In the bleak mid-winter

Royston in the snow is fantastic for all ages, but specially for young people – with many great slopes on the Heath for sledging. With the schools closed yesterday, it was like a Winter Sports’ Resort. There was some very vigorous snowboarding too. Today, as I walked our dog Soda before leaving for London, mothers and toddlers were enjoying a more gentle snow ride. If the weather goes on like this, I will dust down my sledge from the garage…

As you can see from my Gallery photographs, the House of Commons is very scenic in the snow, but many of us here are beginning to think that Britain has been transported back in time to the 1970s – what with a heavy winter, strikes across Britain, trains out of action, rising unemployment, a Labour Government that’s lost its way and debts through the roof.

At the House today, Conservatives are putting forward a motion calling for better training for the young and for more young people to be taught to read write and add up properly. This is even more necessary as jobs become harder to find in the recession.

It is a cause of national shame that 850,000 young people are not in education, work, or training – a figure up from 686,000 in 2000. I feel for youngsters who have not learnt to read at primary school, sitting at the back of a secondary school class, hiding from teacher and unable to learn more complex subjects or do any homework. No wonder so many truant or cause trouble. As a society, we need to be tackling this at age 7 years, not 17 years. Of course, we are asking for more courses to help adults who have missed out on the basics, but the real answer is to find those struggling and give them a high degree of help at an early age.

Richard the Lion Heart statue in the snow

Richard the Lion Heart statue in the snow

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2 Responses to In the bleak mid-winter

  1. Jim SG6 says:

    One thing that I can’t help thinking is that all the talk about global warming, yet here we are in the coldest spell for 18 years. Also we are reminded that here we are with a Labour Government on the verge of another winter of discontent, very reminiscent of the 70s.

    The ray of hope of course is that at the end of that particular decade we had a landslide victory against Labour and this will be replicated next year…

  2. Emma says:

    Please, please, please dust down your sledge and go for a ride on Royston heath! It would be sooo much fun to see a MP whizzing down the heath!

    On the NEETs front, well said Oliver. 200,000 more than 8 years ago, despite a boom, IS a national disgrace. Yet another betrayal of the working class by the Labour Party.

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