Tuesday, May 05, 2015


The General Election. 

I'm not political but I'll vote. 

I'm indecisive too. In meetings, when there are general discussions, I find myself agreeing with whoever was the last person to speak.

I'll vote according to being a foster carer as much as anything else. I used to vote mainly as a parent, so education was important. But as a couple we also cared about what sort of world we wanted our children to grow up in.

So which party to put a cross next to?

Fostering work is in the public sector.  It's in the same boat as the NHS. Most people don't think it's as important, but I believe that at some point in the future fostering and mental health will get the budget they need, and be looked after within the good old NHS. Fostering is a preventative and a cure. 
If it was as simple as that I'd vote Labour without a second thought.

But my fostering agency, Blue Sky, is a private company. From the outside it's a bit like a BUPA or a private bus company. So privatisation must be the way to get things done. So it's Tory then?

Looked-after children need honesty and the truth. The child psychologist at Blue Sky once said to me, when I told him that I'd told a poor little foster child who was missing her mother that I was sure her mother loved her, that I was wrong to say that because the truth was that I didn't know that was true and that you should always tell the exact truth.

Blimey. Nigel Farage comes across as the one who tells truths more than the others.

The Greens want to build half a million social houses, if I heard right. That would be brilliant.

For some reason I'd be tempted to vote SNP or the Welsh lot, but they aren't putting anyone up round here.

Each side bangs on about their usuals.

The media has got obsessed with the question of which party will side with which once we get a hung parliament, with every party doing gymnastics to rule anything in or out. 

Plus, I've been around the block long enough to know that your own life is something for you to make the right vote about every minute of every day. The laws that come out of Westminster are just one of many factors in deciding how to live a good life.

If welfare is hit and the public sector cut, that will hurt fostering. It will hurt social workers who are stretched already. It will mean more children don't get the help they should. It will make fostering harder.

So that's a big one for me. 

Which party will be the safest in charge of fostering?

Although they would all say, if they were asked the question, that they are each the "natural party of fostering", I think I know which party's heart is most in it, so they will do for me.

Couple of other things, if the politicians want us to take more interest in politics why not hold the election on a Saturday when more people find it easier to get to the polling station and to stay up late and enjoy the shenanigans?

And. It's a pity the men - politicans and interviewers - all get so confrontational and hostile. They try to excuse themselves that it's because elecions are so 'crucial', and that it's 'passion' not anger and fear showing through. 


They are mostly closetted types with easy incomes and steady lives, they'll all be alright for a bite and a bed. 

Foster children have often been rescued from lives where the stakes were much higher than a white-collar career opportunity, and the anger and hositilty around them often spilled over into all sorts of mental and physical violence.

The low level listening skills,abscence of mitigations such as acknowedging the other person has a point, or is speaking a truth; these characteristics make general elecion debates no different from the average domestic.

I will vote, but I always think to myself on my way in "Maybe I shouldn't, it only encourages them to think I approve of them"


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