My youngest daughter has just started school in an ‘academy’. These came about shortly after the 2010 election ‘victory’ of the coalition Tory and LibDem government of the UK. The point of this policy is that money is taken from working class schools, and diverted to schools existing in already wealthy middle class areas. The poor or ‘ordinary’ people are punished and the rich are rewarded. This follows-on with tax-cuts for the rich, and the cutting of welfare and NHS treatment for the poor. As the majority of people are either poor or ordinary, these rightwing policies only favour the minority privileged members of UK society. Today, as part of its civic responsibility drive, my daughter’s school has asked that we contribute to a local food bank (run by the Christian church). Of course, we do not support this rightwing government, and neither are we Christians, but probably more disturbing is that the school does not acknowledge that the rightwing fiscal policy that created and continues to benefit it, is exactly the same rightwing fiscal policy that creates the shocking presence of food banks on our county’s streets in the first place. There is an inherent link between further privileging the rich and disempowering the poor to a greater degree. Instead of teaching the children to comply with and ‘normalise’ this fascistic policy, the school should be teaching them how to critically think and assess the situation. The unquestioning presence of food banks justifies rightwing policy, and allows the more or less pointless Christian church to re-start its old policy of dominating and persecuting the poor as it hands-out food. The best way to relieve poverty is not through the use of hypocritical bourgeois morality and sentimentalism, but rather by re-distributing wealth through a decent welfare system, backed-up and supported by social housing and a fully free and functioning NHS.
The School Letter:
On Monday 26th September (K) and Tuesday 27th September (M) the school will be holding its annual Harvest Festival.
As part of our role as good citizens, we want to get involved in a local community project so this year we are looking again to support Sutton Foodbank. Sutton Foodbank (linked to Trussell Trust) is run by churches in the London borough of Sutton and gives free emergency food to people in crisis. They continue to provide help and support until the appropriate agencies can step in.
Please would you support us by sending in any of the following items:
• tinned peas/carrots/tomatoes;
• tinned meat;
• dried milk;
• UHT milk;
• long life juice
• instant mash;
• 500g sugar;
• pasta sauce;
• tinned sponge puddings/fruit;
• tinned fish;
• instant coffee (small jars).
They ask that foods donated have at least three months before ‘best before’ date.
Some of the staff and school councillors will then deliver the goods to the Big Yellow storage area.
Harvest Festival donations should be brought into the school hall on Monday 26th September (K & M) or Tuesday 27th September (M) by the children as soon as they arrive at school in the morning.
I do hope that we can count on your customary generosity on this occasion.