Friday, 31 December 2010

Good resolutions are simply checks that men draw on a bank where they have no account-Oscar Wilde

I love Oscar Wilde who always had a mad quote for everything. I may look drunk in this photo the way Oscar often was but I can assure you I was overdosing only on sugar in a Santa outfit. A child's version of madness!
Here are my 10 wishes for a brilliant year ahead for everyone.
1. The job cuts and financial cuts won't cut us off at the knee.
2. The LibDem coalition will learn how to sell the best parts of our party policies.
3. Science advancements will be made to make life better for the disabled and sick.
4. Climate Change will start to reverse or stall because the world has finally recognised that it needs to solve the problem urgently.
5. Christmas will be celebrated as a time of Christ's birth as well as a time for shopping and eating.
6. Children who live in poverty will be helped by being given lots of opportunities for success.
7.More shelters will be opened for homeless people as the weather is getting colder.
8. More activities will take place for young people and, hopefully, this will help their quality of life and prevent them from committing crimes.
9. Job opportunities will be created for people without work and living in poor conditions.
10. A peaceful ending will be reached between Israel and Palestine; in Afghanistan; and in Iraq. I wish the British troops well.
Thank you for supporting my blog and many heartfelt thanks to you. Happy New Year.
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Friday, 24 December 2010

A Christmas Prayer


Christmas Prayer
by Robert Louis Stevenson


Loving Father, Help us remember the birth of Jesus,
that we may share in the song of the angels,
the gladness of the shepherds,
and worship of the wise men.

Close the door of hate and open the door of love all over the world.
Let kindness come with every gift and good desires with every greeting.
Deliver us from evil by the blessing which Christ brings, and teach us to be merry with clear hearts.

May the Christmas morning make us happy to be thy children,
and Christmas evening bring us to our beds with grateful thoughts,
forgiving and forgiven, for Jesus' sake.
Amen.

Merry Christmas To Everyone.
Love
Maelo @Libdemchild
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Friday, 17 December 2010

Mugged in Malaysia

It's not often that I blog about a personal incident in my life. My mother and I were mugged outside my grandmother's house in Malaysia where I am on holiday. We had walked to the local shops to buy some colouring pencils for me. Just as we were about to reach the house a motorbike with two riders came past and snatched my mum's handbag. We lost our holiday money, camera and other valuables. The motorbike sped off too fast for us to see the number plate. Luckily, just a few seconds before I had taken my favourite toy - Toad- out of the bag. It was a very scary and unfortunate incident that has left me feeling frightened. Luckily neither of us was hurt. People tell us how lucky we are because sometimes these robbers kill, injure or snatch children in this way. If anyone is planning a holiday in Malaysia soon then please beware not to carry too many valuables with you and look out for motorbike riders who could be potential robbers.

MY TOY
The Third World is rife with poverty and if governments don't intervene to reduce the poverty gap then this sort of thing will become more common.
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Friday, 10 December 2010

A view from abroad of the demonsrations

I am in Malaysia attending a family wedding and am appalled at the coverage of what looks to be the worst ever damage caused by some demonstrators among the students who took part. This is the picture on the front page of the national newspaper here. It speaks of violence, rampant hooliganism and disrespect for property and people. People in Asia love shopping and Oxford Street is their number one choice when they visit England; the British monarchy is loved here too and people can't understand why a royal car was attacked. I am fed up with explaining the politics of the demonstrations. It's all been ruined by the thuggery acts committed. People are asking why British taxpayers should fund the education of people who behave in this manner.
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Thursday, 2 December 2010

Microfinance and Nobel Peace Winner

The guru of microfinance, Muhammad Yunus, who won a Nobel Peace prize in 2006 for his work in providing small amounts of loans to poor people is in the news today for all the wrong reasons. He set up the Grameen Bank which is a microfinance organisation and community development bank. Microfinancing is especially helpful to the poor because the bank takes very little collateral or none at all. This type of lending has helped many people especially in Asia. Today it is being reported that Mr Yunus is being investigated for possible alleged financial  mismanagement of the Grameen Bank. Apparently, money given to the bank has been transferred to another company without the permission of the Norwegian government who donated to the fund. Microfinance gives people who live in poverty some control over their lives. These people don't then have to rely on charity all the time which can be on and off  in being given to them. Also, international aid doesn't always go the people in those countries who need them. Microfinance has helped millions of people to get out of poverty. I really hope that microfinance in Asia has not been corrupted as many more millions of people could benefit from this.
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Saturday, 20 November 2010

Do stop by as it's Universal Children's Day


And when Esau lifted up his eyes and saw the women and children, he said, “Who are these with you?” Jacob said, “The children whom God has graciously given your servant.”

