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3 years ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Nick Maughan: After Co... · 0 replies · +1 points

Blimy there are not many recent vintage parents commenting. Its a mix of people who've never had kids or people who don't spend enough time with them.

1) Jamehar - no an after school club club is not a youth club somewhere you go for Tizer and a game of pool or listen to the Bay City Rollers or whatever was done. My Daughter attends an after school clubs during lockdown with her regular state school (that will be one of the ones with all the lefty lazy teachers in it) that is continuing to teach her Mandarin and Japanese (she is age 12 and it is in no way unusual). She also studies Music and Art after school too which, given directionally I have not worked out if she heading to be either an Architect or a Sound Engineer, are both handy.

2) The cohort calling for 2 week summer holidays - most parents try and get a holiday in the summer even if its just camping or days off and that isn't going to fly if they have a two week window to do it in. Moreover the kids who are studying at home are trying and, its knackering for them to get used to this, but most are having a go. Kids need the time to recharge and take stock. Their bodies and minds are going through rapid change and they need a break. It would be better to add another two terms onto school education at the end for those who have lived through this that shorten the summer break.

3) I fully agree with expanding programs of after school tuition. I also fully support the idea that kids should be exposed to as many ideas as possible. At 52 I thrive on learning more and if I go right back it was because I was exposed to the idea of business and how they work age 16 (Times Portfolio contest) but I could say the same of a pal who watched Edward Laithwaite speak (that kid is now a professor of engineering) or another who was bought a ZX81 (now one of the county's foremost software engineers)

3 years ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Instead of EU vaccine ... · 0 replies · +1 points

A uncontrolled virus is our problem. We can close our borders to near as damn it everyone and it will still leak in from somewhere. New Zealand has a tiny population relative to us and can much more easily cut off travel and is still massively guarded. And its still leaked in a couple of times. Are we going to close the borders for ever? Not even North Korea does that. Unless we try and corner this thing and subdue it, every time it gets back in as a new variant from South Africa, South Sudan or the South Coast for years to come we'll be in lockdown within the month and the hospitals may start filling up again.

We need vaccine rolled out in the most efficient way across the globe. We are doing pretty well in the UK so its convenient for me to say UK first as most jabs get most quickly into human arms that way. In many respects after that it should not really matter other than we support the method that gets the virus under control fastest worldwide. An EU insider can spread this thing just as well as a Cambodian peasant, probably better as the EU insider will meet more people in a warm room. To put it another way, if in some mad world it turned out you could make materially greater strides corralling this blight on our world by vaccinating all of Luxembourg first would you decline to offer any support as they can "sort themselves out"?

I suspect at uncontrolled cost prices most, if not all countries can afford the vaccines. What they can't do is sponsor vast development and trials nor get huge volume production going. That is where we come in by placing what seems at first blush like comically large orders. Will we ever actually take deliver or even pay for it all? I think it unlikely. but we've underwritten the development and scaling up production. We've helped provide the heft for world size production to ramp up. That is because what we need is volume. The G7 and G20 in support of WHO need to step up. If we think WHO are doing it wrong we need to work with our fellow G7 and G20 and security council members to change that. Vaccinating sporadically based on who is our friend will be an utter waste of time. Having military transports rock up at far away airstrips with brave squaddies pushing out fridges full of bottles is not really going to work as you have to have a program and local credibility that persuades people to be vaccinated and that is best left to the country or region to sort out under the guidance of WHO.

3 years ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Howard Flight: Priorit... · 0 replies · +1 points

Older apprentices should have a measure of experience and should be more self starting. They have some experience of work attainment and life not virtually nil. I'm all for enabling older workers to retrain and get jobs retraining. I fancy doing it myself in the next five years and I'm 52 but I'm better equipped to finding it and doing that with less government support.

3 years ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Why shouldn’t Tories... · 0 replies · +1 points

One reason one should but with caution and one reason why MPs should not.

In the caution corner if extremes are being espoused then perhaps elected officials should understand those extremes - but on both sides. They should look to the left as well as the right and the extreme religious sites as well as the secular. The UK is a broad church and no government should govern only having knowledge of one extreme of an argument. These sites become an echo chamber for people agreeing ever more extreme positions and just looking at one side of it promotes division. To that end, as an aside, the folks who do not like one contributor or another really need to think about that. If you only want to hear views you agree with then talk to yourself.

In the don't do it corner it is a case of perception. There is an old adage that peoples perception is their reality and if some people see MPs accessing hard right sites they will jump to the conclusion the MP supports the views articulated. You may not have that perception, I may not have that perception but why fuel the perceptions of people who don't take as much notice, who accept things at face value or may apply bias to assume that is the case.

3 years ago @ http://www.conservativ... - WATCH: Back to the fut... · 1 reply · +1 points

I have no relatives in Sweden.

I did understand that the King of Sweden said their approach to dealing with the pandemic had failed and that the PM of Sweden then agreed with him and said there would need to be a full enquiry after this was all over. Is that correct.

Isn't it also the case that most if not all Conservative MP's do not now seek the "Swedish" solution as its considered to have failed and that Johnson is highly unlikely to face any opposition to lock down itself on Wednesday.

Isn't it the case that the Covid Recovery Group and the Jeremy Hunts of this world both accept the need to lock down. The difference being the CRG is pushing to get vaccine out quickly that we can be out of this third week in Feb.

