The Curmudgeon


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Doing One's Bit for the Poor Folk

Uncharitable and backsliding persons, including the Dickensian Home Office shadow Vernon Coaker, are accusing the Government of gimmickry, of all things, over a spiffing new plan to save some of the little folk from the scourge of idleness. The children and families minister, Tim Loughton, who evidently has too much time on his hands, has agreed to become a "family champion"; which is to say, he has signed up to a scheme whereby the middle classes can act as mentors to families which have suffered long-term employment and which are sufficiently clean and well-behaved to merit the privilege. The idea is for the middle classes to "introduce the families to their contacts, help them manage their household finances and guide them through the bureaucracy", in return for which the families presumably get to lend a helping hand in the scullery and pass around the canap├ęs when Eric Pickles comes to tea.

This is, it appears, so utterly spiffing an idea that the Government has not deemed it necessary to inform the Cabinet's middle classes of their privilege in taking on the rich man's burden. The Minister for Bed, Breakfast and Boot Camps, Chris Graybeing, has apparently been volunteered without the annoyance of being told. If the scheme takes off, perhaps the civilian members of the middle classes will be notified of their responsibilities by the sight of a Serco van full of strategically scrubbed non-rioters pulling up outside the front door.


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