Published online by Cambridge University Press: 04 February 2022
Mark Lymbery starts his response to our lead article by noting that:
It would require a breathtaking combination of naivety and gullibility to deny the central point of Ferguson and Lavalette's argument: there is indeed a crisis in adult social care in the early years of the 21st century.
Each of our respondents has added flesh to our assertion and each has enriched the argument by making clear the depth of the crisis we now face. This is particularly powerful given the range of backgrounds each comes from.
The contributions by Claire Cairns and Brian Smith remind us that, whilst the precise details of adult social care practices differ across the different UK jurisdictions, the cuts are exposing a huge gap between the policy rhetoric and the reality as implemented through practice. The two Glasgow case studies provide detailed coverage of the impact of the cuts on social care budgets on the front-line and of their impact on workers, service users and carers. For these reasons alone, the contributions from both respondents will resonate with people across the UK – and, indeed, across much of the Eurozone where austerity measures are being implemented and front-line services being left exposed and underfunded.
As Smith declares, we need to oppose a logic which argues that ‘some people must get less, in order that others will get something’. This is a position which finds us all scrambling and fighting against each other for a few meagre crumbs, when the reality is that, even in these so-called austere times, the cake is big enough to feed all those in need: the Sunday Times Rich List for 2012 showed that, despite the crisis, the wealthiest 1,000 people in Britain have seen their wealth soar to record levels and now stands at a combined total of £414.260 billion (http://www.therichest.com/rich-list/nation/sunday-timesrich- list/).
Mark Lymbery adds important reflection and detail to our case. He starts with the moves towards community care in the late 1980s. His point that the rhetoric of the community care policy initiatives was able to gain wide support because it embodied an implicit critique of the existing paternalistic provision, often situated in large, depersonalised institutions, is well made.