Tag Archives: parents

#ToryTrustDeficit: are they sending kids to school so parents catch Covid at the gates?

Gavin Williamson: he’s at it again – telling us he has the best interests of our children at heart, while his demands may actually cause serious problems.

Yet again, the Tories fail us with their pronouncements on Covid-19.

Here‘s Gavin Williamson – whose credibility is already shot to ribbons after the ‘A’ level and GCSE algorithm fiasco – saying parents in England who do not send their children back to school risk putting a “huge dent in their future life chances”.

He’d know, having himself tried to put a huge dent in the future life chances of millions of young people with that algorithm.

According to The Guardian:

In his letter to parents on Sunday, Williamson said it was generally accepted that children’s health and well-being was more at risk if they did not go to school.

He referred to a joint statement by the UK’s chief medical officers, which said very few, if any children and teenagers would come to long-term harm from the virus solely by attending school.

That’s nice. What about the parents’ health and well-being?

Well, it seems their chances of catching Covid-19 will increase exponentially – by chatting to other mums and dads on the way to school or outside the gates.

That is the advice of Birmingham’s public health director, Dr Justin Varney.

According to Birmingham Live, he said:

“It’s actually all the parents at the school gates. It’s that mingling space.

“You won’t have seen other parents for a long time. We will want to have a catch up and a chat.

“It is a noisy environment so everyone is standing just a little bit too close. So those are the kind of spaces that I think we have got to be really alert to.”

Perhaps the Johnson government hasn’t considered this.

Perhaps Williamson doesn’t think it’s anything to do with him and parents should take responsibility for their behaviour.

Perhaps he’s mistaken about that.

This is a situation involving a potentially fatal pandemic illness and it is the government’s responsibility to ensure that the possibility of infection is minimised.

That’s why this rush to get kids back into school so parents can go back to work is so potentially dangerous.

It is actually providing new vectors on which the virus can spread through the population – possibly with wildfire speed.

And that is why Tories like Williamson have created what we may call a “trust deficit”.

He’s telling us to do things we know are dangerous. How can we have faith in the Tories when they are actively trying to put us in harm’s way?

Source: Parents most likely to catch coronavirus at the school gates, warns city’s public health director – Birmingham Live

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Tory penalty fines for missing school next term may be illegal

Evidence: Coronavirus outbreaks in English schools have risen exponentially since the Tories ordered parents to send their children back.

Typical Tory bullying: “We’ll threaten people with a fine to force them to send their kids back to school, whether they’re likely to catch Covid-19 or not.

“Then they’ll have no excuse not to go back to work, even if there’s a huge chance they’ll catch the virus there.”

Here’s a fly for their ointment:

Every parent has a legal responsibility to keep their children from harm.

No fine imposed by the Tories will overrule that responsibility; it can’t. To do such a thing would be admitting they want parents to allow the government to harm their children.

That is implied by their threat, but admitting it out loud would be electoral suicide.

Now look at the graph (above). Since the Tories forced only some children in England to go back to school, Covid-19 infections there have risen exponentially, week-on-week.

That’s pretty strong evidence to support protecting children by keeping them away.

Parents in England who do not send their children back to school in September will face fines, says the Education Secretary Gavin Williamson.

“Unless there’s a good reason for absence… we’d be imposing fines on families,” he said.

But head teachers said fining parents was not the “right approach” at first.

“There will be many frightened and anxious parents out there,” said Geoff Barton, leader of the ASCL head teachers’ union.

Head teachers, who decide whether absences are authorised, are more likely to want to build up parents’ trust in a safe return, said Mr Barton.

Source: Penalty fines for missing school next term – BBC News

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Hypocrisy: Will Tories try to force parents to send kids to schools, after supporting Cummings?

Unreasonable: plans like this for social distancing in schools simply won’t work. Parents, teachers and unions are right to refuse to participate in this nonsense and Tories will find it hard to criticise them after supporting Dominic Cummings’s decision to take his children to Durham, allegedly to protect them.

