Since 2010, the number of needy kids has risen by half a million. They don’t get the nutrition they need, feel nothing in a land of plenty. Once in a while you see poverty porn on TV, but most of the time, the injustice is swept to the margins so we don’t have to witness it, or hear hungry infants wail.
Middle and upper class kids, in contrast have too much; they are, perhaps, spoilt. Too many among them still feel disempowered and deeply dejected.
A daughter of a friend came to see me recently. She is feeling worthless and low. Her parents – both strong, successful and practical – tell her to grow up and be thankful for her fortunate life. She sobbed on and off for an entire afternoon: “They just walk away, never try to understand. It’s as if I am failing them by not being the girl they want me to be.” She is on anti-depressants and coping better, but her parents still won’t talk to her about her formless, nameless sorrow.But she found a sympathetic ear in you, eh? I bet she won’t do that anymore, now she knows she’ll be used in one of your columns.
Assuming she even exists, of course…
Remember those lines in T.S.Elliot’s Four Quartets: “…human kind Cannot bear very much reality. Time past and time future What might have been and what has been Point to one end, which is always present.”A bit of Philip Larkin might have been more appropriate…
But what’s caused this outburst is, of course, Camila’s Kids Company debacle, which is The Worstest Thing Ever™ as far as Yasmin’s concerned:
The charity loved, hugged, parented the most vulnerable and most far gone, gone bad young Brits. Their one sanctuary is no longer open. Their wounds will bleed again and they feel once more that they do not count. This is not a country for young girls and boys.
Camila Batmanghelidjh and Kids Company made Britain uncomfortable by demonstrating this truth over and over again. Other children’s agencies and charities will carry on doing good work, but none will ever again be as daring or as provocative. They have, in this way, been silenced.It’s ‘daring’ and ‘provocative’ to rinse the taxpayer for millions to squander it all on employing the offspring of your trustees and adding to John Lewis’s bank balance?
Well, I suppose you’re actually right for once, Yas.
Not so much fun when you get caught doing it, though, eh?