There once was a Family Carer
Whose cupboard got barer and barer
While well-to-do smarties
From all the main Parties
Decided it wasn’t their error
I’ve been an unpaid family carer for this entire millennium. In the last week alone I’ve communicated with people who have also been family carers for years (see some stories here. Contribute your own, too). Unpaid family carers for 7, 8, 12, 13, 15, 20 years. That’s for two, three different governments – and governments containing all three main parties. And for all that time each carer has had a very good idea what the state has been prepared to give them.
Do you know the number? If you need a clue, it is single, big, fat and very, very, VERY round.
And yet online there are an awful lot of people making capital out of our misery by misattributing blame. But not a lot of talk about how to get us back to work, with a proper occupational pension, and (no, not ‘respite break‘, thank you but) holiday entitlement, same as you have!
Don’t you see how wrong it is to collude with giving us no rights and then making us into objects of pity?
I say this again – there is not a single political party who sees family carers. Full stop. Shroudwaving about how our dreadful conditions are someone else’s fault is unattractive and improper and most of all, unhelpful. Sort it among yourselves eh? But recognise us for what we are, what we do and that we are held over a barrel by you because we are trapped by love and you have no desire to change this situation.
There are nearly 7 million of us carers. Over a million, full time. That’s some vote, isn’t it!