The current fashionable contention is that the poor of the United Kingdom are entirely incompetent to feed their own children. A more robust society might start to conclude that perhaps said poor shouldn’t be trying to take care of said children but that’s not going to fly currently.
Henry Dimbleby, co-founder of the Leon restaurant chain and the government’s adviser on food strategy, has sent Downing Street a four-point plan to tackle child hunger and urged ministers to “set aside ideology”.
The proposals include a holiday activity and food programme costing £500 million a year, a £100 million healthy food voucher scheme and a £670 million extension of the free school meals programme.
So, the idea is that we should have all those school buildings open all year ’round then. The canteens and kitchens must be open, the heating on. The janitors must clean the place, the lights be on.
There even need to be people around to ensure that the ickle ones have something to do. OK, if that’s the plan then we’ve only one step further to go.
Bring the teachers back and teach the blighters – the kids, not the teachers. We are, after all, already paying all the overheads so why not add back in the last variable, that labour force, and get on with it.
Who, at present, is going to argue that the kids learn too much at school these days?
Everyone does already get the gap between Christmas and New Year off, then every pupil – and teacher – can have 4 weeks holiday to take at any convenient time in discussion with their managers. For the kids their parents, for the teachers their bosses.
The entire idea of having those long breaks only being a holdover from when we had an agricultural economy. You know, the kids had to go gleaning grain after the harvest and all that. We can even prove this is so – the school year starts at different times in different places, usually earlier the further north we go to accord with earlier harvest times.
We also solve one of the country’s more pernicious problems, the incessant whining about how travel prices go up in the school holidays just when everyone wants to travel. If there aren’t any school holidays the Mail will have to find some other piece to repeat 6 times a year.