Here’s a great scenario from a commenter to Vox Political on Facebook:

Tory: Dominic Cummings was only trying to protect his 4-year old child. Every parent has a right to make common sense decisions for their children.

Parent: I don’t want my 4-year old child to go to reception class.

Tory: Irresponsible parent, how could you keep them at home! Send them to school!

It’s a good point.

No evidence has been provided to show that children (and therefore their parents and any other adults they meet) will be entirely safe from Covid-19 at school.

But the Tories have slammed parents who said they’ll keep their kids away from schools in order to protect them.

Now, backing up Cummings, they have hypocritically claimed that parents have every right to protect their children.

Pathetic.

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Daily Heil’s teacher-shaming propaganda campaign is potentially deadly – and racist, too

‘Let our teachers be heroes’: is that because DEAD heroes don’t cause trouble for Tories?

The Daily Mail has scored a spectacular own-goal by not only attacking teachers who are fighting to keep our children safe from the coronavirus, but by doing it in a racist way.

The right-wing rag is supporting Education Secretary Gavin Williamson in his claim that teachers should “do their duty” and get children back into school at the beginning of June – despite the fact that Williamson has offered no evidence to reassure either teachers, parents or pupils that measures will be imposed to make them all safe from infection with the coronavirus.

This Site published information earlier, in which the Department for Education’s own scientific advisor admitted that reopening schools could potentially create hundreds of potential “vectors” – per school – that could then transmit Covid-19 into society at large. He offered no proof that scientific evidence had played any part in the decision to demand that schools reopen. And he admitted that he had not assessed whether the government’s proposals for opening schools safely could be implemented in an effective way.

In short, the plan to reopen schools is a deathtrap. And the Daily Mail supports it.

Not only that, but the paper that supported Adolf Hitler in the run-up to World War Two (he was also a racist) has managed to demonstrate its own racism with the stock picture it used to illustrate its Tory government propaganda piece – by cutting out the children of minority ethnic parentage from the image:

Sickening.

Fortunately, right-thinking people across the UK have been standing up to humiliate the Mail. Here’s just a sample of their comments:

https://twitter.com/Tobysdad41/status/1261247011149529088

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Johnson’s reign of coronavirus confusion: his government wants us to visit parents ONE AT A TIME

Boris Johnson with his mother Charlotte Johnson Wahl (right) (and sister Rachel, centre). Has he seen his mother since the Covid-19 crisis began?

What is this lunacy?

When you saw Boris Johnson telling us to get back to work on Sunday, did you realise his new idea of guidance means that we can visit family members – but only one at a time, even if they live in the same house?

… or something?

It’s not entirely clear. Phil and Holly on This Morning tried to explain it on Monday but I was even more confused at the end of it:

So the next day, they asked Matt Hancock to explain:

“Utterly bonkers” is being kind.

These ridiculous rules from the Tories are setting us all up to fail.

Either we can go and see our relatives or we can’t.

And if we can see our family one at a tme, why not other people?

Is this just an excuse to infect older people with the coronavirus, so the Tories won’t have to pay pensions and can raid the fund for cash to pay for the pandemic (just a thought)?

Whatever the reasoning, Hancock and Johnson are creating openings for a new Covid-19 outbreak.

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Patel’s policies would deport her own mother. Why believe her when she says Johnson isn’t racist?

Priti Patel: there will be no aid in the UK for people of colour while she is Home Secretary, it seems – unless they’re rich.

Is Priti Patel a person of colour who hates her own race?

The evidence seems to indicate this.

Consider the reaction to rapper Dave’s decision to change the lyrics to his song Black at the Brit Awards. He sang – well, hear for yourself what he sang:

Some commentators – like those at Spiked – criticised the performance, but were shot down by others. Look at this from Twitter:

And some, like LBC’s James O’Brien, considered it to be a diversion from the debate about Dave’s subject matter – racism in the Tory government – because it gave people an opportunity to talk about Dave instead:

Fortunately Ms Patel was on hand to drag the discuss right back to the fact that her government – and indeed her own actions – are as racist as the prime minister himself.

