Breach of trust, but no surprise about Irish childcare

Just watched the “Breach of Trust” program made about Irish childcare facilities by the RTE investigations unit, and the one question that kept coming back to me was – why are we surprised?

RTE PrimeTime Breach of Trust 28.05.2013 by dm_51a5d3b020346

This is Ireland, where since the foundation of the state we have betrayed our children.

For many years, we turned a blind eye as they were raped by generation after generation of priests and religious figures, but no-one intervened.

In our schools, we let some of the same psychppaths beat the hell out of them every day as they attempted to impart their “wisdom” through fear and violence.

For those we abandoned most, we left them to grow up in places like Artane and the Magdalene laundries, where the violence and the abuse didn’t end with the school bell; instead, it went on for years and years, damaging generation after generation of people – men and women – beyond repair.

And even when, as a nouveau-riche nation built on borrowed money and a property bubble, we could afford childcare, we paid over hundreds and thousands of euros a month to the profiteers, private enterprises who, as the program shows, had more interest in making money than the wellbeing of our children.

Where did we go wrong?

Well, we believed that we could serve two masters – that we could have the absolute best of care for our children, and still let the good people running the show make a profit.

The two may not be mutually exclusive, but they’re as near as dammit.

As with many other areas of our laissez-faire lifestyle, what little regulation there is is laughable, such as the stipulation that only 50% of those looking after your children need to be qualified.

Would we accept that in the healthcare sector? Education? Transport? The building industry? No, and for a very good reason.

This is but the latest in a long line of wake-up calls in Ireland, but depressingly, little will happen, as usual. The most-often used phrase on this blog is “we don’t do accountability” but I’ll copy/paste it again here.

The bank bailout means that we can’t change things, even if we want to – and even if we did, we are too enamoured by our love of the chimera of “freedom” and “choice” that the free market promises us as it dips into our wallets and neglects our offspring.

I couldn’t help but noticing that at the top of the list of countries for childcare were Finland and Sweden, and I may as well draw a line under this article here and now.

That we know this to be the case – and that we have known it for a very long time – yet still we refuse to do anything about it says it all about how we run our affairs.

In fact, our social protection minster Joan Burton was here not long after I did a TV show with ITV on how the Scandinavian model works – but doubtless like her gin on the flight home, whatever proposals she brought home with her will surely be watered down by the time she gets to Dublin.

Watch the video above, but before we point the fingers at the hapless, hopeless people working in these facilities, we need to look at ourselves and realise that we can either have it all for ourselves, or for our children.

Not both.