(Genesis 33:5 ESV)

In an ideal world there wouldn't have to be an Universal Children's Day. Children should be loved, hugged and given the best everyday so there would not be a need to stop and remember them. This post isn't about me celebrating today as a child but, instead, I want you to join me in thinking about those children in the UK and around the world who still don't have access to basic things in their lives. Children do have to have a special recognition to be heard and not just seen. The facts below will show you how much work needs to be done to raise the standards for children in education, health and food.
  • A child dies of hunger every three seconds.
  • 95% of all children who get polio are under 5 years old.
  • 6 million children under 5 years old die of hunger everyday.
  • Children in war torn countries are forced to become soldiers and commit violence.
  • 246 million children work and don't go to school because education is too expensive.
  • 4 Million children in the UK are living in poverty.
I also want to remember the children who are subject to abuse and feel they can't speak out for fear of nobody believing them. Those who live in terror because they are being bullied at school. There are even children who live in nice homes and go to good schools but who are emotionally neglected.
These are huge problems and I have praise for the agencies around the world who work to help children but much more needs to be done. I watch governments working together actively on economic problems and believe that if the same was done for child neglect then standards will rise much quicker.
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Wednesday, 17 November 2010

There was a Muslim in my church

Yes, you read that right. At Rememberance Day service in my church (St John's, London) the sermon was given by a Muslim, Jehangir Malik OBE, Director, Islamic Relief UK. Recently, there has been a lot of violent attacks against Christians and Catholics in Iraq, India and Pakistan by Muslims. As a Christian, I feel angry that different religions cannot get on around the world and I feel especially worried about fellow Christians who are living in fear for their lives.
That is why I was touched when Mr Malik said, 'I want to say how appreciative and moved I am to have been invited here to this remembrance service, a service for ALL those on ALL sides who suffered and for those who fought for the eternal and God-given principles of Faith, Justice and Peace. All that remains is for us to take their struggle forward - to get past the cliche and hate speech we hear about one another and build coalitions and movements that isolate extremists and extremism on all sides and from whichever community'.
Religion is a concept of peace. I cannot understand why some take their religion to mean that they are better than others or that they are allowed to kill in the name of their God. It is inhumane and evil to do so. Religious  leaders can try and resolve this huge problem through negotiation and actions. People like Mr Malik set a huge example in trying to show communities that religion is about Justice and Peace. Churches like mine can also set examples by inviting Muslims to attend services or special events.
The following is a passage from the Qu'ran:
We decreed to the Children of Israel the eternal moral order for all humanity that whoever kills a human being - unless it is in the course of justice for murder or bloody crimes on the earth - it shall be as if he killed all mankind. And whoever saves one life it would be as if he saved the life of all mankind.



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Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Violent students ruined the point today for my generation


I am very angry at the actions of those students who became violent because my generation could have benefitted from the demonstration today if it hadn't been hijacked for violent purposes. The stand off between the hard core student demonstrators and the police is still going on. The focus was meant to have been on those thousands of students who came to London today to get their point across which is that the Government's proposed decision to remove the cap on tuition fees will be a mistake. Unfortunately, a lot of society views students as being silly freeloaders and the drama of today supports this view. I feel disheartened by today's actions. Tim Farron hasn't helped. He has said that students do demonstrate and that is part of being a student. I think he misses the point. The students probably did not want to be in the position of having to protest today. The peaceful protest students did not get much airtime at all today to tell us why they were there. In the time they were interviewed they were being asked about what they thought about the damage done. Breaking into the Tory HQ and wreaking havoc have only ruined their futures. They will now face criminal prosecution and have criminal records. Nobody won today.
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Sunday, 7 November 2010

Just as I got the Obama dream Palin wakes me up-Shellacked


During my school holidays I went to watch a movie called 'Africa United' about a group of Rwandan children who dream of going to the World Cup Football opening ceremony. They don't have any money or any way of getting to South Africa but they keep reading Time magazine which has Obama on the front cover for their inspiration. It was touching to watch how they made sure the magazine was safely kept with them at all times through all the scrapes they got into. I got the Obama dream by the end of the movie.
Then what happens? The dream was given a 'shellacking' on Tuesday at the mid-term elections. The word 'shellacking' was used by Obama himself on Tuesday night. Sarah Palin is the victor and has been pictured grinning away. I thought Tea Parties were events where you had fun, children brought along teddy bears and adults chatted happily away. At Palin's Tea Party a female grizzly bear features (not a bear to play with) and Republicans are planning to fight Obama for the next two years. I don't want his Healthcare Reform reversed because of the impact it will have on poor children. I hope Obama manages to create jobs and get people back into the workplace again otherwise it may be two years of Tea Parties with the Queen of Hearts shouting 'Off with their heads'.
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Wednesday, 27 October 2010

