DWP should have to pay interest on late beneftis

Currently it is profitable for the government to delay benefits. They do not care how much suffering they cause as long as they can make those few extra bucks out of late benefit payments, they are happy.

But if DWP* would be charged interest at the standard rate for benefits paid later than 1 week after the due date, then DWP* would be very much more careful and not withhold benefits for no proper reason.

Scores of claimants have to go through appeals procedures, often wait for 6 + months to have a judge decide. If found in the claimants’ favour, then DWP* merely has to pay the standard rate of benefit as it was due at the time of the claim.

Even if several months go past and people have to borrow money to buy essentials, the government does not have to pay interest. That is wrong.

New claims must be decided within a week because people get their rent money and if landlords have to wait 8+ weeks for their money, they will not take on benefit tenants.

* Department for Works and Pensions

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cost-cutting measures can equal repression

Looking at the latest benefit reduction measures and online articles that challenge people to live on £1 per day, it becomes quite clear that it is impossible to live on £1 a day if you start from scratch. Most calculations assume that one uses a fraction of a whole packet and that then makes the saving. However, in practise one has to purchase the whole packet to be able to use part of it.One needs to be good at maths and not have learning disabilities to be able to cope.

Recent benefit reduction challenge people’s right to free movement because on those small benefit amounts nobody can afford to take the bus or the underground and so go anywhere out of their immediate local area or no further than they can walk. That I think breaches people’s Human rights.

It is always easy for rich people to curb other people’s cost spending because rich people can always use their own resources to do what they want to do but for those genuinely poor costs are essential to do things they could otherwise not afford. Cost-cutting is only appropriate for those who have substantial private assets but not for the poor.

Unfortunately this government seriously hampers the right of the poor to do anything other than basically keep themselves alive. This is the reason why I oppose these recent benefit changes. The benefit changes do mainly affect those who cannot rely on strong family support and drives vulnerable people into dependencies on those who would exploit their needs. It is practically certain that people are going to get exploited.

But to stop people from travelling and meeting their main support groups is definitely a big draw-back on the cost-cutting measures.

 

Performance related teaching

I think it is cruel to expect a teacher to instruct a learning disabled child to learn faster.

I think it is impossible to measure teaching success with learning disabled children or slow learners. There are no fixed success rates possible against which performance could be measured. It would only be possible to introduce performance related pay for Grammar School teachers because they only work with proven able children.

Often parents can achieve a lot by talking to their child’s teacher but then the parent must already know about learning and the matters involving learning abilities. I have it easy now, I already raised five children and some of those were clever and some not so clever and one even had a severe learning disability.

But when those kids were little I didn’t know a thing about abilities and Statements and nobody would talk to me about it either, to make me aware. Then Christine Gilbert was in charge of education in my borough and she has then been elevated to top positions in education but when she was in charge of schooling, teachers avoided to issue statements of special educational needs. Christine Gilbert is by incidence a Catholic and started to link weak learning performance or labelling of children according to their receipt of free school meals. Is it then an incidence that our local Roman Catholic school has been accused of weaker performance of those in receipt of Free school meals? Such cynicism should not have any place in education at all.

I can’t see that one can bring in performance related pay for teachers as there are a lot of factors in child rearing that have nothing to do with teaching methods.

But it should be seriously considered to shorten the school hours and only put those children into all day schooling that cause serious problems if not in school. In Germany we were perfectly happy being taught only 4- 5 hours per day. Our lessons were more focussed and our parents provided our dinners, so nobody even put the facts of who pays for our dinners into the statistics in the first place. Our schooling was very strict and very focussed. We had SATS  tests twice per year and that is fine for children that learn easy.

The problem of testing only comes in when you test slow learners to the same criteria as fast learners. It is more a question of criteria to be able to measure overall achievable performance.

It would be totally cruel to cap a teacher’s performance related pay because that teacher has half a class full of slow learners. Yet today the ability of a child’s learning capability is not generally tested on entry to schooling. Parents are most often blissfully unaware of their own children’s learning ability because naturally all parents love their own children a lot and are very fond of them.

