All the authenticity of Danny La Rue
Following Ruth Kelly's decision to put motherhood before her duty to the nation, regular BOM contributor HJ asks:
"What exactly does Ruth Kelly think she's doing making her own childcare choices?
Surely she's not saying that it is appropriate for parents to decide how best to look after their children. If that's the case, why is the government taxing everybody to pay for its own preferred solution of parents working and putting the children (sorry,"kids") into institutionalised care?
If the government thought that parents were capable of making their own choices, they would have just given them a tax break or direct subsidy (or whatever) so that they could choose for themselves how best to provide care for children. But they didn't, because parents don't know best. Doesn't Ruth Kelly realise this?"
We take his point. Not only has Ms Kelly been a member of the cabinet for four years, but for half that time she was Education Secretary, directly in charge of state childcare.
She can hardly claim not to understand government childcare policy, the entire thrust of which has been 'wrap around' childcare, including extensive pre and after-school provision. Why, only yesterday, her successor Blinky Balls was banging on yet again about their massive expansion of nursery school places for two year-olds (eg see here).
What is wrong with Ms Kelly?
BOM believes she is a danger to society. She should be arrested and despatched to a state parenting skills re-education facility soonest.
We're currently spending £43bn pa on state childcare (aka state schools), and a further £2.3bn on "Children and families" (Sure Start etc). It is all directed by the Commissariat, with parents having no meaningful say whatsoever.
Not unless they have money, that is. Ruth Kelly herself - like many Labour hypocrites down the years - is quite happy to buy private education for her own children.