David Cameron's Toxic Brew of Parenting

City Of Westminster
City Of Westminster

After the riots in 2011, David Cameron decided to implement CanParent, a new initiative to provide parenting classes for families. Deciding that the riots across the UK were down to poor quality child rearing, he decided to set up a scheme whereby in some parts of the UK, parents could use vouchers to access these classes.

His scheme which if said quick enough sounds like CamParent, David Cameron's very own toxic brew of parenting: narcissistic, egotistical, self-entitled human beings who can join him at his top table, swig champagne and fill their bank accounts with monopoly money whilst casting a belligerent eye over those they consider beneath them.

The scheme failed. It was a £5 million pound flop. Not enough parents showing up to make it a worthwhile enterprise. Therefore, it shouldn't come as a surprise that Cameron has decided to try it again. With his love of the word aspirational, the definition for him - being born into fantastic wealth, best education money could buy and daddy on hand to line up great internships and someone else putting a good word in with the Queen - he likes to implore everyone to reach for the stars as if life really is a S Club 7 song.

According to the Prime Minster who outwardly shows numerous characteristics on the Hare Psychopathy Checklist, these classes will prevent poverty. This will be further supported by him throwing £70 million pounds at couples counselling organisations such as relate to help families stay together.

Now I like this idea, the family being the bedrock of society, mother, father and 2.4 children living it up in a nice, warm, adequately sized, adequately priced home. Enough money coming in for food and other essentials, reasonable working hours and enough time to read Charlie and Tom the Hungry Caterpillar every night at bedtime.

However, liking an idea is different to that idea being a reality. If the family is the bedrock of society, then why is this Tory government doing all it can to undermine and harm this functional and preventative institution.

Take for instance George Osborne's attack on working tax credits late last year, which fortunately did not see the light of day. Families not earning enough due to low paid work, zero hour contracts, (which the government has not corrected) are reliant on help and support from the state to make ends meet.

They use this money to pay for heating, food, utility bills, and so forth, all things that help them stay on the right side of that precarious breadline. Although the House of Lords rejected the bill, it hasn't stopped Osborne making new plans to secretly get rid of tax credits when universal credit is rolled out for everyone in 2020 if the conservatives are still in power. Neither has it stopped Cameron making plans to curb the House of Lords powers in future so that he isn't left red-faced again.

There isn't just two of them with their sleeves rolled up, hell bent of stripping people of basic needs. Ian Duncan Smith, him who looks rather too pleased with himself when he finds out people will suffer in the near future has deliberately terrorized the sick and disabled since he became Minster of Work and Pensions which has contributed to people taking their own lives.

ATOS were granted the contract to assess the sick and disabled for eligibility to benefits whilst given targets whereby they could only find a small number of people eligible each day. This meant that regardless of how ill you were or what proof of illness you brought along, if you came at the wrong time, you would be ruled fit for work.

When this didn't seem to be working, re the conservatives were not making enough money for themselves, they embarked on benefit sanctions. Touted as a way to promote responsibility, what they really achieved was to claw back money in what seemed to be a legitimate way by underhand practices.

This has led to a increase in food banks. The Trussell Fund states 913,138 people received three days emergency food in Trussell Food Banks in 2013-14 compared to 346,992 in 20-12-13. They also state that 83% of Food Banks report benefit sanctions as the reason people have fallen on gard times.

A combination of low pay, rising living costs, unemployment, and the ideological austerity is creating increasing poverty and this is even without including the draconian bedroom tax and its consequences.

Not everybody affected is a family unit obviously but many are. David Cameron with his vanity project thinks he can slap a sticking plaster over the problems he has created and make himself look like an aspirational Prime Minister. Poverty is not alleviated by a bedtime story, good boundaries, or game of hide and seek. It's alleviated by a society that cares for its citizens, helps them into employment that pays with a living wage, helps keep energy companies under control, rents under control and most of all takes care of those who are ill and vulnerable. Unfortunately, the conservatives like to claim that everyone should take responsibility for themselves, or at least not expect their own government, those with the power to shape and legislate to pay any interest to the 99 per cent.

David Cameron's plans will fail, again and let's be honest, it is targeted at the lower classes. The middle classes don't have unruly children, do they. It's the working classes and the beloved Thatcherite underclass who will be indoctrinated into the Tory idea of what parenting looks like, which is to say your kids might need a psychiatric elevation after.