Monday, 20 May 2013

Day 20: What makes me angry

The prompt today was 'Talk about something that's in the news today', which was a bit of a red rag to a bull.  At the moment, I am struggling to keep up with the news because it is so relentlessly, soul-destroyingly terrible that it makes me so furious and sad, and I can't bring myself to spend my time feeling that way.

It's so easy, isn't it - in this lifestyle blogger-land - to pretend that everything is cakes and flowers and pretty shoes and happy times.  I like to keep my blog as a (mostly) positive space.  Although I will ocassionally admit to less-than-cheery feelings, I prefer to focus on the nice things I see, do and experience.  But there are times when it becomes hard to continue the pretence that everything is peachy.  When, instead of making my usual 'ooh, look at these lovely things that make me happy' lists, I want to rage because I am so fucking angry.

I am angry because recent figures show that, by the end of the Coalition's term of governemt, 1 in 3 children in the UK will be living in poverty.

I am angry that despite austerity measures having been proven to not be effective in easing recession, the Conservatives are using it as an excuse to pursue ideological policies which do real damage to people's lives.

I am angry because we live in a world where teenage rape victims, instead of being counselled and cared for, are bullied until they commit suicide.

I am angry that our government is determined to make benefits impossible to live on, while doing nothing to improve wages or job security.  Hey politicians!  It doesn't take a genius to work out that - while zero hours contracts proliferate and wages stagnate - people will continue to choose a life on benefits.  It also doesn't take a genius to work out that maybe the solution isn't to slash benefits, but to improve working conditions.

I am angry that my fellow teachers and I are continually attacked and belittled by Gove, Wilshaw and their ilk (people who have never spent a day in a classroom and, by the sound of some of their ideas, can't accept that they are in the 21st century rather than 1950).

I am angry that rape continues to be used as a weapon in conflict zones; that seemingly every other report from Egypt or Syria mentions violence against women.

I am angry that our children and teenagers are amongst the most-tested in the world.  That they are maligned by the government and the media while their lives are made ever-more difficult by the stress of an  education system which does not best serve their interests, but the interests of big businesses.

I am angry every time I open up a newspaper and read about yet another homophobic attack, and then turn on my television to see the same homophobia being espoused by MPs in Parliament in the name of 'family values'.

I am angry that there has been an increase in the picketing of abortion clinics in the UK by 'pro-lifers'... and that in countries close by, women are dying for want of legal abortion.

I am angry because there are still so many things I could add to this list.  I am angry that my anger is driving me into inarticularcy.  I am angry.


  1. I am also angry... that the school system is so outdated that I have to work out how to stimulate and care for my children for 7 weeks off over summer during which my patients suffer because I can't consistently be in work. why can't they have consistent smaller holidays all through the year its bonkers.

    1. Mmm, I don't think an education system arranged for the convenience of parents does the kids any favours. Rather it needs to take into account what the best possible learning environment is for children to flourish.

      There's no decent evidence that a 6 week summer break impacts negatively on pupils (in the US, where 2-3 months is the norm, it CAN have a negative impact), and plenty to suggest that children need time out of the classroom to develop family relationships, play, pursue outside interests... even be bored.

    2. when i had children, i did so in the knowledge that it was kind of MY job to "stimulate and care for them"! i agree with jb that the long summer holidays are a realy important part of childhood and growing up, i love spending that time with my kids (although yes i'm always ready for them to go back to school at the end of it!!)