Friday, 21 July 2017


Criminals are getting younger.

In this picture, Andre Spicer shows his daughter
flagrantly flouting trading regulations.

The BBC is reporting the story of how a group of trading enforcement officers working for Tower Hamlets council issued a £150 fine to a five year old girl who was selling lemonade on a stall she had set up in the street.

Local resident Andre Spicer decided to allow his daughter to sell 50p glasses of lemonade to people passing by on their way to a local festival when the full weight of the law descended on her.

This brings me to a point I have been making for some time about our education system.

As you know, the primary function of schools is to meet targets and in the processing of achieving that, are now filled with head teachers who are very good at manipulating the system to get the desired results but lack any real teaching skills or even a modicum of common sense.

This is clearly demonstrated by the many stories you can read about how schools are banning pupils from lessons for various petty reasons such as not having shiny enough shoes, slightly the wrong shade of colour on their school shirt, not having a nice hairdonot enough pleats in their skirts, or even for sewing sequins on their socks.

The children do learn an important lesson from this. The lesson isn't that their appearance is more important than their education, although they might be forgiven for thinking this; it's about the perennial jobsworth.

The jobsworth is the person with limited ability to actually do their job and, in some cases, missing important social skills and who will compensate for their shortcomings by an obsessive, single minded pursuit of petty regulations which they consider more important than life itself.

By the process of throwing common sense out of the window at the expense of their education, teachers give children an early lesson in what they can expect from life.

In an interesting ironic reversal, young Miss Spicer, who will, at the age of five, only just begun her school career, will have learned her first lesson about the world of adult petty mindedness from a bunch of council officials and this will, hopefully, prepare her for her similar treatment from her teachers.



The Daily Express or, to give it its proper name, The Daily Migrant is currently on the receiving end of a campaign by pressure group Stop Funding Hate to get companies to stop advertising in it's pages. The campaign also includes the Sun and the Daily Mail.

Their principal concern is the hate fuelled racist headlines, often misleading and sometimes downright dishonest these papers routinely publish.

"After what it called “decades of sustained and unrestrained anti-foreigner abuse, misinformation and distortion”, last year the United Nations accused some British newspapers of “hate speech”. UK experts are now warning that hate crime is being “fuelled and legitimised” by the media. Relentlessly hostile and often inaccurate headlines have been described by charities as “dangerous”. But, indirectly, nearly all of us are funding them". (Stop Funding Hate)"

Summer weather according to
the Daily Express.
The daily Express also likes to brighten up our day with apocalyptic weather forecasts courtesy of James Madden from Exacta Weather

I wrote about the Daily Express penchant for printing bizarre weather stories in an earlier blog and here is the Guardian article by George Monbiot that I quoted quite extensively from.

This time a huge solar flare is going to hit the Earth causing a massive heatwave in August. This rather implausible event is going to result in temperatures reaching 40°C across the country.

The idea that a solar flare could cause a heatwave is about as likely as the unique alignment of planets, once predicted as an April Fools joke by the broadcaster Patrick Moore, causing gravity to disappear. You might as well say that homoeopathy works.

Winter weather according to
the Daily Express.
However, once you get past the mad headline, they make no further mention of solar flares until much later in the story when they mention that solar activity can affect the weather. although not in the way they described

In the mean time you have to wade through endless pictures of women posing in swim suits; I suppose that after looking at all of them, you will have forgotten what the beginning of the story looked like.

If you fancy whiling away your idle time on a game of Express Bingo, you can find the page here.

1 comment:

  1. Problem is that those in 'authority' do not credit their underlings with any sense or judgement and try to micro-manage everything that takes place out in the real world. This coupled with 'targets' (as you've highlighted) leaves the drones at the coalface with very limited options. Imagine being sent to the 5 year old entrepreneur's stall following a complaint from a local busybody and being asked what you've done about it. Someone reads your report and sees an opportunity to boost council coffers (in the spirit of 'efficiency') without seeing beyond the £ signs.