It's worrying just how much children and young people already have, and are likely to take more of the brunt of austerity under this new government. One of the first things the coalition government did when they came to power in 2010 was to scrap the play policy for England, and this new government is even more ideologically opposed to a child's right to play. Through my research and experiences, I'm increasingly convinced that play deprivation is a major cause in many of the health and well being problems we're facing today. As Brian Sutton-Smith is commonly quoted by playworkers: 'The opposite of play is not work, it is depression'. This lack of play is a mixture of reductions in time and space for play, and attitudes towards it.
The definition of a decadent society is one that destroys its own future, knowing full well the terrible consequences. On that basis, Britain is truly degenerate. Just look at how it trashes its children and teenagers. Our young are the very people on whom the rest of us will one day come to depend – to care for us, and to earn the country’s income. Rather than mere lifestyle accessories, to be slotted in alongside handbags and cars, they represent our best hope...Yet in austerity Britain, children have been chucked to the bottom of the pile. They have been robbed of their rightful benefits. And the support they could once draw upon – everything from Sure Start centres to youth clubs to mental-health workers – has been hacked back.