Tag Archives: parent

Rashford strikes again – belittling ignorant Tory MP over ‘feeding children’ tweet

Marcus Rashford: he is campaigning to end food poverty and the Tory government has said it will listen to his recommendations. But one Tory MP seems to be shooting wild.

Footballer and food poverty campaigner Marcus Rashford scored against Kevin Hollinrake after the Tory MP shot his mouth off about parental responsibility to feed children.

Hollinrake responded to a tweet from a member of the public asking why it was necessary for Marcus Rashford to make a stand for hungry children in society.

This person asked: Isn’t that the job of our MPs?

Hollinrake responded: “Where they can, it’s a parents job to feed their children.”

But Rashford had noticed the exchange and responded to it – politely, but firmly:

“I would urge you to talk to families before tweeting. To this day I haven’t met one parent who hasn’t wanted or felt the responsibility to feed their children…”

To This Writer’s way of thinking, he was too easy on the Tory twit.

The point is that, in many cases, it is Tory policy that has made it impossible for parents to feed their children; they have cut real-terms wages and benefits to the point where it is impossible to afford the rent, other bills, and food as well.

Hollinrake should have known that, but chose to express his ignorance instead.

The amazing thing is that the people of Thirsk and Malton thought he was fit to represent them.

But from now on – at least – he is a marked man.

Source: Marcus Rashford slams Tory MP for ‘feeding children’ tweet – Mirror Online

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Tory u-turn on primary schools is right – shame on those who supported early return

Social distancing? If this shot was taken after primary classes returned from lockdown, do you think these kids are at least two metres apart – or the teacher and child in the background?

The Tory government has shelved its plan to fully reopen primary schools before the summer holidays after admitting it is impractical.

Schools are unable to accommodate all their pupils while classes are limited to just 15 pupils – half normal size. Where would the other half go?

It would be impossible to police all the pupils, ensuring that social distancing rules were followed. Have you ever had to spend all day reminding a five-year-old not to do something they really want to do?

And then there’s the fact that pupils simply aren’t turning up. When schools reopened 10 days ago, predictions were that only half of Reception/Year 1 and Year 6 pupils would attend, with parents keeping the rest away due to fears of Covid-19 contagion.

In fact, only half of the predicted numbers actually turned up – a quarter of the expected intake.

And still social distancing rules aren’t being followed, if the image accompanying the BBC’s report (a version of which appears above) is indicative.

Most disappointing for This Writer has been the response of the Labour Party to the school reopening plan. Instead of standing up for parents and children across the UK, Red Tory Keir Starmer supported Gavin Williamson and Boris Johnson.

No amount of backtracking by Rebecca Long-Bailey can change that.

Labour should have listened to parents, teachers, and the education unions – all of whom spent weeks warning that the plan was nonsense – but didn’t.

I like the comment by ‘Molly’ in the BBC article: “”Until it is safe for Parliament to sit next to each other and until it’s ‘safe’ to cuddle your own blood mother, then how is it deemed safe to mix your children with numerous other households?”

It is a shambles that the Tory government owns – we must not forget that.

But Labour has lost a lot of confidence by supporting it.

Source: Coronavirus: All primary pupils no longer going back to school – BBC News

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Civil disobedience: would parents be irresponsible to send their children back to school now?

Closed: schools in England should stay that way because the Tory government cannot guarantee that they are safe – and parents will be legally responsible if their children catch Covid-19 while following the government’s demand that they attend.

If English parents send their children back to school on Monday (June 1), they will carry responsibility if their child catches Covid-19 as a result.

It seems the Tory government isn’t telling anybody about that part of the law on parental responsibility.

This Writer is grateful to one such parent, who writes:

You have a legal obligation to not send your child anywhere you believe to be unsafe.

If you suspect your child is going to be harmed and you send them anyway and they get harmed, you are legally liable.

You cannot be made non-liable either, not while you have parental responsibility and they can’t penalise you for fulfilling a legal obligation.

So the law seems clear, in the time of the Covid-19 pandemic:

There is no guarantee that children will be safe from catching this potentially deadly disease at school.

