COMMENT: Westwell of Ely

Ely Standard columnist Rosemary Westwell.

Ely Standard columnist Rosemary Westwell. - Credit: Archant

Why are we treating the next generation so badly?

A mother of a teenager suffering from a mental illness (anorexia) recently was so incensed with her poor treatment that she wrote an open letter to the health secretary in protest.

Among the many problems listed was the way the teenager was shunted from pillar to post, at one stage having to travel 300 miles for treatment when, logically, her condition can only be properly cured if she is treated with understanding and respect but that seems impossible with so many cuts to services.

Her family is certainly not the only one to suffer from such diabolical treatment. I suspect our government has got the money to make proper provision, but it has spend it elsewhere, more than likely, on other more exciting projects that it thinks will get it votes.

Education, too, seems to be one of those factors that are thought ‘unimportant’ as our government keeps making cuts while at the same time sitting on its high horse demanding ‘improved’ education.

Whether it likes it or not, a good education costs money and common sense tells us that the money provided should be decided according to how many children are needing the education NOW – not at some abstract time in the future. Besides, you can only improve so much.

Perfection, I think we all agree, is impossible when you are dealing with our children as they grow up. The saying ‘he who never makes a mistake, never makes anything’ is true in this case, and if we want the next generation to grow up to be healthy, confident and capable, we need to stop judging them and making life more difficult by expecting them to survive on less. We need to consciously support our children as a first priority.

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Our government is too busy concocting bright ideas trying to avoid its responsibilities and devising complicated time-consuming and money-wasting processes for those who need the money to actually get it. It is time this stopped and our government focussed on providing what our children need, not on what it decides they can have.

If it wants evidence that our youngsters are worth our support, it only needs to look at the performance of our Under 17s football team that won the world cup recently.

Watching them play, I was impressed: they played as a team and not once did I see them pause and preen themselves for a short while before they kicked the ball, which I have seen so often with our adult money squandering soccer players.

The youngsters played hard and constantly, deserved to win and proved that with proper support our next generation could make us proud.