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Memo to Isabel Hardman: Mothers want the best for their infants, not cheap childcare


ONE of the catalysts for starting The Conservative Woman back in 2014 was the State’s intervention in family life and the way children are brought up. Inequitable and social engineering child care policies, introduced by Labour in the early 2000s, in effect were to ‘nationalise’ children by transferring power and responsibility from families to the State over their nurturing and care. When the once pro family Conservative Party came into office this anti-family (anti-maternal, anti-child, pro full time working mothers) socialist revolution was in full swing. But to our dismay, rather than reverse it or reform these policies to introduce choice, they continued and entrenched them. This, we determined to challenge.

Today the Government invests nearly £5 billion a year in separating babies and young children from their mothers. Damaging to both children and mothers, its consequences for child misery, poor mental health, identity and ‘screen’ addiction, bullying and herd mentality are all too visible. Losing this ‘culture war’ we believe has had profound consequences for today – not least the dehumanising expansion of State power over private lives, socially and economically.

That is why we have chosen to republish some of our many early articles on this broad topic from 2014 onwards to remind ourselves of  what, as a society, we signed up to, with so little heed to the biological and moral imperative of a mother’s care. This article written by Jill Kirby, the author of several policy pamphlets challenging child care policy at the time, was first published on July 15, 2014.

COMMENTATOR Isabel Hardman has succumbed to groupthink as she adds her voice to the clamour for cheap childcare. Her op-ed in today’s Telegraph is as shallow as it is cliché-laden.

Does she not grasp that mothers choose grandparent care because they trust their own mothers and want their children to be loved by their ‘carers’, not parked in institutions?

As a Conservative, does Hardman think it a good idea for government to pour even more millions into nurseries that keep children away from their homes and families from dawn to dusk?

Does it not occur to her that most mothers of young children are not focused on getting cheap childcare but on doing what is best for their children? And that many feel pressured to deny that commendable instinct, a pressure that is only increased by thoughtless (and heartless) opinion-formers writing this kind of tosh?

I do not know whether Hardman has children of her own, or whether she is content to hand them over to strangers to mind them for her. Maybe she hasn’t experienced the pain of leaving her baby every morning in a room with countless others, and maybe she doesn’t want her own husband, parents or in-laws to look after her children while she works.

But she should spare a thought for all those women whose dearest wish is to care for their own children, and who know that loving and caring cannot be so neatly divided. She might also think of all those young children missing out on loving care, spending long ‘working’ days away from their families.

Will they grow up to thank Isabel Hardman and her co-marchers for securing the ‘true gender equality’ she craves? I think not.

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Jill Kirby
Jill Kirby
Jill Kirby is a freelance writer, commentator and policy analyst specialising in social policy

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