Schools are used as holding tubs for all day supervision rather than fast learning school institutions and most parents are happy with those arrangements. Why try to enforce elitist learning into schools that cater for all abilities?

My own child does very well in school, she is well above the national average for  her age,yet her whole school has been declared unfit for purpose. Does that make sense to anybody other than those who think girls are not allowed to achieve?

Luckily I have a lot of experience as parent of schooling and so I can argue with teachers to get the best education possible but many parents who only start out in parenthood have not had that experience yet and need somebody who can argue on their behalf. In that sense parent governors are not always the ones who do know best.

There is a lot that could be said from many different perspectives about teaching and learning but there are not enough hours in the day to address them all.

 

 

Is it the D(G)ove of peace?

Now there is going to be a conference about the trustworthiness of Michael Gove and his chief inspector Mr Michael Wilshaw. [He has been asked to resign. ]

I do agree that a lot of the recent inspections seem to serve a political aim rather than a practical solution to eduction needs. I come to ask, how much can I trust in inspection results? As said in my previous blog, one of the most trusted schools in my locality has suddenly slipped from good to in need of improvement.

But can I as prosepective parent for any school simply ignore a recent inspection report because that would give education authorities the answer, but why did you send your child to this school if you knew that they had a pointed out weakness?

What any local inspection reports I have seen lack in my opinion is the result by example. Most OfSted reports are rather generalised; they would say, the lessons are boring, teachers speak too much or the school is weak in supporting talented pupils. But the reports do not say why they are weak in supporting talented pupils.

It is off-putting to read that a school should have a severe divide of achievement between free school meal pupils and paying pupils. That reeks of and implies discrimination, as if poor pupils get less well taught just because they don’t pay for their dinners.

Both of our best established religious local schools got frankly completely rubbished by recent inspection reports.  It then seems to fit in well with the accusation that Christians are being marginalised by the current government.

The Ofsted reports I have seen are rather generalised and wishy washy.  They are as if the inspectors just want to leave their mark on a school.

I ask the question, how can any school be called a bad school if there are children within that school that do very well. The fact that some children can do very well and above national average shows that this school can deliver a service.

The problem with too many seemingly unreasonable bad OfSted reports will result in people just not paying a lot of attention to them, unless they have to if schools are being put under special measures of course.

I think that education strategies lack a clear direction. How can Mr Gove possibly pretend that he wants to improve education when he allows schools to operate in back-yard buildings and offices or shops? Less permanence for school buildings and school teachers will inevitably ruin the long-term prospects of education through the very fact that the basic amenities like good facilities and happy teachers are removed from the service?

One local and very recent OfSted report criticised that a fast teacher turnaround ruins the school’s quality of education but isn’t this just what the current government does? They move people on all the time. Teachers that leave in one school for being criticised will find a job in another school, and so the vicious circle will keep on turning.

GCSE grading upheld

Now the High Court has upheld the changes to GCSE grading as lawful. That is one result I do support, even though I am generally very unhappy with Mr Gove’s new Free school policy.

I think many school professionals in the UK are very complacent and gotten used to lazy exam procedures. I think it is amazing how easy it is to get a qualification in this country.

But honestly campaigners should rather concentrate and complain about insufficient school buildings rather than GCSE methods.

A burning issue

The Mayor will have to take legal action against the Fire Brigade because the LFB refuses to comply to a requirement, set by the Mayor Boris Johnson, to carry out a consultation with the aim of closing fire stations in various London boroughs. The thought behind this is to cut 7p of council tax and also statistics show that the LFB attended less fires recently. LFB argues that a freezing of council tax will pay for the stations to stay open.

Yet it is quite clear that the fires they attend are often in multi-storey buildings, especially in London. Fires nowadays often need more than one engine because of our density of buildings and the high-rise nature of them. There is nowadays better fire prevention in wiring and most appliances and fittings are safer, but once something does happen, it tends to be enormous rather than little.

It is in a way good that the whole problem will come before a judge because both sides are heavily biased. The Mayor is obsessed with cutting council tax and the Fire Brigade of course doesn’t want to close stations or loose fire fighters. A court will put a very objective viewing on the problem.

