Sunday, 13 February 2011

The Weeble Managers.

Apparently there are Tories in Scotland. For most Scots, that's like discovering you have mice. There is a tiny hut in Kintore marked 'Scottish Conservatives' but I've never seen it open. I thought it was some kind of folk museum.

Also, apparently...

...since the SNP came to power, the number of “active schools co-ordinators” has dropped from 661 to 451,

That sounds like a good thing to me. We used to have PE teachers in schools, not 'active schools co-ordinators'. We had a muscular goblin with a porn-star moustache who was shorter than most of the kids but more vicious than any of them. As I recall, he eventually left in disgrace after an affair with a member of the hockey team. Some things never change.

So, a round of applause for the SNP who are implementing money-saving methods by removing a layer of unnecessary co-ordinators from schools. The bleating about chubby three-year-olds, the whining about having to widen school gates for the newly-started infants is irrelevant. An active schools co-ordinator, even if they did anything useful, wouldn't be doing it before the child started school anyway.

It's good to see a Socialist party with enough sense to cut back on at least some waste. Naturally, there are screams of 'No, we must spend money on crap nobody needs, and we must spend it now!'

Glasgow Labour MSP Bill Butler, who obtained the through a Freedom of Information request, said: “If the SNP had ever been serious about tackling childhood obesity and increasing fitness and sporting opportunities for youngsters, it would have, at the very least, maintained the number of co-ordinators it inherited.

Well, that's predictable. Labour put all these playtime managers in place so their whining about the dismantling of a wasteful expenditure is only to be expected.

Liberal Democrat Jamie Stone accused the SNP of “letting our young children down”.

I see it more as 'leaving children alone' but then we have long since ceased to expect liberalism from the Lib Dems. They use the word 'democratic' in the sense employed by the People's Democratic Republic of Korea. 'Liberal' and 'Democratic' are two of those magical Humpty Dumpty words that mean precisely what the politicians want them to mean, no more and no less.

Here's the kicker:

Tory health spokeswoman Mary Scanlon said: “This is further worrying evidence that the SNP Government is giving up on the fight against child obesity. It is our children who will lose out.”

The Tories are complaining about Socialists implementing what used to be core Tory policy - cut out the wasteful and unnecessary stuff. The Scottish Tories are more Socialist than the SNP! Better keep that seriously quiet or the next thing you know they'll start winning seats.

The entire argument is based on spin. Most kids have puppy fat, some have lots of it and most lose all of it at puberty. You can define anything as 'obese', it's very much a moveable goalpost. If you do it on BMI you'll be counting all those short muscular kids too. Then there's the made-up figures and the made-up disease -

A study published last year estimated that treating people for obesity costs Scotland’s NHS £1million a day.

Treating people for obesity? A million a day? Do they have a production line for gastric bands or something? Here it is, chubby folk. Just as the disease changed from 'smoking related' to 'smoking' to 'smokers', so it moves from 'obesity-related' to 'obesity' and then 'the obese'. Like smokers, you no longer have diseases. Like smokers, you are the disease. You cost the NHS a million a day even if you never go there.

Note also the mysterious 'a study' and the caveat 'estimated'. This will be the same 'a study' that made up - I mean, estimated - every other health figure used to browbeat us these days. It's never referenced. Why? Well, that's not hard to work out.

Why are all these kids overweight? One reason is that the BMI system does not take account of puppy-fat. Another is that the entire system ignores the puberty growth spurt which is what that puppy fat is meant to fuel. There's a reason they don't bother with kids above the age of 11. Most of those kids have started turning into lanky teenagers after that.

More reasons - they don't play outside any more because if Gary Glitter's Gang doesn't get them, they might get knifed, shot, force-fed by burger shops, dragged into seedy drug dens or smoked at. Parents are too scared to let them outside. They stay in, they get computer games and TVs of their own, they get fat and they get lazy and they get rickets. Kids are well equipped to burn off any calories they consume but they are not allowed to - and no co-ordinator will ever fix that. It would take a government with the sense to say 'Well, yes, there are nasty people in the world, but not really all that many so you don't have to be permanently terrified' and 'You know, maybe it would be a good idea to actually lock some of the nastiest ones away instead of giving them a stern talking-to and sending them home'.

It won't happen. Catching criminals is hard. Making it everyone else's responsibility to hide from them is easy. So rather than letting kids burn off energy by playing outside, we have to have playtime managers to help them do what they actually want to do anyway.

I really can't believe the Tories are objecting to cutting the numbers. They don't get many votes in Scotland now, and this approach is likely to turn away their remaining voters.

Especially as the SNP are doing something the Tory voters want done.

I still won't vote for any of them. They still hate smokers.


Anonymous said...


I am sure that you must remember the phrase: 'last in, first out'. I mention it because I hate the idea that people who are doing valuable work 'on the front line' (like the people who actually empty our bins) in Local Authorities may be sacrificed rather that the number crunchers.

That phrase was applied to actual individuals, but could it not also be applied to ideas? Why should not the latest idea be the first to be dispensed with? Like 'tobacco control (fining) inspectors'? And 'litter control (fining) inspectors'? And 'parking control (fining) inspectors'?

Last in, first out.

Pavlov's Cat said...

I'll have you know sir, some of us were just in it for the music

PT Barnum said...

Given that your younger readers may be confused by the reference to Weebles, I would ask them to imagine Eric Pickles sat in a massive egg shell. Going down a slide.

subrosa said...

