Stop all of that baby talk

First published in Columnists

ANOTHER week, another new 'initiative" from the government to try to win back some of the core voters they have hammered with their economic policies.

This week - new parents will be given advice on changing nappies, breastfeeding and 'baby talk' in a £3.4m digital information service providing email alerts and text messages with NHS advice.

Separate pilot schemes will offer couples with young children free parenting classes and subsidised relationship counselling to help cope with tiredness and stress.

Wonderful. Just what new parents need. More unsolicited advice from people they don't know and not one iota of the sort of practical assistance provided by friends, families and the NHS.

Time for another hollow soundbite from the PM: "Parents are nation-builders".

About as meaningful as the phrase "dogs are bone-chasers".

Watch out for more of this stuff in the next few months as what is really going on is the horrible post-council elections realisation among government spin doctors that they have lost the vote of many, many British women who are being hardest hit by the cuts.

How about Mr Cameron and Mr Clegg doing some babysitting for shattered new mums and dads? Wouldn't cost the country very much, would it? And it might actually be useful instead of pointless or patronising to the vast majority of parents.

And when it comes to improving the financial lot of new parents, where is the cash aid that they so badly need?

While there is a lot of rumour about the coalition making child care an allowable tax cost, there is still nothing firm on that.

And the government has changed the eligibilty criteria for working tax credits which is effectively a cut in many families' incomes.

Dear Mr Cameron and Clegg - your actions speak so much louder than your words.

ANIMAL welfare officers are trying to trace the owners of a turkey found wandering around Killay, Swansea.

The female brown and black bird was captured by the RSPCA after being spotted having a wander around by residents in the suburb.

RSPCA officer Paula Milton said: "It's not often that we are called out to rescue a turkey."

Why did the turkey cross the road? Perhaps it heard there are 216 days to Christmas.

AND finally...

ON a trip last year, a man at my dinner table was loudly expounding the theory that salad "isn't man-food".

It is, apparently, a position which is shared by many other men according to a survey by psychologists at the University of Pennsylvania.

Many men associated the consumption of large amounts of meat with machismo, the research says.

Salad and vegetables, it found, had the opposite connotation, "a bit girlie".

Ah, so THAT'S whose buying all that Pepperami.

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