I just received an email from Shanene Thorpe via change.org and I really wanted to share her petition with my readers. Shanene was given the opportunity to be interviewed by Newsnight about being a single, working mother struggling to pay rent and housing costs. “Of course I was happy to do it,” she writes in her petition letter, “being a working mum is something I am proud of.”
But the interview turned out to be far from the positive experience Shanene had expected: in the final edit, no mention is made of the fact she has a job. Reporter Allegra Stratton aggressively grills Shanene on why she wants a family home for herself and her three year old child – and why the three of them can’t just live together in her mother’s two bedroom flat. The interview is clipped just as Shanene says “I’m asking for help towards, I’m not asking for a free handout.”
You can watch the two minute interview here:
Here we go again, the age old image of single parents being scroungers being perpetuated. We know it’s not true, but the media just isn’t interested.
Shanene feels humiliated and wants an apology. I don’t blame her. Please take a couple of minutes to sign her petition to Peter Rippon, Editor of Newsnight, here. She should feel proud, not ashamed – and I hope this all brings her and other working single parents some positive press.