Facebook stops Tory lies

Ha, ha, there we have it, Facebook knows how important the platform is to influence the older half of the population.

When a Conservative advertisement on Facebook quoted that the Tory government promise a £14 Billion cash boost for schools whilst another Tory advertisement stated that the cash boost was in fact only £7.1 Billion, Facebook pulled the plug and took the Conservative advertisement off the platform.

Highest respect for that Facebook, thank you.

As one user of Facebook puts it, showing a pic of Boris singing the tune:

“And I will tell 5.000 lies and I will tell 5.000 more”.

Also thanks to Donald Trump for alerting us about False News.

 

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Re-inspection of top-rated schools

Best news I read today on the BBC news website.

I campaigned long and hard for this to happen, because of personal experiences with top-rated schools.

It seems that any school that is able to hold the discipline together – often with threats to pupils (even if it is only underlying ones) – can then exploit the situation and hide severe problems under the mantle of ‘we are untouchably good’.

I am extremely happy that Ofsted is now going to close this loophole and starts to re-inspect top-rated schools who can apply for a world-class school status.

What should really happen is that schools’ incident log book, accidents and mental health problems should be closely examined.

I have also heard that some schools actually can threaten pupils with expulsion into the horrible excluded system but then reverse the decision to then keep the pupil if the parents pay enough hush money. Schools can exploit the expulsion system to get parents to cough up extra money or make pupils lives extra harsh by enforcing rules on some harsher than on others. And using the expulsion notice system to send the same note for the same offence twice, making it look that a pupil broke the rules twice, whilst they actually only broke it once.

The classic scenario of corruption in the education system is looming upon us and at least Ofsted is making an effort to stop it.

Well done.

Also thanks to Chancellor  Sajid Javid who pledged £400 million further education funding. And also thanks to Prime Minister Boris Johnson who pledges multi-billion investment in all schools. But I have heard on the Andrew Marr show that the per pupil increase is directed into Conservative areas or areas the Conservatives want to win. That is something I do not totally approve of.

As Steven Pinker, in his book ‘Enlightenment now’ explains, knowledge is the one most important driving factor that helps humanity progress.

Educational knowledge has to be measured around the whole population. Regions like Afghanistan have the worst education and most repression in the world. Sierra Leone has the least schooling hours in the world. (till 2015)

No country can afford to give preference in education spending to a select few. That principle was established by the Catholic church who believed that only approved religious elite should have the right of education.

If Boris Johnson now thinks he can select Conservative Council areas and areas leaning towards voting Conservative in the next elections to butter them up with his Billions of extra per pupils spending then I will oppose this.

The money has to be spend regardless of voting patterns, knowledge has to spread across the board.

Education has to be free of repression and political or financial corruption to free young minds to florish in academic learning free of fear from opression.

Food scare

When we get terrorist attacks we usually also get advise to stock our larders just in case a public emergency comes up.

Some year ago now, I followed that advise and ordered a large amount of tins to stock up. What came from my online delivery service were some partly rusty tins and some were near out of date and the minority had longivity.

close up of meal served in plate

Photo by Chevanon Photography on Pexels.com

The next time we were told that there is a food scare was the 1. Brexit deadline. This time, I bought items and stocked up my larder personally selecting goods at the supermarket.

This time, the 2. Brexit deadline, I notice that the prices of tins of beans have gone through the roof.

Some 25 years ago we were sold tins of beans for 4 pens each and were able to collect tins of beef free of charge to clear the EU food mountain. That also contained free butter for all who wanted it.

Now prices are so bad that maybe that is the reason that people need foodbanks. It’s probably the prices have gone up so much that people can’t afford food any longer on their wages.

So who calculates the inflation rate?

Boris writes to Tusk

man carrying child

Photo by Ba Phi on Pexels.com

Whilst yesterday the Brexit Secretary already signed the order to scrap all EU related laws being valid in the UK from 31. October 2019, Prime Minister Boris Johnson wrote to his Excellency Mr Donald Tusk on the same date to ask for a renegotiation of the Back-Stop.

Looking that the EU consists of 28 member states and all members have to agree to any deal and that the last deal took 3 years to negotiate, it seems just a tactical letter rather than one that is seriously meant to be expected to achieve a result.

The main reason to ask for renegotiations is the desire to keep relations with everything Irish smooth.

Yesterday I watched the documentary about the Lord Mountbatton assassination and the Bloody Sunday history and out of that came the Good Friday agreement.

