Features and opinion

Longer form writing, or shorter writes on exciting topics like DM slides, or death.

The millennial motherhood trap

‘If the possibilities afforded to mothers—especially in the workplace—have progressed since Rich’s day, then new difficulties have emerged. TUC research shows that childcare costs have risen up to seven times faster than wages since 2008. A single parent working full-time spends, on average, 40 per cent of their salary on childcare. For many families, it makes more sense for one parent to leave work; for most, this will be the mother. This trend endures among millennials, the key difference being that they are having their first child at an older age: in 2015, over half of all live births in England and Wales were to mothers aged 30 and over.

This means that, in spite of women’s more prominent position in the workplace, increasing numbers find themselves taking a career break just as they begin to gain seniority. With maternity pay entitlement still low, particularly in self-employed roles, and take up of shared parental leave stubbornly stuck below 10 per cent, it is hardly surprising that more and more women thinking about starting a family are calculating the true cost of child-rearing and not liking the result.’

Read the full piece at Prospect magazine

The DM Slide: an investigation

‘When I asked women how they felt when a man sent something privately that could have been sent in public, several admitted it made them immediately suspicious. “Why aren’t you doing this on public Twitter?”, one said, adding that “the fact you’re not means it’s probably creepy”.’

Read the full piece at the New Statesman

Trump’s abortion proposals are law in the UK

On abortion access in Northern Ireland.

Read the full piece at the New Statesman

The future of food is fast

Canning veg and visiting the farmer’s market feel good. But neither we, nor the planet, can wait. It’s time for food to get futuristic.

Read the full piece at Prospect magazine

Burials, cremations, dissolving: the new ways to die well

‘“One day, this hand . . .” – she lays her hand on its back, limply – “. . . will do this. Twelve hours later, it’ll be a bit pale and clammy. And that will be it. The day will go on, with people going on having coffees, and so on.” She looks around her at the students milling in the sunshine. “To me, the last big challenge is to do that well.”’

Read the full piece at the New Statesman

Yallah: the app that is helping German citizens and refugees understand each other

Utilising smartphones and produced by some of the country’s new arrivals, Yallah is helping to start a conversation between asylum seekers and their hosts.

Read the full piece at the New Statesman

Yes, well all know

‘The thing you must understand is that we all know. Not about you, specifically, although if that sentence made you think I meant you — if the hair on your neck stood up or you felt a hot flush of shame at the prospect of being found out — then yes, we know. She remembers and probably her friends do, too. They told me.’

Read the full piece at GQ.

Read the mitre: behind the rise of popular Catholicism

From the Met Ball to Twitter, the renewed interest in faith is more than just a fashion moment

Read the full piece at Prospect magazine

A visit to Stalinworld

‘Last year, Lithuania re-introduced conscription after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, a sign of renewed complication in the region. For now, however, the statues in the woods stand as a curious reminder of a conflict gone by.’

Read the full piece at the New Statesman

Stop blaming the gender pay gap on maternity leave

‘The fact is, the raising of children is socially necessary labour—if you don’t do it, someone else has to. And it isn’t only about the continuation of the species. As the number of people living beyond the age of 65 soars, our society must urgently address the care needs of older people. Part of that is figuring out who will provide services, from nursing to technological development, for that ageing population. Want to make sure there’ll be someone sprightly enough to get you out of bed in the care home? Then you’d better hope people keep having kids.’

Read the full piece at the New Statesman

For God’s sake, America, just ban guns

Fun fact: out of everything I’ve ever written, this piece caused the most hate mail.

Read the full piece at Prospect magazine

I’ve also written plenty of shorter politics reporting and comment, including covering the 2015 general election and 2016 EU referendum for the New Statesman. You can read more at the i, or keep up with what I’m doing now at Prospect.

 

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