B before A equals D


Press attention is focussing on the American mid-term elections being held on 2 November but there's another one looming before. On Halloween's Day Brazilians will again vote for the next President and I am supporting Dilma Rousseff. The story of Brazil's economic success interests me because it is the concept of a big state which has led to its' growing importance. This is in opposite to the UK which is moving away from a big state under the coalition. Jobs are being created and people's earnings are rising over there. Brazil was thought off as a third world country but it is one of the first to come out of the recession in 2009. The minimum wage has risen and employment has gone up. Since 2003 about 20 million people in Brazil have been lifted out of poverty. There is a growing middle class who is buying consumer goods. The most important achievement in Brazil is the Bolsa Familia programme which has given money to 12 million families in return for them getting their children vaccinated and sending them to school. President Lula seems to have achieved miracles but he cannot stand for another term. His chosen successor is Dilma who has pledged to carry on with the same programmes. I am fascinated by the contrast in how spending between the UK and Brazil is being carried out towards achieving the same goals of fairness and equality. Statism versus Small state. I really hope the Brazilians preserve the Amazon rainforest. I support Dilma because I think she offers the best choice for Brazilians. I have regular readers in Brazil and hope they will leave comments on this post.

Portuguese Translation ( I hope it makes sense)
Pressione a atenção centra-se sobre as eleições americanas de médio prazo a ser realizada em 02 de novembro, mas há um outro que aparece antes. No Dia das Bruxas brasileiros serão novamente votar a favor do próximo presidente e eu estou apoiando Dilma Rousseff. A história de interesses econômicos do Brasil êxito mim porque é o conceito de um estado grande, o que levou à sua "importância crescente. Isto está em frente ao Reino Unido, que está se afastando de um estado de grande sob a coalizão. Empregos estão sendo criados e os rendimentos das pessoas estão levantando mais de lá. O Brasil foi pensado fora como um país do terceiro mundo mas é um dos primeiros a sair da recessão em 2009. O salário mínimo aumentou eo emprego subiu. Desde 2003, cerca de 20 milhões de pessoas no Brasil têm sido retiradas da pobreza. Há uma crescente classe média que está comprando bens de consumo. A conquista mais importante no Brasil é o programa Bolsa Família, que deu dinheiro para 12 milhões de famílias em troca de obter os seus filhos vacinados e enviá-los para a escola. O presidente Lula parece ter alcançado o milagre, mas ele não pode ficar para mais um mandato. Seu sucessor é escolhido Dilma, que se comprometeu a continuar com os mesmos programas. Sou fascinado pelo contraste na forma como os gastos entre o Reino Unido eo Brasil está sendo realizado no sentido de alcançar os mesmos objetivos de equidade e de igualdade. Estatismo versus Estado pequeno. Eu realmente espero que os brasileiros preservar a floresta amazônica. Apoio a Dilma, porque eu acho que ela proporciona a melhor escolha para os brasileiros. Tenho leitores regulares no Brasil e espero que eles vão deixar comentários neste post.
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Thursday, 21 October 2010

King, George, Sweet Charity and a Jilted Generation

Yesterday was a surreal day for me. It was the third day of my school holidays and I felt as if I had been transported into some sort of Wonderland. I started my day off by attending a Christian Aid event on tackling global poverty and Jesse Jackson was the main star. It was amazing  to just see him. The reason I say 'see' is because I couldn't really understand his accent. I did make out the word ' King' but I wasn't sure if he was talking about Martin Luther King, Jesus or Elvis. It was so amazing and fantastic to see him in person. Harriet Harman who was there rushed off presumably to see George O speak. Isn't she part of the reason why we have to have these cuts?
Another speaker at the Christian Aid event was Andrew Mitchell, Secretary for International Development, who was extremely pleased that the aid budget had been ring-fenced. People are wondering why the aid budget was protected when charity should begin at home and we have poverty in this country.
Then I watched George on TV. Ironically, after George's speech I went to watch a matinee musical called Sweet Charity in Central London.  George's announcement about the cuts wasn't exactly Wonderland but I was aware that some sort of modern history was being made. In the past I don't think that people even watched the CSR speech. Actually, I don't think people even knew what the CSR was!

