Wouldn’t It Be Loverly

So the government think that giving free meals to hungry kids during half term would ‘increase dependency’ on the State.

Maybe it would, maybe it wouldn’t.

I was a teacher. I taught Key Stage One children from 1996 until 2012. In my teaching career I have

  • Had parents bring children to school without shoes.
  • Had a child in tears because he had to go back to his biological parents after a stint with foster carers. The foster carers sent him to school showered and in clean uniform, and had bought him a second-hand bike – it was the first time in his life he’d felt like ‘one of the lads’.
  • Had to give a child my packed lunch because at 9 o’clock in the morning she was in tears with hunger. She’d had no breakfast, and looked blank when I asked what she’d eaten the previous evening.
  • Had to give evidence to the police regarding abuse suffered by one of the children in my class at the hands of her mother. It went to court and the mother was imprisoned.
  • Had a child who didn’t come to school one day because his parents couldn’t be bothered to get out of bed to bring him.
  • Had children come into school first thing in the morning eating crisps – and that was their breakfast.

Some parents are just rubbish. You don’t need to pass any exams or do any training to get pregnant and have a child. Some parents are feckless, some parents are alcoholics, some parents do drugs. Some parents live chaotic lives. Some parents actually, genuinely, don’t give a damn about their kids. And yes, chances are that any extra money they’re given will go to supply their own needs first.

So why should the State support these people by paying out good money to feed their kids?

I say these are exactly the kids who SHOULD be fed. And more than fed, if needs be. We should be throwing money and resources at these children in order to do everything we can to get them out of the situation they find themselves in.

Wouldn’t it be lovely to live in a country where every child had a parent who could look after them – feed them good wholesome home-cooked food, keep them clean, keep them warm, keep them safe.

In the words of Eliza Doolittle –

All I want is a room somewhere
Far away from the cold night air
With one enormous chair
Oh, wouldn’t it be loverly?

Lots of chocolate for me to eat
Lots of coal makin’ lots of heat
Warm face, warm hands, warm feet
Oh, wouldn’t it be loverly?

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