FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

A Boy Was Born in Britain

by TOM CLIFFORD

A boy was born in Britain.

His mother will try to give him as normal a childhood as possible. She knows it will be  difficult but her determination has won admirers and her friends are  determined to help out, as best they can. Few actually believe she can achieve this goal.

She is excited about his prospects but also worried. He may join the army.

That’s what many of his relatives did. He came from a family that served.  She is pretty sure what school he will go to, again tradition will play a role.

His future will be mapped out, that she understands and accepts, by forces far  beyond her control. But she still wants him to have a say in the direction of his life.  She won’t be around as much as she wants and his dad  will be largely absent, despite the repeated, well-meaning assurances he  utters in  the first glow of fatherhood. This is a family not used to seeing fathers helping  out with changing nappies and doing odd chores around the house. Times change,  but in her heart she knows they don’t change that much for people like her.  Social commentators are adamant that they can predict with near certainty what  this baby boy will do in later life.  Barely has he had his first feed but begrudgers  across the land are already stating  that he and his family are a drain on the public purse.

Get a proper job they shout, do something, don’t just live high on the hog as taxpayers  fund your lavish lifestyle. Their accomodation, in what some papers  describe as opulent, has not gone down well in a country where  austerity is a part of the political lexicon.  She knows that to some her son will be a symbol, to others he will be  an object of contempt  and ridicule. His accent will allow many the opportunity to label him unfairly  and presume  to know his ambitions and limitations.

She is relishing being alone with him in the coming days but realises that society  demands certain things of her.

Some call it sacrifice. She calls it what it is: work.

The cleaning company, that pays her under the counter,  has  given her a week’s unpaid maternity leave. The government announced that  her housing and heating benfits will be cut, as will  the single mother’s allowance.

She knows that Britain is not a country where birth or rearing children is usually celebrated.

The poorest section of society in Britain are the 1.9 million single parents and their three million children. The statistics are damming with 46 per cent existing below the poverty line.    The mother nows that just 3 percent of single mothers are teenagers, 55 percent had children within marriage and 57 percent work.

When she was recuperating in the public ward she heard that the Duchess  of Cambridge  had given birth. Her son was born the same day.

She wished the future king well.

Tom Clifford is a journalist. He can be reached at: cliffordtomsan@hotmail.com

Tom Clifford is a freelance journalist and can be reached at: cliffordtomsan@hotmail.com.

May 05, 2016
David L. Glotzer
Welcome to Fortified Europe: the Militarization of Europe’s Borders
Adam Szetela
Beyoncé’s “Formation” and the Boutique Activism of the Left
Bruce Lerro
Lost at Sea: Left Liberals Have No Party
Paul Cochrane
Hot Air in the Saudi Desert: a Kingdom in Descent?
Brian Terrell
My Visit to a Las Vegas Jail
Judith Deutsch
The Military’s “Securitization” of Climate Change
Phyllis Bennis
Kunduz Bombing: Proof the Pentagon Should Not Be Allowed to Investigate Itself for War Crimes
Chad Nelson
When Compassion is Terrorism: Animal Rights in a Post-911 World
Dan Arel
Making Sanders’ Dream a Reality Through Political Activism
Kent Paterson
Ten Years Later: Reflections on the Legacies of Immigrant Spring
Serge Halimi
Why Firefighters are Against Free Trade
Andrew Stewart
Green Bernie or Green Party Machine?
Binoy Kampmark
Yuri Gagarin in Space: the Politics of Cosmic Discovery
Hayes Rowan
This Naming of Things
May 04, 2016
Kshama Sawant
It’s Not About Bernie: Why We Can’t Let Our Revolution Die in Philadelphia
Conn Hallinan
Baiting the Bear: Russia and NATO
Joshua Frank
Hanford’s Leaky Nuke Tanks and Sick Workers, A Never-Ending Saga
Paul Craig Roberts
TIPP: Advancing American Imperialism
Ted Rall
Hillary to Bernie Supporters: Don’t Vote for Me!
Eric Draitser
Hillary Clinton and Wall Street’s Neoliberal War on Latin America
Leslie Scott
The Story of Jill Stein: Putting People, Peace and the Planet Before Profits
Ann Garrison
Building the Greens Into a Mass Party: Interview with Bruce Dixon
Tom Clifford
Crying Rape: Trump’s China-Bashing
Lawrence Davidson
Getting Rid of Bad Examples: Andrew Jackson & Woodrow Wilson
Ellen Brown
Bank of North Dakota Soars Despite Oil Bust: A Blueprint for California?
Nelson Valdes
Is Fidel Castro Outside or Part of Mainstream Thinking? A Selection of Quotes
Jesse Jackson
Don’t Send Flint Down the Drain: Fix It!
Nathan Riley
Help Bernie Keep His Halo
Rivera Sun
Remembering Nonviolent History: Freedom Rides
Clancy Sigal
Rachel and the Isolationists: How Maddow Blew It
Laura Finley
Changing the Conversation About “The Woman Card”
CJ Hopkins
Coming this Summer … Revenge of the Bride of Sophie’s Choice
May 03, 2016
Gary Leupp
Hillary Clinton’s Foreign Policy Resumé: What the Record Shows
Michèle Brand – Arun Gupta
What is the “Nuit Debout”?
Chuck Churchill
The Failures of Capitalism, Donald Trump and Right Wing Terror
Dave Marsh
Bernie and the Greens
John Wight
Zionism Should be on Trial, Not Ken Livingstone
Rev. John Dear
A Dweller in Peace: the Life and Times of Daniel Berrigan
Patrick Cockburn
Saudi Arabia’s Great Leap Forward: What Would Mao Think?
Doug Johnson Hatlem
Electoral Votes Matter: Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders vs Donald Trump
Chris Gilbert
Venezuela Today: This Must Be Progress
Pepe Escobar
The Calm Before the Coming Global Storm
Ruth Fowler
Intersecting with the Identity Police (Or Why I Stopped Writing Op-Eds)
Victor Lasa
The Battle Rages on in Spain: the Country Prepares for Repeat Elections in June
Jack Rasmus
Is the US Economy Heading for Recession?
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail