Archive for April, 2010

Happy New Year

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

No, that’s not a misprint, 6th April 2010 is New Year’s Day, the start of another new tax year – and what a year it’s going to be.  A general election announced for 6th May.  How exciting is that?  Lots of new tax rules, the new 50% tax rate, the new 60% tax rate, reduced pension relief for high earners.  We’ve had one Budget already, which appears to have been a waste of time because there has been no time to enact it.  We have another Budget to look forward to, whichever party is elected.

We are having difficulty containing ourselves.  Accountants are fun-loving people (and sadistic).  It is the cruel streak of higher taxes that gives life its edge.  Oh! and what prospects there are ahead for further hurt to be applied!

We would like to wish everyone a very happy and prosperous New Year, but, alas, it’s much more likely to be a preposterous year.  Enjoy the good life while you can – things will only get worse.  You know how the grass always seems greener somewhere else?  At present we are in lush pastures compared to the Earth-warmed, parched landscape to come.  Higher taxes, higher interest rates, squeeze on pensions.  The joy is boundless.

If you use your vote, vote wisely.  I think it’s a toss-up between all the monster raving loonies.

Happy New Year!

Perhaps we can discuss it, Sgt Major?

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

Recently, GMTV had a discussion about discipline – in schools and in the home.  To discuss the subject the guest on the sofa was, apparently, a parenting writer and there was the usual input from viewers.  The guest suggested that parents should explain to children the reason for any demands or requests and agreed with viewers’ comments that there is a place for negotiation.  Remember this was a discussion about discipline!

I wondered how it might work on the parade ground at Catterick.

“Well, Sgt major, perhaps if you explained the reason behind your suggestion that I stand bolt upright and lift this heavy rifle thingy on to my shoulder, I might think about it.” or “Don’t wanna do press-ups, I’m tired.”  Can you hear the sgt major saying “Just do five then.”?

I think we may have discovered the reason why there is a lack of discipline and respect for all sorts of authority.  Negotiation? Reasoning? Explanation? – how do these fit in with discipline?  They may be perfectly valid things to do, by way of educating children about life, responsibility and the ways of the world, but they are nothing to do with discipline.

Give a child (almost any age) two good reasons why they should do something, I’ll bet they will come up with two others why they should not.  In the end it’s ‘because I said so’.  Doing things when they are told, because they are told – that’s discipline – and it starts straight away, at the ‘cute’ stage (whenever that was), not when they get candles on the birthday cake.

Of all the questioning words – how, why, what, when, who – the first one kids get to know is ‘why’, as in ” Why should I?” or simply “Why?”.  Children under the age of consent should not be made aware of the word ‘why’.  They should be taught only ‘how’ and ‘when’, as in “How high do you want me to jump?” and “When do you want me to do that?”.