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..There's a little Samuel Pepys in all of us..

Friday, October 12, 2007

Just a small point to begin this morning.. concerning the deterioration of the English language..
Used during an interview with the BBC by our Shadow Health Minister, Andrew Lansley, when referring to the lack of incentives provided hospital staff.. nurses.. cleaners.. healthcare workers.. to maintain a constant level of cleanliness and adequate individual patient care, when their numbers appear to be constantly shrinking..
And this is an educated man..

That issue remains one of two stories at the fore in our media. Not the verbal blunder mind, but the state of our hospitals and clinics..
Back to this in a moment..

The issue facing the man on the street as he reads his paper, is stress. How it's affecting our children..
A Cambridge based think=tank has released it's conclusions, that Primary School students are being overwhelmed.. not only with the exams, the SATs they must sit, but with the state of the world in general..
One can recall when nightmares were the spawn of Saturday afternoon horror movies.. and a vague yet persistent worry our parents seemed concerned about called 'the Cold War' and 'the Cuban Missile Crisis'..
But for those who took part in this study.. some 750 kids under 5 years of age.. their concerns ranged from world economic issues, to violence on the streets, to the breakdown of the family.
Less than a third of the children polled sat down with their entire family for an evening meal.. More than half expressed, in the terms of a child, fears about family finances, and the future Mom and Dad had together.. More than two thirds said there had been 'talks' with their parents about the importance of studying and paying attention in class now.. and these kids are in pre-school..
Even more disturbing is the apparent lack of success parents and teachers are having with these children.. That fewer than half of 4 year olds, entering the formal school process for the first time, can read even simple words.. unable even phonetically to string together 'r-ed' to get red..
This would seem to point to a trend among teachers, wherein their role is less now that of an educator, and more of a social psychologist..
The Tories were pushing this issue hard during their conventioneering.. the re-establishment of family values.. the rearranging of parental priorities so that family issues are taken at least as seriously as those dealing with work..
It's an apt picture though which comes to mind.. that of the Dutch boy trying to stop the leaks in the dike..
And while on the subject of the Dutch and children.. kids in the Netherlands are rted the happiest and most content in Europe by a UNICEF study.
It, of course, has to do with a number of factors.. but it seems the most influential were the Dutch attitude in general concerning issues the likes of sex.. marihuana use.. and drink..
Because parents are more relaxed, the dynamics of the problems are less severe than in countries where they are seen as more of a serious issue..
Yet that is not to say the importance of an education is not impressed on Dutch children.. what is significant, is that they are not pushed beyond their boundaries either by their parents, or their peers..
Interesting. Swedish children are second on the list, by the way..

Now. This issue of British health care is one which will continue for quite some time.. the Opposition will have ten years of figures to recount.. ten years of Labour promises to toss across the floor of the Commons..
And this story which came out yesterday concerning 90 deaths directly attributable to hospital care, or lack of it.. and hospital conditions.. will demand statement and counter-statement..

At least it'll take some of the focus off the fact we won't be getting regular post through the door for a while..

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