Last night's Channel 4 Dispatches was a jolting piece of unsentimental reporting about kids who are driven to live on the street by intolerable domestic circumstances or by adolescent revolt. It showed, pretty clearly, that the kids had made a bad situation for themselves - or a bad situation much worse - by their personal choices, even though in some cases those choices were conditioned by deep psychiatric problems
Despite being invited to do so, they bravely refused to claim the status of victims, prizing their autonomy above offers of help and shelter from the Welfare State apparat. Yet right at the end the programme makers threw in a line about "savage cuts" in the welfare budget that will make the kids' situation even more hopeless. There was no evidence given or even suggested to indicate that the money is currently being well spent.
That was followed by Coppers, an equally unsentimental piece of real life as seen by the police. I know in principle that they are social garbage collectors, but it was humbling to see how they preserve their sanity and even a modicum of cheerfulness when dealing with an endless procession of self-destructive human jetsam.