Pony Sales Plummet as Austerity Measure Reach Chipping Norton

Angry residents of the Cotswold town of Chipping Norton have voiced their concerns to David Cameron that the Government’s austerity measures are having a direct effect on their children’s welfare.

In a letter to the Chipping Norton News one fuming parent detailed the trauma that her 10-year-old daughter experienced after being told that mummy and daddy could not afford to buy her a new pony. ‘It has been absolute hell,’ she explained. ‘Little India hasn’t come out of her room for days after up turning the scullery table and cremating her teddy bear in the Aga. Thank God she’s got an en suite.’

‘Other parents I have spoken to at our monthly Supper Clubs are experiencing the same issues. Hyperventilation, bruises to the feet following extreme stamping and fainting fits are affecting the health of vulnerable children across the county. It’s getting just like the Third World.’

There is evidence too that pony breeders and Gymkhana event organisers are feeling the pinch as a result of parental cut-backs. ‘In the run up to last Easter I’d already sold 12 Shetlands, 6 Welsh Ponies and 3 Grade Horses. This year I’m still left with 13 Ponies and now the only interest I’m getting is from the French and Tesco,’ said breeder Steve Braithwaite from Cheltenham. ‘Local charities are really suffering too with the annual Gymkhana getting hardly any sponsorship this year, even from Waitrose or Holland & Barrett.’

Other businesses have also reported a downturn in sales. Marjorie Sinclair-Smythe who runs True Blue Gifts in Charlbury said, ‘Things have got extremely tense lately, as a matter of fact I’ve had to take all of my Thelwell horse and pony merchandise out of the window as children are breaking down as they pass by. Last week someone even posted a steaming lump of horse turd through the letter box which really was the final straw.’

A shortage of social workers in the area has exacerbated the problem with parents forced to employ extra nannies, to deal with anger management issues and to wear saddles and harnesses when required.


Right Wing People


This is Nicky. Nicky thinks she is great. Nicky likes to tell other people how they can be great too. Nicky is what we call a ‘right-wing’ person.

But what are ‘right-wing’ people?

Right-wing people are people who think they are great. Right-wing people think everyone can be great too if only other people were a bit more like them. Right-wing people think they know how to do things better than other people.

Some right-wing people even think they know better than experts. If you have a tummy ache, normal people go to a doctor. Normal people listen to the doctor and do what they tell them to do.

But right-wing people don’t like to listen to doctors. Right-wing people think they know better than doctors.


This is Jeremy. Jeremy thinks he knows better than doctors.

Right-wing people also think they know better than firemen how to put out fires. And they think they know better than teachers how to teach. And right-wing people even think they know better than your mum how to look after you.

But right-wing people do like to help people. In fact, a lot of right-wing people spend a LOT of time telling people what to do. For example, right-wing people like to help disabled people by telling them not to be so disabled. And taking their wheelchairs off them.

And right-wing people like to help people who don’t have enough to eat by taking their bedrooms off them.


This is David. David is a Prime Minister. Prime Ministers are important. They go to cocktail parties and talk about important things.

Right-wing people like nothing better than to buy and sell things. Right-wing people like to buy and sell everything. Trains, schools, hospitals. They will even buy and sell things that don’t belong to them. Trains, schools, hospitals. Some will even sell you their grannies. If the price is right. Or their souls.


This is Iain. Iain doesn’t have a soul.

Right-wing people don’t like a lot of things. They don’t like working class people. They think their television sets are too big. And they think working class people speak funny. They think if working class people speak more like they do, then they could be great people too. Right-wing people don’t much like sick or old people. They think if sick or old people spent less time lying in hospital beds and more time buying and selling things, then they wouldn’t be sick or old any longer. Right-wing people think everything can be made better by buying and selling things. Trains, schools, hospitals. Old age.

Some right-wing people have two faces and have noses which are too high on their faces, causing them to look down on other people. They also suffer from illnesses like severe knee-jerk reactions. Right-wing people’s hearts are often very small. Some right-wing people don’t have any heart at all.


This is Nick. Nick has two faces.

There are a lot of colours right-wing people don’t like. They don’t like brown or black, because they think they’re not white enough. Right-wing people’s favourite colour is white. They think white is better than any other colour. Right-wing people would like everything to be white. White towns, white collars, white golf clubs.

Right-wing people don’t like green. They think only left-wing people should like green. And right-wing people especially hate red. They think red should be wiped off the face of the earth.


This is George. George likes people who have money.

Right-wing people think everybody who has money is great. They think if people who don’t have money didn’t have such big televisions sets and didn’t speak so funny they could have money too. They think people shouldn’t get themselves born into a family without money. Right-wing people think the best way to make sure families without money have more money, is to give more money to families who have money, and take money away from families who don’t have much money. Right-wing people like money.

How to tell if you are a right-wing person?

Simply take this one question test to find out if you are a right-wing person:

Do you think anybody can be great even if they are not white, rich or able-bodied?
A. No

B. Yes

You answered A – you are probably a right-wing person.

