Happiness, the forbidden word

sculpture st. pancrasThe per-pupil funding formula leads to huge, overcrowded schools, which leave no time for enjoying education. Pupils are perched into class-rooms like chickens in a coop.

Pupils are stuffed in their hundreds and thousands into the smallest available space and treated as profit making goods to get as much yield per square metre of pupil occupied in relation to GCSE results achieved.

Of course the law of probability will ensure that the more pupils there are, the more top results will be achieved. Perhaps a couple per hundred achieve top results.

So any school that has a huge building, with even more pupils can kid themselves by saying, they provide quality education because a few of their pupils achieved top marks. Smaller schools will find it harder to get the same success total. If a dense school achieves 10 out of 2.000 top achievers, a small school will probably only produce 1 out of 200.

It then comes down to cost spent per top grade achieved. It is no longer about the person.

If it was and researched and the research would be publicised to show how much knife crime originates from over-crowded schools, how much misery and despair follows in the aftermath of production line style education follows, we would see a sudden change in attitudes, yet those figures are never made public in that context.

I dare to say that our increase in knife crime and gangs is a direct result of per pupil funding, bigger schools and absent parents, who work for the work program.

The government believes a crowded school is more rewarding, cheaper to run with bigger yields.

So our not so clever government tends to rate all schools, that manage to educate hundreds of kids like robots on an assembly line with top Ofsted ratings simply because a small percentage of the huge pool of pupils get top grades.

If those pupils then can actually behave on the day of the Ofsted inspection, the school can get a world class rating. Ofsted puts no weight on pupil’s mental health, physical health or happiness. Well they look a bit at healthy meals, but that’s all.

Happiness, is the forbidden word.

Smaller schools, which can actually find the time and space to allow for some personal freedom to build meaningful relationships with teachers or among pupils are only possible in either private schools or such remote environments, that there are naturally very few children around.

The government has to change the per pupil funding formula and Ofsted has to consider mental, physical and academic health of pupils. Ofsted should enquire about any reports of stressed behaviour, how many pupils bunk off, how many have eating disorders, mental health issues, learning disability and special needs, the amounts of bullying, the air quality, the green space, academic, sporting, craft, arts achievement, all important factors to ensure a young person can develop a great personality.

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kicking cans

If the promise to leave the EU is as strong as the promise to reduce carbon emissions to zero by 2050 are of the same strenght, then we can assume that this government is just a promise but no action government.

What we get are sincere, deep voices, manly promises, but nothing changes, really.

Greenpeace thought of getting the grey cells of some politicians into motion but that didn’t have any effect, other than being pushed out of the event.

Action speaks louder than words but words are all what some people can come up with. The dinners, the speeches, the outfits, the glamour.

I am not certain that our politicians these days have the mental capacity or even flexibility to actually change anything that moves them out of their current comfort zones.

I don’t care whether we get Brexit or not, but what I care about is that our quality of life increases.

And I don’t believe those who say they are so totally Green because they all use medications and modern technology that was borne out of dirty production methods and using fossil fuels. They all have cars and use flights.

We need to start somewhere and how about changing the way we fund and perceive our schools?

Why not make sure that all schools are enabling our pupils and future generations to breathe in clean air? That all our pupils get plenty of palying fields and green spaces?

If we really want to change our lives, we need to change the way we calculate profits, taxes and distribution of wealth, ownership. In fact we need to redefine the meaning of wealth to include

  • health
  • environment

You cannot sell a walk in the forest for profit, you cannot sell the rainforest because it needs to be wild and just as it is. You cannot sell the ocean because it needs to stay and we cannot sell the north or south pole because we need it just as it is.

Yet there are two things, which are wars and space exploration, which create more carbon emission than a lot of other items. Also the production of white goods and anything that uses metals is highly contageous. Calculate your carbon footprint here.

Lets think about that for a while.

Removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere using machines is simply not creating the bio diversity we need to keep the environment healthy and evacuating from earth to another planet is nothing but wishful dreaming.

I must admit, I just love living in our civilisation, the freedom that women can have would be not even half as good in a primitive low carbon society.

Yet there is still the possibility of an educated low carbon society, something we probably all dream about. Articles 25 and 26 of the Universal Human Rights deal with health and education whilst the vast majority of paragraphs deal with legal definitions of personal freedoms.

Perhaps that declaration of Human Rights, should include taking care of our planet as an obligation and right for all of us.

Health first

action activity adult athletes

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The best part about being a human is being as healthy as possible. At least that is what we are striving for.

Here in Tower Hamlets, school children are thought to have 10% less lung capacity, compared to children in rural areas.

Tower Hamlets schools are normally encoached in busy traffic areas, with roads, right, left and centre.

For example Bishop Challoner School is unfortunately a good example of a school being in a totally traffic polluted area. The school is judged ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted because of exam results only. The school is siutated in Commercial Road.

For Ofsted good results are everything, they do not consider other health considerations when they judge a school, which I think is very sad indeed.

On the other hand, Raine’s Foundation school, is a secondary school situated near Victoria Park, an area classified as almost suburban, with leafy streets, access to Victoria Park for PE and much less traffic, as roads around the building are one lane only.

