The Kids Company Affair graphically illustrates the failure of Dickensian, charity-driven welfare.
Camila Batmanghelidjh never intended to run a charity, the point of Kids Company was that it provided a model for effective child welfare which the state should adopt. Much as the National Health Service was based on the model of the Tredegar Medical Aid Society.
Charity stinks of charity. If society creates destitute children, its taxpayers should be prepared to pick up the bill, as in civilised societies. Unfortunately, Britain is currently an irresponsible, sulky, childish, child-hating culture, with the motto ‘Stuff You Jack, I’m All Right’. This is merely the latest condemnation of the charity culture which now sees the obscene spectacle of organisations competing with each other, and spending vast amounts of money on advertising campaigns.
Kids Company ran on a shoestring. It was refused a reserve fund by successive governments. When the private funder who had promised to match the government’s £3M reneged in the wake of allegations os sexual abuse, it had no option but to close. The truth is that it has been shamelessly exploited by David Cameron to gain political credibility, but its logical conclusion, that Britain hates its young people, is too near the knuckle for this government especially, who are doing more than any to smother the lives of the young under a massive burden of debt.
It is surely now time for a National Youth Service, to guard the interests of the young from the property speculators and other Gradgrinds trying to domesticate them from birth.
There are a smattering of organisations now which understand the genuine needs of young minds and bodies, and which are fighting a losing battle against the rod-wielding gutter press, determined as ever that pain should always be available as a means of controlling youth. But they can never hope to succeed while they rely on random patronage, and for as long as their methods and ideas remain unmonitored and largely untested.