Yesterday, my friend was told that thier playgroup at our local Surestart centre would have to be shut down at the end of June. The reason? The group is not ‘disadvantaged‘ in the PC euro-speak sense of the word. It means they are not at the end of their tethers and about to snap. They are not an ethnic minority, they aren’t on income support (many don’t qualify for a penny other than CTC and CB). They aren’t drug addicts. The children come from two-parent families and are happy, safe, well-fed, loved and well-cared-for. Due to this our council believe they have no need for fun or educational play with their parents or carers. Apparently married women whose husbands go to work everyday, have no significant and problems and are in no need of any outside support. It’s not a case of cost. It’s a case of Tories not being able to satisfy their need to pretend they are in touch with reality.
Just to clarify, of a group of 15 of so,
- 4 have lost children.
- Some of us suffer with post-natal depression,
- some with eating disorders,
- some have children with behavioural problems.
- Some have chronic fatigue syndrome,
- some of us just genuinely rely on the help and support of the women in this group to get through a rough patch.
The group was started so women and children from ALL walks of life could interact with each other and play with their children, to help them learn and to learn something from each other and make friends. They have had specialists in to talk about sleep disorders and tantrums, they’ve organised educational trips for the children and have been there for each other to help and support when times are hard. This group is something to be proud of and now they’re trying to take it away. It’s got no overheads bar the use of the room and the group leaders are volunteers.
Nobody is ever excluded but the group are being openly discriminated against for being too ‘normal’. When asked what could be done to keep it running, the lady in the Sure Start centre said “Get your children on the Child Protection Register“. I understand that she was unhappy herself and this was a glib reply given in the heat of the moment, but it seems that only those in the depths of despondency will ever get any help from now on and those who are not there (yet) should apparently stop complaining and be grateful we’re not worse off (as the cost of living soars to pay for the mistakes of the rich and the banks). What’s next Cameron? Workhouses? The return of the poor laws? Why the need to separate and isolate?
This is social cleansing. Sure Start centres should cater to EVERY family who are struggling, not be limited according to a rich idiot’s idea of ‘class’ (yes, Cameron I’m talking about you and your whipping boy, Clegg). That rich, pampered idiot has NO clue about what ‘the disadvantaged’ are: those whose flag he loves to wave every time he needs to feel magnanimous and distract us from the tax cuts he’s just given to his rich friends.
You may notice the wording has changed and been added to.
This is because ‘the council’ and some Sure Start staff don’t want us to discuss this outside the group. I used the centre for the breastfeeding support service regularly. It was a life saver, I knew nobody in my local area and I was really struggling to keep going. When I wasn’t breastfeeding I stopped attending. This group started several months after my son began Scalliwags playschool and it clashed. This simple event clash apparently means I’m not supposed to care about the group, never mind that this awful precedent also means I won’t be able to attend later services (that our council tax goes toward) either if the Tories go ahead with their insidious social cleansing. It now seems I’m not supposed to care about what doesn’t directly affect me. The world would be in a very sorry state if everyone thought like this. Pardon me for having a social conscience.
I have changed the words to this as my friend has asked me to (I pasted a post she made and corrected some of the grammar and syntax so they were actually her words) and deleted as many of the posts as I can find but this DOES NOT mean I have to like it. I’m doing it for the sake of not falling out with someone I like but it still feels like censorship.
I’m going to write a strongly worded letter to my MP!