You answered B – you are probably not a right-wing person.


Gove: Lying or Deluded

Michael Gove at Chantry High School

Michael Gove at Chantry High School (Photo credit: Regional Cabinet)

 

This article was brought to brought to my attention this morning. In it Michael Gove some of the most self-deluded nonsense i have ever read (he also fails somewhat by spelling Massachusetts wrong!).

 

Gove tries to compare his private school education to that of high school children in Merseyside. He  complains the type of education he got at the fee paying, selection by exam Robert Gordon College is not what England’s state schools offer. Of course if he means that they do not offer an elite few an advantage over poorer or less able students, he’s right. The concept of Equality of Opportunity for all regardless of background is the foundation of state education and a total anathema to the private schools industry that Gove loves so much.

 

The Minister paints a picture that education in state schools is blighted by teachers, unions and local authorities that are striving to deprive state pupils of a good education.  He states that his government is ensuring that, “Every child can succeed” whilst at the same time setting up inflexible processes that will ensure that every child will not succeed.

 

He claims that he is recruiting more highly qualified teachers by which he means he is freeing up academies and free schools to employ non-qualified staff as teachers.

 

As far as the exam system is concerned Gove tells us he has restored “rigour” when in actual fact he means he’s rigged them, He’s devalued subjects like technology, drama, art and music. He has really show his ignorance over the new OFSTED inspection regime. In order to be graded better than “requires improvement” schools must now be above the national average. Now Mr Gove, I know I’m a maths teacher and you are, well an idiot really, but surely you understand that at anytime half of schools will be below average because that’s the nature of an average! Nothing will change that never, it’s a mathematical fact. Imagine if driving tests were judged in the same way. A student would take their test then wait until the end of the year to find out if they passed by being in the top half of candidates. Lunacy. Gove says he wants all schools to be good or outstanding but then sets up a system to ensure that can never happen. Why?

 

Gove complains about our country being held back internationally by low marks while at the same time his government  has withdrawn from international competition in everything except the financial sector. The very sector that destroyed our economy!

 

Performance-related pay is one of the biggest obstacles to improving standards yet. Teaching improves when teachers identify areas they need to develop and work with other to improve. That results in an improvement across a school.

 

Gove has built himself a legacy of destruction of education. He spouts on about liberty and cites Blair who talked about freeing schools from political interference. The truth is he interferes constantly for political gain and harks back  to an old system that failed the many and advanced the few.

 

At the start of this article I asked whether Michael Gove was Lying or Deluded, I think he’s both.

 

 

 


Glenda Jackson tells it how it is

The recall of parliament to pay tribute to Margret Thatcher might have turned into the predictable “She was lucky to know me” Tory love-in had it not been for Glenda Jackson. So awesome is Glenda’s speech that no comment is needed from me!


BBC – self-censorship of cowardice?

Cropped screenshot of Judy Garland from the tr...

Cropped screenshot of Judy Garland from the trailer for the film The Wizard of Oz. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So the BBC have decided not to play Ding Dong, the Witch is Dead on the Radio 1 Chart Show this Sunday )it currently looks like it will enter the Top 40 at number 3). It will broadcast a “short clip” during a news item explaining why it is in the charts.

The BBC issued this statement:

The BBC finds this campaign distasteful but does not believe the record should be banned. On Sunday, the Radio 1 Chart Show will contain a news item explaining why the song is in the charts during which a short clip will be played as it has been in some of our news programmes.

Ben Cooper, The Radio 1 controller said on his blog:

Nobody at Radio 1 wishes to cause offence but nor do I believe that we can ignore the song in the chart show, which is traditionally a formal record of the biggest selling singles of the week. That in turn means that all songs in the chart become an historic fact.

I’ve therefore decided exceptionally that we should treat the rise of the song, based as it is on a political campaign to denigrate Lady Thatcher’s memory, as a news story. So we will play a brief excerpt of it in a short news report during the show which explains to our audience why a 70-year-old song is at the top of the charts. Most of them are too young to remember Lady Thatcher and many will be baffled by the sound of the Munchkins from the Wizard of Oz.

Suprised Tin Man

Someone with a heart (Photo credit: Thomas Hawk)

There are two sad things about this whole row. First is that if the Tory press, namely The Telegraph and The Mail, had not run this story on their front pages the whole campaign would not have been so successful.

Second, and this one really is the killer, If you’re over 21 you won’t even listen to the chart show! Here’s a test, if you’re over 21 do you even know what’s number 1? Me neither.

The whole issue with Thatcher is not something you can understand unless you were there. Sure everyone will have a view but only those of us that lived through it will understand the strength of feeling that  has led to this whole row in the first place.

The BBC, like the lion has taken the coward’s way out but it looks like a decision made by the scarecrow – who didn’t have a brain. And what’s it all over? Well an iron woman rather than a tin man but both were missing the same thing!


