Archive for Coalition Government

First Essential Change To The British Education System?

Posted in Britain, Children, England, English Schools, Europe, Parenting, Primary Education, Teens, UK with tags , on 10/06/2012 by floroy1942

Finally, it appears the government is implementing mandatory foreign languages lessons into the primary school national curriculum in Britain. For many decades the British people have been way behind the rest of Europe in learning languages, and maybe that is because of the “everyone abroad speaks English so why bother” syndrome, or just plain laziness. Either way its a national scandal that the British make little or no effort to learn the languages of our European partners.

For many decades, countries like Germany, Holland, Denmark and many others have taught English as part of the national curriculum, and that is to their credit, so I have been surprised that successive governments in the UK have not followed suit.

Finally On The Right Track

In an age where people can travel all over Europe, or even the world on holiday at least, learning a foreign language or two is essential. For this reason, I for one welcome the change that is being initiated by David Cameron and his government. Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, has said that primary schools could offer lessons in Mandarin, Latin and Greek, as well as French, German and Spanish from September 2014.

While I applaud the basic idea, I am afraid I cannot see the point in teaching Mandarin, Latin or Greek. You will only use Mandarin if you travel to China and one or two other Far Eastern countries, or wish to order a meal in a Chinese restaurant. Latin would only be useful if you enter the medical or science professions. French, German and Spanish are by far the most useful languages for all children to learn. You know the old saying: “Use it or lose it” and that is  very fair statement. The chances of the average UK child using Mandarin and Latin are infinitesimal while Greek may be used on holiday, although outside Greece no-one speaks it. French, German and Spanish are by far the better alternatives. 

Another improvement is the testing of children’s spelling, grammar and punctuation, which again is an essential move. With more and more people these days relying on computer ‘spell-checkers’, it becomes rapidly apparent that such a move is necessary.  You only have to read some of the comments sent in by people to internet news pages to realize that the situation is becoming deplorable.

English Primary School

Unfortunately, this last move is being strongly opposed by head teachers who say “The tests are a waste of taxpayer’s money”. Poppycock!!! The general opinion among teachers seems to be that the assessment and testing of children on these subjects is best left to them. Sorry, but the evidence of the past few decades couldn’t indicate more strongly that the entire education system in England and Wales has been failing the young catastrophically. Some of the fault lies with the previous government, but the teachers must bear a large portion of the blame for the falling standards. The evidence speaks for itself when an estimated 4 out of every 5 youngsters these days cannot read or write English properly.

Milton Keynes head teacher Tony Draper is reported to have said, “It will lead to further narrowing of the curriculum, teaching to the tests and increased misery for our year six students and their families already sick of a diet of practice SATs and drills”.  He continued, “Trust us to assess all our children’s writing this year and every year or we will not cooperate with any future tests”.

The Dreaded SATS Test

From this statement I conclude that the entire teaching method is totally wrong, which is probably why children, and parents end up so confused by it all.

You don’t ‘teach to the test’ for anything, it should be an integral part of learning from day one. Teachers should be checking their pupil’s submissions every day in all aspects, not just the basic issue. Spelling, grammar and punctuation should all be taught from the first moment their pencil touches the paper, not come 6 months or 1 year later. There is a big difference between teaching pupils to ‘get through a test’ and giving them a proper education! When I was in school (hrrumph) years ago, that is how I was taught, e.g. at the end of a sentence you put a full stop, not, don’t bother with that we’ll cover full stops next term!!! 

But here we are today, with a nation of semi-literate young adults and children, and no-one is ready to admit that the education system is deeply flawed. Still the teaching profession will not bow down to superior teaching methods that have stood the test of time, and produced some of the world’s brightest brains. If today’s teachers knew even half of what a teacher of my day knew of his subject, education would take a major step forward, but today its more a case of the blind leading the blind! Its a pity more parents don’t see this and demand action!

Roy.

The Asylum Pantomime!

Posted in Afghanistan, Arab, Benefits, Britain, Budget Cuts, Conservative Party, England, Europe, Extradition, Government Spending, Human Rights, Immigration, Justice, Liberal Party, MP's, UK with tags , , , on 24/08/2011 by floroy1942

Unless you have locked yourself away in the attic for the past three years, it will not have escaped your notice that Britain is in debt up to its eyeballs. Naturally, the government is looking for ways to slash expenditure in order to balance the books.

Waiting For Handouts?

