Can you do the school run and run the country?

(160 Posts)
HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 13-Jul-11 10:51:38


We've been reading this story about Nick Clegg "killing himself" to take his children to school in the morning - and we wondered what you all think...

Is Miriam Clegg right to insist that she and her husband share the school run - or should Nick, as the Telegraph suggests, be concentrating on running the country?

JoleneJoleneJoleneJoleeene Wed 13-Jul-11 10:52:27

Reading this article makes me wonder if the telegraph are stuck in a 1963 timewarp. He is only a politician. Millions of people with really important jobs like saving lives and educating children do the school run every day.

yearningforthesun Wed 13-Jul-11 11:01:13

Running a country doesnt mean he sits at his desk 24/7, of course he should be able to take his children to school.

ScroobiousPip Wed 13-Jul-11 11:02:31

The article's bad enough, the comments are truly scary.

Good on Nick Clegg.

Surely the most important job Cleggy will ever do is be a father?? Or perhaps that just me being naive ...

Ilythia Wed 13-Jul-11 11:20:02

I can't get beyond the nasty tone of the article. What is her problem exactly? If he is able to, then why shouldn't he?
Is there any point pointing out that he won't be deputy PM forever but he will be a father. Probably not.

BerkshireMum Wed 13-Jul-11 11:32:00

Of course he can do both! As JoleneJoleneJoleneJoleeene says, lots of other people with important jobs do both. Some understanding and a degree of flexibility from us wife would help though - his hours are probably less predictable than many.

The more politicians have to juggle like the rest of the world, the more they'll understand the lives of everyone else!

motherinferior Wed 13-Jul-11 11:39:47

She's not Miriam Clegg grin.

I like her.

motherinferior Wed 13-Jul-11 11:40:38

Mind you, I like the school run. I appear to be in a minority on this, but I enjoy it.

Whoamireally Wed 13-Jul-11 11:43:08

Hmm, interesting. Does he have a school run outfit? grin

HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 13-Jul-11 11:48:11


She's not Miriam Clegg grin.

I like her.

shock blush Sorry Miriam González Durántez <flaunts accents>

Whoamireally Wed 13-Jul-11 11:48:56

On another note though, we do all put the world to rights at the school gate, don't we? He probably gets bonus points in Cabinet meetings, passing off ideas he's picked up from standing around gossiping with the other mums and dads.

It's obviously a quiet news day.

GooseyLoosey Wed 13-Jul-11 11:58:02

You work out within a relationship what the roles are and who is going to accept what responsibility. If within their partership, they value her job equally and they have agreed a division of responsibility, frankly it doesn't matter if his day job is God.

He is the Deputy PM - not exactly the most onerous job in Government. Half the time he doesn't even seem to be required to know what is going on.

If she earns more than him, would an objective assessment not be that her job and prospects are the most important and he should therefore be the one who is more flexible. I bet her promotion prospects are better than his!

Al0uiseG Wed 13-Jul-11 12:09:37

Where are these men who do the school run? The government hmm Every man i know socially and locally is in London after a commute and at their desk by 7.00 am. Perhaps if politicians did proper hours the country wouldn't be in such a mess.

mrsbaldwin Wed 13-Jul-11 12:11:48

IME the more senior you are, the more you can control your own time. Who's gonna tell Clegg he has to be in for 0900? The truth is, he has a whole office full of people to do his bidding - at a guess about 4 private secretaries, a diary secretary, a press secretary etc. They can hold the fort whilst he's doing the school run. Plus like most politicians I should think he works long hours in the evenings and at weekends looking at official papers, answering letters etc.

Ditto for Mrs Clegg. She's a partner at her law firm, right? So at the very least she has a PA and then a whole bunch of more junior lawyers working for her, not forgetting the nanny and other help in the house.

I kind of like the idea of Mrs Clegg rolling into her office at 1000 some mornings because she did the school run. Might give a bit of hope to the women lawyers rising up in the firm that, actually, they themselves won't have to resign when they have kids (unless they want to, of course).

Camerondiazepam Wed 13-Jul-11 12:20:40

What mrsbaldwin said

spout Wed 13-Jul-11 12:24:55

grin at Quiet News Day

formerdiva Wed 13-Jul-11 12:25:11

Al0uiseG - I'm not one to normally defend the government, but I am strongly opposed to the macho culture of presenteeism that's crept into industry over the last 15 years. I'm in senior management, and have managed to progress my career because I deliver better results than my colleagues. This is despite never working outside of 9 - 5.30 hours, while colleagues feel the need to turn up early and stay late to "prove" their commitment.

I'm not trying to big myself up here - the point is that I strongly believe that comments like yours promoting a long working-hours culture are incredibly unhelpful for anyone (man or woman) who wants to balance a career with family life.

(Sorry for overly long last sentence - I got a bit ranty there smile

Al0uiseG Wed 13-Jul-11 12:28:15

Well if your market opens at 7am and you want to trade it well i guess its best to get there before the open. It just depends which sector you are in.

ShoutyHamster Wed 13-Jul-11 12:29:30

But Nick Clegg doesn't run the country grin

Haribojoe Wed 13-Jul-11 12:30:31

"killing himself" to do the school run! Drop the kids off, go to work, what's so difficult?

Try doing a full SAHM day, then leaving home at 6.15pm to go work till 7.30 the next morning, then home, scool run full SAHM day and crawling into bed when the kids finally go to sleep that night.

wigglesrock Wed 13-Jul-11 12:32:06

I don't know, what does David tell him he shoud do? grin

caramelwaffle Wed 13-Jul-11 12:34:02

I must admit, my first thought on hearing of this from the radio was - How many au-pairs/nannies do they have?

Note - not, do they? But, how many?

LimburgseVlaai Wed 13-Jul-11 12:34:35

How can it be 'emasculating' for Nick Clegg to do the school run??

This article is astoundingly awful. Just... No. Can't get the words out. Unbelievable. Wrong on soooo many levels.

youonlygetonelife Wed 13-Jul-11 12:39:13

Poisonous article.

I would imagine that the presentation of this story and the vituperation around it has a lot to do with the fact that is is more socially acceptable for a woman to be seen to henpeck her husband than it is for a man to say that he'd like to take his children to school.

Hurrah for the Clegg - Gonzales Durantez household, striking a blow for equality.