The Home Secretary, who recently tried to deport 50 people (and succeeded in removing 17) based on spurious claims that they were criminals (all had already paid their debt to society; their only crime, it seemed, was that they are not white), defended Mr Johnson:

“I work with the prime minister, I know Boris Johnson very well, no way is he a racist, so I think that is a completely wrong comment and it’s the wrong assertion to make against our prime minister.”

But Ms Patel went on to unveil another racist policy on the same day.

The plan is to refuse entry to the UK for any EU immigrants who aren’t coming to a job that pays at least £25,600. This means so-called “low-skilled” people will no longer be allowed into the country.

Critics have already attacked that equation of low pay with low skill – and This Writer can certainly support them in that. I never had a job that paid £25,600 in all the time I was employed by various newspaper firms and I’m sure most reporters still don’t receive that much.

Worse still, for Ms Patel, is the fact that – under these proposals – her own parents would have been refused access to the UK and she would never have been able to join the Conservatives to become the Home Secretary proposing them.

She had to concede the point in an interview with LBC’s Nick Ferrari. As it happens, I have also been interviewed by Ferrari. He was attacking me over lies that had been printed about me, so I was able to point out that the claims were false.

Ms Patel was not in the same position and had to admit that he was right. And look how she justified it:

“The policies are changing. This is the point. We are changing our immigration policy to one that’s fit for purpose for our economy, based on skills.”

But she isn’t.

As already stated, there are plenty of high-skilled people on low wages. There also happen to be plenty of complete numbskulls on astronomically high pay – racist Ms Patel and her racist prime minister are two of them.

She tried to point out that her parents came to the UK because they were fleeing Idi Amin’s mass expulsion of Ugandan Asians in 1972, and said they would have been allowed entry as refugees.

But it seems she was lying: it seems her parents arrived in the UK in the 1960s. She herself was born in London in 1972, which suggests that her parents’ immigration into the UK was nothing to do with Amin’s persecution.

Also:

The UK’s current Tory government has also sent refugees back to their countries of origin, where some have faced persecution and even death.

So the evidence seems clear.

Who, then, will believe a word when a racist defends a racist?

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Cameron’s Conservatives welcome increased poverty in the UK

130617childpoverty

If David Cameron wants to tell us the current definition of child poverty is a bad one, he’s probably right. The problem is, his preferred changes to that definition will probably be worse.

Poverty is currently defined according to whether a household’s income is less than 60 per cent of the national average. So during a recession, when most incomes (apart from those of the very rich) drop, poverty actually appears to decrease.

Now, despite there having been no appreciable rise in incomes across the board, the Institute for Fiscal Studies is forecasting a rise in child poverty from 2.3 million to 2.5 million – that’s 200,000 more children in poverty, as it is currently measured.

For David Cameron, this is a disaster because it shows that – even with the help of the silly sliding-scale definition of poverty, his government is worsening the situation for children across the UK. What an evil man. What an evil government.

His solution, it seems, is to revive plans to change the way child poverty is defined, to ensure that all those children who have fallen on hard times since he came into office (in 2010, not this year – we, at least, can be honest about the effect he is having) may be dismissed from the poverty figures even if they don’t have food to eat or clothes to wear.

The thought of taking action to stop children falling into poverty probably hasn’t even occurred to David Cameron.

It seems he discussed the matter on Tuesday morning with Nicky Morgan, our dunce of an education secretary, Oliver Letwin, the Cabinet Office minister they keep in a back room in case he frightens children, and Iain Duncan Smith, the work and pensions secretary who models his behaviour on the Nazis – any of his solutions are likely to be final.

(In fact, the £12 billion cuts being planned for the Gentleman Ranker’s welfare budget are likely to be fatal to a huge number of people in any case.)

The Guardian‘s report on this points out that “a little-noticed line in the Conservative party’s general election manifesto said the government would “work to eliminate child poverty and introduce better measures to drive real change in children’s lives, by recognising the root causes of poverty: entrenched worklessness, family breakdown, problem debt, and drug and alcohol dependency”.

