I used to carry a knife. I was about fifteen. It was a nine inch, razor-sharp blade with a bone handle.
I carried it in a sheath I’d made myself. Hand-sewn leather. I was very proud of it. Mum and Dad bought it for me, for my birthday.
I used it for skinning rabbits, making tent pegs, cooking, carving, whittling and all the other stuff you do when you are a Boy Scout. It never occurred to me to stab anyone.
Life was very different then.
In later life, like my Dad, I always carried a pen-knife and latterly a SwissCard, in classic red; blade, scissors, pen, ruler, nail file and all the rest. Very handy.
Now, I don’t carry anything. Airport security put an end to that.
Life is very different now.
If you believe the papers, all the kids carry knives. They are easy to get hold of. Just take it out of the kitchen drawer.
Do your kids carry knives? Are you sure? Have you talked to them about it? Why they might?
As the fifteen year old lay bleeding to death on the park bench you might wonder if their parents knew they had a knife.
Life will be forever different for them.
The Prime Minister says the number of police on the beat has got nothing to do with the number of kids carrying knives.
Figures released by Channel 4’s Dispatches on Monday revealed there had been a 93% rise in hospital admissions for knife attacks on under-16s since 2012.
I’m guessing the PM would say, today’s news, about struggling ambulance response times, to events such as this, has got nothing to do with nearly ten years of NHS austerity-funding, no workforce-plan worth the name and a demand for emergency responses that has gone through the roof.
Perhaps the PM would also disagree that the huge demand on ambulance services has got nothing to do with the fact that broke local authorities have raise eligibility to the point where just on a million elderly people are no longer getting care…
… and are likely to end up in the back of an ambulance.
I think it unlikely that the PM would agree that choc-a-bloc A&Es have anything to do with the inability to get people home safely and is a direct result of social care not having the staff or the money to create care packages.
It is strange how none of the dysfunctions of the services that society leans on, in times of trouble, have anything to do with money, staffing or resources.
Somehow the collapse in response times, the security of our kids on the streets, the hospital services left high and dry… none of it is a resource issue…
The realities of life are very different… but not if you live behind the iron gates of Downing St.
Not if you travel 300yards to work in an armour plated Jaguar.
Not if you have the best medical care it is possible for a diabetic to have.
How you see life is all about where you see it from.
Do you see life through the windows of a tower block. Under the orange street lamps the dealers ply their trade. No fear of a passing policeman. They make their own laws with gangs, county-lines and knives.
Do you see life from a care home, fees cut to the bone.
Do you see life from your home, the only people left in your life are the ones who are paid to be there, fifteen minutes at a time.
Do you live your life, depending on food-banks?
You’ll be comforted to know that the Prime Minister knows;
“There are many complex reasons why people go to food banks… ”
There is nothing less complex than not knowing where to turn.
There is a disconnect between people and their politicians.
As its preoccupations overwhelm them, Parliament is detached, struggling for credibility. The relationship is only in the abstract.
There is no intersection between people living real lives and the people who’s job it is to make those lives safe, secure and dare I say, happy.
Life has become very different.
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Reproduced at TrainingPrimaryCare.com by kind permission of Roy Lilley.