Raine’s Foundation school is classified as ‘in need of improvement’ by Ofsted and because of this, parents won’t apply to send their kids there.

Parents as well as Ofsted only care about exam results.

Tower Hamlets Council  now wants to close Raine’s Foundation school because of the poor exam results, poor in comparison to national results.

Why does nobody care about the children’s health? Isn’t it better to run a school in a healthy area because the kids will be better off throughout their life, if their lungs breathe healthy air?

I personally want to fight to keep the school open just to give children the chance to attend a healthy school. Because sacrificing health in exchange for good exam results will have long-lasting effects on the children’s health.

Access to green spaces, a nice playground, a nearby park will have a great effect not only on children’s mental health but also the physical health.

I want everybody to write to their MP to ask for support to change the classification criteria for schools in respect of a healthy environment.

Having lives before politics

I am astounded to read that

  • Michael Gove took Cocaine
  • Rory Stewart smoked Opium
  • Jeremy Hunt had a Cannabis Lassi
  • Boris Johnson snorted cocaine and smoked drugs as teenager

Although these events are kind of ancient, e.g. they have been described by

Mr Gove who told the Mail: “I think all politicians have lives before politics. Certainly when I was working as a journalist I didn’t imagine I would go into politics or public service.”

I think that is the source of the problem of our increased drug culture in Britain, that taking them is seen as having a life.

On the front line, living in Tower Hamlets, a borough that has a high drug dealing problem, we find that it’s the social users, the ones that have jobs and earn enough money to consume drugs, have a substantive responsibility towards the drug dealing problem. If they wouldn’t buy the drugs, the dealers would have less reason to sell.

I can only hope that people are starting to realise that it would be better for all of us not to take any class A, B, or C drugs whether in politics or not.

Tower Hamlets Council is currently  conducting a substance misuse strategy survey on how to best combat drug use and how to educate people about it. They suggest that care leavers and high risk groups like pupils who have been excluded from schools should be educated about the dangers. Yet, the council seems to forget that it is those established high earners and middle class university graduates that also need educating.

Drugs are very common these days and it is definitely not easy to say no.

Yet if a pupil in a school these days would be caught out in any way with drugs whatsoever, they would be expelled and had little chance to ever enter a high-profile political post.  It doesn’t help to play down the drug taking of major politicians and put it down to life before politics.

What should happen is that children who nowadays get themselves in trouble whilst in school should not be expelled but helped instead so that they have a future equally as those politicians who now admit their failures once they had a career.

It is more than cynical that Michael Gove feels fit to admit his drug taking when he used to be Minister for Education who fell through the net.

Perhaps also our alcohol drinking culture should be called into question as this also has severe health implications both on our minds and on our bodies.

But the moral of the story is though that nobody is perfect after all.

 

Peterborough for Labour

I must say I like it that Labour won Peterborough ahead of the Brexit Party. It is a clear indication that people voted against Brexit in an area that previously was predominantly pro-Brexit.

Now, that most of the lies and rumours about how glorious Brexit is, have been dispersed, people vote for remain.

I think Brexit was all along a red herring to keep people’s attention on a right-wing nationalist agenda for the purpose that the Conservative government could re-create Victorian values in Britain.

The Conservatives lost many councils in the recent council elections for the reason that people are fed up to the teeth with the cut-backs they have to suffer to do with care for the elderdy, children, schools, rubbish collections and so forth.

Councils are running out of money and its this Conservative goverment that is responsible for it.

Whilst the government keeps on saying people didn’t vote for the Conservatives because the Conservatives failed to deliver Brexit, the reality is that people didn’t vote for the Conservatives because of the severe cut-backs on local council spending and overall policies.

Policies, which saw the wider introduction of Benefit cut-backs for the disabled, the Universal Credit, that left people queueing for Food banks to be able to survive, Zero hours contracts and a reduction in overall wages value by 6%.

Obviously Nigel Farage was very deflated about the second place in Peterborough but I think it indicates the line of pro and against Brexit voters in favour of the against.

Yesterday’s D-Day 75. Anniversary, saw veterans in tears over Brexit planning because they fought for freedom in Europe and want to keep it that way.

This article is not meant to be a blank cheque of support for Labour, who have many faults but it just shows that on the political strategy people voted tactically for the party that could counter the Brexit party in that local by-election.

Added on 7/6/19, the newly elected MP Lisa Forbes was caught into questions over alleged anti-semitic behaviour.

 

 

Eating out

There is no doubt about it, that each time I ate out, I felt ill after. This was particularly bad yesterday after a McDonald’s meal. I never felt so tired as I am the type of person that never sleeps during the day or in public in any event. Even when I go to bed I do not feel tired as such, I just fall asleep.

Yet yesterday, when I sat in the Catholic Holy Communion class, I felt so tired, I nearly fell off the chair and couldn’t stop yawning. Poor priest, he probably thought I was rude or felt him boring.

Today I feel really ill, my eyes had big black rings underneath, also very not typical for me.

