The Tory media would have us believe that this once loved charity had, in the last year or two, descended into a hotbed of financial misdeeds and sexual depravity. The evidence for such wrongdoings is patchy to say the least. Hard evidence, it seems, is non-existent. But there have indeed been crimes committed in and around Kids Company, and they are crimes so horrific that a public enquiry should be set up without delay and mass protests should be organised to name and to shame those responsible. These crimes do indeed involve financial wrong-doings and abuse of all types. And worse still, they include violent criminality of every conceivable description up to and including the premature deaths of young people. The crime I speak of is none other than the crime of poverty and neglect and it is endemic in our communities. And like all crimes, there are victims and there are perpetrators.

Crime number one is the unilateral decision to withhold Government funds from Kids Company and thereby force its complete shut-down. Whatever financial and other administrative failings there may or may not have been, to withhold government grants is a spiteful act that harms some of the most vulnerable children in the capital at the very moment when they were finally receiving some much needed support and TLC. If it can be shown that the financial and administrative structures were lacking then simply send in a team of administrators to get things sorted out. The vast majority of essential day to day work being carried out by the dedicated paid employees and volunteers need not be disturbed - work which is far beyond the capabilities of even the best funded and best run local authorities. And critically, the tentative bonds being established with marginalised and disaffected children need not be broken. The shattering of those tentative bonds, often in the absence of any family care, is without doubt, a criminal act. The perpetrators must be forced into accountability.

Crime number two is the systematic and calculated government policy of depriving local authorities of the funds to adequately deal with the shocking levels of deprivation in their boroughs. Every cut that a local authority is forced to make is certain to have repercussions for social care somewhere down the line. And the most harmful of all government policies is that of housing. Fail to produce enough affordable housing and you are guaranteed to create a vast pool of family dis-function. Selling off council housing without replenishing the stock is a short-sighted policy that is certain to further blight low-income inner-city communities. An affordable home is a human right and that in twenty first century Britain, this human right is denied to millions of families is simply outrageous. Successive governments have truly been criminally negligent in this respect. 

The third and most heinous of crimes is that of allowing poverty to exist in the midst of obscene wealth. We see it as a regular feature of many developing nations where extremes of wealth and poverty live side by side. Brazilian, Indian and South African cities immediately come to mind. Now London is firmly in this league. Alongside the gleaming towers in the City of London and Canary Wharf sit some of the most deprived boroughs in Europe. These vast pools of economic and social deprivation are precisely the territory that Kids Company so competently works. Their doors were always open as were their minds. Kids were not judged and neither were they forced to jump through administrative hoops. They were helped and cared for and loved. Three simple words; help, care and love. To eradicate these from our most needy of children is a crime plain and simple. Someone is going to have to pay for this crime and I hope the reckoning comes soon.

End JPK Copyright 26/8/15

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Last Updated ( Sunday, 20 May 2018 17:27 )