Party Lines

As the cuts loom, Daisy Waugh shares the working mums' pain

Markie’s not getting his bonus this year. 

Oops. Hard times ahead. 

He’s spitting blood. And so am I. All the hours he puts in. Now he’s trying to get me back to work.

No! Cheeky sod.

He seems to think that once Theo’s at big school, my work is done. 

They have no idea, do they? What’s involved. They think we spend all day nattering.

If only. 

So little Theo’s off to Orchard Prep then?

Possibly, yes…Ultimately, it’s up to Theo, though. Isn’t it?

Is it

Orchard may have worked well for India and Dylan. But not all kids are the same, are they?

It’s a super little school…

So I’ve said to him, you can follow your brother and sister to Orchard. If that’s what you want. Or you can get to know the kids on your doorstep. I told him, when your mates are right there, you can play in the park with them. Every single night.

Put like that…

He thought about it very seriously. He said: “Mummy, I’d like to go to the local school. I’d like to get to know ordinary, local people.”

Isn’t that lovely?

And I respect the choice he’s made. 

Plus it takes the heat off you a bit.

It’s not about that.

No.

If Theo had said he wanted Orchard Prep…

Orchard Prep it would be.

But I said to Markie…It’s like David Cameron said. We’ve all had to make a few savings at home.

Absolutely.

So why the bloody hell shouldn’t the government? Cut back a bit? 

Oh. Well, yes. Yes. The government should. 

Never mind Theo. He’s just a boy

 That’s right…

 I tell you, what this country needs is a good kick up the arse. Don’t you think?  

 I’ve thought it for ages.

Obsessed with talent contests — and “being famous”. And that’s it. Not the first idea about good, old-fashioned hard work…

Oh, I agree. 

You saw that programme. The documentary. About the English. Being fruit-pickers?

I didn’t actually.

 Nor did I. But you must have heard about it. It made you ashamed to be English. They simply didn’t turn up. The moment things got remotely boring or inconvenient, it was, “Sod it. Why bother?” That was the approach. “Let’s sponge off the government. They’ll foot the bill.” They looked on a job as a “lifestyle choice”. 

Hopeless.

You see these people. In the post office. Mid- afternoon. Standing there. Chewing gum.  Waiting for handouts. And that’s all very well when times are good. But we simply can’t afford to support them. Not any more. 

And why should we?

Why the hell should we? What’s that then, 5-2?

Yes, 5-2. Change ends. 

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