Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Half a Pound of Half Baked Policy, Half a Pound of Treacle

It is not April 1st. I wish to make that clear, because after reading this story from the Daily Mail, you will be looking at your diaries and thinking I am wrong...

"Parents could be forced to go to special classes to learn to sing their children nursery rhymes, a minister said. Those who fail to read stories or sing to their youngsters threaten their children's future and the state must put them right, Children's Minister Beverley Hughes said. Their children's well-being is at risk 'unless we act', she declared. And Mrs Hughes said the state would train a new 'parenting workforce' to ensure parents who fail to do their duty with nursery rhymes are found and 'supported'."

Perhaps the Children's Minister would do better to address the real problems facing children in this country like family breakdown, fatherless families or the fact that we have the highest abortion rate in Europe. But no, Beverley Hughes is more concerned by nursery rhymes.

32 comments:

Helen said...

Say it ain't so, Iain. who is Beverley Hughes, anyway? A character from Peter Simple's column.

Chuck Unsworth said...

You just could not make Beverley Hughes up, really.

I mean what's going to happen if parents refuse to sing nursery rhymes to their children? Is she proposing to bang them up for a few years or something? Is there an official list of non-racist, non-sexist, non-bleeding everything rhymes?

I'm getting severely worried about the relationship problems that Jack and Jill seem to be having. What's all this about deprived pigs, ethnically challenged sheep and birds and so on? I hope she's got crash response teams laid on to bust in through the doors of our nurseries and carry out emergency remedial singing.

'No rhyme unsung', eh? Thank God for Beverley, she has saved the nation.

Anonymous said...

Baa, baa, Beverely Hughes,
Have you any laws?
Yes sir, yes sir,
Three bills full;
One for the Nanny,
And one for Big Ben,
And one for the little boy
Who lives in Number 10.

Anonymous said...

I quite like the around and around the mulberry bush, as the original one is situated within the walls of Wakefield Prison. When my budgie died, I buried it beneath this bush and played The Men They Couldn't Hang on my Ghetto Blaster. It was a tragic end to a jailbird. One prisoner officer complained to the Daily Star about staff having to attend the funeral. It is part of our culture, nursery rhymes, there should be ASBOs awarded to all those who do not learn them and do not teach them...

Anonymous said...

Iain where is the quote from Beverly Hughes about nursery rhymes? 'Cos i don't see it!

Teri said...

No little jack Horner as it promotes unhealthy eating.

To sing Thumbelina potentially makes you a siezeist and digitist.

Georgy Porgy promotes porn.

Little boy blue promotes an unhealthy work ethic.

Mary Mary quite contrary how does your garden grow advocates violence and torture when you consider silver bells and cockle shells were considered instruments of torture.

Three blind mice - vivisection.

Little old lady living in a shoe - is tantamount to advocating promiscuity.

Goosey Goosey Gander - old man not saying his prayers who was launched down the stairs - incites religious violence.

Hey diddle diddle - drugs.

Jack be nimble - banned on H&E grounds.

And the list goes on. It seems the only safe thing to sing to kids is the Black Sabbath Anthems.

What a brilliant job this government has done.

Anonymous said...

Iain, You would have to be very naive or stupid to take a story like this at face value.

You really must learn not to believe anything you read in the Daily Mail. The actual story is below, courtesy of the BBC - a slightly more accurate source of news, I think you will find :-

The Department for Education and Skills stressed there would be no element of compulsion in the help and advice offered to parents and dismissed newspaper claims that some would be forced to attend nursery rhyme classes.

But the minister said she wanted to "broaden and deepen" the debate about the changing needs and aspirations of families.

Slim Jim said...

I don't know whether to laugh or cry! We are witnessing the death throes of the mortally wounded beast that is New Labour. Only recently they were lambasting the young Cameron for being soft on crime; then they capitulate to more insane demands/extortion from the Human Rights Gestapo acting for junkies in gaol! You couldn't make this up!

Anonymous said...

teri - truth is stranger than fiction, so although you were being tongue-in-cheek, check out this article 'Jill was a single mother' from an old 'Telegraph'.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2004/03/02/nrhym02.xml&sSheet=/news/2004/03/02/ixnewstop.html

Bob Piper said...

"The Department for Education and Skills stressed there would be no element of compulsion in the help and advice offered to parents and dismissed newspaper claims that some would be forced to attend nursery rhyme classes."

...but hey, let's not let the truth get in the way of re-spouting the shite printed in the Daily Mail. Iain, you must be getting desperate for anti-govt stories if you're having to resort to believing the Mail. What's up, has David Davis forgot to send you his press releases to print?

trumpeter lanfreid said...