In the evening I attended a talk at the London School of Economics (LSE) by Shiv Malik and Ed Howker who co-wrote a wonderful book called 'Jilted Generation'. Again, ironically, the book is about how previous decisions by Governments have left the youth of today in financial trouble and heading for more trouble in the areas of housing and jobs.
George O said in his speech, '... we do not saddle our children with the interest on the interest on the interest of the debts we were not ourselves prepared to pay'. I agree but why has universal child benefit been cut for some children while rich pensioners continue to benefit from having free eye tests, free prescriptions, free bus passes and free TV licence for over 75s? I don't want poor pensioners to suffer but there are pensioners who can afford to pay for these services.
I am troubled about the cap on university fees being removed, the age threshold being raised for the 'shared room rate' for housing benefits to 35 years old in April 2012 and the long-term sick being asked to go back to work and having to pay for their prescriptions. People over the age of 25 would like privacy and their own space. They cannot be treated like university students who are happy to share. The long-term sick must be making themselves even more sick by worrying about their benefits and inability to work.
I worry about this 'Fairness' business. We aren't all equal and we all have different circumstances. In a Kingdom of Wonderland there will be toads that need flies, Muchkins that need houses and Unicorns that need water. How would a George O in this Kingdom decide on fairness?
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Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Lemon Squeezy Campaign

Students are being squeezed, hence the name of my blog title. I am absolutely stunned at our leadership's acceptance of Lord Browne's proposals on tuition fees. Today I am starting a campaign to abolish tuition fees because this is what the party pledged to do. This is important because so many students and parents of potential students voted LibDem because of this pledge. Now, the Libdems are not getting rid of fees or just keeping the cap but they are removing the cap. 
I know of some middle class people who were worried about their future and now they do not know how they will manage. Entry to University may be free but students will pay a big price for their education when they graduate. The threshold of £21,000 is a joke because it is not a lot of money. Where will people find the money to buy a house or go on holiday if they have to pay off huge student loans? What if someone with a student debt has a partner with the same? How will they manage financially? There is a book called Jilted Generation which sets out how difficult life is for the youth already. Well, life is going to get even tougher under Browne's recommendations.
I have real life examples of the students I know who are struggling  at the moment and their difficulties has inspired me to create this campaign:
1. Student 1 - Did a drama course at university and has been unable to get a job. He doesn't earn enough to repay his student loan but the worry of the debt is making him depressed.
2. Student 2 - Is doing a course at a good university and is unable to make ends meet on a student loan as it is. She works long hours outside university and still doesn't earn enough.
Please put your name and comments to this post. If you don't have a blog or account then please email me at janem510@gmail.com. I am going to send whatever I get to Liberal Youth, to add to their campaign, and to MPs.
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Monday, 11 October 2010

Marr tars bloggers


Arise bloggers. We have been insulted by Andrew Marr. See http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/greenslade/2010/oct/11/andrewmarr-blogging.
He says: "A lot of bloggers seem to be socially inadequate, pimpled, single, slightly seedy, bald, cauliflower-nosed, young men sitting in their mother's basements and ranting. They are very angry people."
I am single but that's about it. What's wrong with having pimples and being bald anyway? The real issue I object to is that he says 'citizen journalism has nothing to do with journalism at all'.  He misses the crucial point of blogging which is that it allows ordinary people and children to participate in issues that affect them. Some of these issues are political and some are socio-political.This is why it is called 'Citizen Journalism'. I am sure Andrew Marr is aware of new politics whereby oridnary citizens participate in the political process that affects them. Blogging is a tool in which to do this. I know journalists are highly intelligent and trained people and blogging in no way replaces them because, most of the time, their reports are based on fact. Bloggers tend to base their writing on their own thoughts and opinions. There is a difference I concede. However, the blogosphere is essential to modern day life. Also see http://spiderplant88.wordpress.com/

Blogosphere gossip - there is a difference of opinion going on between Guido Fawkes and the Labour leaning http://www.nextleft.org/. which is worth reading. Has Guido gone too far or is he being a highly responsible Citizen Journalist?
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Monday, 4 October 2010

Baffling day to be a child

I came home from school, turned on the TV and was shocked at the announcement by George O about the removal of child benefit payments. A whopping amount of 1.2 million households will be affected. Child benefit is a universal benefit- every child qualifies at birth. George O is messing with this ideology and this bothers me because:
1. Every child benefits regardless of whether they're rich, poor or in the middle at present.
2. Children are being targeted with this removal.
3. The benefit is a way of recognising that children are essential because they're the next generation.

People at the lower end of the tax bracket are most affected by this cut because they are the ones who have least amount of disposable income. Most of their money goes on the children and (I am going to be brave here) that this is the group who spends money on private education because the state system doesn't always suit their needs.  There is a link between what parents spend their money on and the future of their children. Child benefit can act as a saving  for when the child goes to university or if the child chooses to do something else.

On Sky News tonight there were people who said that 'people shouldn't have children if they can't afford them'. This is a chicken and egg situation. The child universal benefit is something that is given to a child when it is born. By removing this they are taking away a right that, at the moment, doesn't depend on tax rates.

People with children are being targeted. Some time ago I blogged about my playscheme being cut. It has now been saved but the subsidy has been withdrawn.

