Saturday 1389 – 14.12.2013
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A pretty normal day today, or so it seemed. After lunch I took myself off to one of the Big Four supermarkets or was it one of the Big Six? Anyway whichever it was I was there to buy a couple of last-minute prezzies for my daughter’s birthday tomorrow.
At the main door were some people from our local, and newly opened, Food bank. They were asking everyone to buy an extra non-perishable food item and donate to the food bank.
For those of you in other countries, who don’t know what I’m talking about, a food bank is something set up to provide a few days of basic food supplies to those in crisis who cannot afford to buy food.
You can’t just walk in and get food there is usually a voucher system and referrals are often made from other agencies; social workers, Gp’s, police, housing etc. They are springing up all over the UK, run by a variety of usually voluntary organisations, as the government changes benefit rules and plunges more and more people into poverty.
(See the graph above to give you an idea of how the use of food banks has increased )
Did you know that over half of the people living in poverty in the UK are actually in work not living off benefits as many believe ? !
That the use of food banks is even necessary in 2013, in what is said to be the 7th richest country in the world, is a scandal of monumental proportions.
To go back to my shopping – When I went to the checkout my heart sank as I saw lots of children, aged around 13-14 , dressed in grey uniforms. I recognised them as Royal Air Force Air Cadets who were helping people to pack their shopping. The idea being that they help with packing your shopping and you donate a little something to their organisation.
Now I am a pacifist so to see children dressed in such uniforms made me feel sick because I believe organisations like the Cadets are used to encourage children to do as they are told, to conform and be “model citizens” . In other words to obey and not question authority. If you teach children this when they are young I believe there is a good chance they will be compliant as adults and afraid to question or rebel against authority even when it is unjust.
The cadets website sells it like this
“Are you up for fun, adventure, incredible experiences and making new friends? Are you looking for something to give you the edge in life? ”
You can even learn to fly. Oh yes and to shoot too ,as well as parade and drill.
(“you’ll have the opportunity to try your hand at military skills and drills. That means rifle shooting and field craft.” (…) ” Activities such as small and full bore target shooting, flying and gliding are paid for from the budget of the Royal Air Force.”
In fact everything you need to prepare you for a life in the armed forces. Needless to say the Cadets website has links to RAF reserves and another link to RAF careers.
Lets go back to the shopping – The irony of having Food bank collections alongside Airforce Cadets in the supermarket was not lost on me; collecting for the poor alongside collecting for an organisation where children are being effectively groomed for more war.
Is this what we should be doing with our young people? I certainly don’t believe it is.
Ask yourself this question – Why do we now seem to live in a society where the poor are getting poorer and yet we can still afford to spend so much money on waging or preparing to wage war ? In 2012 it was estimated that the UK government spent 44.3 billion on the armed forces (taken from a range of government figures) with only 34.9 on education and 61.3 on welfare ( about 9% of this figure on unemployment and over 30% on children and families)
Something just isn’t right is it?
As ever I welcome your thoughts.
Saturday girl signing off.
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