But instead of cutting police numbers, and reducing our armed forces to the extent they are unable to defend our island, more savings need to be made in immigration. 

In particular, those coming into our country in droves to live off the fat of the land, i.e. the tax payer. ‘You don’t have a job to go to – Bye Bye!’ It is time we lived by the strict international rule that those seeking asylum must do it in the nearest country. Britain is a long way from Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Tunisia etc. etc. but they still end up here – Why?

United Kingdom Immigration

It is no big surprise that Britain is the number one destination for all those people from poorer countries who are looking for a better life. I don’t blame them, for who doesn’t have the right to improve their living standards! The problem is, Britain became a ‘give-away’ society fostered by the Blair/Brown duo, and everyone in the world knows that if you want easy money Britain is the place to be.

Our current government is still living with the mess left behind by the previous Labour government,  and it will take a long time to sort it out. As I read comments on news items, I find, not surprisingly, that many people mistakenly blame the present government for our troubles. Oh what short memories some people have!!!!

Immigration Costs To The Tax Payer

David Cameron and his buddies are trying to sort out the mess, and have, according to reports, already made some inroads into sorting out this mega-problem. According to Damian Green the Immigration Minister, the government have reduced the cost of immigration by £100million and it is still falling. He said: “Since taking office, we have nearly doubled the proportion of asylum seekers removed within one year of their application, and around 60% of applicants now receive a decision within one month.”

The UK Border Agency (UKBA) is in such turmoil, trying to sort out legitimate cases, asylum cases, illegals and students over-staying their visas, that it’s almost impossible. The reason being, the numbers involved and the huge size of the problem. For them, its like bailing like hell with an egg cup as massive waves break upon the ship, and its no wonder the ship is sinking!

UK Border Agency catch an Indian visa racketeer:

http://youtu.be/B7YIYApfDpc

Misguided Brits!

Figures provided by Migration Watch state that in the years between 1997 and 2010, analysis of 660,000 cases brought before them showed 243,000 people remained legally, and 266,000  remained in the country illegally. Part of the problem is that those who are refused entry can spend years on appeal, and many ‘just disappear’. A total of 151,540 were given their marching orders, while 8,615 were later found to have left the country of their own accord. Of those that abscond, most remain untraceable.

The well-tested ‘Human Rights’ card, (i.e. Article 8 of the charter – The Right to Family Life), is often played by people who have only a distant relative in this country. Also we have the plea ‘I’ll be tortured if I return to my homeland”!!!!! It was this rule that allowed many convicted killers and torturers to stay in Britain (See Previous posts). Sadly, Many unscrupoulus UK lawyer firms have jumped onto this ‘money train’ as a way of getting rich. Shame on them!

Employment Levels For Foreign/UK Born

It is said that the immigration problem is costing us £2million a day, and has done since Labour opened the gates.

If a migrant’s application is refused, he/she should be on the next flight or boat. All this crap about appeal after appeal, and living off the tax payer for years while awaiting the outcome, should be scrapped. It is time to get tough, and shut the doors firmly to all those who come here for the easy life.

UK Border Agency in action – Pakistani refused entry:

http://youtu.be/ljW-lCA–8U

Why should the British tax payer support these individuals, providing them with housing and spending money, while their endless appeals are heard so they can eventually stay here and live off benefits? It doesn’t make sense, but to sort out the mess would take an army of civil servants, something we do not have, and more importantly, cannot afford.

Roy.

 

A New Form Of Parasite Living Among Us

Posted in Benefits, Britain, Budget Cuts, England, Government, Government Spending, Immigration, MP's, News, UK with tags , , , , , on 05/06/2011 by floroy1942

It will come as a surprise to many, me included, that Britain has until now, a new form of parasite being subsidised by the tax payer. New government proposals to evict rich people living in council accommodation, which is heavily subsidised by local councils, have been put forward.

Plymouth Almshouses From 1490 Demolished In 1868

The idea of council housing, and council estates, began in the late 19th century when local councils built houses and later tower blocks to house people who could not afford their own home. Tenants paid a modest rent which was subsidised by the council, i.e. the tax payer. All maintenance and upkeep was carried out by the council who owned the property.

The idea came from the so-called almshouses which began in the 10th century as a means of providing homes for poor and distressed people. The basic plan has undergone many changes over the years with in particular, the Housing of the Working Classes Act of 1890, the Housing Act of 1930, and much more recently, the Right to Buy Act of 1979.

