‘We need attitudes to change over paternity leave’ apparently, if you take orders from Lorraine Candy at the Sunday Times. High on emotion, low on logic, Candy is concerned that ‘dads are doomed for ever to be seen as secondary parents, hovering in the wings of their kids’ childhoods’. Clearly, she has not seen a middle-class family operate for some days. Either that or it was wine o’clock when she wrote this piece.
Britain is so rich that soon we could be paying fathers to be at home with the kids instead of at work for at least 12 weeks. The government has already spent £1.5million highlighting the not-so-popular shared parental leave policy, but it seems the pesky fathers will still not leave the office to take up full-time caring of infants.
It is as if something innate is telling them that they are not that suited to looking after tiny children full-time on their own. Who knew?
I have no doubt that due to this stubbornness of the British father, a ‘use it or lose it’ paternity leave will be just around the corner. Goodness knows how much it will cost, but you know as a country we can totally afford it.
Candy has many concerns. She wants to fight for ‘equality for dads’ and bust the ‘unhelpful myth of the male as the breadwinner’. Only it is not a myth. Most women do want men to win the bread, so they know they can eat something when the kids come along. They will work too, usually, because they have to and want to, but the breadwinning male isn’t a myth.
Men want to earn a living and provide for their families. This is something men aspire to still. The reason for this is that women aspire to marry these men, despite what the feminists tell you.
In fact, ‘female breadwinners, especially those who didn’t set out to make most of their family’s income, have been found to feel less satisfied about their lives’. Gosh, that’s a little awkward.
The best bit is when Candy drags out the socialist dream – sometimes Sweden, sometimes Finland but in this case Iceland. It is frequently Iceland. ‘In Iceland, they seem to be making progress on this front: they have a “use it or lose it” system whereby both parents are paid 80 per cent of their earnings to take three months off. The result: most dads take pat leave.’ I have no doubt.
My quick internet search tells me that Iceland had a population of 334,252 as of 2016.
So, yes, I am sure you can implement any socialist policy you want with those kinds of numbers. But transferring this to a UK population of 66million might prove tricky.