.
- Up to 30,000 women are sacked each year simply for being pregnant and each year an estimated 440,000 women lose out on pay or promotion as a result of pregnancy.
- 14% of White British women have been asked about their plans for marriage and/or children at a job interview compared to 20-25% of Black Caribbean, Bangladeshi and Pakistani
- It is estimated that the UK would gain up to £23 billion (the equivalent to 2% of GDP) by better harnessing women’s skills in employment.
- Childcare costs in the UK are the highest in the EU and families pay on average 26.6% of their income on childcare fees, compared to an OECD average of 11.8%.
- Unmet demand for formal childcare at atypical times is substantial: in one survey, 67% of parents working atypical hours struggled to find childcare to meet their needs.
Climate change. As a mother I would not vote for a party which basis its energy policy on the kind of knowledge demonstrated by Vicotria ” when renewables run out” Ayling and Stuart “carbon capture will kill the plants” Agnew. That’s before plumbing the depths of Roger Helmer and his desire for us to import cheap coal from America. Climate change will affect the poorest in society adversely and that in turn will cause conflict over limited agriculturally viable land. I am a citizen of the world, like most, I weep when I see children in places less privileged than my own suffering and rejoice I when I see how small amounts of help can give children the leg up required for future success. Ukip would deny science and then deny those who require a hand up, as a mother I can not vote for that.
That’s five without going into their education policy, based on a out of date failed ideology. Their economic policy a focus on austerity, without acknowledging that we are still the 6th richest country in the world. It ignores that as a percentage of GDP we have spent most of the last 250 year in far more debt and that our interest rates make it prudent not to pay it back and invest in some sorely needed infrastructure projects. Whilst they will trumpet their tax policy it will leave the richest in society far better off than the majority as will their inheritance tax policy. Their agricultural policy .. Let’s pollute more. Their policy on the NHS based on lie that there are too many managers (less than 4%). Their desire to impose their version of British Culture on us all. It is a never ending litany of populist polices that take no account of facts but instead are based on fears of bogey men that don’t exist.
As a mum, as a human being I have no intention of voting Ukip and can not see why those who truly look to the future would.