The Poorest in Society are Doomed to Fail under The Coalition Government?

I always start the day by reading the online papers and this morning the Huff Post ran with a blinder ” England’s Poorest Children Start School in Nappies, Unable to Speak or Recognise own name..” ; this particularly resonated as my 3 year granddaughter started school last week.

My immediate reaction was shock and my mind rolled back 35 years to my first adult job. with pre schoolers; I found myself scanning all the children I worked with in my 6 years of work in this field, and found I had known a good few of them to whom this shocking headline could apply to.

I then turned my thoughts to the parents of those children and realised they ALL came from families struggling with a multitude of difficulties. Our response as staff In those days, was to ensure the parents had access to all the support they needed; this regularly meant linking the up with a benefits advisor, Home Start or similar, and the relevant officer from the Pre School section of Social Services, we would all then work together with the family to address the problems, Usually this approach worked and the children went on to develop and grow, often catching up and surpassing their peers by Junior school.

The biggest difference is today, in 2013, this support network isn’t there, the benefit advisors have been made redundant or moved, projects like Home Start have been decimated by Cuts & the Pre School groups are only financially accessible for a fortunate few.

It is this lack of non threatening, non judgemental help & support that particularly worries me; for the children who need extra attention and input, their families who also need the same, but also for the future of our Country.

I accept that many readers will probably be thinking it’s a parents job to teach a child the basics, potty train her/him etc , and whilst in regular circumstances I agree, it’s vitally  important to acknowledge the real difficulties people experience when they’re faced with a genuine struggle to survive,

It was recognised in 1943 by Abraham Maslow  in his Hierarchy of Needs theory  that when people don’t have access to their basic needs – air, food, drink, shelter, warmth, sex, sleep. they cannot focus on anything else. Maslow’s theory has been criticised, challenged and adapted by many other scientists and business gurus but, they all agree that without our basic needs we do not fully function.

Similarly it is well established that when people are truly hungry, they are unable to think about anything other than food, and given we know that Food Banks are rising expedientially, is it really surprising that young children for the poorest families aren’t being taught to read?

I believe this is only the top of the iceberg, and as the real grassroot effects of 3 years of economic austerity continue to emerge into wider public conciousness, we will witness similar and countless other associated Societal problems, directly linked to the decimation of Social Security under the guise of the Welfare Reform Act 2012.

Given this, without intervention the poorest sections of Society,  without a financial safety net, without access to recourse, without a network of support, have little hope. We know Poverty drains our intelligence, it disables us from nurturing our young, it prevents us from functioning as human beings and working together for a better future.

Therefore, unless those of us who still can challenge and fight, begin to do precisely what those deprived of basic needs can’t; come together, share our intelligence, support each other and lobby and work with those in Parliament who CAN make a difference, surely The poorest in Society are Doomed to Fail under The Coalition Government?


22 thoughts on “The Poorest in Society are Doomed to Fail under The Coalition Government?

  1. Reblogged this on Vox Political and commented:
    This is a thought-provoking article about the long-term, intended effects of the Coalitions cuts to welfare for the poorest families. These changes were always intended to put people with less money at a disadvantage from early life, giving them less of a chance to establish themselves and make them less of a threat to what we might call the Establishment.


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  3. Deep and sensitive thought, as always, Jayne! 🙂
    I would just like to add that the family is often a dissipated entity in our modern world. There are obviously many competing reasons but time was when one’s mum, aunties, sisters lived down the road and generations taught and supported each other. For years now families have been spread geographically and that fundamental network has also disappeared. This is also due, in no small part, to governmental policies over years and years: as in the need to hunt for ever thinning employment ‘opportunities’ and the consequence of relationship breakdown – often caused by financial stress. Catch 22 is an ever decreasing vicious circle and Community is a rare gem. “It takes a village to raise a child” (I forget who said that)


    • Sadly this is where the creation of the Welfare State hasn’t helped. Due to the law of unintended consequences the development of services provided by the state weakened the sense of community that previously existed. I don’t for a minute condone a return to the bad old days where people were forced together by needs, but rather an investigation of what went wrong. It’s fairly well known that when formulating the National Health Service Aneurin Bevan was greatly inspired and influenced by the Tredegar Medical Aid Society that was formed in 1890, and at one point covered the health needs of 95% of the town, (

      At the time of the institution of the NHS the Tredegar Medical Aid Society pleaded to be an exception, but was told in no uncertain terms that the State system held sway. This, as we all now know was a huge mistake, as the State cannot be trusted with anything. We saw Thatcher dispose of large swathes of state owned industries, largely for ideological reasons, and now we are witnessing the destruction of state provided social support.

