By Kathy Gyngel
“Labourâ€™s pledge â€˜to get woman back to workâ€™ is classic case of doublethink.”
Male joblessness: In 1971 the number of adult men in work stood at 81 per cent. Today it has dropped to 63 per cent
It doesnâ€™t seem long ago that it was the Conservatives worrying about what their big idea should be. The credit crunch relieved them of that. You might have thought that Labour would be grateful for the fact that they donâ€™t exactly need one. The Coalitionâ€™s failure to stem debt and to catalyse growth should be enough for any opposition to capitalise on. Manna indeed from heaven; but apparently it is not.
So itâ€™s back to the future for Labour. Once again it plans to put childcare and â€˜equalityâ€™ at the heart of its manifesto. Two of its honorary feminists, Liam Byrne and Stephen Twigg, announced that early childcare is to be a priority for the next election. As if it hadnâ€™t been before.
For in Labourâ€™s feminised economic worldview, women â€˜being kept out ofâ€™ the workplace by exorbitant childcare costs is the problem of the day. Despite the recession, the imploding eurozone and the quagmire of debt Labour left us in, it is the â€˜tailing offâ€™ of rising female employment, that unaffordable childcare is causing…