Councils turn into businesses

Since Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has challenged councils to make money and sell their services to adapt to the current climate, it seems only reasonable to expect that councils should also be allowed to publish their own papers as this would make service delivery more viable and would also construe a profit making line of business as advertisements can be sold in papers.

Yet Eric Pickles is particularly clear that he does not want councils to print their own papers and has practically outlawed this. There is an obvious contradiction in strategies.

Ii think in an area like Tower Hamlets, the council can make something of Eric’s proposals because council is here the biggest employer anyhow and many services are run central to the local authority or in partnership with it.

Normally every business must make their own publications as a ‘Cost of Sales’ strategy and advertise what they do surely, Mr Pickles can not allow one law for some and another for others? Or what is the exact legal basis for his speech in the House of Commons?

So far councils cannot keep all the revenue from sales of homes and rents, which is partly what Boris Johnson wants to have for the City of London. Where rent revenue and stamp duty make a large part of a council’s income it is essential that this revenue can be kept to churn out better services for those providing the funds in the first place.

I think Mr Pickles wants the best of both worlds, the council that works as local authority and provides funding for central government with the revenues the council’s create but also Eric Pickles wants councils to be entrepreneurs. But where is the proper definition of  the new business status that councils have gained?

It has to make sense and not be some kind of hybrid part business philosophy that sounds good and romantic but is legally unworkable and not viable.

The reckless destruction of Britain’s economy

or what is austerity good for? Absolutely nothing.

I do not know what cloud cuckoo land, Osborne, Cameron and their Liberal counterpart live in. The Liberal Democrat website even sports the slogan, ‘stronger economy, fairer society’. And whilst the latest austerity cuts have been vigorously defended by Nick Clegg, it is quite clear that all that has increased in Britain is public borrowing. All expectations for borrowing have increased beyond the imaginable margins. The economy is shrinking defacto and Osborne makes absolutely no effort to reverse his policies. Will he not stop until Britain is grounded completely?

This government spends large amounts on first of all, dismantling public services and then making huge enquiries when they have gone wrong. Every day there is some horror story in the media that tells of old people dying of thirst or other public services atrocities. Now a number of hospitals is about to investigated. All those services including schools only fail because the new policies have put a stop to efficient service delivery.

The Queen just shaut stumm im ganzen Raum herum. The Queen has not got a clue and I suppose her long reign will be marked as one of the worst in the Royal history of Britain, after Richard III I suppose who lost his realm. What is Royalty good for, absolutely nothing. Forgot to mention she managed a pretend parachute descend for the Olympics, ho, ho, ho.

When I used to be a big defender of Monarchy in Britain, I now have changed my mind because the Queen just sanctions everything the government does.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies already says whoever wins the next election faces a huge deficit,yet is that taken to be as excuse to further make inefficient government. Why do we vote, if all we can achieve is more inability at the top? Even Mr Gove has turned out a huge disappointing flop. After all those promises and what does he want, he wants basic history lessons. What he forgot though is that the best history and truth of the matter can be found in the bible. Yet his government tries to turn the Bible upside down and ignore its wisdom by making laws that directly contradict the word of God.

All this turning upside down of education for example just disrupts successful education and disheveled people’s confidence.If one complains about Ofsted’d methods these days one gets threatened with legal action. The government was warned that the reorganisation of the NHS will not work, there were large demonstrations,nothing has been achieved. Hospitals gone broke with the results of further expensive enquiries to follow. Why do we have to put up with this, so that the civil servants in post now can keep their jobs?

But I quote from another article in which it says: “”TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “The IFS is right. If the government does not change course, then there could be well over a million job losses in the public sector and savage cuts to vital services.”

Council support from Central government has been slashed, just Boris Johnson has sort of realised that his own party digs the ground away beneath any sustainable homes building program if stamps duty is not reinvested at the point of raising, namely in the city. It has always been the biggest sticking point in local council administration that councils cannot keep their rent revenue either but it all goes into a central pot and councils get back a fraction of the money raised through rents and sales.

Knowledge doesn’t spark off sensibility

The fact that people get told again and again that smoking is bad for them and gives them cancer, that too much eating is bad for them and gives them secondary diabetes at the least, the fact that too much drinking leads to liver failure and death, that unsafe sex leads to aids and other diseases, all that doesn’t matter to seemingly educated people who continue their bad practises but ask doctors to find better remedies, so that they can continue what we know now as deadly sins.

