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3 minutes ago, Blue blood said:

Great post. The America parallel is very appropriate. One thing that strikes me in the US political debate is, from speaking to US friends, if you are on side Democrat for example you are "for" all of their policies, likewise with Republican. To like only some and to pick and mix is very unheard of and not the done thing. A look at Americans social media seems to back this up. The actual policies and character of politicians goes by the wayside at the expense of party loyalty. It's not a great place to be in at all...

 

Edit - Dreams school meals are a bit better now and more balanced  but still not great. At least they are getting solid meals which is better than nothing by a long stretch. 

It's actually wholly undemocratic. The issue in this country is the first past the post system. It effectively limits us to a two-party choice if you want your vote to be 'meaningful'. Both main parties play on that and is why neither of them decided to back voting reform. 

I trust school meals are better. I was during the "Oliver years". I actually remember the school tuck shop closing and we held protests - which consisted of sitting in the tennis courts for an extra 25 minutes after break. It was probably the only time our school ever mobilised politically. The school never folded and we were never able to buy sweets and pop in the school grounds again. It was year 9 or 10 when 'health dinners' became a thing.

The whole dinner revolution was meaningless though. All they did was remove chips and add a half-hearted salad bar. Even then after pressure chips came back on Friday and it was definitely the busiest day in the canteen!! 

It's abdundantly clear that present conditions mean an exemption is to be made for FSM in summer but, going forward, the root cause of the issue actually needs to be addressed. Why in modern society are we scared about children missing meals if not supervised by authorities? 

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Thought I would offer an insight into the School Meal Voucher scheme being used to provide vouchers to those parents and children that need it desperately.  The scheme is provided by Edenred a co

This sermon is brought to you by the Daily Mail. Victim-blaming repugnant nonsense. 

You need to completely change your perspective. Do you think they don’t realise how dangerous is?  They don’t have other options. Of course it’s dangerous but the alternative, for most, is l

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19 minutes ago, Dreams of 1995 said:

It's actually wholly undemocratic. The issue in this country is the first past the post system. It effectively limits us to a two-party choice if you want your vote to be 'meaningful'. Both main parties play on that and is why neither of them decided to back voting reform. 

I trust school meals are better. I was during the "Oliver years". I actually remember the school tuck shop closing and we held protests - which consisted of sitting in the tennis courts for an extra 25 minutes after break. It was probably the only time our school ever mobilised politically. The school never folded and we were never able to buy sweets and pop in the school grounds again. It was year 9 or 10 when 'health dinners' became a thing.

The whole dinner revolution was meaningless though. All they did was remove chips and add a half-hearted salad bar. Even then after pressure chips came back on Friday and it was definitely the busiest day in the canteen!! 

It's abdundantly clear that present conditions mean an exemption is to be made for FSM in summer but, going forward, the root cause of the issue actually needs to be addressed. Why in modern society are we scared about children missing meals if not supervised by authorities? 

Yeah that sounds about right. Chicken and chips days or fish and chip Fridays are still hugely more popular in schools. Shows the issue is deeper than what's on offer. 

Fwiw I still think school meals are better than what some kids will get at home even if they aren't great. One example I know of is kids getting crisps for breakfast or cereal and toast. 

Interestingly last year at college I did an essay on foodbanks and it was very illuminating. There are a ton of root causes, a lot to do with zero hours contracts and "the system" as well. In the US which I fear we are growing more like foodbanks are the welfare state. It's a scary proposition and one we seem to be heading towards. Needing a footballer to champion it, Captain Tom raising funds for the NHS (both fantastic examples btw) are the thin end of the wedge of the government devolving responsibility.

One interesting thing I found out about it was that supermarkets give big bucks in the US to employ food bank distributors. Seems very charitable until you look and see that it means they fight against legislation against zero hour contracts and the like that would prevent these being necessary (and cost more money then the foodbank donations.)

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2 minutes ago, Ewood Ace said:

Slightly surprised actually Chaddy given how big a fan you are a big fan of the PM, I'd have put you a bit further to the right and more libertarian.

Some interested questions asked like on Religion or abortion, etc

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20 hours ago, Mike E said:

Who says he did? The pair of you were getting into an argument irrelevant to the thread.

