What is my vote for? Is it a token I trade in to serve my own interests, or is it there to be used for the good of others? Should the following stories and quotes make any difference to how you and I vote on May 7th?.....
"What we have seen and heard has again shocked and inspired us.
- We have heard from community workers who have seen three generations of the same family out of work and where local employers fly workers in from Portugal because they cannot find people with basic skills.
- We have been to communities where nearly three quarters of children are growing up without their father at home.
- We have been to schools where it is normal for parents to turn up drunk and fight at the school gates and where dealers stash drugs in the school hedge.
- We have met people stuck on methadone for 20 years and a man who has lost one kidney to drug abuse and now has the other only functioning at 15 per cent.
- We have spoken to people who have tried to take their own lives because they could not face their spiraling debt.
- And we have been told of children so neglected by their parents that all their teeth had rotted away.
These are only small snapshots of what is wrong but they reflect the wider problems with
which the country is still grappling."
‘defeatism (has) defined policy-makers attitudes towards family breakdown too. The pervasive view of successive administrations appeared to be that after four decades of continuous decline in family stability, mainstream family breakdown had become inevitable, that government was powerless to act and should not interfere.’
and some prophetic words written before the campaign began:
During a parliament that may be heavily dominated by unfolding international crises, intense deliberations about Britain’s relationship with the European Union, further deficit reduction and the fall-out from the imminent referendum about Scottish independence, the importance of political parties remaining committed to the necessary social justice reforms we have outlined cannot be overstated.
source here. It may have been set up by a Conservative minister, but the Centre for Social Justice has plenty of critique of Coalition welfare and family policy. Several of its ideas have found their way into the manifestos of other parties. However that middle paragraph still applies, there is no party which sees family breakdown as a key policy area for social change. They go on about immigration, waiting times, class sizes, the welfare bill etc. yet family breakdown is a social factor which affects millions of lives each year and what do we hear? Almost nothing. Maybe we, the voters, need to interrupt the media narrative and ask some louder questions.
Enough about the SNP, lets get back to stuff that matters.