@ilegal blogs

Hush little baby, don’t you cry


I have been wondering whether there is a confluence between the Conservative Liberal Democrat coalition government’s insistence on local authorities/councils providing free school meals for the youngest children and, a societal abrogating of cash-poor parent’s responsibilities. Under the guise of ‘we all should care for those less well off’, those children who the government says: ‘whose education suffers if they are not getting proper meals’

What strikes me as odd with this particular Tory LibDem initiative is it doesn’t seem to sit very well with other aspects of its welfare (noticeably) and social (a little more subtly) reform of the state. Especially when poorer people – notably, benefits claimants – are being attacked so heinously through welfare reform and it’s associated multi-media propaganda

It makes me think: why look after the kids when the parents are, apparently, fair game? Is it because this government has a heart and actually cares about children?

Is it because children are innocent?

Is it because caring for our children transcends politics and, therefore, it is nothing to do with winning votes but just plain goddam caring for the little uns?

Or, are we getting to the stage where there is a pervasive agenda that social and educational expectations need to be reconfigured due to shifts in economic need rising out of the austerity agenda? Are we creating norms, to such a degree that institutions will feed (literally) the poor for, say, certain outputs? Are we there yet?

Is education for enlightenment and personal development, as opposed to performance, only for the rich?

Are we creating the environment where we won’t balk at kids ‘being put through their paces’ and the poorer children ‘being given every opportunity available in a tough economic environment’? Isn’t that what the current ‘Workfare’ initiative is all about? Like the Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, are we seeing a modern prequel to a story we already know?

Are we there yet?

Are we creating workhouses?

Hush little baby

2 comments on “Hush little baby, don’t you cry

  1. Nick (@Mylegalforum)
    September 9, 2014

    Food for thought….

    Or for many children who have parents who vote, vote Tory or Liberal as it so happens.

    It’s another ‘family friendly’ initiative aimed at attracting the wider public who are by and large, it seems, oblivious to the kicking of the poor.

    It’s a policy which also avoids the embarrassment faced by some parents who perhaps once considered themselves reasonably well off if they were to have to apply for free lunches on account of their now drastically savaged incomes. I suppose it should be welcomed on this basis, but I can’t help but feel the motive in introducing the policy is, in part, aimed at avoiding attention being drawn to anything which may remind parents that they now belong to a low income group.

    I cannot for the life of me feel this is a well intentioned policy when access to benefits is being so dramatically denied. The withdrawal of legal aid just shows how determined Government is in ensuring people are suitably silenced when it comes to challenging the Secretary of State and the absurd decisions he makes in deciding people’s right to benefits; thus taking away a source of income which all too often means children end up the real sufferers.

    Meanwhile rest assured, fine wine and good food remains very much on the menu and free of charge to the establishment; all ultimately chargeable to the tax payer of course.


    • ilegal
      September 9, 2014

      Well I think that’s it – I don’t believe it’s about looking after the kids and, even if it were, there appears to me to be a reasonably clear motive to that. It reminds me of IDS crying once outside a working class estate

      Of course, another critical thing I didn’t mention here is the way this government is putting the squeeze on local authorities and councils – it’s fine saying it has to be done, but we have to remember it’s being done in an environment of massive cuts to local authority and educational spending – they’re the ones having to deal with the grief


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This entry was posted on September 9, 2014 by in social justice and tagged , .
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