Zoe Williams calling for a free market?

Whatever next?

What almost everybody wants is this: the option of working full-time if they want or need to, without spending every penny they make on childcare, but the ability to work part-time if they’d rather divide their lives more equitably between home and work; an abundance of interesting and flexible jobs, so they can get away from their children for the sake of their sanity, but not so much work that they cease to be the main influence in their children’s lives.

People want the freedom to react to things – an illness, an irrational hatred of nursery – without that signifying a lack of professional commitment. Never mind women, this is what all parents want: some recognition, from the workplace and beyond, that there is more to life than making money, and yet that making money is a blessed diversion from full-time making a mess.

So just let people get on with figuring out their own lives then? Sounds like a free market solution to me.

Wonder if Zoe will get fired from The Guardian for apostasy?

4 comments on “Zoe Williams calling for a free market?

  1. Elsewhere Zoe writes:

    “Nobody apart from the Career Bitch of the Daily Mail’s imagination wants full-time, free nurseries running from birth straight into wraparound, free schooling.”

    Well, actually this is exactly what Polly Toynbee wants.

  2. I think you’ll find that the “abundance of interesting and flexible jobs” is anything but a free market. Most jobs are uninteresting (thus we have to pay people to do them) and many, frankly anything where there is deadlines, require the worker to be flexible.

    So I guess what she actually wants is the government to provide bounteous “parentcare” centres known as “offices” where stressed parents can go and do things that aren’t too taxing or stressful, when they feel like it, on their agenda, get paid for it, and get that sanity break from their sprogs. Childcare also paid for of course.

  3. JamesV
    ‘Most jobs are uninteresting (thus we have to pay people to do them) and many, frankly anything where there is deadlines, require the worker to be flexible.’
    Nicely put.

  4. @ JamesV
    Minor correction. That should read
    “many, frankly anything where there is deadlines, require the *male* worker to be flexible.”
    Admittedly there are a few that require females without young/school-age children to be flexible but not “many”

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