Monday, November 12, 2012


You take away the grants, you take away the support, you take away our kids future and you say we can afford it??

There has been much talk about the removal of capitation grants to private schools.  The reason for this appears to be simple. If you can afford to send your child (or children) to a private school, you can afford ALL the fees and let’s face it, the argument continues, the government can’t afford it any more.  Well, if the government can’t afford it now, what will happen when these schools close (as some most definitely will) if the capitation grants are removed and all those children have to be accommodated in already bulging secondary schools within their catchment area.  You think we have problems now within the education system?  Well, just wait for it!!  My own opinion is this; every child in this country is entitled to an education paid for by the state, that’s why we as parents pay our taxes is it not? Presently, every child, irrespective of the school, gets this capitation grant paid to the school they attend.  So we have students whose parents send them to private schools, are they then less entitled to this grant, are they less of a citizen of this country because their parents scrimp and save to put them into a school that maybe better suits their needs.  Much has been made of the facilities on offer at private schools but let me state clearly and as loudly as I can, the government, the department of Education, us, we the people by way of our taxes, do not pay anything towards those extra facilities nor do we pay for the infrastructure; the buildings, the grounds or maintenance of same.  Those ‘extras’ are funded from the fees paid by parents.  I send my son to a private school.  I sent him there because of his difficulties with Dyslexia.  At his school he receives more care and attention than if he had attended the local school.  When I visited the local school on their open night, I was told unfortunately they don’t have many facilities or remedial time to help my son.  So as a parent what was my option?  Leave him to fend for himself in a school that stated, before he’d even started, they’d do nothing for him, or send him to a school where he could be helped and pay for it.  The choice as a parent was easy. The difficulty for many ‘middle class’ parents, those parents that these politicians (proposing this step) insinuate are ‘rich’ is that it is not an easy thing in this economic climate to come up with the extra money for these school fees. To suggest every parent of every student in private education can afford to pay all their fees is both insulting, disgusting and smacks of cow-towing to elements of an electorate who think the middle class are not shouldering enough fiscal responsibility and should be taxed more.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Ask anyone branded as a member of this ‘middle class’ what they can afford and I know the answer you’ll get already.  This wonderful ‘middle class’, who are allegedly swimming in money are struggling just as much as anyone else in this country.  Being an easy target for the pugnacious comments of those politicians standing on their soapbox will have consequences when next we attend the election boxes.  You reap what you sow; I hope you all remember that!  And by the way, you should be ashamed of yourselves.


What is happening with Sentencing in our courts?

I recently read with absolute astonishment of the sentencing of a young man for burglary, the second he had committed on the day he was caught red handed.  To be fair to him he pleaded guilty; mind you how he could have pleaded anything else is beyond me, but kudos to him for ‘admitting’ it.  Then my outrage kicked in as I continued to read that the sentencing judge gave him a three year jail term, with two years suspended.  What caused my absolute incredulity is the fact that this chap had 46 previous convictions including two for burglary and at the time of his offence he was serving a ‘suspended part’ of a prison sentence.  While the circumstances of this young man’s childhood were far from ideal, it was with interest that the judge noted it but suggested that the young chap had become a menace to society.  YET, the chap only got one year for his crime!  This sentence is just nonsensical. My outrage is regularly irked at the seemingly indiscriminate and arbitrary sentencing that our judicial system hand down.   I do believe that sometimes circumstances have to be weighed heavily against the crime committed but my god how many times does the judicial do that before the rest of us look on in absolute bewilderment.  If judicial sentencing continues to be this haphazard, then surely there should be a list of restrictions with limits and boundaries.  There is no deterrent for this chap.  After he’s served the measly few months he’ll actually get in prison, he’ll be out in time for Christmas!  Wonder whose home he’ll target then!

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