Dear Richard Littlejohn, I've read your trash non-journalism 'comment' piece about me in the Daily Mail this morning - not because it is a newspaper I read, but because a friend forwarded it to me. Firstly, I have to commend you for managing to get so many facts completely wrong in a comparatively short article. But that's your style isn't it - never let the truth get in the way of a good smear campaign, or something like that.
I am fully expecting the most difficult 'empty chair moments' to be those in the future when I will sit and watch our boys participating in events such as their Christmas nativity plays, their graduations, or on their wedding days. I have every confidence that one of my many supporters will be there to sit next to me, but it should be the boys' daddy who is there to watch and be proud of them, alongside me.
So the government's Spending Review for 2015-2016 has been delivered. To the usual fanfare of cheering and jeering in the House of Commons, Chancellor George Osborne kicked off with the assertion that we're "all in this together" - is that still going? - but then comprehensively managed to prove quite the opposite.
Consider this: a child is asked what she wants to be when she's older and she cannot answer. Not because she has a plethora of favoured options and can't make up her mind, but because she has no concept of what work is or that she can achieve something. These are our children growing up in homes without work, and neighbourhoods where the majority of households lack employment.
While some media might have us believe that most single parents are shunning work in favour of a 'lifestyle' on out-of-work benefits, the reality is starkly different. Single parents are highly motivated to work. After all, they're the sole breadwinners for their families - families which face twice the risk of living in poverty than those headed up by a couple.
What I am asking here is why does it have to be so bloody hard? All schools are given a SEN budget, unfortunately they are afraid of labelling a child at an early age, as are the County. The end result is a child who has no behavioural need is left to slide, loosing self-confidence in their ability.
It hasn't been admitted publicly - but it looks like the Tories' war on lone parents has resumed. Lone parents won't forget the way in which they were demonised by previous Conservative governments - Peter Lilley's "little list", John Redwood's notorious visit to the St Mellons estate in Wales - and a host of policies that left lone parents struggling in poverty to bring up children on their own.
Good parenting has nothing to do with one's social or marital status though I concede it is more practical for two people to share the job of child rearing. However, a conventional status does not necessarily deign parenting attributes on anyone. If you don't believe me just go see, 'We Need to Talk About Kevin.'