Of course the follow on peace is something we all appreciate. I used to work in Central London when the IRA set off a bomb on a bus in Aldwych on 18. February 1996.

But on the other hand, border negotiations worldwide are usually concentrated on the basis of country borders and political or economical agreements.

Boris Johnson really just wants the EU to help the UK to overcome previous grievances with Irish inividuals, so that they do not re-emerge because of a hard border.

And whilst the UK is terrified to loose more territory, because Northern Ireland could try to follow suit with the Scottish Independance desires, I think asking the EU to change a deal because of emotional and internal problems is a bit much to ask.

The UK should chin up and rather try to engage with Northern Ireland and Ireland on positive momentums to draw them closer to us rather than expect the EU to be sympathetic.

It’s either remain or take the deal but not whinging and crying like a baby. That is what Boris Johnson’s letter really is.

I think Boris Johnson is trying to sell us a polemic no-deal outcome on the Brexit talks. As the EU is really not that bad, it is a force for good in Europe. It amalgamates a lot of states who strive for peace – at least amongst each other -, which is positive.

Trying to make us look like we are dependant on the kind mercy of the EU to manage our own affairs, is really not improving Britain’s status in the world.

 

Brexit Secretary signs order to scrap 1972 Brussels Act

Interesting, considering we have not even left the EU formally we are already repealing the Brussels Act, which stops EU law being valid in the UK.

But, the repeal of the European Communities Act 1972 will take effect only when Britain formally leaves the EU on October 31.

So that is not taking one step at a time, that is going ahead of schedule. Link

Saving Raines

rainespen

This armband and pen is given to pupils collcting their results.

After their Judgement of Solomon, Tower Hamlets Council made an amazing climb-down and withdrew their application to stop the admissions to zero for the school-year 2019/20, e.g. the year 7 intake. Also year 10s can now continue their education at Raine’s.

Parents were literally sent from pillar to post with letters sent that all pupils with year 7 places in 2019 need to change schools, which promply many did. Now, suddenly the council amended their policy and pupils can now attend year 7 of Raine’s. There are 150 places available, as permitted by the Office of the School Adjudicator.

That should infuriate the many who made plans, changed them, and are asked to change them again. Whilst the Council offered parents who changed schools a grant of £115 for a new school uniform, they should now also offer all parents who already bought uniforms for other schools and now need to switch back to Raine’s uniforms extra money to do so.

The Council pubished yesterday on 15. August 2019 at 10:36 a.m. Report on the outcome of the public consultation on the closure of Raine’s school and the expansion of Oaklands. A decision will be published on 25. September 2019, after which a further consultiation period will be made available till the end of this year.

Interestingly the withdrawal of the council’s application to stop further pupil admissions has not been mentioned in this report.

Parents were effectively scared to leave Raine’s and move pupils to Oaklands by Pupil Services at the Town Hall. This had been done illegally prior to any consultation taking place. This did a considerable amount of damage to Raine’s because year 6 pupils, wanting to transfer to Raine’s were told they could not do so, even when they had places allocated.

Of course it will considerably raise the costs of the school when the school doesn’t know within the normal period of time how many pupils, if any at all, they will have to educate during the following year.

revision-books

A pile of revision books given at the start of the holidays, what holidays?

However from the perspective of a Raine’s parent, the situation with the school looks very good. The Raine’s Foundation School website has had a major overhaul and we are now even able to use an App to keep abreast of developments.

We are adamant that Raine’s is an excellent school with brilliant teachers and provides a great basis for pupils to achieve best results. My daughter is already revising for next year’s GCSE’s.

See what Mickey Ambrose has to say about it.

 

 

Good luck Greta

I feel much more relaxed about Greta Thunberg’s trip to the US, since I’ve heard on a news story that actually one of her parents will be on the boat. It is a 60 x 12 foot boat without a toilet and amenities we are just used to.

It can’t do any harm to keep the discussion about climate change warm by constantly reporting about that trip of Greta.

What also interests me is how much Greta may miss her luxury home comforts during the journey for the sake of fighting climate change.

Lets hope all goes well.

I also hope that it will be easy to follow the media reports.

More telling off for Tower Hamlets

Now the Ombudsman has upheld a claim against Tower Hamlets Council for obstructing investigations. See report from ELA here.

What is the point in Tower Hamlets having a Mayor when nothing good comes of it. First there was the scandal around Lutfur Rahman, allegations of election fraud, led to his downfall and then the government sent in observers to shadow the council administration.

But whilst the investigators left satisfied that things are in order the Ombudsman finds otherwise. And of course the legal action against the council in respect of the illegal activities trying to close down schools make me question how effective any Mayor in Tower Hamlets may be.

