More than just a dad

A view on the outside world

Men. The Problem We Live With

A last high five. A last fist bump. My smallest girl turns and strides into school for her first day. She couldn’t have been more ready, the trail blazed by her big sister.

I watch her go through the playground and into the classroom. She never turns back. I’m excited for her; she’s walking out into a world of many challenges for girls, but she is the beneficiary of a change driven by the generations of courageous women who strived, and continue to strive, for fairness and respect.

All the while I hold my beautiful boy in my arms. Still just a toddler he is full of life; quick to cry and shout but quicker to laugh, dance and play.

I think about the world of my own boyhood and wonder what waits for him.

Three boys died at my all-male secondary. Suicide took one. Alcohol another. No-one spoke about the third. Continue reading “Men. The Problem We Live With”

Being brave: five years as a stay-at-home dad

At the age of 33 I gave up a career I was proud of to become a stay-at-home dad.

The decision was not immediate; I started by taking paternity leave, then shared parental leave, then my wife Naomi and I both worked fewer days. But becoming a father had given me purpose. I wanted to dedicate myself to my children and there was no balance to be struck: work took me away when I felt I should be home. Continue reading “Being brave: five years as a stay-at-home dad”

Brexit: time to concede

‘Taking back control’ of our money, our laws and our borders is dismissed by many as the jingoistic rallying cry that won the Brexit vote. But in fact it is a genuine and considered critique of how the widening scope of the EU has contributed to growing alienation and silencing of domestic debate. It is time to concede as much.  Continue reading “Brexit: time to concede”

After Grenfell: does politics value people?

The tragedy of Grenfell Tower unites us in grief. It cuts through our fear of one another. It shakes complacency from our politics. It challenges our priorities, our humanity.

But only for a moment.  Continue reading “After Grenfell: does politics value people?”

For the many, by the few

I have been a member of the Labour Party for most of my adult life. I have campaigned for Labour; stuffed envelopes, knocked doors, held placards and phone canvassed. I have friends who did so at this election and others who stood as candidates and promise to be wonderful MPs. I am loyal to Labour and opposed to the Conservatives. But at this election I was conflicted: I find our manifesto hard to support. Continue reading “For the many, by the few”

Out of control? Business, politics, power

‘They’re all in it for themselves. They’re screwing us and there’s nothing we can do. It’s not fair.’

On holiday my family vented about dishonest politicians, greedy businessmen and unresponsive public services. Speaking for themselves but perfectly capturing the mood of our time. Continue reading “Out of control? Business, politics, power”

Brexit letter to my MP

Our country is divided following the EU referendum. Our response can either entrench or bridge that division.  Continue reading “Brexit letter to my MP”

I want my country back


Damn. I said it.

I spent the weeks and months before the EU referendum ridiculing this notion as puerile, vacuous. Now I feel it deeply myself. Oh, the irony. Continue reading “I want my country back”

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