Education, not prisons, is the key to a healthy society

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Reading Richard Davies’ column last week, I was not at all surprised he felt the need to repeat the rhetoric of the Conservative-led government.

It is this kind of broad brush stroke politics which blames the unemployed, the people who need support from the welfare state for the unrest and claims that Britain has a “broken society”.

Unfortunately, none of what Coun Davies said stacks up when you look at the facts. For example, one of the first people to be charged with offences relating to the civil unrest was a 31 year old teacher - a full time employee, someone who claims no benefits and does not require any sort of welfare support.

The civil unrest has allowed Coun Davies and his Conservative colleagues to unleash their out-dated ideology where they can start to classify the poor as “undeserving” and “deserving” and restart their clamour to return to the “traditional family”.

Coun Davies now refers to the “deserving” poor who are defined as “people with good qualities and not to blame for being poor”. I would be interested in how Coun Davies would classify people in Grantham as “deserving” and “undeserving” and if that actually leads to any constructive solutions? He also seeks a return to the “traditional family”, which will be of interest to many people in Grantham.

Does he really think that by encouraging an idealistic view of a family unit will lead to an improved society? Also, does he feel that people who do not live in his rose-tinted view of family life are not capable of success? For every example that Coun Davies can come up with on how a “traditional family” can be beneficial, I can point to numerous examples of parents or children who have come from single parent families, who have grown up in care, who have been adopted or brought up by gay couples, been part of second or third generation welfare families, where they have made successes of themselves, provide a real contribution to society and provide a stable supportive environment for their children.

I would suggest that Coun Davies gets out into the real world (including areas in his own ward of Grantham North West). Instead of promoting a “less welfare, more prisons” fallacy, he will find out what people are capable of when they are provided education and support.