      Sadly, the conditions that allowed the Tredegar Medical Aid Society to flourish no longer apply, and the still proud community of Tredegar is an economic shadow of it’s former self. But the point I’m making is this, if the people themselves own something, then it would be extremely difficult for the state to take it away from them without being seen as the thieves and brigands that they are, (the word Tory is in fact derived from and Irish Gaelic word meaning brigand).

      Our only hope is to relearn the value of true community and work to replace the agencies of state that are slowly being taken from us, learning the lessons from the absolute failure of state institutions. So many people seem to be running about like chickens with no heads, wondering what will become of them.

      Ultimately we need to realise that we don’t need the state, or the politicians and political parties that usurp them, they are a plague on all of us and exist merely to aggrandise themselves.


  4. The way this current government are treating the most poorest and the Vulnerable, this includes people on minimum wage is outrageous Discriminative and breaking Human rights Laws, I cannot understand how this government is allowed to get away with it. That Lord Freud (Fraud) makes the most damming comments, not only is it hurtful but the way he thinks of the disabled in general, he makes all out to be scroungers demonised to the general public, it’s surprising how many people believe this Government. Not all disabled people can work, believe me it’s certainly not through choice. People and children are starving in this country, going cold through severe weather we had last winter, now the threat of losing their homes because people cannot afford to pay this evil bedroom tax and there’s still more to come. Does he want us all to die…he has driven many people to suicide because of his policies. How can people give money they don’t have…..Oh I forgot he wants us all to starve to death! or get Hyperthermia through cold months. Of course this is going to effect the future of this country, he has already made it impossible for low income families to go to University, priced them out, so people cannot better themselves. The poor and the vulnerable are living under Oppression and Tyranny! That is the TRUTH!


  5. I agree with everything you said, the longer this government stays in power the worse it is going to get for us. The I’m all right Jack party has no moral compass they are only interested in the top percentile


  6. Unfortunately the path we as a country have chosen is already well worn with steep banks on each side.
    The 60’s and 70’s liberated a great many people social change created opportunities for all, university, higher education, skilled jobs and a better standard of living became the norm.
    However with this great change came another great change as all change has an equal and opposite effect.
    The change was social caring !!
    When we were all starving and struggling together we helped each other as we knew at some time we ourselves may need that same help. Once a larger proportion achieved a higher standard of living we stopped helping each other, we never helped because we thought we would never need help ourselves and why help someone if there is no return.
    This was reinforced during the Thatcher years, right to buy made us somehow superior to those who only rented, a new car and tv made you a better person not caring for your fellow man.
    Socialism and equality became dirty words somehow tainted by association with strikes and uncollected bin bags, not opportunity and fairness which it had brought.
    It was again reinforced during the Blair years, “New Labour” carrying on the ideology of their predecessors and making us all individual units, uncaring and perceiving those less well off as parasites and things to be shunned at all costs.
    Then we come to the Cameron years and again the sense of individuality reinforced. We have continuous tv and media coverage and government speeches on how those less fortunate are responsible for their own situation and if they can’t get off their lazy arse’s why should we as “hard working taxpayers” support them. Sick and disabled do not exist, we have shirkers and fraudsters, we have no unemployment merely skivers and scroungers.
    30 years of indoctrination by rich and wealthy people have tainted 2 to 3 generations of individuals who see only what they have been told.
    A simple change from one party of rich to another party of rich will change nothing.
    God help us one and all.. if you believe now is the time to pray


  7. Your starting point is a report (of a report) from Iain Duncan Smith’s “independent” think tank, the “Centre for Social Justice”. Does it, by any chance, exaggerate or cherry-pick the problems of ordinary people and sanctimoniously blame the poor and powerless for everything that is supposedly wrong?


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