SexyDomesticatedDab Wed 13-Jul-11 12:41:38

wigglesrock Wed 13-Jul-11 12:32:06

I don't know, what does David tell him he shoud do?


"I say Cleggers old boy - do pop down on the school run and find out what MN is saying about the Govt"

Likeaninjanow Wed 13-Jul-11 12:42:36

Awful, just awful. I honestly can't believe this was written by a woman angry

caramelwaffle Wed 13-Jul-11 12:46:00

Oh goodness.

I have now read the article. Was that piece of tripe really written by a woman? A working (journalist) woman.

Oh, dear.

shmoz Wed 13-Jul-11 12:51:46

What a vile article from the Torygraph.

How very dare MiriamGD have a career and fail to support her husband on the campaign trail, oh the shock. Women, know your limits!!

Worryingly, the journo seems to think Nick Clegg's day job is running the country! How I laughed grin

motherinferior Wed 13-Jul-11 12:52:19

It must be quite embarrassing for the kids, I must say. I do very much hope he doesn't go to the end of term disco - Dad Dancing is bad enough but if your dad is Nick Clegg...

BTW, we journalists do work, you know. And do the school run too grin.

Tuppenyrice Wed 13-Jul-11 13:10:43

Al0uise - my DP does the morning school run. But then he is a rockstar so he has time grin

pookamoo Wed 13-Jul-11 13:18:35

Just heard Carrie on R2. LOL at "Daddy will be home in 4 years' time" grin

beachyhead Wed 13-Jul-11 13:24:44

Ooooh, Carrie's just been referred to as that silly Mumsnet person wink on R2

I have it on direct authority (someone very close to me is working on the house directly opposite the Cleggs) that infact the nanny takes the kids to school every day.

So its bollix anyway.

Al0uiseG Wed 13-Jul-11 13:56:58

TuppenyRice How does that figure on the embarrassment scale for kids? It's got to be one way or the other. grin

motherinferior Wed 13-Jul-11 13:58:54

Paula, the thing is you wouldn't know if NC was doing it. It would be that bland bloke over there - what was his name, I'll remember it in a minute - sloping off, glimpsed from the corner of your eye...

Whoamireally Wed 13-Jul-11 14:30:16

I bet he stands around trying to chat up the yummy mummies

Whoamireally Wed 13-Jul-11 14:30:32

Or if not chat up, at least smile winsomely

Nice to hear MumsnetCarrie on Jeremy Vine today about this.

ThingOne Wed 13-Jul-11 14:32:44

What a vile article.

Miriam's hardly an evil ball breaker. She's and intelligent and hard-working woman who is trying hard, with her husband, to give her children an ordinary childhood in extraordinary - and unexpected - circumstances. How can it be emasculating for him when she's the one who had to change her career to follow his?

The Telegraph is stuck in the 1930s.

I earn about 1/10th of my DH's income and he still manages to do the school run at least once a week. Because he knows the kids like it!

HoneyNorwegianRidgebackdragon Wed 13-Jul-11 14:36:39

dh is out the house by 7am each morning, due to the commute, but when the school run needs to be done he does it, and goes in late. My dh has commented on the OH that go in with their partners to collect and look throughly peed off about it though. He once commented "can they not be entrusted to do it on their own?" And it is true there are a couple who have clearly returned early are dragged along and then totally ignored grin - I had never noticed till he pointed it out.

I guess I'd object to Clegg doing it if someone can tell me why it's detrimental that he does. But really, he's just dropping the kids at school.

Would the telegraph make such a furore if Shiny Dave was papped stopping for 10 minutes to pick up a pint of milk on the way to work?

Tortington Wed 13-Jul-11 14:45:10

I THINK its ridiculous that the deputy primeminister takes the kids to school.

if i had a job which allowed me to get someone else to do it - i would. taking the kids to school proves what point exactly?

she doesn't have to bloody well do it either, they have enough money to get 'people' to do it surely?

i think this is some bullshit 'must appear normal like common people' bullshit bollocks.

it is totally impractical.

yes us commoners have to share this practice - dh walked the kids 45 mins to school for years - then walked to work - so the fuck what - does he deserve a fucking medal?

what a fucking hoo haa over nothing. common, normal people do what is best for the family. if that means i start work at 8am and dh takes the kids to school becuase his employer is more flexible - then he does.

the only problem exists if a man in this situation says ' actually i know my employer is more flexible, but as a woman with a vagina and tits, the kids are your responsability

and i'm afraid at this point if you don't divorce the fucker, i've lost sympathy with you becuase you are a disgrace to woman kind for being so fucking THICK!!

HoneyNorwegianRidgebackdragon Wed 13-Jul-11 14:48:16

"the only problem exists if a man in this situation says ' actually i know my employer is more flexible, but as a woman with a vagina and tits, the kids are your responsability"

I was trying to think of a polite way to say that Custardo....but yours does get the point across grin

Insomnia11 Wed 13-Jul-11 14:50:39

Quentin Letts can fuck the fuck off, I know that much.

I think political leaders should be setting a good example. Refusing to cow-tow to macho corporate norms could bring about real change in this country.

The right-wing media here CAN'T STAND IT if a political leader's wife dares to have a career. Look what happened with Cherie Blair.

motherinferior Wed 13-Jul-11 14:52:50

Er. Hang on.

Some of us like taking our kids to school. I do. It's a nice bit of my day. I get to talk to them and spend time with them and generally touch base with them in a way we don't do later on when everyone is knackered and I need to get back to work (as must Clegg).

In any case, presumably his day's loaded far more towards the evening. Quite a few lobby journalists drop off their kids in the morning, because they don't see them till later.

JoleneJoleneJoleneJoleeene Wed 13-Jul-11 14:56:28

Miriam's shaping up to be quite a feminist icon. I think she's great.

Yeah well apparently (see my previous comment re insider info above!), Miriam is nothing but rude to the coppers guarding her house, and neither her or Nick have made them a cup of tea in the 6 months they have been on duty there! They can't stand either of them!

i am aware that my posts are stupid and pointless, but its boring in this office today.

Perhaps the school run is the only chance his kids get to actually see their father. In that case it is important.

Fennel Wed 13-Jul-11 15:43:23

In working parent terms, doing the school drop-off is often an easy option, then you get to work and stay for ever. Picking up, 3 or 3.30, that's the real killer in my workplace. Noone is in at 9am but people who want to get anywhere don't slope off at 2.30.

