Wh-wh-wh-wh-it?! Every child in Scotland is to have a ‘specially appointed’ guardian…. …seriously? I cannot quite get my head around this fantasmagorical concept and what it will mean for family life as we know it. Who are we paying to think up this *!@$%&!!? I have images of all sorts spinning around in my head, ludicrous scenarios exploding like popcorn in my fevered imagination so forgive me if I rant or ramble.
SO, I thought that the parents were the first and foremost guardians of their child. It appears now that they need another guardian/ monitor/prefect/helper/spy…… I know and have known many wonderful, loving parents throughout my life – single parents, step parents included……who have managed in their own caring way to bring up their children to the best of their ability, no doubt making errors of judgement along the way…. as have we all…… could I just remind everyone at this point, how diverse families are, thus emphasising that there is no ultimate set of instructions on how to raise the perfect family (… apart from The Ten Commandments, of course. The only thing is, like all plans, they are absolutely wonderful – until people get involved!!)……. am I talking rubbish? (don’t answer that)………………….Oh, a thought has just occurred to me. I am still trying to adjust to the rash of household bins to be seen across the country – masking the frontages of many lovely homes….one, two, three, four (any advance on four?)…. ghastly, uncoordinated, plastic monstrosities that must make every housewife cringe at the sight…. I feel so sorry for these houses which have no where else to accommodate these bins and what I want to know is – do they now have to make space for yet another ‘receptacle’ – like a shed – no not a garden shed but a ‘Guardians’s Shed’? I am led to believe that each child will have their own named person, therefore in a home where there is more than one child would this mean multiple sheds or marquees or ‘eariwiggingwams’ ?…… Do said guardians have to bring ‘a piece’ or have the lesser guardians (parents) to feed them. Will they have a uniform /whistles, yellow/red card warnings, gold/silver stars, binoculars? Will there be a recruitment drive to find these role models, these paragons of virtue? Will this be a new college course – ‘Macrame your way to Guardianship of a Scottish Wean’ or an opportunity to achieve a university degree in people engineering?…. and who supervises the Guardian Angels? To whom are they accountable? I think we need a management structure here ….why this could be a whole new industry -TaTa Steel, Halo Guardians!….WHAT!!! YES, YES, YES -I am taking the proverbial – but has this been thought through? Why can’t we just do one thing really well….. couldn’t we please improve/ enhance the areas of social work, education and the NHS which are badly in need of the finance and expertise to do their very difficult work to the best of their ability?
Now, I am not a fool and I do realise that there are children who are extremely vulnerable and require care and protection. These innocents should always be society’s priority. Many parents, too, need support and guidance and this should be, in some instances, a compulsory measure. This, along with extended family, godparents, teachers, friends, neighbours, social work, clergy, police, should together form the safe and sound environment for the upbringing of the child/children. Notice, I said ‘should’. For sometimes it all goes horribly wrong, as we are well aware and the very people we trust most let us down very badly indeed. It has always been thus. We are more aware of it now. Has it then heightened our sense of responsibility to our young people or do we simply shrug and say ‘Oh, it’s a ‘different world we live in now’…….. It is a ‘different world’, yes, but we have helped to make it so…. we’ve ‘messed’ with order, balance, respect, discipline (and no I’m not talking about corporal punishment!) and we’ve embraced, unquestioningly, all the wonderful technological advances for ourselves…. and for our children…. and ‘lost’ a great deal in the process. We have become wary, cautious and suspicious about many things – as well as about people – especially those whom we trusted to look after us …in government, in the church, in the health service, in education, in the banks, in the food industry, in sport, in entertainment ………….. or maybe it’s just ME……. but I don’t think I’m alone, so please, politicians, stop faffing around looking for photo opportunities – this is not why you were elected. Maybe we should appoint a guardian for each of you……..