Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Help A London Glaswegian Child...

Kevin McKenna, last seen drinking with people he couldn't stand, was pontificating on poverty in CiF at the weekend.

Bearing the title 'With enlightened thinking, the poor needn't always be with us' (because, you see, if you think they always will be, you aren't enlightened, are you?), it was hard to read.

Through the tears of laughter...
Often when I have encountered poverty I choose to pass by on the other side, looking away and hoping not to catch her eyes before I can avert my gaze. But not before I have had a chance to marvel at the little bundle of misery before me.
You Good Samaritan, you...
Sometimes, it is simply a harassed mum, fat in her ill-fitting Matalan denims, her hair lank and greasy as she entreats her child to cease its flailing and screaming. She does so with loud and profane invective and you wonder how any parent can speak thus to her own.
That's down to poverty, is it?
Sometimes, deprivation is thin and hunched in a Burberry cap and a white shellsuit. He conducts his shouted conversation in a nasal whine and you realise that he is completely impervious to the silent reproach of the civilised people around him.
That, too, is down to poverty? Poverty of the purse, rather than of the spirit?

Clearly, Kevin believes so.
Very occasionally, I may wonder why such creatures exist; did unemployment lead to drink or drugs with crime and sickness following in their wake? Or did the drink come first, followed by the crime and then the joblessness?
Hmmm, chicken and egg time, eh?
And where does education, or the absence of it, stand in this cycle of despair? According to Save the Children, it exists at the very core. Last week, the charity revealed astonishing gaps in academic attainment between poor children and affluent ones.
So much for 'Education, education, education...'
In some parts of Glasgow's East End, 60% of children live in households which have not witnessed a real and earned living wage for at least two generations. More than 40% of adults of working age are on incapacity benefit. Of the almost 100,000 Scottish children who are deemed to be living in serious poverty, around 72% have parents who do not work.
This, Kevin, is the product of oh-so-many years of Labour rule and a welfare state gone mad. Do you have any suggestions?
If 7,000 Glaswegians could be found who would volunteer to read occasionally to these children or take them to an art gallery the legacy will last for ever.
Oh. OK. Just barmy ones...
There are many good and gifted people dwelling in Possil, Easterhouse, Pilton and Wester Hailes. They do not need our good intentions and pity, though.
It sounds like they are going to get it though. Get it but good...
Their ancestors probably fought and died in Britain's two great wars of liberation and, as such, they have pre-earned the right to significant state intervention.
...

...

I'm sorry? They fought in two great wars against all-encompassing states in order to have an all-encompassing state take care of them?

This is the moment CiF jumps the shark, isn't it?

And not just a great white. This is a Megalodon.

8 comments:

Roue le Jour said...

"...take them to an art gallery the legacy will last for ever."

AKA Self Improvement, one of those nasty Victorian ideas we were so happy to get rid of?

Angry Exile said...

"Pre-earned the right to significant state intervention" because of what their ancestors have done? Something they themselves did not, could not, have anything to do with? Well, fuck, where's my share? And I want extra for the Boer War and the Crimean campaign - no I wasn't in it but some of my genes were. And has anyone told the Irish? They had a civil war so everybody wins the compo bingo there.

/facepalm

allcoppedout said...

If women didn't work, as was once an ideal (never a reality) we might have full employment.
Could it be that many people are the pigs' ears in employment terms and we have nutter schemes around to turn them into silk purses when the answer lies in factory work and community projects, not the vaunted education, education, education? Could we be keeping these estates in reserve for the next war? I doubt more than one or two nutters in them thinks they are owed a living because great grandfather was forced over the top.
My guess is these people are merely the first victims of productivity increases and globalisation. Little in this is new as we can find mass unemployment, crap pay and so on throughout history. War and plague have been amongst the cures.
Crud like this is all a blind to what is going on.

Woman on a Raft said...

Last week, the charity revealed astonishing gaps in academic attainment between poor children and affluent ones.

Well STC has got pots of money. Why doesn't it select some poor children and give them an education? You can do ten years of reasonable quality education for a child for the same cost as one year of a middle-ranking marketing manager (say, £60k) and that way you might be able to help at least some children.

Better choose the brighter ones, though, or else it'll be chucking money down a hole.

I know....we could call them 'grammar schools'.

ReefKnot said...

"astonishing gaps in academic attainment between poor children and affluent ones.". No, most if not all children are poor. What is meant is " astonishing gaps between children of high achieving and therefore wealthy parents and those children of low achieving and therefore poor parents". I suspect that most children of tall skinny parents are less dumpy than those of short little fatties. Such is life.

Heard on the street said...

"I swears at me effin' kids 'cos they bastards" will, under our enlightened rulers in the quest to eradicate poverty, smoothly become: "I swear at my effing children because they are without a father."

I love socialism... it makes everything perfect!

JuliaM said...

"AKA Self Improvement, one of those nasty Victorian ideas we were so happy to get rid of?"

Quite!

"Well, fuck, where's my share? And I want extra for the Boer War and the Crimean campaign - no I wasn't in it but some of my genes were."

Indeed! Where does it ever stop?

"Could it be that many people are the pigs' ears in employment terms and we have nutter schemes around to turn them into silk purses when the answer lies in factory work and community projects, not the vaunted education, education, education?"

Indeed. What's the value of a PhD in media studies? When my pipes burst at 3:00am, I need an emergency plumber, not a dissertation on the films of Quentin Tarantino...

JuliaM said...

"I know....we could call them 'grammar schools'."

Heh... ;)