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Too much of a cosy job-share?

PUBLISHED: 10:51 11 June 2010 | UPDATED: 17:37 06 July 2010

SO Dave 'n' Nick have shunted Cabinet start times back so they can take their children to school.

Well, lucky them. Nice work if you can get it.

Keeping ministers of the land waiting while the Prime Minister skips off singing Wheels on the Bus.

SO Dave 'n' Nick have shunted Cabinet start times back so they can take their children to school.

Well, lucky them. Nice work if you can get it.

Keeping ministers of the land waiting while the Prime Minister skips off singing Wheels on the Bus. Winston Churchill would have choked on his cigar.

It looks like the Con-Dem coalition is turning into one big comfy job share. A cosy arrangement where they make up their own rules as they go along, exchanging notes about their prowess as 'hands-on dads'. Yuk.

The Prime Minister warns we must brace ourselves for painful cuts affecting everyone's way of life as he hotfoots it to catch the school bell because “you can be a father and be Prime Minister.”

Tell that to fathers out here who don't have the luxury of moulding their own working hours and would love to spend more time being a dad. They just can't.

Imagine suggesting our own family friendly work routines to the boss?

Steve, a machine operator on the shop floor, would tell his supervisor: “I'll be in late tomorrow, guv, because I'm taking Shannon and Tyler to school. And next Wednesday and Thursday, I'll clock off early to pick them up and put them to bed.”

His cards would be issued as quick as he could say clock off.

Most of us don't have the opportunity to put our family before our work, as much as we would love to. Our bosses wouldn't stand for it. It is an insult to everyone working longer hours trying to dodge the redundancy axe hovering overhead to voice it.

Dave 'n' Nick have got kids, we get it. We just don't want to hear about what great dads they can afford to be when they should be fixing our mess of a country for the sake of our children.

A father obsessed with the routine of his children, spouting the merits of pelican bibs and eco-friendly nappies is a bit of a wuss, an old fusspot. A bit weird, even. Who wants one for a Prime Minister?

We want strong leadership, a Cameron with furrowed brow burning the midnight oil, hunched over the books striving to make cuts as painless as he can, devoted to his country and expending every ounce of energy into steering the country out of this desperate financial mire.

Not swapping cupcake recipes at the school gates.

Fathers everywhere are working horrendous hours, often away from home, for the comfort and security of their families. They rarely see their children. They have no choice.

Mothers rush from work, having worked through lunch, to pick up children from after school care and childminders, feeling like single mothers as they battle with the children over tea and bed time hoping their partners will make it home before lights out.All are desperately anxious about their future, now in the hands of Cameron and Clegg. The thought of the pair's “we can do it because we can” attitude probably makes them want to punch them.

Anyway, hasn't Samantha Cameron given up her job so why does he need to do the school run anyway?

Men who revel in their domestic accomplishments are particularly irksome. What are “hands-on dads” anyway? Have you ever heard of a “hands-on Mum?” Women, as ever, just get on with it. Men must tell everyone. Which brings me to family friendly work policies.

Work and families never mix.

What about the people without families? They always lose out in work family friendly policies. They don't need time off for school assemblies, sports days and school runs and usually end up picking up work left by absent parents. They are penalised for not having children

They can't claim an hour off to spend time with Tiddles the cat, even if Tiddles is their 'child.'

Clegg might insist time with his children is “non-negotiable and no one is allowed to interrupt him during family time. But he shouldn't have set out to be in government.

Some things are more important than be seen to be walking a child to school - mending our broken country and doing the job the electorate expect of you is one of them.

Never before has England expected or deserved so much from its national team.

The World Cup starts as the nation tightens its belt for the most swingeing cuts since the Second World War.

One of the few professions to be unaffected by the cuts are the over-paid, pampered, indulged and inflated-ego footballers.

For these men - and their women - conspicuous consumption is their reason for getting up in the morning. Now it's time to prove they are worth at least some of their money.

But, even before the opening whistle, Wayne Rooney threw a foul mouthed strop and let his country, himself and hundreds of thousands of small boys who look up to him.

Self-control and respect isn't much to ask of a man chosen to represent his country.

