Saturday, May 03, 2008

Politics As Usual

"A new dawn is awakened ... yet nothing has changed ..." as Gregory Isaacs put it.

"Dangerous criminals are being placed in low security open prisons due to overcrowding, at "massive" risk to the general public, the BBC has learned."

A new (to me, anyway) type of crime - kidnapping back in the old country.

Bradford businessman Mohammed Zaman, 55, said: "Kidnappings in Pakistan that resort to ransoms demanded from relatives in England are all too common. I cannot praise the police enough. What are words in a matter like this?"

The police operation's inception has an air of the old country about it, too.

Zaman defied the gang's threat to kill his brother if he contacted the police. He contacted a family friend, Jawaid Akhtar, who is an assistant chief constable at West Yorkshire police.

23.3% of primary school children are now classified as 'ethnic minority', up from 21.9% last year.

The share of pupils in England's schools speaking English as a second language has risen to a record high, government figures show. Some 14.4% of primary school pupils spoke a language other than English as their first language in 2008 - a rise of 0.9 percentage points on 2007. It was 10.5% in 2004, the year before the main European Union expansion, and has almost doubled since 1997.

In secondary schools, the proportion rose from 10.6% to 10.8% over 2007-08. The latest figures translate to some 470,080 pupils in primary schools and 354,300 pupils in secondary schools whose first language is thought not to be English.

Man commits suicide after his daughter loses in the Brighton schools place ballot. I can't help thinking the need for a father comes before the need for an education, but you can understand his distress.

Steve Don, 43, threw himself under a train after telling his wife that if the local education authority would not listen to him while he was alive, “perhaps they will if I was dead”.

A little ramble through the Matthews (as in Shannon) family tree.

Her forbears, though, were the footsoldiers of industrial Britain. Some of her parents' generation even worked in the last factories, mines and mills - relics of West Yorkshire's status as an economic powerhouse. Today, heavy industry has moved on to other, cheaper and more productive parts of the globe. Only 40 people are now employed in weaving in the whole of Dewsbury. The original workforce and their descendants, however, have been left marginalised, often suspicious of growing immigrant communities. Indeed, 13 per cent of Dewsbury's population is of Asian origin - who bring their own traditions and entrepreneurial drive.

Other traditional foundation stones have also shifted. The powerful family cornerstone of marriage no longer exists, nor in many cases does the nuclear household and the maternal bond. The result has been disastrous. At least 13 of the children in the latest generation related to the Matthews family do not live with their mothers, for one reason or another. Several are being looked after by others. One was put out for adoption. Another is serving a life sentence in prison.

What would Grandpa Matthewman have made of it all?

The EU appear to be making it unlawful to hold illegal immigrants in detention for more then 6 months. Apparently illegal immigrants are 'modern slaves'.

He said there would be a six-month limit on detention for most people and a readmission agreement would have to be struck before they were sent home.

And failing that ? You're out and you vanish until the amnesty.

1 comment:

JuliaM said...

I'm surprised they managed to fit the Matthews family tree in the paper!

"Karen Matthews is a striking figurehead for this generation."

What a depressing thought...