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Things to worry about

With everything that’s going on at the moment, one might be forgiven for believing that we’re all going to hell in a hand cart, the end of human civilisation is night, nothing is sacred anymore, the globe and its politicians have lost all sense of reason and we’ve plainly reached the point where common sense – as a commodity – is a ‘sell’ and fast losing its gold standard value.

Let me expand.

Firstly, a few days ago I was perturbed on several counts by a media report that there was a huge hoo-hah brewing about the fact that apparently vast number of British kids are unable to eat properly (or at all) during the current school holidays.

See here for a link to a representative piece on the issue by Dawn Foster that appears upon the website of – THE GUARDIAN

Presumably this is an offshoot of the initiative to improve school meals – in other words, the country has now presumably reached the position where kids of people in financially-strained circumstances are at last getting at least one decent meal a day (at school) but, now the school holidays have arrived, their parents cannot afford similar at home.

On the face of it, in a civilised Western country like ours, this is an horrendous situation – as witness the various ‘vox pops’ that accompanied the reports in which parents affected were bemoaning and getting emotional about it.

But then, hang on, what about the other side of the coin, so to speak? Where does the Nanny State end and personal responsibility begin?

I don’t want to sound like former minister and now renta-quote Tory-supporting Edwina Currie – who several years ago now shipped severely incoming flak for spouting something similar – but how many of these ‘low-paid, austerity-downtrodden, exploited’ parents who cannot afford to feed their kids simultaneously also regard Sky TV packages, cars, smartphones and package holidays to Mallorca as totally-necessary accompaniments to their lives and indeed their ‘human right’ to have?

Sure, as a principle, every human being alive deserves to have a basic standard of living – whatever that is decided or agreed to be – but, after that, shouldn’t there be a degree to which people ought to take personal responsibility for the decisions they take?

Or are we saying that people can adopt any lifestyle they wish, perhaps even one that they’ve seen some prat of a pop or reality TV star enjoying, as they so often delight in showing off via their social media accounts – and then somehow expect the Government, the taxpayer … or is it just “someone else” … to pay for it?

Secondly, in a social conversation during the past week, I learned of a local lady whose husband works in some organisation or arm of government that deals with the practicality of serious cases of immigrants who enter the UK illegally and then embark on personal crime waves – I don’t know whether they come from certain countries, or belong to organised gangs, or indeed what any of their individual circumstances are but – the bottom line is – they’ve been through the courts, identified as serious career criminals and have been selected for ‘repatriation’ to wherever they have come from.

(Let’s leave aside for now the whole legal industry of seeking to prosecute such people, deciding complicated ‘immigration’ issues and cases … and also the charities and human rights organisations who take the side of the ‘little men’ (and ‘little women’) who are being ‘unfairly treated’ by the State and therefore raise funds – or obtain legal aid – to fight for months if not years to prevent them being deported on principle …).

The point is, the guy concerned has the job of accompanying hardened convicted criminals upon their ‘repatriation’ journeys out of the UK back to whence they came. He has to be manacled to the offender of the moment and travel with them on scheduled flights etc. to God-knows-where.

We all know that the “Traveller” fraternity has an unenviable reputation for being an ‘outsider’ grouping who only obey the laws and rules they feel like – and have a propensity for rolling up on sites in urban and countryside areas and creating havoc until they are forced to move on in their brand new Range Rovers and caravans, leaving mountains of rotting rubbish behind for the authorities to clear up.

The ‘about to be deported’ fraternity seem to have a similar ‘public image’ problem.

Apparently they will stop at nothing in their attempts to stay in the UK. There have been cases of females throwing their young kids off the top of aircraft steps in the hope that, if they get injured badly enough, they’ll be taken to the nearest hospital and the rest of the family will be allowed to stay in the UK with them. Similarly, there have been examples of ‘deportees’ defecating and throwing the product over those travelling with them and/or viciously attacking those around them in the hope thereby they’ll be charged with criminal offences and then get prison sentences which will allow them to remain here.

Apparently the chap I’m talking about was recently told he has a job for life – in fact, he was told that, even if immigration to the UK was stopped permanently and irrevocably tomorrow, the backlog of pending serious cases justifying immediate deportation would still provide him a further thirty years’ worth of work minimum.

As a place to live, the world’s not getting any better is it?


About Lavinia Thompson

A university lecturer for many years, both at home and abroad, Lavinia Thompson retired in 2008 and has since taken up freelance journalism. She is currently studying for a distant learning degree in geo-political science and lives in Norwich with her partner. More Posts