Failing our Children?
Despite the contretemps, I'm not sure the Unicef report publicised today about the well-being of the world's children really is much of a shock. We are well used, in the UK, to being told our society is more violent, less kind, and generally more deeply unpleasant than anyone else's. A quick read of the BBC report on the report (so to speak) reveals the usual array of outrage and shame, and calls for the government to do something. Quite what is left less well defined.
In fact, the answer is less to do with government action and more to do with the nature of families. That we are a two-nation society in terms of the existence of stable families is not in doubt (and no, this is not a crude 2-parent versus 1-parent analogy - 'stable' involves a range of factors not necessarily dependent on number of parents!). The report merely highlights how substantial is the 'non-family' nation. And if in doubt, just consider why Holland tops the league - fewer young mothers in work and better family life.