Is this an attempt by Croydon councillors to prove that “competition” and charity cannot adequately replace proper, co-ordinated social responsibility?
Inside Croydon‘s regular reader will recall how the group of Conservative councillors at the Town Hall had decided, somewhat crassly (but hey, what do you expect?) to turn the deprivations, poverty and need of those in the borough who are dependent on food banks into a competition. We published the internal email here.
Now, we have obtained a picture, taken from within the sanctuary of the members’ room at the Town Hall, that shows the end result of the collection.
Yep, that’s it.
Not exactly Children In Need, is it?
We are informed that there were no other trollies wheeled away, weighed down with other, more generous offerings. This is the entire sum and substance of the donations from Croydon’s 70 Conservative and Labour councillors.
This was what was donated in the days after Croydon’s Conservative councillors had willingly agreed to make our borough the guinea pig area for a new national policy that will see welfare and housing benefits further reduced. Irony, anyone?
The collection appears inadequate in so many ways. Let’s not even begin to consider the nutritional shortcomings offered by a party pack of McCoy’s crisps…
But as a firm example of how deeply flawed is the unrealistic notion that charity can ever properly take up the slack created by the removal of state-run services and support that are being withdrawn by Call Me Dave’s ConDem government, then this picture serves to illustrate the point rather well.
All in this together? Food banks are the soup kitchens of our age. Maybe the next step, once benefits are cut from the disabled, the homeless and the working poor, will be re-opening the work house.
Merry Christmas, Croydon.
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You may like to know that I have a particular interest in the Croydon work house that was in Queens Road, for the following reason:
My Dad, who died in 2010 aged 93, was put into the then Home for paupers children in about 1920.
His Father had fallen upon hard times due to a working accident (no social services then).
My Dad and his brother were taken into “care” when Dad was about 4 years old and he remained there until he was 15.
Dad could keep you up all night with his stories of the harsh treatment that those poor kids endured, beatings, bad food, thoroughly miserable conditions, etc.
Dad survived though, fought for his country during the war, worked hard all his life, bought up four kids with me being the eldest.
You may find the following web page of interest:
A piece of Croydon history that is worth remembering.
Not something you’d recommend a return to, though, eh, Terry?
Certainly not and I don’t think my dad would’ve either!
We must respond with a pragmatic plan.
I declared my war this Christmas but will fail on my own. Please help.
More details next week.