Al0uiseG Wed 13-Jul-11 15:53:38

If everyone who had a job started at 10am and finished at 2.30 to fall in with the school run the country would be positively 3rd world. I really, really think that Cleggy should be at his desk doing his very important wink job rather than delaying the start of the working day by pretending to be so enlightened.

HerBeX Wed 13-Jul-11 15:56:23

By the logic of some of those idiots on the link, only childless men and women should run the countyr, or those whose children have grown up and no longer need day to day care.

Either that, or you shouldn't be a politician or a parent.

Or at least, not a good, involved parent.

jellybeans Wed 13-Jul-11 16:02:04

I think it is good as it shows the importance of putting the kids first and of collecting the kids from school. I think kids prefer it for a parent/gran etc. to collect them if it is possible. And it seems it is possible here so that is great.

HerBeX Wed 13-Jul-11 16:12:28

What is funny, is how outraged so many people are, that Nick Clegg obviously has a happy marriage and family life and a good, healthy relationship with his wife which is based on genuine respect and equality.

It's a big temptation to hate him because he's such a promise-breaking dick. But whenever I read Telegraph types fulminating against how disgusting it is that he's a good husband and father, I almost feel a rush of affection for him.

Only almiost, mind. grin

Likeaninjanow Wed 13-Jul-11 16:13:40

God, who cares?! It's an awful article, reporting pretty much nothing. Maybe he was up from 5am working from home (like me) then took a quick break to take the kids to school. Maybe he'll be making the time up later in the day. Who knows?

For me the major take away from this article is that the female journalist is not a supporter of equality.

Again - awful.

Pootles2010 Wed 13-Jul-11 16:39:20

Why do I read these things? Moreover, why do i read the comments?

'True journalism' pmsl

meravigliosa Wed 13-Jul-11 17:11:42

Gosh. Foreign, feminist, doesn't take husband's name. How many more dreadful things could the journo find to say about Miriam?

And kids (at least mine) do care who drops them off.

motherinferior Wed 13-Jul-11 17:20:16

And she shops in an airport terminal too. Which manages to suggest she is both flashy and tasteless, as well of course as being Working Mother Who Is Away From Children instead of breeding them serenely.

VivaLeBeaver Wed 13-Jul-11 17:25:12

Nasty sexist article saying that Cleggs job is more important than his wife's. I'm sure she thinks her job is very important. But the DM think that because she's the woman she's tehrefore the one who should have to sacrifice her career/go part time so she can do the school run.

Total bollocks.

maresedotes Wed 13-Jul-11 17:28:11

Nasty article. I read a similar one by Quentin Letts today (flicking through my dad's paper - honest) and it made me so angry. This article is worse because it's written by a woman.

Kaelle Wed 13-Jul-11 17:36:52

I think that the school run is a false issue..the real question is how do a highly successful couple manage their parenting roles when they each have demanding jobs?? When time with children is limited, what are the best choices of how to spend time w them? Obviously, each have to make choices, but in my experience, the most valuable time I spend w mine is at bedtime, trying to spend the most time possible chatting w them, laughing, reading, cuddling... And i dont work and do most of the school runs (my very successful STBEH never did any, but that's another thread). If I were the Cleggs, I would make sure I did have a fabulous nanny, but I would limit travel (mrs Clegg), try to get home for an extended bedtime routine (both), and plan frequent getaways as a family. Some of these are tricky if we are to have successful politicians...the job, by it's very nature is demanding!! But the children DO need our parenting! Surely, knowing they are truly and deeply loved is the most important thing, not sharing the incredibly dull and mechanical school run!! I applaud Nick for wanting to do it, but actually wonder if that's the best use of his time w them????

boysrock Wed 13-Jul-11 17:47:04

Who the fuck cares what his childcare arrangements are?

He has the luxury of a choice in being able to do the school run with his dc. Many many men do not have that choice as work is not flexible. Many many women do not have a choice if they work either. Child care is paid for in order that they can get to work when they are told to.

When Nick Clegg brings in flexibility across the board for everyone to have the choice to do the school run and have a family friendly culture then I will look sympathetic. But as he is mired within a government that is cutting support to families and whose economic policies are harming family life then i really don't give a shit.

VivaLeBeaver Wed 13-Jul-11 17:56:01

Maybe he likes doing the school run and wants to do it? Maybe he thinks its an important time where its him and the kids and they can have little chats, etc.

Article talks about him racing back from breakfast meetings so he's obviously putting the hours in. Gets to work early, has a break to do school run, goes back to work.

I'm no fan of Clegg but this really doesn't bother me. I'm more bothered by Osbourne going to Wimbledom while the euro lurchs from one crisis to the next.

RedHotPokers Wed 13-Jul-11 18:01:16

So men can be emasculated by doing the school run????
And the only reason a man would do the school run would be the result of an attempt by their wife (who should of course deal with childreny things like school) to dominate them and generally show them who is boss.


There was me thinking my DH did the school run because his job is more flexible than mine in the mornings, as he often works late, and it gives him a bit of time to see DD as he often gets back when she is asleep.

I had believed we had come to this decision as a partnership. I had completely missed the fact that it is a wonder poor DH hasn't been rendered impotent by the mere act of having to do women's work, wasting precious time when he could be oiling the cogs of commerce, and making important decisions.


Abra1d Wed 13-Jul-11 18:46:02

We have a deputy prime minister?


Flowerista Wed 13-Jul-11 18:59:32

Well it is indeed a nasty little piece of writing, and I think the Telegraph should be embarrassed. BUT I do think that when one decides to run in an election to run the country, it is done in the certain knowledge that sacrifices will have to be made. Sneer all we like about Cleggs value in the current administration, but imagine if he had won the election as he actually set out to do - you can picture the looks on the faces in a security meeting if he pops out to drop the kids off. I want our politicians to connect to the family, if for no other reason they stay (a bit) in touch with the difficulties we all face in time management every day. The Cleggs presumably sat down and discussed how their future would look if they took high powered positions, maybe they even worked out a plan I don't care. What I do care is that he then asked people to vote for him to be engaged in running our country at a very uncertain time, and surely that requires his full commitment. Sorry to ramble. BTW Carrie let Quentin get totally under her skin at the end of the R2 interview and came over as a total loon.

