Friday, March 20, 2009

Credit where it is due

Amelia Gentleman has an excellent article in the Guardian telling the story of 'Louise Spencer', who is a 24 year old woman in Bristol who is bringing up two children.

Now it wasn't all that long ago that I was 24 years old. Unlike Louise, I'd got qualifications (both academic and in childcare), several years of experience of working and/or volunteering looking after children with disabilities, a job, a loving and supportive family, a great group of friends, and countless other advantages which would have made raising a family easier.

And I know that back then there is absolutely no possible way that I could have brought up a five year old and a three year old (who has learning difficulties) on my own on the amount that Louise gets for her and her kids to live on. Nuh-uh.

There are no particular policy insights to be drawn from this - there is, after all, an extensive list of things which I couldn't do when I was 24. It's more just to give credit where credit is due to mums like Louise, and wonder whether anyone else who read the article felt the same about all this as I do - basically, I couldn't cope if I'd been in that situation so I don't see why anyone else should have to.


At 10:46 am , Anonymous tim f said...

Dan, I agree better to have the article than not have it - but wouldn't it be better if the Guardian commissioned a series of articles getting people on low incomes to write about their own lives? These articles written about the poor through the prism of middle-class journalists really get my goat.


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