Rubbish. Who deleted them? There was no argument. Presumably you did.

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3 hours ago, Dreams of 1995 said:

Free school dinners was always a bit of an embarrassment at school. I was on them from Primary school, where the teachers actually made us line up separately. This confused me because at the beginning of the school day people who paid for their dinners had to give money during reception, so it was pointless to separate us.

 

 

To avoid the embarrassment of anyone knowing who got free school meals our kids at Pleckgate all had swipe cards to pay for lunch. You pre loaded them. Free school meal allowances were loaded automatically at the start of the week but could be added to by the kids. All cards were the same and were just swiped at the till meaning lunch was quickly bought, no messing with change etc. We had a lot of pupils to get through in a very short time so it was good for speeding things up too

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If anyone ever wanted an insight into the colonialist, racist mind of our prime minister, read this revolting article by Boris Johnson in The Spectator on 2 February 2002.
 
He was writing about how Africa and Uganda should be in debt to Britain.

Heaven knows what the Foreign Office has cooked up for Blair, or quite how this British prime minister will choose to break the winds of change. But we must hope, for the sake of candour and common sense, that he does not blame Britain, or colonialism, or the white man. The continent may be a blot, but it is not a blot upon our conscience. The problem is not that we were once in charge, but that we are not in charge any more.

If left to their own devices, the natives would rely on nothing but the instant carbohydrate gratification of the plantain.

We may treat them like children, but it's not because of us that they behave like the children in Lord of the Flies.

This is still a country where too many people squat on their haunches, slowly waving their hands to move the flies from their faces. Too many people are rootling aimlessly for rubbish, competing with the marabou storks.

Everywhere the people glide by, rather slowly, on big black bicycles. They are all imported: even now, the Ugandans can't make their own bikes.

In the depths of the bush, in halting English, recipients of aid will tell you how 'empowered' they feel to be 'stakeholders' of 'social support programmes'.

Martin Mogwanja, Unicefs man in Kampala, told me there are hundreds more, most of them consisting of a single man in an office hoping to strike lucky with, say, the ever-generous readers of the Daily Telegraph
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8 hours ago, Dreams of 1995 said:

"Merging" is usually business-speak for streamlining, which is further business speak for cost-cutting. 

Why we would choose to cost-cut on a department which exerts worldwide influence is beyond me. Maybe if we hadn't spent x billions destroying the Middle East we wouldn't now need to spend x billions trying to fix it. 

We are giving 95 millions pounds in aid to India when they are spending 100 million pounds to launch a probe that got to the moon last year. Is this right? 

Or between between 2009 to 2014 we gave Kenya's meteorologists 25 millions to work on a project with Nganyi rainmakers who made the claim that they could forecast rain by watching ants and listening to the call of certain birds and the croaks of toads. But they were said to be ‘flummoxed by climate change’. Their plan was to come up with a ‘consensus’ weather forecast. 

These 2 cases are mention in this article https://mol.im/a/8426737

 

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10 hours ago, chaddyrovers said:

The Government has U-turn and will provided the free schools meals through the summer to children. The Government was wrong on this and have done the right thing in the end. But should have done it. 

Did you ever say they were wrong before they did the U-Turn"?

I wrote "government by U-Turn" weeks ago. Johnson is piling up problems for himself because back-benchers and Ministers go out on a limb for him and defend his stance only to find, hours later, that he's changed his mind.

Yes, he has made the right decision in the end but anyone with any compassion and common sense should have worked out this was the right thing to do weeks ago.

He only did it because 1 young footballer left him with no choice.

This is what populist leaders do. No coherent policy based on principles just a day to day winging it based on oiling the squeakiest wheel.

The country is not in good hands.

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8 hours ago, only2garners said:

If it were just about streamlining it might not be so bad but it seems that the primary driver is to direct our aid budget into schemes that are wholly in the UK's interests. When I was a lad there was a simple word to describe that - colonialism. To be proposing such a policy right now just shows a lack of self-awareness that is simply shocking.

Its what we criticise China for.

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1 hour ago, jim mk2 said:
If anyone ever wanted an insight into the colonialist, racist mind of our prime minister, read this revolting article by Boris Johnson in The Spectator on 2 February 2002.
 
He was writing about how Africa and Uganda should be in debt to Britain.