I worry about my generation because the cost of everything is going up and where is the money to provide us with the skills for the future?         
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Tuesday, 28 September 2010

'A friend is a brother who was once a bother' - Author Unknown

So, the brother who tipped the Labour leadership race has given his first major speech. It came across as old thoughts on what is wrong with Britain. There weren't many solutions offered in the speech. Still, I will be watching Ed Miliband closely and don't think we can afford to ignore him because he does have strong convictions about the centre-ground. There were parts of the speech that I agreed with too.
My thoughts are:
1. He mentioned 'centre ground of politics' a few times. It is a challenge to the Lib Dems. Ed, during the leadership campaign, spoke more about the working class voter but has now switched tact. To win the centre ground from Lib Dem he has to demonstrate why Labour didn't practice equality and fairness during their 13 years in government.

2. 'Not bound by fear or ghosts of the past'- Ed was an important part of the Labour Government which made a mess of the country's financial systems, didn't close the gap between rich and poor and made our schools worse. He also was part of the Government in the Iraq war but distanced himself from it. He can't distance himself anymore because he is leader of the very same Labour party. History is important. We can't break away from history and start new without thinking about the past.

3. Forgemasters- Ed accused the Coalition of withdrawing support from important industries but Government cannot bail out every company. There's no money. Also, as I understand it Forgemasters had access to a loan which they didn't take up.

4. 'Middle and lower class voters didn't cause the recession and need protection' - I support Ed on this. I hope the spending cuts will address this point too.

5. 'Enterprise and small business- Ed wants to make Labour a party of enterprise and small business. I don't want Labour to make everyone think that they can all start small businesses. Labour did that with encouraging young people to go to university and there are now lots of young people facing huge student loan debts and no jobs. We don't want people taking bank loans to start companies and not being able to pay off these loans.

6. 'There's nothing good about opposition'- Ed misses the point that being in opposition has given him the chance to become leader now. Also, opposition will allow Labour to decide on what is 'Next Labour'.

7. I support Ed for his positive remarks over Gay people.

8. Trade Unions are important especially because they help people at grassroots level but I hope Ed doesn't allow Unions to become so over important that they spoil the chances of those people they represent.

9. Living wage, family friendly employment - I support Ed.

10. 'The gap between rich and poor affects us all' - I agree with Ed. As a Christian I especially see that the poverty of my 'neighbour' affects me in many ways.

11. What is 'social conservatives'?

12. The idea of' 'individual aspiration' figures in the spirit of Ed's speech. Did anyone else spot this? New Labour tried to do this but didn't apply it to schooling for the middle-classes. Instead, 'life chances' became an ideology which wasn't applied to individuals.

13. Ed mentioned Clause 4- Is this speech an attempt at his own Clause 4?

14. Ed will vote for AV-good on you Ed.

15. 'Palestinian right to statehood' - right on Ed. The attack on the Gaza flotilla was wrong.

16. I think David Miliband will leave frontline politics and take up an offer in America which will allow him to speak on global issues. If I am wrong I will be surprised.

Notable quotes on Ed:
1. "We'll have to start again as we did in 1992," a former cabinet minister says. "It's a crying shame and a miracle result for the Tories."
2. "It's the worst possible outcome," a Shadow Cabinet member said. "We should have reformed the leadership election rules years ago."

Lib Dem blogs below carry a good analysis of Ed's position:
Nick Thornsby’s Blog


I am ill off school because I caught a bad cold while on a Girl Guides camping trip to Warwick Castle at the weekend but this has given me the opportunity to watch the speech and blog.
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Thursday, 23 September 2010

There was an Elephant at Conference

1. I am a child, I cannot be metaphorical and  I am being literal. There really was an elephant at conference.
The elephant made an appearance at the Blogger Award Ceremony. He won the best blog of the year and was exuberant about it.  His blog is called http://millenniumelephant.blogspot.com/. I was delighted to be nominated for best new Lib Dem blog. I have  only been blogging for 6 months and am only 11. I was delighted to even be nominated. I finally met Maureen Rigg who wrote about me on her blog after I gave my first speech at Spring conference- http://eaglescliffe.blogspot.com/. I also met Stephen Tall whom I admire.

2.The Tory party were called 'The Party of Climate Change Deniers' but they have not lived up to that name  and I am angry because I was looking forward to saying we are ' Greener than Thou'. Nuclear energy is to be part of the UK's energy mix. I think that it is more important to fight the battle of reducing emissions than arguing over how to fight it.

3. What is Liberalism? Sarah Teather called lines 16 and 17 of the Academies policy paper Illiberal. Was it Liberal to be voting  on policy when the decision has already been made? Back to the Orange book for moi.