There are obviously huge muddles going on, which even the Mayor cannot resolve.

I have never negatively spoken about Tower Hamlets and especially not John Biggs, with whom I sat on the Police and Community Safety Board for years until John Biggs decided to close down a 300 year old school, which is attended by my daughter. We love Raine’s Foundation school #300moreyears.

 

 

 

 

Government investigates Tower Hamlets again

Apparently people like Sylvia Pankhurst and Danny Boyle are among a high-profile string of supporters of the Raine’s Foundation Trust and Steering Group and the many grateful parents and pupils who happily attend the school.

This new investigation is mainly concentrating around the illegal attempt by Tower Hamlets council, trying to close Raine’s Foundation, Church of England Secondary school and Sixth Form prior to a consultation.

Tower Hamlets Council made an application to the Government Schools Adjudicators in May for a zero published admission number (PAN), cutting the future pipeline of the school. A final decision on this application was due for February 2020. Yet the council already and illegally informed all new year 7 pupils, who had been given confirmed places for the year 2019/20 at Raine’s, that they had to leave Raine’s and be placed in other schools, mainly Oaklands.

Whilst the council told parents at meetings that there were only 29 viable applications for a year 7 place at Raine’s, for 2019/20, further evidence suggests that there were actually 70 – 100 pupils applying for places.

Incidentally all year 9s were also told by the council they could not progress to year 10 within the Raine’s Foundation school and should continue their education at Oaklands school.

Raines Foundation Interim Executive Board (IEB)

Whilst the previous board of governors were dismissed, acussed of being unable to run the school, an Interim Executive Board was put into place.

The school advertised a position of parent governor but we were told at the last meeting with the borough that no suitable person could be found to fill the post. I had applied for it. As a former LEA school governor, I should be more than qualified. But I suppose they didn’t want anybody on the board who would want to put a spanner in the works of their devious plans.

In the interests of ‘transparency and openness’it might be interesting to see what the Interim Executive Board (IEB) of Raines Foundation secondary school have been getting up to and you can download all ten documents here.

Raine’s Foundation hired Irwin Mitchell Solicitors who went to the High Court and obtained a judgement including directions to Tower Hamlets Council that they have to write to all parents and pupils who were originally told that they cannot continue their education at Raine’s that they now can continue their education there.

Yet, the council, to date, has not followed that order of the judge.

There are now new applications in preparation to again go to the court for further orders by the solicitors Irwin Mitchell.

It seems very strange that the council tries every trick in the book to dismantle the only traditional school with a 300 year history in the borough.

Please also see a good article from  Wapping Mole though I would not want to go so far as to call for a return of Lutfur Rahman.

It is just really sad that our current Labour council under John Biggs, makes such dreadful decisions. John Biggs. It was a seriously political and administrative mistake to illegale incite the closure of a traditional Church of England school in Tower Hamlets. It will cost the Labour Party a lot of votes.

Slash, bang, whallop

Here we have it, Boris Johnson, shows how tough he is on crime and wants to build 10.000 more prison places and increase stop and search.

We are going towards a classical double-sided society. The underlings, living in prison cells and the good people living in houses/flats.

In the old days we could see the two-way society by the way pubs were built with two entrances for the poor and the rich. The public and saloon bars.

Boris Johnson now wants to create a new society whereby everybody just gets locked up, out of the way and that creates the internment society.

Gone has the community cohesion model, the trying to build civil societies who live together in peace and harmony.

I am not against stop and search and I am not against re-introducing the 20.000 police officers that were cut from the budget but recruiting masses of police officers quickly, doesn’t exactly increase the quality control of officer that is coming to our beats.

Yet stop and search done on an aggressively large scale, can seriously push mentally instable people over the edge and we may be walking towards a new age of riots.

Whilst the new government bemoans a break-down in civil society here in Tower Hamlets all Neighbourhood Watch signs were taken down from lamp posts. Those signs were always

  • an expression of anti-crime sentiment,
  • deterrents for criminals and
  • assurance for residents.

Why remove those signs, when they are simply a positive influence on the community? And whilst removing Neighbourhood Watch signs, which always introduced a better feeling of community spirit and increased attempts of community cohesion and simply replace all by a quick lock up and shut up policy?

It seems we are trending towards the Chinese model of building internmnet centres for re-education, and assisted living.

It is totally amazing that the government suddenly can find the funds to build 10.000 new prison places but is unable to build council housing in the same scale.

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