Heaven knows what the Foreign Office has cooked up for Blair, or quite how this British prime minister will choose to break the winds of change. But we must hope, for the sake of candour and common sense, that he does not blame Britain, or colonialism, or the white man. The continent may be a blot, but it is not a blot upon our conscience. The problem is not that we were once in charge, but that we are not in charge any more.

If left to their own devices, the natives would rely on nothing but the instant carbohydrate gratification of the plantain.

We may treat them like children, but it's not because of us that they behave like the children in Lord of the Flies.

This is still a country where too many people squat on their haunches, slowly waving their hands to move the flies from their faces. Too many people are rootling aimlessly for rubbish, competing with the marabou storks.

Everywhere the people glide by, rather slowly, on big black bicycles. They are all imported: even now, the Ugandans can't make their own bikes.

In the depths of the bush, in halting English, recipients of aid will tell you how 'empowered' they feel to be 'stakeholders' of 'social support programmes'.

Martin Mogwanja, Unicefs man in Kampala, told me there are hundreds more, most of them consisting of a single man in an office hoping to strike lucky with, say, the ever-generous readers of the Daily Telegraph

God Almighty! Should be compulsory reading that.

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4 hours ago, 47er said:

God Almighty! Should be compulsory reading that.

It was at the time roughly he was writing that stuff, I found myself sitting at dinner tables with Johnson.

Thinking back, my recollection of those evenings are:

Johnson left no impression on me in one-to-one conversation (no doubt it was mutual). So much so I concluded he was destined just to be a circus pony as most politicians have a certain personality presence and give you the sense they can sustain an argument.

The absolute hatred and vitriol right wing Tories have for Liberals (these were business dinners so I kept my political affiliations to myself- peak Blair Government at the time pre-Iraq)

You could literally smell the hots certain women had for him.

To current time and this:

 

Why is anyone surprised

knew nothing about Marcus Rashford’s campaign until this lunchtime?

He didn’t know about the real threat from coronavirus until March. That’s why 65,000 people have died & we have the world’s worst death rate.

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8 hours ago, chaddyrovers said:

We are giving 95 millions pounds in aid to India when they are spending 100 million pounds to launch a probe that got to the moon last year. Is this right? 

Or between between 2009 to 2014 we gave Kenya's meteorologists 25 millions to work on a project with Nganyi rainmakers who made the claim that they could forecast rain by watching ants and listening to the call of certain birds and the croaks of toads. But they were said to be ‘flummoxed by climate change’. Their plan was to come up with a ‘consensus’ weather forecast. 

These 2 cases are mention in this article https://mol.im/a/8426737

 

What's the issue with space probes? Such tests of our universe have resulted in better understanding of the planet, better understanding of all areas of science and massive medical advances.

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2 hours ago, Mike E said:

What's the issue with space probes? Such tests of our universe have resulted in better understanding of the planet, better understanding of all areas of science and massive medical advances.

The point which you yourself overlook is why are giving them aid when they spending 100 million on Space probe which went to the moon? We shouldn't be is the simple answer. 

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Do you ever turn your tax notice over and see the minute % that goes in foreign aid? Of course some is misused by government. All governments misuse money. They buy things they dont need, start projects they cant or dont finish and so on. India may not need rockets in space but a lot of our technological advances come from the research that goes into those projects and a lot of peoples livelihoods depend on the jobs they create. It's not black and white. There are infinite nuances, advantages to be weighed against disadvantages, and to simply state we give India money, they spend money on space probes, therefore we shouldn't give them money is simplistic to say the least.

Edited by gumboots
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1 hour ago, chaddyrovers said:

The point which you yourself overlook is why are giving them aid when they spending 100 million on Space probe which went to the moon? We shouldn't be is the simple answer. 

You think I'm the one overlooking the point ?

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Johnson making a fool of himself in PMQ's. Instead of answering direct questions he responds by asking Starmer about schools going back five times out of six questions, none of which were about schools.

He's a national embarrassment.

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Just now, arbitro said:

Johnson making a fool of himself in PMQ's. Instead of answering direct questions he responds by asking Starmer about schools going back five times out of six questions, none of which were about schools.

He's a national embarrassment.

It's like watching a satire.

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