I'll tell you how you can protect my children's future!
First published July 20th, 2016
In Scotland the phrase ‘Bairns not bombs’ is often heard and seen. Overall Scotland voted against the renewal of Trident this week (nuclear submarines).
A staggering £205b is said to be earmarked for the building of new nuclear arms.
This is sad, very sad.
A lot is being said about how Trident is the way to ‘protect the children’s future’.
I don’t believe this to be true.
So let me tell you how you can protect my children’s future (should you wish to do so):
Invest in education
Instead of putting more and more pressure on teaching staff to complete more paperwork, to have children fulfil more ‘key stage whatever’ how about we place value on teaching all children, on teaching all abilities.
One way to do this would be to make sure children are not at a disadvantage depending on their postcode. All schools should be equal, offering the same level of teaching and opportunity to all.
Build more schools instead of closing them.
OK I know that as someone who knows nothing about education apart from having a child in primary education, I maybe asking what is impossible, but if billions of pounds can be found for nuclear arms then why not allocate some of that to the education budget?
Invest in our NHS
I mean really invest in what I believe and know to be a truly magnificent service if allowed to be what it was designed to be.
Stop privatising hospital services.
Praise doctors, nurses, midwives, junior doctors, consultants, dieticians, surgeons, the list goes on and on and on.
As a family, we have so much to be thankful for. Our two youngest received critical care at birth without which I don’t even want to begin to imagine what could have been. Our eldest was diagnosed at an early age with a chronic illness which if had it been left untreated would have led to serious health problems.
So please continue to invest in the NHS, give credit where it is due and trust those whose job it is to save lives to know what is best for this amazing institution.
Build more hospitals instead of closing them.
OK I know that as someone who knows nothing about the NHS apart from having received an excellent service from it for all of my children, I may be asking what is impossible, but if billions of pounds can be found for nuclear arms then why not allocate some of that to the NHS budget?
Invest in public services
Police, mental health and library services are just a few of the public services to have faced cuts in their budgets in recent years, often to detrimental effects.
I don’t get this! I just don’t, call me simple but to me a public service is something provided by the government for all – no matter what the background, postcode, financial status of that person is – to access directly. Yet the amount of times I hear of policemen/women being swamped by all they have to do as a lot of the back office staff have gone due to cuts.
The amount of times I hear of people having to wait weeks if not months for crucial referrals to mental health services.
Libraries up and down the country are being closed or are having to cut the hours and days that they are open for. In many communities, libraries provide a lifeline to those who cannot afford to have internet at home, libraries offer access to information from books, newspapers, recordings, Internet and so on that may otherwise not be reached by those who need it.
Build more police stations and more libraries instead of closing them.
OK I know that as someone who knows nothing about public services apart from regularly attending our library with our children, having a good relationship with our community police and having studied a bit about public services whilst studying for my degree, I may be asking what is impossible, but if billions of pounds can be found for nuclear arms then why not allocate some of that to public services?
Our children do not need to be growing up with hundreds of billions of pounds being spent on nuclear arms, they need pounds to be spent on things that matter, really matter, in shaping their hopes for the future, in protecting their future.
Let us speak words of love over our children, let us make sure that they know how valuable they are by investing in them today, not for what may or may not be tomorrow.
We cannot protect our children from what may be – this scares me a lot – this is the harsh reality of the world we are living in.
But we can make sure that our children are looked after in the best way we can as a country.
We can make sure that children have a school to go to within walking distance where they will receive great care and teaching, where they will be allowed to grow and be inspired to achieve whatever their passions are, no matter what their postcode is.
We can make sure that they have access to good health care when needed in their own community, no matter what their postcode is.
We can make sure that children are safe in their own communities, that they can have access to a library a short bus trip away, no matter what their postcode is.
These are some of the ways I believe we can protect our children’s future.