From tomorrow night, the nation will hang on every pass, cross and shot praying these men whose money outweighs their sense by about a million to one can keep the feelgood factor going.

Love or hate football, the World Cup and our blind hopes of victory always manages to make us feel better, to inspire us and give us something to talk about while England is still in the game.

You can't avoid it so it might as well catch you.

Even the flags, tacky and vulgar as they are, fluttering from cars and causing road hazards, spread cheer, camaraderie and national bonding - just what we need right now.

The squad has a serious job to do and they owe us big time.

It's time these men appreciated their privilege, stepped up to the mark and pulled out all the stops to do their country proud and give us some much-needed bounce.

And keep their mouths and temper under the same control as the ball.

Come On England!

Yet another study to make parents feel bad or blame someone else for the mess they've made of their children's lives.

If all the money pumped into pointless research was injected into the economy, Britain would be buoyant right now.

This week, nurseries are good for toddlers, helping them develop better relationships, says a professor of educational psychology at Oxford University. A couple of weeks ago nurseries were on a par with bad dog kennels.

Advice to any pregnant woman. Ignore every book, article or guide to parenting on the shelf. Avoid baby “gurus” at all costs and listen to no one's 'advice.' It will only make you feel bad, inadequate and confused.

Throw everything away and follow your own instincts, feeling your own way through.

Whatever you do and however you do it, you'll still end up dealing with the same teenage hang ups, moods and issues as everyone else but you'd have spared yourself the angst and the money on guff spouted by people who think they know but really know no better than you.

Babies through the centuries didn't come with instruction manuals and tomes of diktats about crying control, routines and naughty steps and they all survived.

We have allowed ourselves to be stripped of confidence in our own instincts and ability by paying good money for advice that makes us feel even worse.

Sit back, cuddle and enjoy.

Pert, delectable and undoubtedly one of the most gorgeous women to grace the banking world, Debrahlee Lorenzana claims she was fired because her sexy clothes distracted male colleagues.

Her lawyer said she would even be attractive in a burkha.

Citibank, where she worked in Manhattan, insists she was sacked because she was hopeless at her job.

She might be the sharpest banker for all I know but, as painful as it is and as much as we're always desperate to blame someone or something else because we live in such a blame culture, sometimes people really are just too hopeless to keep in a job.

Although it's just been a long time since we heard anyone say it.

Highbrow critics scoffing at Sex and the City 2 are missing the point.

Of course it will never win any Oscars. It doesn't set out to out-smart, out-art or out-anything Hollywood. That's not what it's about.

As a devotee of the series since it was launched on Channel 4 in 1998, I loved the film for what it was - a feel-good uplifting but sometimes daft film about loyal steadfast female friendship which endures through the years come what may.

And that simple message, in a world of bitchy backstabbing and transient friendships, is good enough entertainment and escapism for me.

And the clothes are fabulous too.

Much sniffing about Kate Middleton's parents' party business cashing in on World Cup fever by selling official England merchandise on their website.

There's probably far less to worry about exploitation of their 28-year-old daughter's romance with the future king of England on England tat than what is out the back of the shop.

Boxes of Kate and Wills mugs and fancy plates are probably printed and stacked ready for a 2011 wedding.

The Middletons have got enough front to have created them already - that's how they've become self-made millionaires and on the cusp of royalty.

Solidarity, brothers and sisterhood, standing united, shoulder-to-shoulder, workers against the bosses. The bedrock of trade unionism.

So how does Tony Woodley, Unite's £122,000-a-year, if you please, joint general secretary justify flying off on holiday at the height of his union's unrest at BA?

It makes you wonder how people with such judgment rise to positions with the approval of so many. Actually, it's best not think about it.

Packing my bags at the supermarket the other day, I realised I'd gone through the whole transaction without a word from the cashier.

Even when it came to paying, she just pointed and grunted at the card machine despite my usual cheery chunterings about the inanities of the day.

I avoid the self-service tills because they feel so soulless and I want to resist my world being taken over by faceless technology.

But I walked out that day feeling a horrible future of no personal communication had begun and yearning to have the time to drop in at the baker, butcher and greengrocer picking up groceries with leisurely chats and pleasantries. A real life, not one run by robots.

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