A Concise Message Indeed
This is kinda cute*.
A number of tweets announced last night that the Conservative Party website contained details of their “Policy on Single Mothers”. I must confess, I opened the link with some hefty anticipation.
There was obviously something in it, and I was hopeful it would contain an unintended witticism or hack as a response to the government’s continued attacks on single-parents. I love those cheeky incidents, you know, when someone has been fired for shagging someone they shouldn’t have and leave with a public sting.
I speculated. Could it be a cheeky reposte to the recent announcements that the government is considering removing teenage mothers’ entitlement to council housing or housing benefit, to ward off ‘teen pregnancy’? (Notice that sweeps up all teen pregnancy, because apparently teenagers in their entirety are unfit to be parents. Even the ones who choose to be of their own free will and are damn well good at it). But shucks, it wasn’t about that at all.
Instead then, could it be a subliminal message addressing the concern that Conservative policy hates single mothers? Was it that analysis of the cuts being made In the Name of the Deficit** have, from the outset, found that single parents were being treated to an assiduously choreographed series of muggings from Conservative policy on education, housing and social care? Sadly, no.
Maybe it would contain something recognizing that single parents were, even prior to the Conservatives getting their hands on the wheel of misfortune, ten times more likely to live in poverty than a two-parent family? I was disappointed once more.
Wait! It’s obvious! The featuring of the Mother (when around 10% of single parents are *gasp* fathers) could be explicit acknowledgement that the cuts have indeed been highly gendered, with women coming off far less peachy than their male-human counterparts? As the Fawcett Society point out: women are facing a triple jeopardy of jobs, benefits and social service cuts; “Women’s unemployment currently stands at a record high: cuts to public sector jobs are hitting women hardest, whilst increasing numbers of lone parents being required to seek work – all while competition for jobs is fierce.” Points they are making while calling on the government to develop a Women’s Employment Strategy. Could it be an announcement about that?! Dim, dioch.
It did dawn on me that it might contain an insult aimed at single mothers. Shot from the hip of an over-priveleged intern who couldn’t handle all the free booze offered by the grown-ups in the office. Maybe it would just say ‘scrounger’, ‘failure’ or ‘keep your legs crossed’ and the rest of us could trudge to our usual positions on the ‘fire them!/forgive them!’ see-saw of petty controversy…
But as it happens the insult was rather more cutting.
It just says nothing. In Latin.
All they have is what’s known as ‘placeholder’ text which is “commonly used to demonstrate the graphic elements of a document … by removing the distraction of meaningful content“.
Which, in saying nothing, rather says it all.
*In my special space, ‘cute’ means disappointingly and predictably contemptible.
**I am copyrighting In the Name of the Deficit, if you want to use it you can contact me for rates Mr Osbourne.