Evasion comes naturally – caring too, but we need to work at it
Who remembers the ‘Peanuts’ cartoons in which Lucy is forever snatching the football away just as the ever-trusting Charlie Brown is about to kick it?
Well, you know the green paper which, after two deferrals, the Government said it would publish in the autumn? That’s right; the one on social care funding? Well, it’s no longer clear which autumn the Government has in mind.
Speaking at Age UK’s Late Life conference last week, care services minister Caroline Dinenage, in a ministerial masterpiece of vague assurances and resolute non-committal, admitted there was “a chance that publication of the green paper would be further delayed’”.
“Publishing of the green paper is entirely our aspiration,” Caroline cooed, stressing that the document had an important place in creating a fair care system and was “high up on the Government’s agenda”. Then she pulled the keystone out of the edifice by saying that the green paper was one of many strands that would demonstrate the Government’s commitment but that sometimes, “unforeseen circumstances’ could cause delays. This person will go far.
But talking of aspirations, the policies of western liberal governments tend to be syntheses of the aspirations of wider society. As the only animal species (with the possible exception of elephants and whales) to put any significant resources into the care of frail elderly and other vulnerable individuals, I’m not sure that ‘care’ is as hard-wired within us as is say, defence, law and order or food security.
I fear that this primal prioritisation means that, no matter what the politicians mouth, social care will always have to battle to get something near a decent deal. And that’s a shame because, masters of our destiny as we are, we do have the potential to develop ever better societies and improving social care, which is a big part of what makes us human, is a key part of that process.
- The CT Blog is written in a personal capacity – comments and opinions expressed are not necessarily endorsed or supported by Caring Times.