my daughters have grown into their late teens and into semi-autonomy and independence during the crisis,since say 2008.
my eldest daughter,given who she is and her interests and orientation was nearly always able to pick up employment during school holidays and evenings which paid above minimum wage and youth minimum wage.that was until 2011,when the depression in the economy meant that others more qualified,skilled and experienced took such employment-which under capitalism will always be marginal.
being younger and with different interests,my younger daughter has often engaged in equally constructive activity,but it does not pay.many poorer parents are unable to find the modest fees that enable our daughter to take part in a summer challenge(£35)or in the next few months weekend classes that might give her a feel,a taste of what she thinks she wants to train for(£80-90)
in turn my partner has gone from employment 3plus days a week to redundancy and early retirement,through a complex and protracted process.having become disabled over recent years,protective legislation applies,although it is not tough and protective enough.i went down to working 4 days pw.then i became very sick again.i remain unwell and whilst i await the process of seeking early medical retirement to take place,will in about a month cease to have any income at all.
at the time we had to supply detailed and specific deatils of income to inland revenue,we had difficulty doing so in the circumstances we described.in the end we were simply disconnected from tax credits we now need and are probably still eligible for.
at the same time we and my eldest daughter were applying for financial assistance for her further education at degree level.that was 4refused initially because they supplied the wrong forms for completion.a less motivated,educated,able,or confident family would have been blown completely off course.and they get labelled feral,or the undeserving poor.
because my youngest daughter is well,younger...she will face higher college fees.we will have less income.so we are compelled to look to places in the system and outside it we would not have sought before.
the education maintenance allowance/ema which helped students over the last several years stay at school and further education has been stopped,despite mass protests by such students and others during the last academic year.it is now to be replaced with something cheaper,administered via schools.my daughter has been advised by us and her teachers to apply,although no-one seems to know how it works.
what may well be worse is that schools will become privy to information that would previously been confidential-inland revenue is organised so that a persons tax affairs are dealt with in a different are to where that person lives.i live in greater london,my tax office is in wales.the new arrangements may be compromising as well as compromised.it could also lead intentionally or not,to prejudicial decisions eg.she was a difficult student,she comes from a difficult background-lets refuse the application(i am aware that schools can amass information about a child and its background but introducing new formal funding procedures do have negative implications)
it is now a few weeks into the term and we as a family face reduced income and unanswered questions to complex issues.i do not wish to criticise or caricature poor families,but it is more than worrying that cheaper procedures issueing lesser support will have a devastating impact on those already hopeless(without hope)and left increasingly helpless-whilst the politicians will go on chuntering about the deserving and undeserving poor and how they show their care in more clearly targeted programmes and people.
if any of them do care,and i have my doubts,that care is made less sympathetic and less real by hiding behind the state.especially when that state is less a welfare state that a warfare state,conducting not just foreign wars but war against increasing numbers of its own subjects(!)who in that warfare it labels as greedy,undeserving,irresponsible,greedy,feral
gnostics speak of societies that do not have love have law.in this kind of society,not only is there not enough love to go round,but the law we are left with is used as a weapon against us.
when we bring down capitalism,we need to bring down the state.marxs notion of the withering away of that state will no longer do.any residual role of protecting the community will have to be built from the bottom up and designed to serve a community built on self activity and creativity.anything less is not acceptable.
i hope those days come quickly and that i am able to play my full part in the creation of a better way,for i weep and rage at most of what i see around me,which simply will not do.
such love as i have beyond the close personal relationships that this society makes as if into crumbs,i want to make a better future...not for i,for i is not i,i is we,and we are not yet.but we are coming.