Does government encourage a more neighbourly society ?

People will think this comment silly and possibly lacking in political punch, but I was struck today by something my wife told me about the mother and baby group that meets in our village.

Now having only lived here for about three years we do not have any "local" friends. I have lots of family who live just two miles away and we have lots of friends who live about three miles away, but locally we know very few people. So going to mother and baby group has been a good way for my wife to make some local friends who have children of a similar age. As a result of this my wife now knows people, we have both got to know new people and we feel more part of the community and more involved in what is going on.

So what's the problem ? Well the mother and baby group is only for mothers who have their "first" baby. Yes, if you are new to the area and are having another child, you are not welcome at mother and baby group.

I appreciate that the mother and baby group is put on by the health visitors and it is therefore an NHS thing, but why isn't it used as a way of involving all mothers (and fathers) and anyone who has a baby, not just a first.

If we were new to the area and we were having a second child the message would be "Don't come here expecting to make friends".

Sadly it is a case of non joined up thinking and is an example of how all governments seem to see the value of community.


Tristan said...

Its an example of the sort of thing big government 'progressives' want to start meddling with but end up making worse.

I've seen this with many things, successful charity and community based projects run well without government intervention but then government (usually, but not always, local) decides that it is synonymous with community and interferes and succeeds only in driving out people and causing community groups to fall apart.

In other instances, government hinders people trying to work as a community (but is all too eager to claim any success for themselves).

Community works best when government stays out of the way.

Norfolk Blogger said...

The problem is that you miss the point. This group already exists, but the way it is run excludes people. Surely allowing people with second children would do no harm ?

Also please tell me which coluntary "community" group would provide trained health visitors ?

Johnny Norfolk said...

If there is a need why dont the people start their own group, or have we reached that point where people cannot help themselves anymore. Why does it need any government involvment. We have all sorts of groups and organisations in my part of Norfolk that has nothing to do ( thank God ) with government.
The last one was the oil buying group where we find the best price for an oil order for up to 40 homes saves about 10%. It all started by someone writing to the parish mag.Have we lost the will to live?