If they catch it, then it doesn’t matter whether they show symptoms or not – they will still be vulnerable to the variant of Kawasaki disease that has proved fatal in several cases both in the UK and around the world.

Parents have a responsibility to keep children away from places where they may be endangered – and these places currently include schools.

If the child catches Covid-19, or contracts the Kawasaki variant, at school then the parent will be legally responsible for it – not the Tory government that demanded that the child must go back to school.

So the law tells us that parents must keep their children away from school, no matter what the government says.

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Tories will cut teachers’ pay if they don’t go back to school when they’re told to

This is typical Tory: if people refuse to do the damn stupid thing they want, they threaten to take things away from us.

In this case, it seems Oliver Dowden – he’s the Tories’ current unCultured Secretary – wants to take their pay away from teachers if they don’t reopen schools on June 1.

Here‘s the Mirror:

The row over schools is escalating after a top Tory refused to rule out punishing teachers or councils who keep classrooms shut.

Oliver Dowden was grilled repeatedly today on whether teachers, heads or council leaders will be “penalised” for defying advice to open from June 1.

“It’s in the children interests to get them back to school and I hope we can address the concerns they have. Of course there are legitimate concerns and we’re looking to address those.”

Asked if it would be “acceptable to you” for teachers who refuse to go back to receive full pay, Mr Dowden added: “Er, no.”

Schools are being told to halve classes into 15-strong groups that have no contact with the rest of the school to limit infection.

Toys will be removed, break times staggered, corridors made one-way, full assemblies scrapped and pick-up and drop-off times altered.

How can it be in any child’s interest to be put into an environment where they may catch Covid-19 and pass it on to teachers, their friends and their parents – all of whom will pass it on to their respective social circles?

In France, 70 cases sprang up almost immediately after just one-third of that country’s schools were reopened, and 50 schools were closed again – according to the most recent reports This Writer has seen.

And that country was in a better position than the UK, too.

So we have to ask: are the Tories trying to reopen schools because they have children’s best interests at heart? The loss of a term’s work won’t affect them a jot.

Or are the Tories simply trying to force parents back to work – to get the economy ticking over again? If so, don’t they realise that they’ll only kick-start a second wave of Covid-19 deaths?

Or – worse – do the Tories want thousands upon thousands of UK citizens to die? That’s how it looks at the moment!

Source: Top Tory refuses to rule out ‘penalising’ teachers or councils who keep schools shut – Mirror Online

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Coronavirus-prompted policy change means single parents are losing child maintenance cash

How will they cope: the DWP’s decision to accept claimed losses of income at face value means single parents are losing maintenance payments that feed them and their children.

The Department for Work and Pensions is stripping thousands of single parents of child maintenance payments – on the basis of word-of-mouth.

Its Child Maintenance Service is allowing non-resident parents to stop or reduce the amount they pay towards the upkeep of their child, without any investigation or appeal.

In many cases, the parent only discovered their payments had been altered after the full amount failed to arrive in their bank account.

Single parent charity Gingerbread is now calling for the CMS at least to write to single parents, advising them of any changes to their payments.

The DWP has admitted it is accepting verbal evidence of reduction of income – without checking – but will revert to the previous standards when the crisis is over.

This means smaller payments for many struggling families in the interim. How can the government pretend this is fair?

Since the end of March, single parent charity Gingerbread has experienced a sharp rise in calls from parents over missing – or reduced – payments.

And it’s having devastating effects on single parent families – almost half of whom are already in poverty.

“The main issue is that the CMS is accepting verbal evidence over the phone,” explained Joe Richardson, Policy and Research Officer for Gingerbread.

“They’ll take the paying parent at face value, so they can reduce or stop the payment with no verification required. The system is quite simply to ring up and stop paying.”

Source: Single parents losing out on hundreds in child maintenance payments due to coronavirus – Mirror Online

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You can believe the Jamaica deportations are questionable after this Home Office boob

Computer says no: the Home Offices systems can’t be trusted – but the Tories happily uses them to deport people.

How can we accept the justice in Home Office deportation decision when civil servants asked a 101-year-old man to get his parents to confirm his identity?