Thatcher: gone but best not forgotten

Margaret Thatcher, 1983

Margaret Thatcher 1925 – 2013 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

People often say that you shouldn’t speak ill of the dead, an opinion, particularly where public figures are concerned, that I’m not sure I agree with. What people say about you after you’re gone is largely determined by what you choose to do whilst you’re alive: nice people are remembered fondly and those who choose to be unpleasant are often vilified.

So how will we remember Margaret  Hilda Thatcher born October 13 1925, died April 8 2013? Everyone will have an opinion I’m sure but lets consider the facts.

Thatcher’s first and greatest gift to this country is without doubt unemployment. Previous governments considered full-employement an absolute necessity, she considered it an inconvenience. She changed unemployment  from evidence of a failing government to a respectable and somewhat desirable situation: “a price worth paying”, a way to keep wages down. In 1983 I worked for £3.50 an hour. In 1993 a friend of mine took a job, doing exactly the same thing for £3.50 an hour. 10 years of Tory government, massive profits for the wealthy and the lowest paid still on the same wages.

Unemployment soared as she dismantled the UK coal, steel and shipbuilding industries. Miners, some of the hardest working people in the country, were branded “the enemy within” because they wanted to work and support their families. Whole communities have been thrown on the scrap heap. Many of those workers are now part of the generational unemployed.

I grew up in Lowestoft, Britain’s most easterly town. A place where men worked in the fishing or shipbuilding industries. There is no fishing now and shipbuilding and construction firms are have just been derelict sites since the 80s. Now we have minimum wage chicken factories.  Maggie created a whole class of jobless men and forced women back into the workplace.

No wonder Maggie considered unemployment, “a price worth paying,” she expected the victims of her policy to pay it, it’s almost like medieval practice of the condemned man paying his executioner.

Next she gave us The Great British Sell-Off, BP, gas, electricity, water, BT, railways and busses. Prices for all of these have soared as foreign owners milk the british public.

She flogged off our council houses without ever intending to replace them.

To Maggie profit was the great deity, people were just consumables to be used and discarded as required.

Then there was the most unpopular policy of any government ever: the Poll Tax. Whilst most political commentators state her euro-phobia as the reason for her eventual downfall I have always believed it was the Poll Tax.

She considered Nelson Mandela a terrorist, supported the racist apartheid regime of South Africa.

“Black Monday” wiped billions off the nation’s reserves when we were forced out of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism as a result of her leading us into it a too high a rate of interest.

Many people  have said that at least she stood by her guns, but look where her pointed them? It’s easy to stand by your guns if you point them at the weak and those unable to defend themselves.

People say we have a lot to thank her for and that’s true:

If you are unhappy about energy and water firms (mostly foreign owed) ripping you off, thank Maggie selling them off.

If you are angry that there are whole families where no-one works, thank Maggie for ending full employment.

If both you and your partner have to work just to be on the bread line, thank Maggie for making profit more important then you.

If you or your children cannot get on the housing ladder, thank Maggie for the 80’s housing boom that started this endless cycle of spiralling house prices.

If you are one of the two million on the housing waiting list thank Maggie for selling of the council houses.

The Iron Lady might be gone but we will never forget her, not least because we will still be paying for her legacy for generations to come.


Pony sales plummet as austerity measures reach Chipping Norton set

Angry residents of the Cotswold town of Chipping Norton have voiced their concerns to David Cameron that the Government’s austerity measures are having a direct effect on their children’s welfare.

In a letter to the Chipping Norton News one fuming parent detailed the trauma that her 10-year-old daughter experienced after being told that mummy and daddy could not afford to buy her a new pony. ‘It has been absolute hell,’ she explained. ‘Little India hasn’t come out of her room for days after up turning the scullery table and cremating her teddy bear in the Aga. Thank God she’s got an en suite.’

‘Other parents I have spoken to at our monthly Supper Clubs are experiencing the same issues. Hyperventilation, bruises to the feet following extreme stamping and fainting fits are affecting the health of vulnerable children across the county. It’s getting just like the Third World.’

There is evidence too that pony breeders and Gymkhana event organisers are feeling the pinch as a result of parental cut-backs. ‘In the run up to last Easter I’d already sold 12 Shetlands, 6 Welsh Ponies and 3 Grade Horses. This year I’m still left with 13 Ponies and now the only interest I’m getting is from the French and Tesco,’ said breeder Steve Braithwaite from Cheltenham. ‘Local charities are really suffering too with the annual Gymkhana getting hardly any sponsorship this year, even from Waitrose or Holland & Barrett.’

Other businesses have also reported a downturn in sales. Marjorie Sinclair-Smythe who runs True Blue Gifts in Charlbury said, ‘Things have got extremely tense lately, as a matter of fact I’ve had to take all of my Thelwell horse and pony merchandise out of the window as children are breaking down as they pass by. Last week someone even posted a steaming lump of horse turd through the letter box which really was the final straw.’

A shortage of social workers in the area has exacerbated the problem with parents forced to employ extra nannies, to deal with anger management issues and to wear saddles and harnesses when required.


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