Monday, 17 October 2016

We will not comply

This half-term my kids have been sent home with a form asking for their country of birth and nationality. My husband and I strongly suspect that the final data set will be used for political gain and to curb immigration. 
We will not comply with this Conservative Government's blatant xenophobia so we've written to the headteacher and governors. We strongly recommend you do the same and since it's easier to adapt what someone else has written than to start from scratch here's a copy of what we wrote.

"Dear Head Teacher and Governors,
Thank you for your Data Collection Form Autumn 2016.
We have been looking into why the DfE wants this information and have found out that parents are not obliged to provide it. We will not be.

You can find more information here:
Here is the relevant paragraph:
"The rules place an obligation on schools to ask parents for the country of birth and nationality of their child. But there is no requirement for either parents or pupils to supply the information.
Parents can refuse to provide the information and, in this case, schools can record that refusal in their census submission. Schools also have the option to tick either ‘not yet obtained’ or ‘not known’."

We therefore request that you record that for both our children information on their 'Country of Birth' and their 'Nationality' was withheld by their parents.
Yours sincerely,"

Friday, 14 October 2016

Poem - Because I am a Woman

A poem a wrote a few weeks ago.

Because I am a Woman.

Because I'm a woman I should smile because it makes the world a brighter place.
Because I'm a woman I should make the most of what you charmingly call my assets.
Because I'm a woman they can tell me I have to wear high heels to work which will hurt my back,my feet and slow my day.
Because I'm a woman they can comment on my skin like its a work qualification

Because I'm a woman I should accept their shouts and the beeps of their horn because they are a compliment.
Because I'm a woman I can wear low cut tops but not breastfeed my baby in public because that would be gross. 

Because I'm a woman I will cross the road if I think he's following me.
Because I'm a woman I carry my keys in my hand placed individually between my fingers.
Because I'm a woman I will keep my thumb poised between the call and video button on my phone.
Because I'm a woman I won't take taxi on my own but I do know the way home with the best lighting. 

Because I'm a woman I will drink out of bottles and keep the top covered.
Because I'm a woman he thinks my smile is an invitation.
Because I'm a woman he thinks my short skirt is practically asking for it.
Because I am drunk he thinks I won't mind.
And because I'm a woman, my previous sexual history is his defense.

Because she's a woman I won't let my daughter out late on her own.
Because she's a woman I will teach her how to hide, how to kick, how to run and what to do.
And because big crimes start with little misdemeanors I will find the strength to call out those actions as misogynistic. 

Because I will report them.
Because I am a woman.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Cold call fun

I don't know about you but the amount of marketing calls I'm getting are beginning to seriously p*** me off. I've had to develop a few methods to deal with them since "I'm registered with the telephone preference service, please remove my number from your list" clearly isn't getting through.
Method 1. I tell them that I do need to speak to them but there's someone at the door could they just hold the line for 30 seconds while I deal with them then I prop the phone up in front of
the radio and walk away and leave it. Hopefully this keeps them on the line a bit longer and stops them harassing anyone else.

Method 2. I pretend I'm Helen Tichner from the Archers and I've knifed Rob then I ask them for help with what I should do with the body and how to make a good custard.

Method 3. Pretend I've been kidnapped. I'm trapped in the house, I can't get out, can't make out going calls and I don't know what to do. Then I scream down the phone at them. 

Method 4. I tell them that I am a media consultant and that my rates are £400 an hour and by staying on the phone and continuing to phone me and not removing my number from the list they are there by agreeing to pay my bill. 

Method 5. I remind them that I have in fact opted out of receiving their phone calls and that by continually phoning me they are not only breaking the law but engaging in harassment. I ask for their name so that I can send the information to your lawyer. 

Method 6. I imagine I'm an over tired mum of a new baby and go all emotional on them (This one is really not that hard!)

Of course I'd rather that they just didn't call but if they must be a nuisance then I don't see why I shouldn't wind them up too.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Mum in a time of conservatives - A load of hot air.

Honestly I can be a bugger for using up the earth's valuable resources. I could just get my local MP to stand in front of the wrack of wet clothes and ask him (because it invariably is a him and not a her) about his election promises. But no, I go ahead and tumble-dry wet clothes.

I asked a friend how she lived without one (her tumble-dryer I mean, she has an MP), she said her last one broke and she simply didn't replace it. 

So how can you cope without a tumble-dryer? Get extra radiator racks, definitely get an outside line or possibly one outside but under cover (is there a carport, conservatory or simply a well ventilated passageway you can put it in?) A couple of my friends have had sheilas put on the ceiling above a radiator and they work really well.

Healthy? Don't think it really makes a difference.
Green? Hell yes, very. 

Money saving? Yep
Lefty? Well it beats giving your money to the energy companies or a white goods manufacturer. So a little yes. 

Or you can ask your MP over for a cuppa.

There's no one left of here

I wrote this ages ago but somehow it disappeared. No idea why. So hear it is again.

I took a 'political compass' test this week.  If you'd like to take it to then I strongly suggest you click on this link and do it NOW as the post below could ruin your results for you.

It put me just left and slightly lower than the Dalai Lama.
What did that tell me? Well, in some ways nothing new. I am very left wing and quite libertarian. I'm proud to be what I think is a socialist, I can remember my Grandad telling me it was great thing "you should be proud to stand up for those who are not able to do it for themselves and share what you have with them" he told me "it is nothing to be ashamed of". I am proud. I'm also sad that it would seem that with this test at least half the of the Labour party leadership are not with me.
You can easily dismiss some of the questions as a bit vague and I admit that after years of taking magazine tests in teen mags and other media that frankly should know better I do tend to answer these in extremes (it's the only way to get an interesting answer).
If you don't look at the map you might end up exactly where you were heading.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Mum in a time of conservatives - Drown your sorrows

Drown your sorrows. In water. 

Seriously, have you actually looked at the cost of decent bottle of Champagne recently? And the kids Fruit Shoots and J2O don't come cheap either.
You could all switch from all those expensive not to mention calorific, bottles and cans. Clearly I don't mean bottled water, because who the hell is going to have the cash to splash on Buxton, plain old tap water. No sugars, no artificial sweeteners, no calories and no hangover. 

Healthy? Check! 
Money saving? Check!

Green? Well there is no packaging and no air-miles so Check! 

Lefty? No cans and bottles means no extra money for Rexam's Tory supporter Graham Chipchase and what could be more lefty than a product for the masses? So, "hell yes" Check!

Just don't add whiskey......

(Yes this is a little tongue in cheek, I need something to lighten my mood. But seriously water is great stuff. Want some ways to make water more interesting? Click here )

Mum in a time of Conservatives

I think if you know me or have followed me on Facebook you'll know that the 2015 UK General Election did not go the way I wanted it. Not at all. 

I could bang on about how the way the Liberals bungled it 5 years ago lead to this, I could blame the media (and I do, very much so) or the rise of the SNP, I could explain how the marketing of Labour totally failed or how the greens lived inside their own media bubble. But I'm not the most acute political mind ever, I do have opinions (see my facebook page) and I am reading the analysis coming out in the media but my main concern is: 


My aim on this blog (at least until I get bored or employed on something else) is to give what will hopefully be a lighter hearted way for us 'lefty' and eco-conscious mums to a) survive and b) make a difference.