TooImmature2BDumbledore Wed 13-Jul-11 19:14:03

Ugh. He is emasculated by trying to share childcare equally with his wife? Is this journalist insane? Why the hell should she give up her well-paid job to stand behind him simpering on the campaign trail? He wound up deputy PM - her absence didn't actually do him any harm. And oh yes, she's not allowed to travel for work either because that is bad parenting and she'd trying to have it all. And she's a ball-breaker, smug, clumsily trying to exude one-up-man-ship and has a truculently embattled attitude to equality who has portrayed her husband as a supine weakling? FFS. Personally, I put my family a long way before my job and yet I still believe I do a good job. I think any time he manages to spend with his kids will be good for them all.

Was it formerdiva who said she didn't agree with the macho hours put in at a lot of workplaces these days? I totally agree with you. I hate this culture of 'if you don't work a 12 hour day you aren't working hard enough'. I know that City type jobs pay ridiculously well, but it still comes at too high a price. There is a reason there are EU Working Hours Regulations!

Swedes2 Wed 13-Jul-11 19:19:55

Couldn't they pay someone to do the school run and both get into work on time?

Next you'll be telling me they both leave work at 2pm on Monday to blue their whites and put them through the mangle.

Swedes2 Wed 13-Jul-11 19:28:15

TooImmature - Working Hours Directive allows for 48 hour wee (not including lunch hour). You would struggle to make it to work for 20 hours a week if you did the school run am and pm. And heck if I know what would happen during school holidays.

I wish the Clegg - Gonz would just get on with it like the rest of us and stop making such an almighty fuss.

scottishmummy Wed 13-Jul-11 19:31:11

like rest of us working parents he feels stretched.yes he should share responsibilities and not expect her to do the supplicant giving up work to be a wee housewife

TidyDancer Wed 13-Jul-11 19:40:37

Oh Lord. If he actually did run the country, that shouldn't mean he can shirk his parental responsibilities. He doesn't come close to running the country, so school runs should be even easier.

pointydog Wed 13-Jul-11 19:48:05

Crikey, Judith woods sounds pretty screwed up.

Of marginally more interest than who takes the clegg kids to school, is why is that woods journo such a catty witch.

Fontsnob Wed 13-Jul-11 19:48:19

What a dreadful article.

(Everyone else has said what I want to say!)

Lotkinsgonecurly Wed 13-Jul-11 20:20:04

Of course he sodding well can.

DuelingFanjo Wed 13-Jul-11 20:23:05

my first thought on hearing this on the radio today was 'you wouldn't hear a working mum make such a massive big deal of this'. It's just typical isn't it that a man gets heaped with praise or pity for doing something like takiing his own kids to school... oh the horror.

southofthethames Wed 13-Jul-11 20:45:37

What a daft article - this is why I don't buy the Telegraph any more. What a weird opinion for them to run today. The author seems to think doing the school run must be a really time consuming job that takes the whole day....and apparently picking up a school backpack means you can't think of anything else. I know mums who run companies/work as police officers/manage teams of doctors and turn up to work to save lives.....who also still manage to get the kids dressed and eating their breakfast and drop them off to school without forgetting their homework or permission slips for school trips. If a woman can do it, so can a man.

A deputy PM has aides to field urgent queries, take messages and retrieve information. In the age of the Blackberry/iPhone/simple mobile phone, you don't physically have to sit at a desk to communicate with colleagues or read briefings. Besides, even if World War 3 or a tsunami/earthquake/flash floods were to break out, it isn't going to be Mr Clegg running to the frontline, it's the military personnel and emergency services who head there first. Kudos to Miriam for keeping it real and not letting her husband and her family get stuck in some misogynistic time warp.

southofthethames Wed 13-Jul-11 20:52:05

Me thinks the journalist Judith Woods is more than a little envious that Miriam Gonzalez-Durante is incredibly successful at work (and prosperous in her income) AND gets to travel in business class a lot!

carriedababi Wed 13-Jul-11 20:54:45

good for nick clegg, i really can't stand the man personally, but i think its great he takes the children to school, i do think the school run is an important time, its a good time to get to know other parents and gives plenty of chances to get involved in your local coummity and really get to know other families in your area

i think in an ideal world it would also be a parent to do the school run collection to, as thats a great chance to hear about the day, and to really be there for them in a very solid kind of way.

good for you cloegg keep it up

and as for that ridiculous article, i cannot believe anyone would print that shite good grief.

tigana Wed 13-Jul-11 21:27:05

Imagine that, a MAN doing some sort of menial childcaring activity. Crumbs! He is either a pussywhipped sucker OR a saintly martyr. And as for his wife....

my eyes are rolling so much I am getting a headache.

Catmint Wed 13-Jul-11 21:56:13

Oh dear, what a nasty article.

It wasn't so much the silliness about him doing the school run that grated, it was all the snidey spanish stuff....pathetic.

Concordia Wed 13-Jul-11 22:20:09

i'm pleased he wants to see his children. it's probably the only time he gets to see them in the day as he no doubt returns home when they are in bed. why should he not get to see his children at all just because he is deputy prime minister?
if a woman was deputy prime minister and she didnt' see her children at all during the week because the nanny did the run as the author suggests would the writer of the article think this was a good idea? or is it only men who have to work so hard they never see their children?

vess Wed 13-Jul-11 22:46:57

Well, firstly, who cares.

Secondly, he clearly doesn't need to take the kids to school as they have one or more nannies - so he must actually like doing that, which is nice. If it doesn't compromise his job, obviously. He probably doesn't do it every single day anyway, but only when it fits with the schedule.

And thirdly, yes, his job is way more important than hers, regardless of who gets paid more. The world can do with fewer overpaid international lawyers, really.

eurochick Wed 13-Jul-11 22:53:50

Clegg's wife is the main breadwinner. She will earn more as a law firm partner than he does as deputy PM. And more significantly, her career is likely to be longer lasting. For the good of the family long term her should be supporting her to do her work.

And the Torygraph should step out of its timewarp. That is a daft article.

edam Wed 13-Jul-11 22:58:15

Vess - he's deputy prime minister. It's a made-up job with no real responsibility. No ministry or portfolio. Seriously, if you are going to play 'who has the most important job', even if you think politics is more important than anything else, Clegg still comes bottom. Bless his cotton socks (which I hope have proper name tapes on).

Anyway, poor old Cleggie needs to spend at least a few minutes of each day with people whose critical faculties are still undeveloped enough to allow them to regard him with something other than scorn.