The Daily Mail may have hyped it up, but the story is bad enough without the hype. What business is it of the government to "broaden and deepen the debate about the changing needs and aspirations of families"? Why can't they just get the hell out of our private lives?

I am thinking of launching a national Mind-Your-Own-Business-Day, in memory of my late father, who first had this idea. Anyone interested?

Anonymous said...

Iain, I think you've gone a little bit over the top on this one.

Beverley Hughes is simply saying that parents should spend more time with their children. She's not wrong. Many of this country's ills are down to bad parenting.

towcestarian said...

Can someone tell me please, what is the urdu for "Jack & Jill went up the hill" (to have a bit of pre-marital rumpy-pumpy). Because in out glorious multicultural age its going to have to be translated into 50 odd languages to get past the human rights nazis.

billy said...

Iain, if you stoop to this kind of reporting how are you, or the party you represent, any better than the NL?
Don't you think that those us here deserve better from you?

bebopper said...

Of course the Mail is being mischievous, just as the Mirror makes play with Hug a Hoodie and Love a Lout, ignoring the broad message.
The problem New Labour has, is that they are serial offenders in busy-body "intervention" politics. They don't have much of a working -class base any more and are intolerant of (supposedly) low-life types on council estates who don't think or act correctly.
So, the plebs are lectured on what they must eat, how much they should drink and how they should organise proceedings in their nasty little "affordable" dwellings.(Switch off the tele, converse while eating at a table and share a book at bed-time.)
Beverley Hughes means well, but she's too dim to realise that a more subtle approach is needed to steer people to a more productive lifestyle.

Buster George said...

Bob Piper said,

but hey, let's not let the truth get in the way of re-spouting the shite printed in the Daily Mail. Iain, you must be getting desperate for anti-govt stories if you're having to resort to believing the Mail.

Hate to disapoint you Bob but the Labour party spout more Shite than any other party out there.

But before you start screaming Tory or LibDem supporter, I should just say that I have no particular allegiance to any party, I look for something that few politicians have, common sense.

Buster George said...

Bob Piper said,

but hey, let's not let the truth get in the way of re-spouting the shite printed in the Daily Mail. Iain, you must be getting desperate for anti-govt stories if you're having to resort to believing the Mail.

Hate to disapoint you Bob but the Labour party spout more Shite than any other party out there.

But before you start screaming Tory or LibDem supporter, I should just say that I have no particular allegiance to any party, I look for something that few politicians have, common sense.

Teri said...

Anon 8.53
You said: The actual story is below, courtesy of the BBC - a slightly more accurate source of news,

Accurate in what country? Because the BBC is pretty biased in this one.

Anon 9.03 Cheers for the link. You're right, truly stranger than fiction.

Bob, i'd of thought you would be used to shite being re-spouted. Your leader does it on a daily basis, why take offence now?

realist said...

The story might not be quite as extreme as the Mail makes it out to be be. This does not excuse the fact that a government department is spending taxpayers money even considering a scheme like this.

This government cannot understand that their job is to set overall policy and provide a basic framework of laws and regulation, allowing the rest of us to live individually different lives, making many of our own choices, but,in the main following in the same general direction of travel.

Unfortunately, what appears to be a Utopian vision of life, for the likes of Blair and his New Labour parasites, has become a nightmarish hell for us freethinkers. I am begining to hate my country and, a lot of what it stands for, (this will probably be Blair,s abiding legacy for many people).

The one ray of light in this story however, is the pleasure I have derived from reading the comments. Isn't it fun how a story like this makes the Nu Lab appologists spit out their dummies, take note Bob Piper, jeremycj, just name a couple.

Anonymous said...

"highest abortion rate"

And highest rate of teenager giving live birth.
within the group of 15-19 there are 26 births per 1000 annually. doing a bit of dodgy statistics I would say, since the girls are 5 years in this group, that implies a chance of 1 in 8 to give birth as a teenager.

Add the aboortions, morning afters and all the stuff we don't know about to this and you can surely say:
In the UK girls have to learn it the hard way.

Free condoms for everyone, distributed at the school gates seems a good idea to me. Nobody can stop them fucking, but we can try to stop them fucking up their own (and their childrens' lives).

BTW the numbers have come down since 1997, but still beat Lithuania in second place. (Think they are 25% lower)

The Remittance Man said...

I spot one fatal flaw in this wonderful plan.

