"The UNICEF report on childhood in Britain, putting us bottom of 21 nations in terms of children's well being (a composite of poverty, health, safety, education, family, risk behaviour and happiness), is grim reading."
Splendidly he concludes:
"Finally, (really finally), if anyone knows some good marriage preparation/parenting course material, please send in a comment. One of the best practical responses we can make as a local church is to provide decent marriage prep and parenting support. "
Would that several thousand more Ministers decide to issue the same invitation!
Let's hope the UNICEF report also prompts some responses to the poll at this blog. Surely we should be trying to measure our progress - or lack of it - in this vital area, not just nationally but by school and neighbourhood?
But measuring changes in social and domestic cohesion is not on the political agenda in the UK. I followed a link from:
"We are sorry. The page you are looking for cannot be found. It might have been removed, had its name changed, or may be temporarily unavailable.
Click on this link to return to the http://www2.blogger.com/www.number-10.gov.uk home page.
If you followed a link from this site to get here, please contact the Number 10 Webteam: firstname.lastname@example.org "
I followed the instructions [2/2/07] , copied the ONS [Office for National Statistics] and received this response today from the ONS:
"I just wanted to check that you got a satisfactory response on this from No.10"
Alas, I had to reply:
"Not a squeak"
It's a great pity, because if 'social capital' and 'social and domestic cohesion' were being measured with neighbourhod indices - like 7 of the 8 indicators of deprivation [see other posts with 'neighbourhood statistics' labels] described by the Social Exclusion Unit - and if the figures had improved in the last couple of years, the government's claim that the UNICEF figures are out of date would hold some water. As it is, especially with the apparent disappearance of the 'social capital project' altogether, who knows what to believe? It certainly looks as if HMG is keen to suppress any statistics that could be used for an evaluation by neighbourhood of the effects of family breakdown.
It is also surprising that the Opposition have not been demanding the publication of relevant figures, since their sudden conversion to the idea of 'family friendly' policies.
The fable of the [New Labour] grasshopper and the [Compassionate Conservative] squirrel is instructive.