Two hours, yes 2 painful hours, that is what it has taken me to travel my usual six miles into work for my night-shift. An area that relies on the motorway to free up local traffic burst in to complete chaos when it was closed for the best part of the day and night.
My emotions were thrown into survival mode, so while creeping along at a snails pace, planning to circumnavigate the countryside in order to be smarter than the guy behind me, I began taking stock of any supplies I may have in my temporary home, mints, chocolate or any liquid available since the last event? Hoping my full bladder holds out, whilst looking for any utensil that would make an emergency potty and realising it would be a very public affair had I have to use it. Not to mention my ageing car and the new smells and noises coming from it, praying all the time that I will be saved the humiliation of a steaming or smoky breakdown.
And in the ongoing furore that resembled a scene from the pages of history and the evacuation of a large City, you are reminded that a life has been lost in the carnage that preceded, and that I was able to return home or work, a little late, but alive.
Tearing open the parcel that had arrived for me, I quickly realised it was the item I had ordered from the on-line auction site Ebay only days before, a very specialised piece of equipment that I will not bore you with details of. After checking everything was just so, I continued to read the invoice and what I thought were shipping/specifications/instructions, so, imagine my disbelief when I discovered the dreaded junk mail.
The very thing that manages to instantly upset me and something I have dedicated my life to preventing, well maybe that’s a little extreme, but nether the less still annoying. The vendor of said object had taken their time to carefully pack the instrument for dispatch adding not one but three unrelated mail shots in the packaging, it is not as though they were advertising the goods they have on offer, but those of another company.
Armed with my new found knowledge of UPVC windows and an internet casino site, which I have need of neither, I decided that I would take action in the form of sending them back directly and to broadcast my opinions on the auction feed back forum. A slight strong you may think, but, if they are being paid to distribute these leaflets in the outgoing orders, then it may effect business if somebody were to highlight this.
Caveat venditor, seller beware.
When you look back to the 1950’s and 60’s it would be impossible to imagine that our economy today could sustain such a lifestyle, with station masters on train platforms, a Matron on every hospital ward and Police houses dotted around our countryside, of course then we lived in a nationalised Britain, but is that why we suffer today?
Streamlining and consolidation are words that we have come to define as cuts, and these are to be made on the only industries that remain in the public domain, health, education and policing, all else was sold to private companies in order streamline and consolidate our transport system, electricity, gas and water, leaving us with a pot full of money, but no revenue.
And the money has gone and we are left to pick up the cost of privatisation, whilst supporting those very companies with tax breaks and other subsidies. So now you would be hard pressed to find a porter on a platform, a Matron in ten wards and the police have to move in to fire stations or supermarket broom cupboards to save money, while boardrooms get more crowded.
Perhaps a simplistic view, but, maybe that is what is needed, to take a step back and look at our situation from a child’s perspective, we may discover a few answers or at least realise you have to work from the top first.
In the last couple of decades or so, reality television has captured the public’s imagination, with shows such as “Big brother”, “shipwrecked” and even “The only way is Essex, and as interest has grown so has the format for such projects. But why would anyone want to use such a platform to air their family grievances in front of millions?
Some years ago The Jeremy Kyle show appeared on our screens in the UK and immediately had a cult following, from mum’s returning from the school run to students slowly rising from their slumber, this 9.25am appointment has been kept by the thousands. It also has had no shortage of participants to fill the gap of our weekday lives in order to expose the world to a myriad of characters from a massive topic base, infidelity, parenting and paternal issues, and the occasional heart warming and rendering stories from those desperate for help.
Although any remuneration has been a closely guarded secret for years, we do know that they are often provided with hotel accommodation and treated like chat show guest celebrities, or indeed they are until they try to dominate our living rooms with some of the worst behaviour that civilised humans could display. The host supposedly acting as intermediate to some of societies less articulate, who parade and preform, watched by a sometimes baying crowd. When watching, my spirits are curiously lifted, as I look around me and see none of the traits being broadcast and no intent of a “5 minutes of fame” experience.
Such as the popularity of these programmes on both sides of the pond, that we have a new contender for life’s forgotten few to find recourse in the form of legal shows, “Judge Rinder” is out of the same barn that gives us the “Kyle” show and is dedicated to resolving court issues in the comfort of our sitting rooms, and no doubt educate a generation of “Barrack room layers” that every public house has stood at the bar.
In these days of modern enlightenment on the various medical conditions that have gone unrecognised for decades, we are now able to treat young people for a myriad of behaviour changing ailments for which we now know to exist in our society. And being aware of these problems allow us to tolerate such debilitating diagnosed mental issues in a sympathetic way, but are these simply lifestyle choices that a few children have been allowed to make?
I will not dispute that these conditions are real or that families suffer greatly from a child suffering from them, I perhaps do not agree that all are genuine or as extreme that some would like us to think they are. Punishing a 21st century child is a far escape from that of not so long ago when corporal punishment was given freely in schools and in the home, with little in the way of reason, this almost expected form of discipline was often the result of a military background, and produced similar offspring.
Those methods of yesteryear have quite rightly been outlawed over the years, mainly due to the severity of some cases, but has created a scenario where the child almost chooses their own punishment without fear of physical contact, and at the same time giving them the choice of misbehaviour that they will perform in order to receive their “Grounding”.
Again, I sympathise with those who struggle on a daily basis and hope they are given help by all of society, but it is a shame to think that some could be “cured” by the touch of a hand.
We have all been a victim of bullying at one stage or another, even if you have been a bully, and the feeling is not a pleasant one. Believing yourself to be alone, constantly vulnerable and generally down are some of the emotions that are felt at this time, despite the well meaning intentions of others.
So I find astonishing that a school is reluctant to use its authority and stamp this abhorrent behaviour out as soon as it can, whilst it can, for they are the creators of adults, along with the sometimes luck lustre parents. The very fabric of society is nurtured and formed in this establishment, so we should expect more in the way that these institutions are morally run.
To my amazement the local school also has a different uniform code and incentive scheme for those who deem to disrupt classrooms and abuse teachers, by allowing them extra benefits from a lenient administration, whilst the more studious are berated for the most trivial of reasons in order to maintain standards. And while I am fully aware of the difficulties of raising children, some parents should hang their heads and be made to pay for what ultimately costs the rest of us, maybe hitting their pockets would change a few attitudes.
Every child has a right to an education, and to receive it in a decent protected environment away from the scourge of those that make it difficult or uncomfortable.