During the six nations tournament a select group of Tunbridge Wells Rugby Club members often guest as players for the Scottish MP’s XV. This year’s coterie are pictured above. None are politicians but two, at least, were Scottish!
The link between the teams is a good friend of mine, Tim McCabe pictured on my left. Tim is one of those doers in life who cements societies. An organiser and club man heavily involved with the youth section. It is because of this involvement that his catch phrase, which he sings (badly) at every opportunity- (especially when raising funds for the youth)-is “I believe the children are the future…” A sensible man then…
…well most of the time!
It is Tim’s dulcet tones that have been ringing in my ears since the budget was announced. A budget which, again, put profits ahead of family life. Goodbye student grants that enabled poor hard working children to access university without racking up prohibitive debt. Hello the American model of higher education as money making machine with university the preserve of the rich. Perhaps the Tories have forgotten how a simple grocer’s daughter, by benefiting from higher education despite being snubbed by Oxford, not only went on to help invent the Mr Whippy ice-cream but became a famous leader of the party?
Oh and goodbye assistance to families once a third child is born. The fruit of loving mammon more than man. In which one’s bank balance is bizarrely viewed as proof of decency rather than any sense of personal morality. As if poor people, by default, are unable to create loving homes. As if the rich cannot be feckless and vile. Hmmm banking crisis anyone?
Of course the change will be defended by demonising the poor. By implying big families are automatically feckless and irresponsible. As if only the rich are entitled to children. As if there can be no virtue in poor but loving homes. As if it is the fault of today’s poorer people that many are enslaved by bloated companies themselves are paying no tax at all.
These companies make eye-watering profits but pay out such pathetic salaries that low income families have no option but to rely on the State. That is not a living wage. But heaven forfend we hammer the stingy companies when we can demonise those they enslave….. ordinary folk with little hope of security as they toil on zero hour contracts. It stinks!
It is also profoundly stupid as any grasp of demographics demonstrates. Have the government considered that each child is a potential life time tax payer and that lots of children generates wealth? Can they not ponder Tim’s slogan- that children really are the future in which we should all e enthusiastically invest. Which is why other countries offer generous subsidy and encourage the birth of more than two children. But such human consideration is lost on a generation -across the political spectrum -who have ceased offering principled visions of left and right but seem servile to big business and bloated corporationism. Money first. People second.
In contrast the teaching of the Catholic church has always valued family life and cherished children. It calls on us to raise up the lowly and help them in life- the Christian vision behind student grants et al. Jesus warned us not to cause little ones to stumble. A verse that places a millstone around the neck of the boomer generation who created this budget. A generation who themselves had so many benefits- healthy student grants, cheap housing and access to good jobs- but who grew wealthy by saddling their own children and grandchildren with debt, who seem intent on removing any sense of subsidy and help. Taxing big business fairly would meet the need. Let us not forget that.
So when will this generation pay something back? The answer seems obvious given that the luxury cruise industry has never been better… whilst those leaving school are struggling to find employment and get a foot on the property ladder. Those who have deconstructed our Christian heritage ever put their own comfort and profits first. I do not have much hope of seeing children put first anytime soon.
Yet supporting big families is sensible. If you doubt that then settle down for a chilling 45 minute documentary which puts it in perspective. Anti-child policies are only ever beneficial in the short term. Long term it is suicidal to attack the family and curtail the natural law. Think again Mr. Osbourn, think again.
Vote Tim McCabe! Let us have politicians in the future relentless in their cry. “I believe the children are the future!” Without this we are doomed.