People like Boris Johnson claim the information used by the Home Office to deport 17 people to Jamaica was accurate, but consider this:

Giovanni Palmieri is 101 years old, and Italian. He has lived in the UK since 1966 and applied for settled status in advance of the UK’s departure from the European Union.

But in a classic Little Britain-esque ‘Computer says no’ moment, the Home Office app into which he scanned his passport in order to send his biometric data to the Home Office misunderstood his date of birth.

It interpreted it as being 2019, rather than 1919 – and demanded that his parents must confirm his identity. That would have been a bit tricky!

The Home Office has claimed that other people aged over 100 have successfully used the app – but doesn’t that indicate that other Home Office decisions are also ripe to be queried?

This brings us back to the Jamaica deportation.

How can we be sure of the Home Office’s justification for the removal of those individuals, if its systems cannot even tell that a man is 101, not one?

I am reminded of a time a few years ago when people going through checks on their suitability to work with children, or in security, or other restricted-eligibility jobs were refused because the government’s system showed them as guilty of crimes.

This came as a jarring shock to them – as far as they knew, their records were spotless.

Of course it was another glitch in the system.

But Tories like Boris Johnson are happy to quote such information in order to support the removal of foreign-born people from the UK.

What does it prove? That these individuals had committed crimes? Or that the Tories are racists?

Source: Home Office asks 101-year-old Italian man to get his parents to confirm his identity – Mirror Online

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Working parents are starving for a week at a time because they aren’t paid enough to feed their children

Food bank: Parents who have jobs are being forced to request food packages because their greedy employers don’t pay them enough.

It breaks This Writer’s heart to learn about the suffering of parents in my home town of Bristol, although I’m sure many other towns and cities in the UK are going through the same.

The Bristol Post is reporting that parents in that city have gone without food for up to a week at a time, faced with the agonising choice of either feeding themselves or their kids.

Some of these people could be friends or relatives of mine – or be related to people I know.

They have been arriving at food banks – dizzy due to lack of food and so desperate for nutrition that they won’t wait to get home with food packages, but will eat them on the spot.

Now here’s the real kick in the teeth: Most of these parents are in work but due to the spiralling cost of living, they can’t keep up with their bills.

Families whose children are normally offered school meals struggle during the holidays, especially as they have to finance heating costs.

Apparently this means the number of people visiting north Bristol’s food banks alone can triple.

I write this on the day after the pay of the UK’s top earners passed the amount that most people earn in an entire year.

Top bosses take home 133 times the average wage.

Is it any wonder the people who actually create the profits these “fat cats” guzzle are suffering?

They are starving in order to subsidise a rich person’s greed.

EXTRA: This is self-explanatory, I think – and the result of Conservative neoliberal policies that tell you the wealth of the obscenely rich will “trickle down” to the rest of us.

It doesn’t. The greed of rich employers knows no bounds. Given the opportunity to keep the money that comes to them, that’s what they have done.

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Tory treatment of migrant families exposes the racism they are trying to hide

A mother and son from El Salvador reunited after being held separately in the US.

The Tories are exposed yet again – this time over their continuing ‘hostile environment’ to immigrants policy.

It links several threads of racism in the Conservative Party: Not only does it show that the legacy of the Windrush Scandal is no change in policy – exactly as This Site stated immediately after the scandal broke – but it reminds us that racism is institutionalised among the Tories, as we see with Boris Johnson’s recent comments about burqa-wearing Muslim women.

We are left with information that should be devastating to Conservative Party support – that they are still deporting people; that they are hushing up unlawful detention cases with the kind of ‘gagging’ orders that Sajid Javid denies using on Windrush-related compensation issues; and that they are hiding the facts about the number of times they have separated children from their parents.

Oh, and Theresa May is a hypocrite for criticising Donald Trump’s “separation” policy. But we’ve seen her hypocrisy so many times before, it is hardly worth noticing here.

The worst aspect of this is that the Tories are likely to gain support because of this. They have used their puppets in the press to whip up racism among the general public, as can be seen by the reaction to Mr Johnson’s recent comments.

When Kisi Assan dropped off her two-year-old daughter at nursery, it was the first time they had been separated since the child’s birth. Following a summons from the Home Office, she then set off to attend a meeting at a nearby immigration reporting Assan [not her real name] had no idea that it was part of a plan to deport her at short notice to west Africa. Shortly after arriving at the centre, the 28-year-old was restrained by eight security officials, and transferred to a detention facility – without her child.