Council Houses After WW2

Over the last three decades the waiting lists for housing have grown longer and longer, aggravated by the large families of the 1940’s and 50’s and the huge increase in immigrants in recent years. For the last two decades in particular, the housing shortage has been acute.

Considering the housing was intended for low-income families, it is quite a surprise to find from the news report that many families are earning more than £100,000 a year but still living in council accommodation. Needless to say, this is against the spirit of the plan, especially when there are thousands waiting for housing across the country.

News

Kick Out The Fat Cats Bob?

One such person, quoted in the report, is “RMT union boss Bob Crow, who is reportedly paid more than £100,000 but still lives in a council property”. When you consider that the subsidy paid by the tax payer for a single four bedroom house in London is £70,000 a year it soon adds up. It is scandalous to say the least, that someone earning as much as Bob Crow should still be receiving such accommodation from the council.

Modern Council Estate

Of the eight million people still living in social or council houses, government estimates put the figure at some 6,000 families who earn more than £100,000 a year. So if you do the sums, that means somewhere in the region of £400m is being spent to subsidise these people. I must admit, considering the number of people who earn less than half that amount are queuing by the thousands for accommodation it does not seem fair, and of course, its not fair to the tax-payer either.

News Report: 

I am by nature non-political, but I have to applaud this move by the coalition government for it is the first to have ever tackled this problem. If they are successful, they will free up much-needed housing for those in desperate need. It will mean an end to the rule that council housing is for life, and that must be a good thing to combat those who become wealthy and can afford their own home.

Roy.

Will The Current Defence Review Cost Britain the Falklands?

Posted in Atlantic, Britain, Budget Cuts, England, Government, Government Spending, Insanity, MP's, Oceans, Parliament, Royal Navy, UK with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 27/01/2011 by floroy1942

As always, defence spending is the first thing to be cut when money is seen to be tight. And as usual, the politicians make the same stupid, short-sighted decisions. It seems the present Coalition is no different.

HMS Ark Royal

Currently, the Royal Navy is to be hit hard in that its aircraft carrier fleet is to be scrapped. True, two new carriers are supposed to be built to replace those we have now, but apart from the fact they will not be ready until somewhere around 2017, their future is now in doubt even though construction has begun, and in which £1 billion has already been invested.

Hopefully, One of The Royal Navy's New Carriers

All branches of the armed forces will be hit, but by far the most significant is the proposed phasing out of all three aircraft carriers by 2015. Ark Royal has already been decommissioned, and Invincible and Illustrious are soon to follow. This will leave Britain without a single carrier until around 2017 when, hopefully, maybe, the navy will receive their two replacements at a cost. This cost is a significant reduction in their surface ships to help pay for the new carriers.

It’s like the Falklands war of 1982 never happened!

Without her aircraft carriers, Britain would have stood helplessly by while Argentina took over the islands at their leisure after the invasion, with no amount of harsh words from Margaret Thatcher making any difference.

A Harrier Lands on Deck

As it was, our carrier force with their Harrier VTOL aircraft, was the only thing Britain had in its military arsenal that could effectively strike back at the invaders. As we all know, the entire operation was a resounding success.

But what of today and the near future?

It would seem the current government has forgotten the lessons of the past, and are ready and willing to make the same mistakes when the scrapping of the CVA01 carriers almost cost us the Falklands.

The Argentine government must be rubbing their hands in glee at the prospect of a neutered Royal Navy who will be helpless should they try again in three or four years time. I’ll bet their generals have already started making plans for a new invasion of the islands, knowing full well the British will have no choice but to stand impotent on the sidelines.

The Mighty Vulcan Bomber

Since that conflict in 1982 the RAF has also suffered significant cuts to its budget and aircraft. During the previous conflict, the Vulcan and Victor cold-war bombers played a key role with their huge range of action, bombing targets like the runway at Stanley airfield and attacking the radar installations on the island. They too are long gone! Now Britain has no bombers at all with the range to strike at the Falklands.

The Harrier fleet, which proved so effective against the Argentinean air force has been decommissioned also, but that doesn’t seem to stop the politicians from a proposal which will see a scaling down of the number of Joint-Strike fighters to be ordered.

The Falklands

As I see it, this defence review will prove to be a catastrophe for the Falkland islanders, who in my view had better start learning Argentinean, for in about four years time they will need it.

Roy.


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