4. Fringe meetings- the one that I enjoyed most was held by Shelter. Grant Shapps MP (Tory) suggested that I join his party when I asked a question about the state of future housing policy.

5.  Simon Hughes in his speech told the Miliband brothers to 'grow up'. This was bad advice because the Miliband brothers appeal to middle class voters. 'You don't hear the bullet that kills you'-seen on man's t-shirt at Liverpool Station.

6. How can cuts be fair in an age of austerity?  If you are in an age of austerity than you have to make cuts which are unfair. Hurrah to Bob Russell MP for pointing this out.

7. I gave a speech on the Economic and Social effects of Gendercide at the debate on ' Accountablity to the Poor'. Thankyou to the people who congrtulated me afterwards.

8. Footwear- the high heels, the polished shoes. Where were the sandals? Are we too posh now that we are in Govt?

9. Big Society is Liberalism. I did suspect this during the election but I would have been shouted at. I apologise to the Tory boy I heckled during the election about the Big Society being 'my ar**'.

10. Goodies from the stall- I am thankful for being a child because I was given 25 bars of credit crunch chocolate. I have eaten 5 in 3 days. I also collected bags, sweets, pens, pencils, plasters and placemats.
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Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Cardinal Newman = Religion + Politics

Cardinal Newman wrote an essay called 'An Essay in Aid of a Grammar of Assent'. His essay is divided in to two sections.
1. Can I believe in what I don't understand?
2. Can I believe what can not be proved?
Yes, you can believe in what can not be proven because people invest their beliefs in God even though he can not be proven to exist.
I am an Anglican and I agree with Cardinal Newman on point 1.I don't understand all of the Bible but I still believe in Christianity. On point 2 my faith in God can not be scientifically measured but it is something that makes me feel strong and loved. Scientific standards cannot be applied to real life.
People say that religion and politics don't go together but you have to apply some faith to politics as well sometimes. The coalition cuts are complicated and at the moment people can not see the point in the cuts. I  have decided to use Cardinal Newman's reasoning on my way of looking at life and have decided to believe that the cuts being made by the Coalition will turn out well, just as I believe that God exists.
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Sunday, 12 September 2010

Does the Vatican care about women and children?

 I have never been as angry at the Pope as I am now.  He says that the child abuse commited by Catholic Priests was a 'grave crime'. This is very true but then he said that  whoever ordains a woman would be excommunicated as they would be commiting a 'grave crime'. To put these two actions on the same level is absoloutley shocking to me. From a child's point of view when I go to church and am given communion by a woman I hardly notice and if I do it doesn't matter. However, if I was abused I would be so upset and distraught I certainly would have minded to the deepest extent. This just shows you how I feel about the two diffrent actions. The Catholic church now needs to demonstrate that it does value women and children.
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Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Rethink international aid

NO END IN SIGHT FOR GLOBAL CHILD POVERTY!
It is time to look at new models for international aid.
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Thursday, 2 September 2010

Stop Haranguing Hague!

Mr William Hague

Since my speech at the Spring Conference 2010 I have been compared to William Hague quite a few times. As a result, I have started to pay more attention to him and I've come to really like him. I was curious as to why he had no children. I am nosey about these things the way adults are nosey about what their friends are up to. I assumed that Hague and his wife were a high flying couple people who had no time for children. I'm sad to read that this is not the case and, in fact, is quite the opposite reason. Politicians have a right to private lives. Should we be concerned as to whether he is gay or not or what his marriage is like? If the press continue to pester the politicians then it will stop talented people from coming into politics because they will be afraid of being exposed and criticised for things that don’t concern the public.
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Saturday, 28 August 2010

When is our Future Determined?

A false picture is given when people say that your future is determined by your GCSE and A level results. I think it is determined when you sit your entrance exams for secondary school. It starts this young because there’s a fight to get into the best secondary schools whether it be a grammar or private one. This is because they provide the best education, quite unfairly, to enable a child to get into a red brick university from which employers tend to recruit.

I am worried about the path ahead of me and what it brings. Firstly, I am worried because of the shortage of University places even for students with A’s or A*’s.

Education has two purposes:
1. To give you qualifications that will help get you a job so you can earn a reasonable living.
2. To help you understand the world around you E.G Politics and Art.

Secondly, even though I am already achieving the benefits of point two I am worried about point one because of the shortage of jobs and houses. The London Evening Standard has carried a report on youngsters sleeping in tents, caravans and mobile homes in traveller sites because it is the lowest cost housing they can afford. Is this the future for young people? I do believe that the Lib Dems have a real commitment to providing for children but I worry that the cuts will set back this agenda.
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Monday, 23 August 2010

Happy Birthday to Me!