When I went to a local restaurant, Madison fell ill afterwards and even when we went to Giraffe, Madison fell ill after and she is never ill.

There is no point in getting paranoid but since it affects us so badly when we eat out, I decided not to eat out any more.

There are certain meals where a particular portion cannot easily be manipulated and this are instances like school meals for example but most other meals are pretty much individually prepared. Even McDonald’s meals come off a production method that is tailored to individual orders.

That’s eating out for me done and dusted. Not unless I absolutely have to.

Fact is one does not know what is in the production line and where a person that prepared food had their hands prior to serving the meal. I just want to evade extra occasions that could make me ill. Even my child has become more listless since she attends her school’s free breakfast club. Why would anybody offer free breakfast to kids who get fed at home?

Incas sacrificed attractive or gifted girls

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-23496345

Young gifted girls were taken from their families, given rich food, cocoa leaves and alcohol and were left to die in a tomb 6000 miles above sea level.

Parasites resistant to drugs

This article I am referring to, has to do with Malaria but it could be about other illnesses that are now resisting antibiotics. We are using a lot of genetically modified crops, which will affect the ability of humans to resist antibiotics. Another new trend that endangers humanity.

No point in Labour

As usual, the Labour Party is already busy, thinking of ways, of selling the ordinary working folks, the latest Conservative policy changes, if and when they get into power next. Its’ always the same these days, Conservatives bring in new rules, laws, etc and when people are really upset, Labour puts them into better practise.

Labour has never reversed any Conservative policies. The latest remarks by Miliband proof completely that Labour has no plans to reverse caps or decrease taxes for the rich. Mr Blair urged against “tacking left on tax and spending”

If Labour has any guts whatsoever, then they would reverse the Trust policy of the NHS, re-nationalise the NHS and just privatise health care completely, so that each and every working and/or contributing person would pay their contributions via private health care insurance companies, who would share and finance the national resources via private contributions.

Yet Labour has not even hinted on abolishing health care trusts,which do not work and never will work, as no local area, can actually generate enough income to care for the patients in their catchment area from their own local resources.

There is no point in Labour who want to get people care in their homes, like health care by mailorder perhaps? There is nothing innovative about Labour, as home care is a by now very old concept, that was introduced by commercial retail companies and already exists in care for the elderly, disabled and dying.

Labour has not and never will revolutionise our society but always limp behind and besides Conservative inventions. It does need wealth to innovate and only wealthy people will want to protect wealth and society that revolves around it.

There is also nothing that hints on using new technology to revolutionise our lives and make production of goods more environmentally friendly.

There is this big myth of Free NHS services when nothing of the sort ever existed. Just because we do not have to pay at the point of treatment doesn’t mean that it is for free. NHS services can be paid for in either contributions from the employed, less benefits for those on handouts. A privatised NHS would merely mean that private insurance companies collect all contributions and pay for services instead of the state distributing services and taking payments of salaries. A privatised NHS that would collect payments from private insurance companies could deliver a truly equal service because all would pay contributions to private insurance companies who would collect contributions from the state for those on benefits and the rest through company collection. Currently stamp duty is paid to Inland Revenue but that could be paid directly to insurance companies instead.

Currently health services are too splintered to be effective, that is what makes it expensive.

PC for Performance Conjunction

I just wonder whether this legal case where a Police Officer sues a crime victim for negligence is just supposed to be a test case to try the law on police officer injuries. I think that this Petrol Station owner is just the one that has to bite the paper trail on this because he has been selected to test the law.

I think that police officers suffer from a deterioration of working conditions in that this government wants to bring in performance related pay. Whilst in the good old days an injured officer, in the course of duty of course, could continue to claim full pay for desk duties, it might not be so easy when pay is performance linked. Obviously an injured officer does not work as well as a fresh and healthy one.

And also I am not fully familiar with the working conditions of officers but it seems they could claim compensation for on-duty injuries in the past, perhaps they can’t do so any longer.

It therefore doesn’t surprise me that this officer wants to exploit other avenues of securing their lifestyle, future etc.

Quite clearly the risk of investigating crimes has always been taken by the Home Office that insures its officers. Of course it would make little sense to bring in a rule that says police can only investigate crimes if a crime scene is fully risk assessed and lit at all hours of the day.

If that were the case then a lot of crimes could not be investigated and all dim places would be robbed much more than they already are simply because police won’t go there into that dark corner.

But since the police service pays performance related and reduces the salaries of officers, it seems quite a logical conclusion that officers want to protect themselves by seeking redress for losses of the financial kind.

It’s all good and well to expect unselfish public servants but how much risk can we expect individuals to take? We frequently and too often hear of fire fighters dying in fires, soldiers dying on the front line and police officers being attacked by criminals but how many injuries police officers can be expected to suffer under this performance related pay regime, of course brings about new legal avenues that lawyers will want to explore I suspect.

But from the point of environmental considerations. For the police officer to expect that every area is lit for 24 hours per day, is environmentally unfriendly. Too much lighting causes too much warming of the atmosphere, at least with today’s technology.  On the other hand the garage owner could argue that the police should have given the PC night vision goggles or glasses.

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