Sat on a bench in the centre of York and a few feet away from me is a child singing, playing the guitar and blowing on a harmonica (not all at the same time). Next to him is an adult – maybe his father, maybe not. He is also playing the guitar and harmonising with the boy.
You could say that it is a cute scene, and the people who have stopped to listen and clap would probably agree. But I think it’s a short step from sending a child up a chimney to clean it.
Think about it – do you imagine that every penny, that the people listening are throwing into a hat, goes to the young kid? Maybe fifty percent? Perhaps the price of a lollipop? I reckon not even that. It’s child exploitation in its most cynical form.
But heck, what do I know. If I was half as good as this young man at singing and playing the guitar, I’d be there on the next corner crooning my heart out – even if I was only seven. Which I’m not.
Hmm – I wonder if I can record him from here?
Yes, I can – but I can’t add audio-media to a post unless I upgrade my WordPress plan; you learn something new every day. Guess I won’t be able to exploit this child after all.
C’mon son – come down from that chimney!