God has given us clear rules on what we can do to live safely on this earth but people just want to ignore his laws and think science will help to eradicate sin and make it a thing of the past; they think if we find medical remedies then it doesn’t matter any more if we live in sin. There then would be no more sin because science can solve all problems.

That is the work of the devil and that devilish thinking has crept into people’s minds and into the highest ranks of society these days.

Despite continued health campaign HIV in gay men has not become less but rises at a steady pace.

Buying cigarettes is made as least enjoyable and expensive as possible but what do I see every day? Yesterday I saw even a vicar smoking around a school when talking to parents. I see teachers standing outside their school to smoke in their breaks, I see severely obese doctors and health professionals all the time, the list is endless.

I ask myself why do people do not want to live? The answer can only be they are deeply unhappy with themselves, their marriage, their jobs. Yet society pays for this unhappiness.

Yet when our relationships are about to break up we have a trial separation to get a breather. But in jobs for example people who continue to smoke do not get relieved of their duties, people who are very obese, do not get suspended until their body is back to shape. The Community Secretary Mr Pickles would be my first contender for a suspension and diet plan, so that he fits into his Porsche better.

Leaders must ask themselves why are there more and more who break the law, why are there many who do not want to live healthy? They must ask themselves whether society requires some kind of re-organisation so that people can live fulfilling lives.

God shows no mercy to those who do not want to follow his rules, that has been shown in history, we cannot turn around what has been made without severely affecting the chain of creation.

Of course unhealthy lifestyles cause cancer but paying more for cancer research doesn’t help those living unhealthy lifestyles to change their habits, it encourages them to carry on.  Yet threatening people’s jobs will help them to give up or end up where they perhaps subconsciously ought to be on the dole, street, wherever rotten habits lead them.

There are plenty of health conscious people on the dole these days.

I would go as far as to say that its those with unhealthy lifestyles who are in the important jobs, that are the ones who repress the rest of us into sinful and wasteful lifestyles, those are the ones that demand more taxes so that the results of their sick lifestyles can be healed, they are the ones that cause our society to creek under the burden of too much taxes.

Yet our current laws only punish those who fail the worldly legalities to do with administrative processes and robbing possessions or murder, those who fail to adhere to laws of decency and healthy living, those are the ones that never get punished, they get preferential health treatment instead.

Top job anyone?

In Britain today the public atmosphere is so poisoned that it doesn’t take long for anybody in a public post to get into trouble. Mr Hogan-Howe is the shining example for this. He’s hardly become Met commissioner when he has to cut short his first Christmas holiday already, among controversy over Plebgate.

Are public posts still desirable, I doubt it. It doesn’t matter what it is, today’s perception of any public services is being brought into doubt by scrutinising every word a person speaks, any movement a  person does and / or even thinking is not allowed any longer.

The double dip problems in this case show how shallow relations in the top jobs are. It was widely discussed that David Cameron in fact completely stood behind his chief whip just to be accused of leaving him hanging in the wind. One just can’t get anything right these days.

What has gotten more to the right though is the ability to become British in the first place or to manifest ones Britishness with a British passport.

The two-tier system of people administration has gone to ridiculous dimensions. On one hand we have ever increasing illegal immigrants in Britain but as soon as one wants to get a British passport, then even people who lived here, worked here all their lives get treble scrutinised and have to supply ever increasing amounts of paperwork.

Passport applications ask for the passport of a parent at the time of birth, even if that was over 30 years ago, how ridiculous is that?

It’s like the Home Office pretends that they cannot look up certificates in the relevant authority’s archives. Just watched this film Heir Hunters, about HMRC government officials trying to find people who are related to those who die without a will. There they can research whole family trees without any problems, just when it comes to passport applications the government makes out they haven’t got the ability to check out histories of people unless the original certificates are produced. Even if you got a British birth certificate at birth the Home Office does not accept this as entitlement to a British passport and that is plain wrong and an abuse of people’s Human Rights.

But then many things in Britain have become muddled.

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