And anyway, even if he was the PM, he could still do the school run. The world would be a better place if people stopped making such a ruddy fuss about their jobs. I'm sure the PM can spare 20 minutes out of his day, tbh, and the country would probably be better for him leaving it alone for the odd second here and there.

I am no lover of the DPM, or his party, but when I read this article today I thought it was astonishingly nasty and stupid. But then that's an accurate reflection of the journalist who was dopey enough to go on holiday without travel insurance, decided to go horse riding while she was there, and then fell off. Instead of sucking up that she was stupid and thoughtless, she proudly wrote an article explaining that she was going to sue the riding stable, as her medical bills were quite high. hmm

vess Wed 13-Jul-11 23:23:09

Yeah, a made-up job with no real responsibility... so he takes the kids to school and then goes off to feed the ducks in the park, reads the newspaper, has a cup of coffee at his desk at 11 and then goes home in time to make lunch. His only real responsibility is a weekly meeting with the PM over a pint at the local pub to discuss how things are going. All that while his wife is busy being a career woman and a feminist icon. Remarkable.

HerBeX Wed 13-Jul-11 23:26:41

"Anyway, poor old Cleggie needs to spend at least a few minutes of each day with people whose critical faculties are still undeveloped enough to allow them to regard him with something other than scorn."

<Snort> ROFL and hysteria at this.

So true,


EightiesChick Wed 13-Jul-11 23:52:55

So in the midst of the Murdoch revelations and police corruption, it is the right time, apparently, to have a go at someone for working flexibly and being a decent parent? I hope the Telegraph don't have the gall to claim they 'support hard-working families' when peddling spiteful rubbish like this.

Jesus, Judith is having a right old bitch isnt she!
Loss of dignity?

Oh do fuck off!

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Thu 14-Jul-11 03:31:30

What an appalling article.

My favourite bit is this: Yes, yes, we know she’s a partner in global law firm DLA Piper and earns shedloads more than her hubbie and was far too busy to take time off to support him on the campaign trail, but you’d think that’s quite enough emasculation for any marriage.

Next time a woman tells me that it was a no-brainer that she stayed home because she earned less/had a more flexible career/wasn't as senior as her husband, I'm going to put it to her that perhaps her husband should therefore do the school run to even out the power differential.

I'm sure that's going to go down extremely well.

CamperFan Thu 14-Jul-11 07:38:02

Of course it's all his wife's fault, isn't it - nevermind the fact that he might actually want to be part of his kids' day to day lives. Heaven forbid!

CamperFan Thu 14-Jul-11 07:39:05

And Judith Woods - jealous cow?

noviceoftheday Thu 14-Jul-11 08:15:01

That article is outrageous. Feel like I have stepped back 30 years. Twaddle like this is why I don't read the Torygraph or Daily Fail. That journalist really is a twat and feel sorry for any dd or future dil.

robingood19 Thu 14-Jul-11 09:52:18

School run? Is this a daily telegraph phrase?

Pootles2010 Thu 14-Jul-11 09:57:36

Thing is, maybe you could argue about whether someone (supposedly) running the country should have time to do school run. I'm not really sure on that tbh, can see both sides.

However, the gender of said person should be totally irrelevant. It really shouldn't make the slightest difference that he's male, so the whole 'emasculation' thing shouldn't even come into it.

His wife's opinions/stance certainly shouldn't be of any relevance either, as she's not a politician, so her being rude enough not to take his name or be a good little wifey is none of anyone's business.

patrickjane Thu 14-Jul-11 10:07:19

What a bitch.
I really don't have any time for Nick Clegg, but how they split their parental responsibilities is their own business- none of hers.

I was the sneering about her name that made me really angry. Gosh, how cheeky of her to retain the name she grew up with, works under, and feels is part of her identity! But then I have a particular personal beef with that issue, when even my own inlaws and two friends treat me in the same manner...

SweetGrapes Thu 14-Jul-11 10:32:12

Rubbish article. Nast,y sneering and zero value...
Totally based around her extrapolation guesswork of whats happening in the household (finding home work and plimsolls while nanny does nothing.... how does she know that??)
So first you guess whats happening and then express outrage at that happening hmm

lurkerspeaks Thu 14-Jul-11 10:38:18

If he can do it then he should do it.

However, he should not be leaving meetings to go home to do it which is what the article implied.

It pisses me off when colleagues enforce a late start to my day, often with no discussion with the rest of the team, because they have to take the children to school. A one off is fine but one particular individual does it on a regular basis in a team where we all start at 8am to perform our first 'task' at 08:30 them swanning in at 08:45 is a bit of a bugger.

It just makes me think their chilldcare is precarious ergo they will be unreliable in the future.

I work in an industry where it generally isn't possible to come in late or go home early because of commitments to a third party. I've worked on when my Mother was being admitted to ITU and have covered at very short notice for colleagues whose spouses were in labour as getting cover is realistically the only way to escape.

Pootles2010 Thu 14-Jul-11 10:48:34

The article implied he was leaving meetings lurker but how could she possibly have known that? As Sweet says, she's guessed what's going on then been outraged about it.


Miggsie Thu 14-Jul-11 11:06:25

What, you mean their kids are not at boarding school?
Dear dear...I'm sure if Mr Clegg is up to being a politician, he only need sto raise his intelligence level a teeny bit to survive the school run.

I expect it is because he doesn't have "a school run dress" that makes him feel so inadequate.

I do the school run...go straight to work, finish work...go straight to school...if a disabled woman can manage it I'm sure Mr Clegg can.

Miggsie Thu 14-Jul-11 11:07:43

And clearly, in my opinion, the woman who wrote the article is seething with jealousy that her husband never did the school run...

bellamom Thu 14-Jul-11 11:34:26

I heard mumsnet and quentin lett debate yesterday and i am shocked to say that i agreed with quentin lett on this occasion... he is in such an important post for the country for only a short time it seems inconceivable that he might be leaving national security meetings to nip to school playground...

MotherofPearl Thu 14-Jul-11 12:28:49

The worst part of the article, imo, is the really horrible tone taken about Miriam GD ('a feminist' - read 'satanic harridan'!), describing her as 'ball-breaking' just because she expects Nick to do his fair share of parenting! shock I hardly think that this constitutes 'emasculating' him! The implication that marrying a career woman and having to do 50% of parenting duties is emasculating for men is frankly offensive. The journalist who wrote this seems to be living in the dark ages.

keysinthefridge Thu 14-Jul-11 12:41:08

Completely agree MotherofPearl I nearly vomited.