So the manifesto plan is: Blame the parents.

What are they going to do, then – sanction them (take money away)?

Already popular organisations are starting to line up against the government. Alison Garnham of the Child Poverty Action Group took an early shot at Cameron’s claim to be running a ‘One Nation’ government (a slogan he stole back from Labour after the general election).

“You can’t have one nation if children’s lives, opportunities and life chances at every turn are shaped and limited by poverty,” she said. “The government’s child poverty approach is failing but the prime minister’s speech [on Monday] simply missed the point and failed to set out what his government will do to prevent his legacy being the largest rise in child poverty in a generation.

“It is no good pulling bodies out of the river, without going upstream to see who is throwing them in – especially, if turns out the culprit is government policy. The right choices that would reduce poverty include protecting children’s benefits with the same triple-lock protection pensions enjoy, fixing the deep cuts to tax credit help for the low-paid, tackling cripplingly high rents, high childcare costs and expanding free school meals.”

These things will not happen under a Conservative government. There’s no profit in it for them because children – unlike pensioners, for example – don’t vote.

So, in simple terms, this is the situation:

Child poverty is rising.

The Conservative Party intends to pretend that it isn’t happening by fudging a new definition of poverty.

The Conservative Party will do nothing to tackle the real causes.

What conclusion can we reach?

The Conservative Government welcomes increased poverty in the UK.

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Rogues turn government Twitter feed against Miller

Found on Facebook: Members of the public on all the main social media are queueing up to take a pop at former DWP minister and benefit fraudster Maria Miller. How long will David Cameron delay sacking her, and how weak will he seem by the time he gets round to it?

Found on Facebook: Members of the public on all the main social media are queueing up to take a pop at former DWP minister and benefit fraudster Maria Miller. How long will David Cameron delay sacking her, and how weak will he seem by the time he gets round to it?

In comparison to recent events in this saga, what follows is light relief.

A so-called “rogue” Twitter user commandeered a government feed to post satirical comments about the Maria Miller expenses scandal, yesterday evening. (Saturday)

The three tweets appeared on the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s feed, where they were picked up and shared widely before government watchdogs had a chance to hush them up. The offending tweets have since been deleted from the DCMS feed.

“Seriously though guys which one of us hasn’t embezzled and cheated the taxpayer? #FreeMariaMiller,” ran the first tweet.

This was swiftly followed by one that claimed Miller, who falsely claimed more than £40,000 in mortgage interest payment for a south London house, saying it was her second home while her parents used it as their first, was “like a modern day Robin Hood, she robs the poor to help the rich”.

Miller, who made more than £1 million in profit when she sold the house in February, was ordered to pay back just £5,800 and apologise to Parliament for failing to co-operate with an investigation. The final rogue tweet asked: “Is @Maria_MillerMP guilty? We will let the public decide.”

Unfortunately it seems that the Conservative Party has rallied around the (confirmed) criminal in its ranks and has no intention of allowing British justice anywhere near Miller. They’re all in it together, you see.

That is why Grant Shapps, who knows a thing or three about false claims himself (ask him about his other persona, ‘Michael Green’) wants to “draw a line” under the affair – and why our pitifully weak comedy Prime Minister David Cameron wants to “leave it there”.

It seems the DCMS is also happy to “leave it there”. A spokeswoman has confirmed it was investigating the hacking but, when asked if Twitter or the police had been contacted, admitted: “All I’ve done is change the password.”

A Parliamentary investigation cleared Miller of using public money to provide for her parents, in spite of all the evidence that this was precisely what she had been doing, including a recent revelation that the size of energy bills for the house indicated that somebody had been using it as their main, rather than second, home.

The affair has set off a public outcry, with calls for Miller to resign or be sacked, and for the former Department for Work and Pensions minister to face the same criminal justice system as anyone else accused of wrongly taking taxpayers’ money – like a benefit cheat.

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