Monday, November 20, 2006

Super ninnies

It seems that the Nannying State is about to turn into the Supernannying State, with further impositions on parents of errant children. And why? Because the Supernanny TV show was so popular.
Now I ain't no Claire Rayner, but surely the cycle of bad parenting/bad kids doesn't spring out of nowhere and this approach seems to exacerbate rather than solve the problem. At the very least it creates an even more 'us and them' approach to social behaviour. And this at a time when councils are considering sending 'problem' children to boarding schools to lessen the cost (and liability) of looking after them. And when an Ofsted report in council provision for children's care was lacking.
Let's face it, we're failing and rather than banging on about the cost to the tax paying we should change the focus to the cost to society. By excluding the socially excluded you aren't going to somehow come full circle and include them again.
These are problems that need fixing, not a reality TV placebo.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Where's my sugar??

Tesco seem to be making a lot of noise about how green they are with all their noise about Fairtrade and green club card points so, when we ran out of sugar at the office I popped down to see if I could get some fairtrade sugar.

Yes I know, I should have gone to a local shop, but as Tesco is in walking distance and the nearest local shop selling fairtrade sugar is at least a hour long mission away so off I went.

Now, you would have thought a massive company like this would have had a selection but, dear reader, there was not a single example on the shelves.

I asked the shop assistants who referred me to the manager who, after consulting their database, told me that no, it hadn't all sold out; they never stocked it, and I should call Head Office.

Upon calling their HQ, I was put through to the Press Office who I asked for a comment I could post on this blog. "Er... Umm... maybe there's no demand?" was the reply.

So, next time you're in Tesco, hopefully not too frequent an occurance, go to the customer service desk, ask for the manager and DEMAND fairtrade sugar!

It keeps us sweet dontchaknow?

Lights out across Europe

A week ago we were all sweltering in a Europe-wide Indian summer. Now, as the temperatures skip down the thermometer, central heating rumbles into action and power stations feel the pull.
It was a situation that had the lights out across Europe at the weekend.
The worst hit was France - so much for its much lauded nuclear energy policy - but the whole of the continent was ohms away from a complete outage.
It was yet another stark reminder that attitudes to energy as well as energy provision need a drastic rethink. Networks of small sustainable producers tied in to supplement the grid have been mooted down here in Devon, and what better place for it?
But until someone comes up with a bright idea that can traverse the inbred attitudes, we're already in the dark.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Less power to your elbow

First we had the carbon emission cuts now we have power cuts, oddly to avoid power cuts.
Yes, the benchmark of cutting Europe's energy consumption by 20 per cent by 2020 has been outlined by the EU Energy Commissioner Andris Peibalgs - a kind of 20/2020 vision if you like.
A low-energy building strategy, more fuel-efficient cars and tougher energy standards for electrical goods are all on stand-by.
Wait a minute...