Talented as I am in many ways, the ability to hit a note is sadly not one of my accomplishments. Indeed for me to sing to a small child would only be useful as a punishment for some grave misdemeanour. For me to do so otherwise would probably count as child abuse.

And I am sure this lack of choral talent is not limited to my good self. I picture thousands of small children growing to dread the approach of the government's mandated "sing to your sprog hour".

By the way, doing a google search for Ms Hughes and then following the link to her Wikipedia page leads one to the page describing Hitler's Lebensborn program. Most apt.

Anonymous said...

What goes on a t Guardian CiF ?

This leader might have been far more able to ride its moral high-horse had it appeared at any other time. But it doesn't. It comes in the midst of an awful week on CiF, when many posters have been banned, many posts removed, and all without any explanation

Anonymous said...

iain, you must really dread those times in the year when parliament is not sitting !! You will cheer the sight of the Queen getting in her coach to Westminster when you will have some real news to report!

Paul Linford said...

A bit like the story I just heard on the Today programme about the consultants in HM Customs who, rather than worrying about the 100,000 items of unopened mail, have told staff they are not allowed to have bananas on their desks.

AnyonebutBlair said...

Ah Councillor Bob Piper, Old Labour, but New Labour apologist. In fairness (and according to the biased BBC) what Bev actually wants to do is:
"broaden and deepen" the debate about the changing needs and aspirations of families.
I.e. make us behave in the NuLab approved manner and offer some form of stick to those who do not.
Shortly we will be hearing about how the benefits of those who do not attend these "Parenting Centres" will be reduced.
In the real world (that NuLab politicians don't live in) those who most need help with their children are the most difficult to reach. They fail to attend such "Centres" or other state initiatives either through fecklessness, or more likely fear of social workers who have the power to remove their children.
Bob - do NuLab have any real polices to stop family breakdown other than talking about it or throwing our money at it (and down the drain). More desparate polices at the fag end of a discredited regime

james higham said...

Moot point this. "Those who fail to read stories or sing to their youngsters threaten their children's future..." From my educational years, I'd say it's true but the question of legislating for it seems strange.

Anonymong said...

Iain, I have never left a comment on your blog before but this cretinous post has finally swung my keyboard fingers into action.

This is so obviously a made-up non-story that I can only presume this is a biting piece of double-bluff satire, designed to smoke out the bigoted idiots who degrade your party. Believe this story? Then you're off the A-list...

Man in a shed said...

There's going to be a new nursery rhyme about the minister, who after being sacked for lying, was re-employed by a morally corrupt government and then lynched by parents.

After all we don't want our children to grow up to be NuLabour parasites do we ?

vikki said...

Anyone need singing lessons?

Bob Piper said...

As I didn't apologise on behalf of anyone, or even vaguely attempt to justify Beverley Hughes' statement, I am at a complete loss to work out how your puddled commenters have described me as a New Labour 'apologist'. I merely attempted to point out that what the Daily Rag printed was inaccurate and in his glee, Iain had simply regurgitated the bollocks.

I don't blame Iain, he's a Tory 'apologist' and that's his role... but you silly people don't have to follow his every word slavishly.

Chuck Unsworth said...

vikki said...
Anyone need singing lessons?

Yep. 'Lord' Levy...

Mr Piper is presumably related to Tom in some way. He obviously supports the Beverley Hughes 'initiative'. Why?

'No element of compulsion', eh? So does that mean that we can get a Government grant for the learning of this essential 'skill'? And is this going to be available from the illustrious Learning and Skills Council? Where do I send my application?

I can't wait. GCSE in Nursery Rhyme singing - marvellous.

The Remittance Man said...

There may be no overt compulsion in this, but one does wonder how this will tie in with the plan mooted a few months ago. The one that proposes monitoring all children from birth (or before) to identify 'kids at risk'.

Just imagine the social service gauleiter questioning one Kylee Bloggs (who is poor and dim, but not a bad parent):

SSG: "So Ms Bloggs. Do you feed your children five protions of fresh fruit and vegetables daily?"

KB: "Well, er.. I give 'em an orange tango for breakfast. And lemon and lime fizzers in their packed lunch".

SSG: "Mmmm hmmm. And do you sing nursery rhymes to them for at least an hour each week".

KB: "Well, er... no, but little Waynetta listens while I'm singing to the radio and she knows all the words to the Madonna's latest single".

SSG: "Thank you. I'm sorry to say you have failed to score any points on the government's Minimum Parenting Standards Scorecard so I will be taking your children into council care immediately".

KB: ???