3 years ago @ http://www.conservativ... - WATCH: Back to the fut... · 5 replies · +1 points

Hasn't she asked Ferrier to resign her seat to trigger a by election and thrown her out of the SNP before Christmas.

What else can she do? I don't think she has the legal right to force Ferrier to resign her seat, I think that requires a recall by constituency following an arrest which is why one needs the arrest.

3 years ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Covid, schools and vac... · 0 replies · +1 points

And the exceptions. There is the safety of the children, the teachers and then....... the families. They won't form a majority but a significant minority. What of them? for example:

1) Families who have primary school children but who have one parent, typically the father in a higher risk category due to age. Boris Johnson will himself be an over 60, overweight (likely - sorry but true) parent of a primary school age child in the next 6 years.

2) Families where one parent has a serious condition such as cancer or on dialysis.

3) Families where generations live together. Sir Tom Moore would have been one such example in the last 10 years. Asian families in particular may live in three generation households together also.

The for those who argue that schools just reopen even if shielding staff are at home, all classes have to reconfigured for new timetable of who is teaching what when and be prepared to do that with the material to make any of it worthwhile. Schools don't use slate and alphabet recitation any more no matter how much certain individuals would like that to be the case. Reconfiguring the school day is not just as simple as sitting with a bar chart. and no I'm not a teacher I'm a private sector accountant with my eyes open and kids of school age.

There was quite a lot of anecdotal evidence of supply teachers moving between schools and bringing a dose with them. I know of one school where two entire year groups were taken out for a fortnight as a temp swimming coach came into contact with some kids and a regular teacher. All they were doing was following DfE guidance such as it is to the best they could.

Then you have the sudden shocks. One school announced it would have to close at 4am this morning. What are the parent supposed to do with that. It needs several days notice.

The DfE is not managing this - it is performing poorly in my opinion.

3 years ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Jacob Rees-Mogg: Now w... · 0 replies · +1 points

I don't think all remainers said that was impossible. What some of us said was that we liked having open borders and greater scope to work with Europe. We considered ourselves European and British not British.

The choices are indeed just that. There was some fellow on here the other day bemoaning the fact that we don't tax the tech giants more. First up they had completely missed DST. However, if DST is not in itself sufficient then Rishi Sunak should by all means slap heavier taxes on US tech companies and see where that goes. It is very much the case there is support in the US to look at the Tech giants but that is not a benevolent attempt to hand tax dollars from the tax pot to UK or indeed EU interests and both Republicans and Democrats alike won't allow that. To overcome the US on this one we need the top cover of the EU.

What we can do is try and introduce or indeed relax regulation to grow our own tech giants although to get them going is a faster societal shift that folks are experiencing already as they need a big domestic on line markets for goods and services. That is a choice.

So is levelling up although I think that choice is made. It was in the manifesto. We are doing it.

I expect the extent to which we move away or go back to being so close to the EU as it makes no difference will be determined by the Economic success of the UK and of levelling up over the next 10 years. I'm not complaining though as I live in the North so the way I see it I either get richer than a German or I can go and live there. For that reason I am sanguine about the whole thing.

3 years ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Duncan McGinty: A remo... · 0 replies · +1 points

The only thing I'll say sorry for is not referring to it as Tynedale but in this part of the world you'd know we refer to large tracts of it as the 'shire and its very old name of Hexhamshire.

You refer to Ashington v Morpeth and Alnwick and expect everyone to just assume that would encompass a similar story in Prudhoe v Corbridge. If you know anything of this area you'd know the massive democracy deficit we feel round here, example the cancellation of council meetings earlier this year; and if I want anything from the Council why do I have to drive to Morpeth!

The schools situation is different, the Council does nothing to support action on the end of the bottleneck at the A1, we have a distinct lack of sea here but we do have an awful lot of hills and other than the A69 at the A1 our roads are fine but our public transport it terrible. Morpeth has the East Coast Main Line running through it!

The planning has been a joke since the unitary council took over from Tynedale as has the parking. It in no way reflects our needs and facilities. Someone actually suggested a multistory on the Wentworth - Morpeth might like that sort of thing but not in the Tyne Valley.

Furthermore diversity is not only about race - the populations of the Tyne Valley and the coastal region are different in where they come from, what they do in many instances and even their political outlook which tends to be more moderate here.

Addressing anyone from Somerset - you can see what happens when you get a full Unitary Council - the bit with the council HQ stomps around like the big "I AM" without any respect of county differences. Reject full unitary status!

3 years ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Duncan McGinty: A remo... · 0 replies · +1 points

My very strongest recommendation to anyone living in Somerset is absolutely listen to Cllr McGinty and absolutely do not take any heed of Jack_Graham2. I live in Northumberland. The bit that isn't mentioned in the post above. The Tyne Valley. It is populous with a mixture of industrial, agriculture and an important commuter belt for Newcastle and Country Durham.

The move to unitary status has been pretty lousy for us. We mourn the passing of Hexhamshire council. We are presumably dismissed by Jack_Graham2 as being the "protojocks" of the remote border country when we are populous, very diverse and rarely go near Morpeth or Alnwick as they are just towns to us in another part of the country. As in Somerset we have our own challenges and needs that are wholly different to the Coastal region of Northumberland and they should not ever be under the same Council.