Sunday, April 14, 2024
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Readers’ comments: The missing volunteers


In response to Belinda Brown: The long march of men from the workplace,

Not-so-polished Corner wrote:

Thank you for articulating something that is so important, Belinda. I am of the generation of girls led to believe that if we worked hard and got a good job, the world would be our oyster. So we got our professional qualifications, then discovered (to quote a friend) that ‘the first child is called Mortgage’. Many of us could not have the families we desired and it broke my heart to farm my baby out whilst I went back to a job for which I no longer had any appetite. Then I realised how dependent our communities were on non-working mums – the WRVS, the playgroups, cubs etc. Now we have a surge in mental health issues, a dearth of volunteers and a bureacracy that wants to ‘get away from the middle class do-gooder model of volunteer’, but thinks that ‘volunteers’ have to be ‘rewarded’ and that Social Prescribing is the answer to all our needs. Never mind that those turning up because they have got to rarely show the same commitment as those who want to be there. The building blocks of our society have been eroded and ‘communities’ are being remodelled in a shape that I do not recognise.

The Duke

‘They have not yet grasped that childcare will never make economic sense or be affordable to anyone but the high-paid, nor have they grasped that the desire to provide for their families lies at the heart of the male productive role.’

Outstanding, Ms Brown. Thank you.

abbie wrote:

Essentially, the modern political system is set up to make it hard for women to do anything other than work and be in ‘business’. I guess alongside that men have become useless. I certainly know my husband was told to retire early so he could be ‘replaced’ by a young apprentice just coming out of her time. She lasted all of two years. My husband had worked for that firm for more than forty years and never had time off. He was put on the scrapheap. The only good thing about that was (a) he had enough pension (b) he could look after our baby as I had to work although the biggest humiliation for us both was that he was forced to sign on as unemployed to make sure he got his state pension credits secured. He didn’t get benefits as such. He had never been a shirker. I can relate some stories about job centres and such like too.

It’s that humiliation and the upside-down thinking of feminist-led governments that has led to too many women in high positions doing (frankly) not very good jobs of management but no one will admit it.

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