This practice is one of the toxic yet least-publicised elements of Theresa May’s “hostile environment”, introduced when she was home secretary. While Donald Trump’s policy of separating immigrant families has drawn international opprobrium, the practice continues largely unchallenged in the UK. Some say that when the prime minister recently described Trump’s scheme as “deeply disturbing” and “wrong”, she must have hoped her own approach would be overlooked.

Lawyers point out that UK unlawful detention cases are often settled out of court and silenced by confidentiality clauses. Inspired by the universal condemnation of Trump’s separation policy, parents with ongoing cases against the Home Office have spoken out about a system that, lawyers claim, fails to take a child’s welfare into account. “It is cruel and completely unnecessary,” said Janet Farrell of solicitors Bhatt Murphy.

Every year, hundreds of children are separated from a parent who is detained in a UK immigration centre – and numbers continue to rise. According to the charity Bail for Immigration Detainees (Bid), 322 children were separated from 167 parents in the 12 months to the end of July, an increase of 16% on the previous year. A proportion of the children involved will be in the sole care of the detained parent, and have to enter the care system. The Home Office does not keep records of the number of times it separates a child from a parent, a power it wields without apparent oversight.

Source: ‘I didn’t see my daughter for a month’: how UK splits migrant families | UK news | The Guardian

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As parents consider withdrawing primary school children from Sats exams, it’s time to ask: Are Tories bad for our mental health?

It seems the Conservatives have a ‘whole life’ attitude to mental illness – they want to create it in the young and worsen it as we get older.

How else are we to explain the concerns about school pupils’ mental health, due to the pressure being piled on them by the state-run system?

We can see that Tory employment policy seems intended to continue this pressure into the world of work, forcing school leavers into poorly-paid, stress-filled employment.

This, itself, is madness.

Pushing people until they crack is not a sign of a good system; it betrays one that is self-destructively exploitative.

Under this kind of system, more and more people will have to retire from work to seek medical help. Who will care for them? And who will be left to prop up the economy as it sags under the weight of the unwell.

Not the wealthy – we already know the vast majority of the rich are idle – especially those in government.

Parents across the country are preparing to withdraw their 10 and 11-year-olds from tests over concerns about their mental health.

Families are becoming increasingly worried about the number of practice papers and revision classes that Year 6 children face during the Easter holidays, The Independent understands.

Thousands of parents have downloaded a letter which sets out plans to stop their children from taking the Sats exams next month because of the “pressures of a high stakes testing system”.

It comes as teaching unions warned about the “damaging” impact of assessments in primary school.

Just last week, the National Education Union (NUT section) voted to explore ways of disrupting the pilots of the government’s new literacy and numeracy tests for four-year-olds.

Source: Thousands of parents consider withdrawing primary school children from Sats exams over mental health concerns | The Independent


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Sickening: Theresa May slashes benefits for children who have lost a parent and calls it ‘fair’

Do the Tories still think people are stupid enough to believe them when they lie that taking away the tax-funded benefits they need in order to subsidise the rich is “fair”?

Theresa May has used that line several times too often.

But I dare say she will continue to use it until we demonstrate to her what we consider to be fair.

That is, the removal of Mrs May and as many Conservatives as possible from Parliament, never again to blight our country with their deranged concept of ‘fairness’.

Besides…

We all know she’s lying. She doesn’t think it’s fair. She just wants the money for herself and the Tories.

Theresa May has defended the Tories’ latest round of cruel welfare cuts as “fair” to the thousands of families being hit.

Speaking on a trip to the Middle East, Mrs May said it was right to slash payments to bereaved children who have lost a parent.

A raft of welfare cuts are due to come into force this week including swingeing reduction in payments to many disabled people, and an end to extra child benefit payments to families which have a third child.

One of the most controversial cuts will see families lose bereavement payments 18 months after a parent has died.

Previously families would get money to support them until a child turned 18 years old.

Source: Theresa May defends slashing benefits for children who have lost a parent – Mirror Online


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