There was an awful lot of macho hyperbole in George Osborne's Budget speech. In a single dramatic gesture he announced that he was sweeping aside all that burdensome red tape that has stopped companies getting with the business of making money, and ensuring that Britain was open for business again.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not planning to lie down in the road outside Downing Street any time soon. For a start it's cold, dirty and pointless – as a group of women who tried to stop George Osborne getting to the House of Commons demonstrated yesterday. It's just that surely we ought to take a moment of reflection and consider what lies at the heart of this move.
There are times in our lives when we can work 12 hour days and spend every waking second thinking up new and inventive ways of making money for our employer, and times when we have to take our foot off the gas and recover from a major illness or consider our responsibilities to our families. Do we really want to live and work in a society where that's unacceptable, that when you cannot give everything to your employer you're out on your ear? Do we want to accept that having children is effectively the end of any meaningful contribution we can make to the economy? Or do we want to take on George and his macho posturing and defend our rights?
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