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It will be my birthday on 25 August. I am blogging today because I will be hyper from here on from overdosing on sugar. Those who have children or are children will know what I am talking about –being unable to concentrate and feeling sick afterwards. My best birthday present so far came about when I installed ‘Blogger Stats’. I have hundreds of readers in the UK, USA, Australia, New Zealand, China, Russia and most parts of Europe. Imagine my excitement – and at the age of 10 only. I want you to tell me who you are because people aren’t leaving comments or following my blog. It would be very nice to have your comments and make contact with you. It's been a hard and tiring year so far and I need to revive myself before starting school and attending Conference which is always fun but exhausting.


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Saturday, 14 August 2010

How Long Is The Road To Homelessness?


How close in distance are you to a homeless person? Have you noticed the increase in the numbers of them? Last year in London alone there were 3, 673 people sleeping on the streets. The road to becoming homeless is decreasing in size and it could happen to anybody.

Have you ever spoken to a homeless person to understand their situation? Years ago my family were lucky enough to be able to help a homeless man. His name was Andy and he used to work as a builder. He fell down a ladder and broke his leg. He couldn't work anymore and had no income. He couldn't afford to pay for housing and became homeless. This shows you that the road to homelessness can be as short as falling down a ladder. You can create a whole ladder of opportunities but fall down it so quickly.

As Liberals we have a responsibility to help those who are in need. In the Orange Book, David Laws wrote about how breaking the cycle of deprivation is part of 'Social Liberalism'. To me being a Liberal Democrat means helping others to help themselves. My family were able to help Andy by providing him with a new wheelchair because the wheelchair that he was using had a bent wheel and the other wheel was missing. He was using all his strength to drag himself along and wasn't able to get anywhere. The new wheelchair provided him with social mobility. In no time Andy was able to get himself to the Big Issue office where he became a seller. Then he was able to get to hospital where he underwent physiotherapy. He moved on from the area finally because the council was able to house him.

The Government does need to intervene to help those who cannot help themselves but I think that as individual members of the Liberal Democrat party we have the power to help people in need. Let's get out there and demonstrate the party's values and HELP.
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Saturday, 7 August 2010

Work or Kid?


The Westminster Civil Service play scheme, which I have been attending for the last 6 years, is due to be shut down. The play scheme is subsidized by the civil service who have decided to cut it. The Government is meant to be making family friendly decisions but with this closure what will the parents who use this play scheme do with their children during the school holidays?
It is known that women are the main users of public services so it is mothers like mine who are hardest hit by this decision. Since the Government is trying to get women to become more involved in the workforce this decision will not help the Government's intentions.
Good and affordable childcare is very important to a working mother and if it is not there mothers may have to make decisions between work and staying home with the children. This is why women leave the workforce.
The Government has always set an example in family friendly workplace practices. With the closure of this valuable play scheme I dread to think what other companies will do.
After the coalition Government was formed there was so much hope that the Lib Dems would bring their family friendly policies into power.
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Friday, 23 July 2010

Big Society Dublin bus driver


I think i saw a 'Big Society' concept at work on a Dublin bus the other day. I was on holiday and a passenger shouted some very rude words, which my mummy says i am not allowed to use, at the lady next to him. The bus driver immediately stopped the bus and told the passenger to get off. The passenger, without a fuss, did what the driver said and apologised! I was very impressed, firstly, because of the bus driver's reaction and how brave he was and, secondly, of the passenger who showed respect to the bus driver and apologised for his behaviour.

Big Society is going to be part of all our lives , including public transport but how? The third strand of the Big Society is community empowerment.

How is the Big Society going to help public transport workers feel more safe in their job? How do we get to the point where all people can respect public transport workers and make a bus driver feel empowered to deal with bad behaviour? If Big Society is to work it will require lots of community action and a cultural change.
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Monday, 12 July 2010

The Comprehensive school debate


David Cameron has said he is 'terrified' about sending his children to secondary school because of the 'low standards of comprehensives'. He says he understands why some parents 'break the bank' to pay for private schooling. My parents are one those who spend alot of money on my education. If my parents didn't have the money to do this than i would've been sent to a comprehensive school in my area which isn't of a high standard. All state schools in my opinion should be of a high standard where the children come out of it with an ability to reach goals in life and a sense of achievement.
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Wednesday, 7 July 2010

To cycle or not to cycle?


My last blog was about child health and safety rules and I wrote that, in my opinion, these had gone too far. Now look what has happened one week later! Perhaps the news hasn't made it outside of London but a family called the Schonrocks who live in South London have been publicised for the parents' decision to allow their eight and five year old children to cycle to school by themselves. The school that the children attend don't approve.