Also find it disgustingly offensive to her Spanish origin: Scoop up those ninos with their Dora the Explorer rucksacks angry

Wamster Thu 14-Jul-11 13:49:07

I don't think that any deputy Prime Minister -be they male or female should do the school run. This is not about sexism for me, if this was NICOLA Clegg we were talking about, my feelings would be the same.

Politics is not a 9-5 job, these politicians should pay for their powerful positions and that means that certain domestic tasks have to go.

DrPolidori Thu 14-Jul-11 13:50:58

Um, at my ds' last school there were two parents both with VIP gov jobs and they both did the school run in turn.

amothersplaceisinthewrong Thu 14-Jul-11 15:05:43

I agree with Wamster, we need a DPM who can concentrate wholly on his job!

No doubt Miriam also does a job that needs most of her attention and therein lies the problem.

Maybe a Nanny should do the school run.

Xenia Thu 14-Jul-11 15:15:16


Xenia Thu 14-Jul-11 15:17:39

Oh, my long post "had an error..."

What a 3waste of time... all I was saying was that women should not accept sexist marriages, that if you earn a lot more than your husband as presumably Ms Gonzalez does (and I earned 10x my children's father) then that affects matters. Even if you don't earn more (and if you don't I would exhort you to go forth and do so, it's huge fun and great for families, you can then avoid slumming it in state schools with the children of Cameron and Gove et al) you still should ensure lack of sexism in the marriage as a matter of principle.

It was good that Cherie Booth also managed to give a good example too in that respect and did not do a Hilary Clinton. Sadly Sarah Brown let us all down in terms of her career. Let's hope Mrs Cameron gets back to full time work soon and sets a good example to the nation.

limitedperiodonly Thu 14-Jul-11 15:25:01

Whenever I see Judith Woods's byline pic I always think she should have run a comb through her hair first.

But it would be a terribly sexist thing to say about a woman holding down an important job. As well as being vilely bitchy.

fannycomp Thu 14-Jul-11 15:25:20

Why are they even bothering with this article? We should be concentrating on the man and his policies, who cares if he drops his kids off to school or not! I'm more worried if he's going to bugger this country up, and I'm sure he is!

Wamster Thu 14-Jul-11 15:29:52

People care because it appears that a job which could be given to another person such as a nanny is being done by somebody who, frankly, has more important matters to attend to.

HMTheQueen Thu 14-Jul-11 15:31:47

I have just really blush myself in the office while screaming at the computer, ranting about this stupid 'journalist'.

Firstly - the undercurrent of racism...'Senora' 'Ninos'... necessary? No. Inflammatory? Yes.

Secondly - the suggestion that doing his fair share of childcare is somehow demeaning to his masculinty. But not demeaning to her?

And who is this 'journalist' that thinks she can dictate what someone else's nanny does? Is he being forced to do this? Probably not. With the amount of money she makes, I'm sure they could find a solution to doing drop offs at school. Perhaps he - I don't know - enjoys spending time with his kids first thing in the morning?

Grrrr.... I am so angry at this article. angry

Xenia Thu 14-Jul-11 16:09:05

A lot of journalists make a pittance and sem to marry sexist men who can keep them to the standrds to which they are used so they tend to be with rather sexist men whilst trying to appear to be modern. So you get rather strange bias in their writing. Whilst of those us who are very high paid in business careers just don't come across those types of relationships where husbands earn loads and expect female careers to play second fiddle.

She is apartner at DLA which is not that brilliant a firm but it's okay.

Ths is a bit old 2009

"DLA Piper has posted a one per cent drop in fee income for the 2009 financial year, as PEP fell by 18 per cent. The EMEA and Asia section of the business, which currently report on a calendar year basis, made £581m last year, down from £585m in 2008. Over the same period PEP fell from £645,000 to £527,000. At 189 the firm had on average one additional equity partner in 2009 compared with 2008. The equity spread runs from £225,000 to £1.5m, compared with £325,000 to £1.5m in 2008."

It looks like in 2009 equity partners (and she may just be on a salary and lower down the food chain - I don't know) ranged then from £225k to £1.5m.

What does Mr Clegg earn?

motherinferior Thu 14-Jul-11 16:15:38

We don't all marry sexist men, dammit. I'm not married at all. And the father of my children damn well does his share of the housework and childcare and is quite explicitly aware that it's my feminism that keeps him up to the mark grin

Xenia - well we know the PM earns £150K into his bank (ignore the massive perks for now) so she's earning at least 50% more than he is by those figures!

Wamster - are you suggesting that the DPM should be work from 7am til midnight without anything else getting in the way? After all, running the country is more important than watching House or having dinner with the wife. Maybe they shouldn't take a summer break. Good God, what if they're needed at a slplit second's notice?!!!

His kids are young. Chances are they're in bed when he gets home most nights. You really want a man who is able to work flexibly to still be an absent parent for at least 5 years?

MotherofPearl Thu 14-Jul-11 16:38:16

HMTheQueen: my sentiments exactly! Indeed, it's the journalist's assumption that his wife is 'forcing' him to do the school run which is demeaning to Clegg, not the fact that he does it, which I think we can assume he does of his own volition! I'm not a big Clegg fan, but presumably he can and does exercise his own free will at home! They're his children too ffs. Did anyone read the comments after the article in the Telegraph online? Avoid, unless you want a massive rise in blood pressure! All the Torygraph types piling praise on the article...

Xenia Thu 14-Jul-11 16:52:36

Yes, the female journalist are pretty sexist and not used to marriages where women earn al ot as most female journalists earn a pittance. They are just not part of the world of women who earn over £100k or £1m. More fool them for thnking you can make a lot (JKR excepted) from writing.

I have known working couples for over 25 years (my oldest is 26). Then and now where they both earn good sums they sort things out between them amicably, who will be home first, who does what. Inteligent high paid women do this. Thicker women who earn a pittance often don't even have the intelligence to negotiate chores or duties around the house or are more prepared to accept sexism.

I don't know if MG is an equity patner or not though. She may just be a salaried partner and earning about £100k like her husband so a marriage of parity rather than one much better off than the other.