What they should do is sack the lot and employ retired army staff sergeants. They would make PE a lot more fun. They'd have them swinging off ropes in the playground, digging tunnels, building bridges. You name it...

Beware of Geeks bearing GIFs said...

@PT Barnum lol!

As a winner on my highlights of Guido's PMQs LiveChat:

"Pickles has lured Clegg to the Pie Side of the Force"

Mr LegIron - after my last post, can you recommend a model and site in order to purchase an eCig for an ex-smoker?

Furor Teutonicus said...

I think Subrosa has hit a nail on the head.

Maybe it is not that these "cooridinators" positions are useless, but the fact that people that could actualy DO the job are not allowed near the interview process?

Instead, we get basket weaving, poetry reading besandled hippies, two days out of Wigan pier college of farts, with a degree in combat basket weaving and electronic music, then expect them to "Coordinate" a school of inner city estate 13 to 16 year olds with enough ASBOs to wallpaper the great wall of bloody China.

For the record, at school our P.T.I WAS an ex Roayl Marines Colour Sergeant P.T.I.

The dinner time supervisors consisted of an ex R.N, Gunnery C.P.O, and an ex Royal army Provost staff Corps Sergeant major (C.S.M). (The armys "Prison officers"), the deputy head was an ex R.M Captain, and the headmaster a Guards division (Coldstream if I recall) Major in his former life.

Sheila said...

While the MSPs, of all varieties, are busy squabbling, Scotland's universal surveillance scheme continues to expand unimpeded.

It was spawned when Labour were in power and relations with Westminster were cosier.

The Scottish surveillance scandal - a joined-up, cradle to grave citizen surveillance and monitoring system which makes ID cards , Contactpoint and the NIR look almost benign - has recently been exposed most eloquently by
Kenneth Roy, a highly respected old school journalist with his own online publication.

Subrosa has also to be congratulated for drawing much needed attention to these issues.

Open Democracy commented thus on Kenneth's latest articles:

"In this two-part exposé, Kenneth Roy, editor of the Scottish Review, reveals the true nature of the long-awaited 'privacy principles' and the back-door introduction of a compulsory ID scheme for Scotland. In both cases, it is the liberties of children that are first on the line. In addition to the intrinsic importance of what happens in Scotland, there are two reasons why everyone across the UK should be alert to warnings of this kind. OurKingdom and openDemocracy played a big role in the 2009 Convention on Modern Liberty. This was a"wake up call" about the dangers of the database state. The evidence it brought together shows that there is a driving state-culture pushing for the penetration of information on citizens and central control of that information, while people are far too complacent and trusting about what this process is, which is being developed with minimal publicity. This is the first reason. Second, from the Poll Tax to the Scottish Consitutional Convention, in both bad ways and good, what happens in Scotland today can impact on what happens in London tomorrow. This is a warning!

Please heed this warning and read the rest of Kenneth's articles and other related coverage which I'm collating on this thread:

For some reason, an awful lot of effort has been put into painting Scotland as the epitome of privacy friendliness when nothing could be further from the truth. The only thing myself and others can think of is that our Scottish system, with its prize-winning eCare framework, is destined for further rollout.

Wake up SNP!

Furor Teutonicus said...

Re spy cameras.

Last week the "Verwaltungsgericht" (Administrative court) here demanded a shopping center removes 25% of their cameras, as they go against the "Datenschutz" (Data protection) and are therfore unconstitutional because they remove privacy.

This is likely to be followed by many more such cases.

uk Fred said...

There is one problem with Subrosa's answer that would immediately render it "totally unacceptable" to the legions of interfering busybodies, and she mentioned it. The kids would have fun.

SNPwatch said...

Erk leggy you mentioned Mary Scanlon. That weasel has spent decades carpetbagging around Scotland finding a trough to get her snout in.
Don't you remember her big campaign in the early 90's against the minimum wage ? And anything else that involved helping the poor ?

Sheila. You didn't mention ' Generation Scotland'. The biggest transfer of personal information yet deployed by Oily Eck and his EU pals.

Leg-iron said...

Subrosa - the old PE teachers (all old teachers, in fact) worked well because they were allowed to hand out real punishments. Hanging by your arms from the wall bars, press ups, all manner of non-violent but physically punishing things.

Now, it's against the kids' 'human rights' to actually make them do anything.

Leg-iron said...

Sheila - yes, the snoopers are alive and well here, and the cameras are everywhere too.

I await the trial of a photographer caught in the act by CCTV. It'll happen and nobody will see the irony.

Leg-iron said...

Beware of Geeks, I have two Electrofags and have spent some time trying to persuade Chinese companies to sell me samples of others. They seem to be only interested in truckloads. I just want one of each.

Anyhow, for general smoking I prefer the Njoy. Looks, feels and tastes realistic. They do a few strange flavours too but not many as yet. Apple flavour is pretty good.

For real weirdness and completely wild flavours, the Titan works better. If you want to smoke absinthe or coffee or roast chicken, that's the one. Starter kits are at the bottom of that page.

Both have the option of nicotine-free if you want to stay off the nicotine (not that it does any more harm than caffeine anyway). With those, you can scare the shit out of antismokers with nothing more than flavoured steam.

It's a lot of fun. As is being told to stop smoking and dropping an apparently lit cigarette into your shirt pocket. You'll be amazed how far some people's eyes can bulge.

View from the Solent said...

Looks like Daily Mash has a serious competitor.

Beware of Geeks bearing GIFs said...

Many thanks Leggy!

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