One of my photos

49 Up

September 14th, 2005 · Posted by Skuds in Politics · No Comments · Politics

Today’s Guardian carried a piece about the programme ’49 Up’ showing on ITV tomorrow. 49 Up is the follow-up to the original 7 Up documentary and its 7-yearly visits to a group of people born in 1956 (if my maths is right)

One quote in there struck a chord as it fitted in well with yesterday’s rant I had about Sure Start.

We notice that it is the children who started out poor who now have health problems or whose parents died young. Of the working-class kids, none has sent a child to university.

And that is what Sure Start is all about – making a difference early enough to try and combat some of the gross inequalities further down the line.

It recognises that life is not a box of chocolates as Forrest Gump would have us believe: it is like a supertanker. It is not impossible to change course later on, but its a hell of a lot less effort and expense to point in the right direction in the first place.

Notice that even Granada documentary makers in the 1960s realized that the results of comparing progress throughout life are better for allowing more time to pass. If civil service bureaucrats driven by government targets had been in charge they would have made the second film after 7 months instead of 7 years and it would have been the most boring programme imaginable. (At the time. I have digital TV now.)

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