HerBeX Thu 14-Jul-11 17:15:09

So do all of you think that all politicians should not be married or have any children? Or that if they are, they should be bad spouses and fathers by neglecting their spouses and children and simply being in the office all the time?

Because that appears to be the substance of that argument.

motherinferior Thu 14-Jul-11 17:28:38

Er...not my argument.

I don't even think they should be bad cohabitees and/or women. grin

HerBeX Thu 14-Jul-11 17:31:11

I'm guessing that if it were a female politician whose DH/ DP was doing the school run, she'd be criticised for spending too much time on politics, MI, when she ought to be doing the school run...

all4u Thu 14-Jul-11 17:33:13

What an unfortunate turn of phrase ' kills himself'. Not sure what his security men will make of this information being in the public domain. But school runs are stressful sure - back to them after 5 years of home education (GCSEs) and boy it was nice not havng the arbitrary starting gun in the morning. Mass education requires it, I know, but it is so uncivilised...confused

motherinferior Thu 14-Jul-11 17:33:55

Oh god yes. There were quite a few posters back in the day when Ruth Kelly got the job, who effectively said no woman with children should be doing a job like that anyway.

I still think the school run is rather nice, anyway. You get to spend time with your children, you get to see some other charming parents at the school gate, network madly about who is going to palm whose child off with whom at what point, fix a drink to take your mind off the kids, and bugger off.

weasle Thu 14-Jul-11 17:34:53

blimey, what a nasty anti-women article. more the DM style surely. The sneery tone is horrible. Of course she prefers to be knows as Miriam G D; that's her name Judith! Do you live in a small town in the 1950s?

I am astonished that a woman has written this. How about celebrating the fact that it is a great example to the nation that he values time with his children and shares parenting with his wife? And more workplaces should allow flexible working to enable parents to do this? And I haven't read the original interview with Miriam, but I presume we are not talking about every day here, did Judith ever think she might be refering to once a week or once every half term?

I'm fuming about this article in the mainstream media, I think this is an old-fashioned sexist point of view and I'm amazed the telegraph have published it.

MotherofPearl Thu 14-Jul-11 18:15:52

Sorry, I can't help myself, I'm so cross I have to come back and add to my other posts! Thinking about it, I reckon it's even more insulting to men than it is to women - the implication of the article is that no men naturally want to participate in caring for their children, and only do so when forced by 'ball-breaking feminists' like Miriam G-D! angry

Wamster Thu 14-Jul-11 18:19:14

LeggyBlondeNE I am saying that to be truly successful in a political career sometimes demands that other commitments are put aside. Much as I dislike the woman, you wouldn't hear Maggie Thatcher moan about lack of family time, in all fairness to the woman, she knew sacrifices had to be made if she wished to be successful.
If you are a politician, the whole country is dependent on the decisions you make and I'm sorry but doing the school run when the country is going to hell in a handbasket is just not bloody on.

noviceoftheday Thu 14-Jul-11 18:31:45

I am still annoyed about this article. Dh and I have a nanny and DD goes to nursery/pre-school a couple of mornings a week. We are both high earners in stressful jobs but still take it in turns to do the "school run" in the morning. Why it is so surprising is beyond me. We can't do the afternoon run and its nice not to outsource everything to our nanny if we have the flexibility. I could just do the school run alone, but don't see I should do that just because I am a woman.

HerBeX Thu 14-Jul-11 18:43:27

So wamster, do you think that parents shouldn't be politicians then?

Or that they should neglect their children if they are politicians?

Because that does seem to be the logic of that position.

HerBeX Thu 14-Jul-11 18:44:03

Mrs T's children were grown up by the time she became PM

Bonsoir Thu 14-Jul-11 19:27:13

I don't think working parents need to do the morning school run unless it is convenient for them to drop their children at school on their way to work and/or they really want to do so. As the article rightly states, children care a hell of a lot more who picks them up from school at the end of the day than who drops them in the morning. Miriam Clegg is being ridiculous.

Wamster Thu 14-Jul-11 19:41:05

If they are politicians they have to accept that they may not be able to spend as much time with their children as they like. What can I say? These people have the nation depending upon them. They owe it to the people to put in the hours and if this means that they do not spend as much time as with their children as they would like, they should jack it in and do something else.

cloudspotter Thu 14-Jul-11 19:41:07

I can't decide which is scarier, the article itself or the comments applauding her stance?

Yes it's good that he does the school run, it's important to carve out time in a busy life to be there for your kids. A nanny can't replace the parent, I'm horrified at the suggestion that they could.

Apart from that, it's so glaringly sexist. God forbid that Clegg should do his bit in the domestic sphere to complement his higher earning wife....

Judith feels this makes him a "beta male", and has "emasculated" him?? "Just how scared is he of his ball-breaking missus?" she shrieks.

Women often take a greater share of child-rearing to support their higher earning spouses. Are they also scared of their ball-breaking husbands, or are they simply making a logical economic decision?

I get her horror at women not being able to have their own bank account. Go Miriam. You'd never catch a man being so hideously disloyal to his gender as that lazy ranter trying to pass for a journalist.

scottishmummy Thu 14-Jul-11 19:43:27

ms gonzalez durante is v sensible maintain her career,and if they agreed share duties then ahoud do so where possible.he might as well get used to it .i doubt he'll be deputy pm in few years anyhoo

Snuppeline Thu 14-Jul-11 20:01:27

I have made a firm mental note to ensnare one of those two boys for my own fair dd. Those boys will be fine husbands in due course growing up like they are in an equal household. <And it will give me a just cause for stalking my new idol Miriam Gonazalez Durante!> grin

On the more serious side, it baffles the mind how we have come so far (in equality between the genders) and yet have so far to go...

JoleneJoleneJoleneJoleeene Thu 14-Jul-11 20:05:13

When he gets his arse kicked at the next elections they will be pleased that she maintained her career, and she can support him. Stick that up your arse, Judith

HerBeX Thu 14-Jul-11 20:12:55

How old are those 2 clegg boys?

<Applies Mother of the Bride Silly Hat>

<Elbows Snuppeline out of the way>


scottishmummy Thu 14-Jul-11 20:16:25

aye,good thing ms gonzalez durante works as i think he will be struggling for his next job.

One of the silliest articles I've ever read on MN. And with a hint of racism.

scottishmummy Thu 14-Jul-11 20:54:37

Miriam Gonzalez Durante gone up in my estimation after this

Bonsoir Fri 15-Jul-11 09:56:18

shock Nick Clegg and Miriam Gonzalez D. is one of the most pathetically obviously self-serving couples in public life in Britain today.

