Thursday, 19 June 2008


Poor old Cllr Chris Wells has a problem according to this weeks Thanet Times.; not only has he to organise the pursuit of truant children as KCC Education Member but also has parents not attending Thanet Magistrates Court when summoned.

The Times reports that only 3 sets of parents out of 9 bothered to turn up for The Magistrates when summoned to explain why their children failed to attend school regularly. Those who did were fined £150.

What interests me is that the missing parents were also fined. Surely, a simple warrant for their arrest and some time in Fort Hill cells until appearing before the Magistrates the following day would be an incentive for these arrogant people? I say arrogant, because not attending when summoned, shows complete disrespect for the Legal and Justice system that governs all citizens lives. The children stand no chance in life with parents like these and the whole cycle of state benefit dependance and deprivation will continue.

Compare these parents attitude to school and this tale. In Cedric Road, Westgate, Mr Babul and his family run the Tajmahal Restaurant. Although not a wealthy man, this devout Muslim sponsored the buiding of and pays for a school in his home region of Bangladesh. Some of the children walk, barefoot, over 5 miles to attend this school. An education is prized so highly that non-attendance is unheard of.

I wonder if State Benefits were removed from parents in the UK who did not ensure their children attended school, would attendance rapidly improve?


Ken Gregory said...


Its not often that you and I see eye to eye, but on this matter, I support you 100 percent.

Rick said...

Bertie wrote

"I wonder if State Benefits were removed from parents in the UK who did not ensure their children attended school, would attendance rapidly improve? "

The principle being, Bertie, that to receive public funds a party must obey the law and act responsibly ?

So you would support then the argument I made to Dr Ladyman ? That a condition of giving Petbow Cummins 7 million of grant aid should be that they explain the history of unreliability of their product and disclose all reports of sabotage made by engineers over the years.

Or are you arguing for a giro whip and a grant aid blind eye ?

And since sabotage of backups are acts which would weaken or tend to weaken the ability of the Realm to resist an enemy perhaps the local Magistracy would care to do its duty ?

This is like that Harper Valley PTA

bye now

Bertie Biggles said...

Rick, you were correct; all to ether I am afraid. Please join in a discussion on the item as posted or keep off the thread. I have the greatest deal of sympathy for a number of serious causes you have fought and are still clearly upset about. You must pusue these issues elsewhere and not on Strife please; this is neither a suitable forum or a place that will get the issues addressed. Keep up your fight for integrity, justice and above all the truth but this just isn't the place that can help.

Bertie Biggles said...

Delighted to hear that, Ken! Please do not comment about the next posting that will hit Strife shortly but I hope you and your colleagues will agree with the points made in it!

Anonymous said...

In the good old days, and I mean GOOD old days, non appearance at court would have meant the issue of an arrest warrant!

Real Police Officers would then go and find the miscreant, arrest them, and bring them before the court to be dealt with!

Mind you, that was in the days when there were police officers on the streets, they had powers, as did the courts, and there was a modicum of respect ( or fear ) of the courts!

What do I mean, well, 1982 ( not that long ago ) conviction for armed robbery, 10 - 15 years. Now, in the enlightened 2008, conviction for armed robbery; 8 months!

The morons running this country, or should I say, dictating to the people, fail to understand that using the full force of the law, and substantive jail sentences actually decreases prison numbers. Why, because the baddies think twice, and don't want to go to prison!!!

Anonymous said...

This would have been a magistrates hearing and so arrest warrants could not be issued (as far as I understand things). Clearly this indicates that there is a problem so deep rooted that just the cold touch of the law is not working. In Thanet the number of people that are so disenfranchised with the establishment that they disengage with everything is on the rise.

If you think the anti TDC bloggers are cynical and without hope then you should talk to Thanet's poor. That'd make our most aggressively anti-authority bloggers look like fanatical supporters by comparison.

Sociologists have lots of big words to describe what Bertie is reporting but it boils down to an utter loss of all hope. We are talking about despair, deprivation and a sociological depression of all outgoing activity.

Sorry that was still quite a lot of long words. I'm trying to convey a situation whereby a person thinks "why bother - we're f**ked whatever we do - they do what they want anyway...".

The only way to solve this problem is going to sound quite "bleeding heart liberal". In short the situation is quite dire and if nothing changes the number of people summoned (and not turning up) will only increase.

One thing that each of us can do to change that is to vote locally not on the basis of party, politics, issue or any of the things we normally vote on but based on the professionalism of the councillors we are offered. I know that sounds strange but if the vocal blogging part of Thanet is depressed to all heck with the council imagine how the poorest residents of Thanet feel (we're back to no hope at all). Frankly who can blame them?

The big word for all this is disenfranchisement which embodies everything I've just said and lots more besides. On this issue the Sure start in Millmead is doing a fantastic job of re-enfranchisement - that is giving people the hope and access to resources to allow them to engage with "the process".

A sure indicator of the level of this disenfranchisement is the turnout for voting. In Thanet and especially in the poorest parts there is a very very low turnout. The reason is that people feel that simply don't "matter" and that their opinion "does not count".

Make it mater and make it count and you will change everything in Thanet far more dramatically than you could possibly imagine.

Anonymous said...

Soory Matt, but when you talk about despair and deprivation, have a chat with those who are working and struggling to make ends meet, when the other lazy good for nothings do sod all and live off our taxes.

One of the reasons that the kids don't bother going to school, is that they see their parents living very comfortably off the state, and just follow their example!

Anonymous said...

This is not always so straight forward as it sounds.

There are many parents in this country who are desparate for their children to go to school, but are not able to force them to do so.

It very easy to say that its the parent's problem, and that they should be able to sort it out. Many parents in this position are just not able to do so - with the children just refusing to go. Or the children apparently go to school and then never turn up.

The schools are not able to punish the children for school refusal any more, so the education authority punishes the parents instead. Either fining them, or threatening them with prison. Other favoured alternatives are to insist that the parents deliver the children to the school, which can also be a problem if the parent doesn't have a car.

Requiring the parents to deliver the children to school or issuing parenting orders for parents to turn up during the day and hear well meaning social workers tell them all about child care can also end up with the parents losing their jobs.

Many children refusing school are also disabled or have mental health problems, and no amount of punishing the parents will help to cure the children's health problems.

Also consider the situation of a parent trying to force their child into their car to drive them to school. How many times can they do that before they get charged with cruelty to the child?

So yes, I'm sure there are many parents who don't care whether their children go to school or not. But there are also many well intentioned parents who are at their wits end about how to deal with their children's truancy, and are just desparately waiting for them to reach 16.

I remember from history that young royal princes in 17th century had a 'whipping boy' - a friend who was beaten when the prince did anything wrong. These day we have a similar system for children, with the whipping boy being the childs parents.

Bertie Biggles said...

A very well argued position 18.14.
I can sympathise with the predicament facing some parents faced with such problems. The solution is not as easy as the imposition of a £150 fine!

Anonymous said...

£150 fine, payable over the next ten years!

This is of course a very stringent punishment!