Wednesday, 30 April 2014

What are parents responsible for?

The introduction of free school meals was instigated during the Second World War when times were really tough.  Following the war, while the country recovered from the ravages of war, the scheme was retained.  It now appears that the state needs to continue to feed our children while parents save their money for foreign holidays and other niceties. The latest plan in our primary schools is to provide free school meals for under 7 year old. Where does the responsibility of parents end and state take over?  I would have thought that a parents responsibility was to at least feed their offspring.  Now the state is expected to provide a meal for pupils in the middle of the day because the child may not get one at home. Some parents see this as a great opportunity to pass on their responsibilities to the state and get the rest of us to pay for it.  Schools are their to educate children. That includes social education as well as academic but it does not include teaching students how to eat with a knife and fork or what table manners are.  These should come from a home life that has families eating together and socialising together.  All we are doing is encouraging those lazy parents who shouldn't have had children in the first place to ignore their responsibilities and allow the rest of us to pick up the pieces.  Parents are quite capable of providing a packed lunch for their pupils and then providing a hot meal in the evening.  Yet again schools are expected to take on the role of loco parentis but without the backing of parents who see schools as cheap child minding facilities.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Snow shovelers needed

When are people going to accept responsibility their own communities.  This year is probably not the time to bring up one of my greatest gripes as we say goodbye to one of the mildest winters for many years.  When it snows it used to be expected that home owners cleared not only their own paths and drives to help postman (person) but also the pavement in front of their house.  Every year I make an effort to clear the pavement outside my own house to make it easier for people to get about.  All the people walking as I clear say "thankyou." I have written to the local press saying that instead of complaining that councils have not cleared areas, able bodied people should get of their lazy back sides and do the job for themselves and any elderly neighbours.  I hear the cry that "what happens if somebody slips and falls. I don't want to be sued."  Can I point out there has never been a case where a person has been sued for doing something that was done in the best interests of the majority.  There has never been a case where a judge has accepted a ruling of suing somebody for clearing their pavement of snow.  If they poured water on a path with the intention of it freezing so somebody would fall then that's another matter.  This is just an excuse by lazy members of the public who don't want to do anything for their own community and feel that councils have to do everything  for them.  Talk about a  Nanny State.  Maybe councils should eat and drink for us as well to save us all the effort.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

BBC going commercial

Recently there has been talk of the Royal Charter for the BBC being up for renegotiation.  In other words will we in the UK continue to pay a television licence so that we can receive BBC radio and TV programmes.  At the moment it's a criminal offence if you do not pay and then watch BBC broadcasts but with the move to other technologies it's very difficult to stop people watching programmes across other media sources such as the Internet and not just a TV aerial.  One suggestion is of course to make BBC programmes like other commercial stations and include advertising.  Noel Edmunds, a TV presenter and commercial guru, is even offering to buy the BBC and run it as a commercial company.  If the decision to introduce adverts goes ahead then I for one will bemoan the day.  Having experienced American TV while living out there I can tell you that commercial TV leads to a dumbing down of all broadcasts.  Advertisers are only interested in large viewing figures and for that reason the channels become swamped with quiz shows and talent contest.  The niche programmes do not bring in large budget advertisers so say goodbye to the fantastic Arts and History programming that we have got used to in the BBC.  PBS (Public Broadcast Service) which is a donation channel in the United States, is popular with certain elements of the USA and from my memories shows large numbers of BBC programmes but because of its low income cannot produce any original broadcasting of its own or if it does it not of a BBC standard. The BBC needs to remain a licence based organisation so we are not forced to accept that low grade TV and radio is what the population is forced to watch.  How do we improve the intelligence of our population if all they are offered to watch is pap like X Factor and The Cube  As usual the easiest and cheapest answer is to bring everything down to a lower level instead of trying to raise the bar and improve the quality of things for everyone.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Maria Miller and the press

Maria Miller, culture secretary in the government, is accused of mismanaging her political expenses.  She has made a bit of a hash of the apology and also seems to have a bit of an attitude problem however the matter is being dealt with through the correct channels and for the majority of people the matter has been resolved.  Oh no I hear the media complain. Not to their satisfaction.  I wonder why? What a coincidence that as Culture Secretary she is part of the committee making decisions on the Leveson enquiry which is looking in detail at the management of our newspapers.  Legislation could be introduced to clip the wings of the low life we call journalists.  You may be a bit of a plonker Maria for mishandling this whole matter but it doesn't justify the press in carrying out a witch hunt.  Come on Leveson report do your worst with those disgusting tabloid and broadsheet journalists who see themselves above the law and unable to report the facts correctly because it sells more newspapers.
Post script 9th April 2014
Well she has resigned another victory from our obsessive press.  I sometimes wonder if we live in a true democracy when people I cannot vote out make decisions on my behalf and affect the government of our country

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Railways wrongly accused

A recent accident at a railway crossing highlights the dilemma of businesses and companies when
people get emotionally involved in situations.  A young teenager was killed by a tram near Nottingham.  She was crossing crossing the tram line with some. Friends when a tram hit her.  The crossing is clearly signed and the tram was travelling at the signed speed.  Her friends, who were with her, have no idea how she came to step out in front of the tram and of case the driver was very shaken when the accident occurred.  The media and parents of the girl have made it quite clear that they think the tram company is to blame.  Other accidents happen on the railways at similar types of crossing is the argument.  The tram company have been forts to spend thousands of pounds on a pedestrian bridge because this girl did not take care when crossing a dangerous tram line.  When are people going to take responsibility for their own actions?  Is it the function of the media to stop all accidents?  What a fruitless task that is.  The parents of the child are of course upset and angry so being able to involve the media makes them feel better even though what is published gives little opportunity for the tram company to state what I have above.  They will be seen as heartless if they do.  When companies are obviously. Negligent I someway then by all means make this information public and bring the culprits to justice but I this case the tram company were accused of something that another persons negligence was responsible for.   You only have to see the number of videos showing people trying to cross railway lines in cars, on foot and on bicycles trying to beat the on coming train because they can't wait. Many near misses I can tell you.  People who do this make a conscious decision to do so which results in the rest of us being inconvenienced by unnecessary bridges and blocked access.  Let's accept that people make mistakes and in this case the young teenager made a mistake and paid for it with her life.  No one else to blame for this so media look beyond the story and give all parties a chance to reply without being caught out in a media trap.