Of all top-ranking powerful jobs in the UK, working in government or top-level civil service is probably one with most potential for flexible hours. As someone said, the more senior you are, the more flexibility you can demand and get (due to massive office staff and having a louder voice in the organisation).

I think Clegg has a duty to do the school run and other family tasks in order to set an example of flexible working and balance of work/home life. It's probably only taking him 10 - 15 minutes out of his day, and he'll be in a ministerial car with his hand's free set up for first conference call of the day and his secretary already in position on the back seat to start briefing him the minute he's dropped them off.

Wamster Fri 15-Jul-11 12:59:13

Do you really think the top people in this country have a flexible work/home life? A close relative of mine is a director at a major international company. He has been summoned from holidays with his family to return to work.
Getting to the top means that he has to make sacrifices. It is so naive to think that people who at the top in business (or near the top) don't make a lot of sacrifices.

motherinferior Fri 15-Jul-11 13:14:08

OK, so some people choose career paths where they end up earning a lot and don't have much of a life as a result. Others don't.

And the generalisations about 'children mind about pickup not dropoff' are just a bit silly, really. Some children like one, some the other. IMO pickup can be hell, with tired hungry grumpy kids. And, as several posters have already said, interrupts the working day far more than a civilised trot to school.

Semibreve Fri 15-Jul-11 13:58:05

Exactly-- so whats all the fuss about Clegg in this case, doing the school run-- women do it all the time and have done for eons, give me a break! whats more can you imagine headlines saying,'Woman does school run'-- man does something in child care and its news of the week---

Sorry, I should have clarified public sector, rather than private. Public sector is more flexible, and I know/work with senior people in the public eye. They have to be seen to make an example as well.

Private sectors are probably more likely to summon you back from your holidays, there are profits at stake after wall!

Of course you make sacrifices to get to the top - maybe Clegg hasn't done the school run in recent years... However, once you get to the top, and especially in public sector, you have more weight to exercise flexible working hours and do the school run. And I think you also have a duty to set an example.

(Disclaimer - national events can also see you summoned back from holidays if you work in government or whatever, but just look how parliament shuts down over summer for one example of flexibility and setting holidays in stone).

Goodness I can't type today. Profits at stake after all, not wall. A rogue 'w' got under my fingers then.

Miggsie Fri 15-Jul-11 14:09:00

Ricardo Semler is CEO of Semco (a large firm based in Brazil) and he works about 3 days a week, he chronicled how you can work and needn't be at the office the entire time in his book "Maverick". His view is if your staff are good at their job he doesn't have to keep riding into meetings like the Lone Ranger saying only he can save the day...

All this stuff about how we have to make huge sacrifices when we get a high powered job is crap frankly, and the biggest holder back of women getting senior jobs there is.

the only times that the school run gets in the way is if there is a big meeting at work and most people can only do 8am, then I miss the school run. Otherwise I schedule meetings after 9am, my company makes quite a lot of money and the work gets done.

There's no reason Nick CLegg can't organsie his diary some days to have meetings post 9am, it's not a logisitical impossiblility is it?

smallwhitecat Fri 15-Jul-11 14:17:47

Message withdrawn

foxinsocks Fri 15-Jul-11 14:19:22

nothing happens in Westminster till about 10 anyway

I doubt he's killing himself at all by doing it tbh

dh does it at the moment though if he had the option of paying someone else to do it, he bloody well would

smallwhitecat Fri 15-Jul-11 14:27:34

Message withdrawn

porcamiseria Fri 15-Jul-11 14:46:16

what a nasty article, clearly they dont like her much!!!

i dont give a shit, I doubt he does it every day anyway TBH

Not odd, just very sexist. And exaggerated.

Wamster Fri 15-Jul-11 15:32:53

I don't know why his wife is receiving criticism at all. She's not the one who is the Deputy Prime Minister, her husband is! It is right he receives criticism, though, imagine being at a very important meeting where matters of great importance are on the cards and somebody announces they have to pick up children from school. How bloody annoying that would be.

scottishmummy Fri 15-Jul-11 18:24:15

miriam gonzález durántez and cleggy share what?
the aspect if this i dont like is the inference that a proper wife would be supplicant housewife and political dolly to be wheeled out for campaigns and photo shots. she hasnt given up her career- well done good for her

HerBeX Fri 15-Jul-11 23:25:11

wamster, you seem determined that anyone successful mustn't have a family life.

What an odd obsession.

Mammonite Fri 15-Jul-11 23:41:33

Well if you're at a very important meeting and have to pick the kids up (IME)

1) you would have already blocked it out of your diary so the meeting's overrunning - not your problem
2) if it's an emergency meeting you can get someone else to pick up the kids if it's that important
3) if the kids are having an emergency like when my DS had to go to hospital after falling off a climbing frame, nobody really minds.

I have accelerated some nightmare meetings to a close on the day I leave at 2.30, much to everyone's relief.

Highlander Sat 16-Jul-11 09:40:54

My husband is a hospital doctor, I have a very part-time job.

We are both parents and as such he does his share, regardless of how important society perceives his job to be.

It doesn't matter what job a mother has, she'll always be expected to play second fiddle to the father.

Good on Miriam.

edam Sat 16-Jul-11 10:31:29

Agree with Mammonite. There are very few meetings which are so essential they have to drag on for hours and hours - some of the EU stuff about signing treaties or UN resolutions about going to war, I guess. Apart from that it's a sign of an ineffective chair who is not doing his or her job. And your colleagues are generally glad if there's a reason to wrap up on time.

Was it Dilbert who said 'meetings - the alternative to work'?

I ran a session recently that ran half an hour over - it was going really well, everyone was coming up with great ideas. But I'd scheduled it to finish half an hour before work ended to allow for that possibility. What we were discussing was important to us, and to our members, but it isn't going to change the world or cure cancer.

noviceoftheday Sat 16-Jul-11 11:08:16

"It doesn't matter what job a mother has, she'll always be expected to play second fiddle to the father.". I totally agree with this. Not only does the (sadly female journalist) display blatant sexism but clearly lacks what it takes to get to the top of her profession, because any woman who is happy to always play second fiddle, quite frankly doesn't have what it takes to get to the top.

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