Cathy Dobbs: Out of tune with education and pronouns

Cathy Dobbs’ weekly look at life.

Which pronoun for Les Dawson
Which pronoun for Les Dawson

Every child is entitled to a free education in the UK – so why is school so expensive for working parents?

I’m not just talking about the cost of the uniform and good shoes. There’s the wrap-around care and holiday clubs, which fill in for a system that is so out of tune with modern life that it’s the government equivalent of listening to Les Dawson on the piano.

Don’t know who Les Dawson is? He was a comedy genius whose humour is still suitable for today’s society, that is unless you are campaigning for the rights of mothers-in-law.

With teachers threatening to strike, could this be the perfect time to reform our antiquated education system? I know children and teachers need their breaks, but what if we were to look at a four-day week instead of so many long holidays?

The four-day week is something that has become even more popular since the pandemic. Currently, 70 UK businesses and more than 3,300 workers are three weeks into the biggest worldwide experiment which looks at whether a four-day week makes us more productive.

There are a huge number of London businesses taking part, but a handful are in the West Midlands. In Birmingham there is AKA Case Management, Tyler Grange and IE Brand, while Helping Hands has branches across the West Midlands. So, if you are looking for a new job, and fancy having Fridays off on full pay, you may want to check them out.

Talking of comedy, there are still some sections of society that we can joke about – and that includes mothers-in-law. Phoenix Nights star Dave Spikey has said: “We were having tea with my mother-in-law the other day and out of the blue she said, ‘I’ve decided I want to be cremated.’ I said, ‘Alright, get your coat.’”

There is a strength that comes from showing you can take a joke, and I think us women are pretty good at taking any daughter, wife, mother-in-law and grandma gags that are thrown at us.

It is that strength that is going to stand us in good stead over the next few years as we deal with the crazies, such as the Scottish civil service’s internal LGBTI+ network. They believe that when meeting someone you should ask their pronouns. However, what sounds good in the corporate world, doesn’t always work in the real world. The majority of men and women make it clear what gender they are.

Trust me, it is either a very brave or very stupid person that walks up to a woman and asks to check what gender she is – even if she does look like Les Dawson in a headscarf.

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