This raises three questions:
1. Does it matter how the children get to school just as long as they get there safely? You might say that cycling a mile to school by yourself at the age of five and eight isn't exactly safe. However,if the children and the parents feel comfortable with this then does the school have a right to object? Traffic allegedly is not a problem as the children have only one road to cross and there is a lolly pop lady to help them.
2. Should it be the State's decision as to whether or not the parents are capable of checking if the route that the children take is safe?
3. If the parents are reasonable and responsible should they not be allowed to make decisions for their own children?

I personally would not cycle to school because I don't feel safe and there have been a few attacks on the streets close to where I live. However, I think that these children should be allowed to cycle to school because they have obviously been doing it for a while now and have shown that they are capable of staying safe. Their parents have made the right decision and should be allowed to get on with it.
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Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Be careful kid!


Lately children's health and safety measures have gone way to far! As an example, we have to wear goggles while playing with bluetack. In my school we have to wear hats to go in the sun and if we have forgotten our hats we are not allowed in it. Even my mum is buying sun lotion which is 50+ on protection. I'm ten years old for goodness sake. Anyway, i'm hoping that when the Goverment is looking at regulation and trying to get rid of laws that are uneccesary they will look at the ridiculous safety measures in place for kids. Kids just want freedom and to have fun. I understand that we have to be safe while doing this but we shouldn't have to go so far with safety measures. If you put too many regulations in place you will stop children from experiencing childhood freedom. Adults just don't understand, do they (sigh)?
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Thursday, 10 June 2010

Afghan Children situation

The Government's decision to deport all Afghan children who have come over unaccompanied to England to escape the trauma of the war is detestable. The Government is just sending the children back thinking this is the best outcome for all of the kids. The four million pounds being spent on a 'regeneration centre' in Afghanistan could be used on doing risk assesments to look at each individual child's case to decide what is the best for that child's future.

These children might be in serious danger if they are repatriated. Some of the children that have come over to England could well have previously been working on the streets in Afghanistan because this is a wide spread social problem there. I think that UK Government should recognise this, understand and help instead of just deporting the poor children.

What is even more shocking is that the EU has agreed to this method. The concept of thinking that repatriation is the best option came from a paper circulated in the EU by the Labour government. I cannot understand why this Government with a progressive agenda hasn't changed the policy.

An article in today's London Evening Standard newspaper carries a story on an Afghan teenager in the UK who asked several famous people, including Obama and the Queen, to encourage her and her schoolmates in their GCSE exams. She is sitting for 14 exams because she appreciates the opportunity to be given an education. This shows how an Afghan child who moved to England can contribute to our country.
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Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Not in my lifetime

That's what people said to me.

'The Lib Dems will never be in power in your lifetime, Maelo'.

'Your children may live to see the Lib Dems in power, Maelo.'

'Your party will never win, Maelo.'

Yaddah Yaddah

Well, where are these people now? On this historic day the Lib Dems have made it into power after around 65 years. I am still alive so it's in my lifetime, isn't it?

The downside is that I can't make fun of David Cameron or shout 'Tory Boy' as I did to the Conservative canvassers in my area. POO! Or can I? What are the rules about heckling please?
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Monday, 10 May 2010

Libdem Oz

This morning at 7am I was interviewed by an ABC radio star called Sonya Feldhoff for her show 891 Drive. The election fever is running high Down Under. I was asked many questions about the election. I was nervous because i had never been interviewed for a show before. Sonya was very freindly and made the interview fun for me. She asked me why it was taking so long for Nick to decide I said he was taking his time because it is a very important decision. The world is waiting for NIck!
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Sunday, 9 May 2010

King maker - but with whom?

When the exit polls came out on Thursday night it looked like it was all over for the Liberals and the predictions of Nick Clegg being the Kingmaker hadn't made a Nostradamus of the media.
My local candidates and the volunteers were around at my house for an election night party. As soon as the exit poll was announced the mood fell. I was shocked by the result and felt worried about our candidates' propspects. As it turned out we were slaughtered.
However, Nick Clegg has turned out to be the kingmaker. Anyone who guessed that was exactly right. He can chose who is in power with him. Before, he had some talks with Cameron but now he has started to talk to Brown as well. Nick and Gordon don't neccesarily get along but people think that the Tories and the Liberals are the biggest clash of parties (or Titans!). So either way there is a dilemma. Nick Clegg really has a huge problem!
The question is how have the Tories changed since Thatcher? Will Cameron implement the politics of the state stepping in where the market fails?
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Thursday, 6 May 2010

Lib - Con Cabinet

Here's a wild thought. In the event of a Lib-Con hung Parliament could Peter Mandelson still stay on at the Department for Business? I say this because Peter Mandelson himself in the past has said that he is willing to serve in another Government, he has spoken positively about the Lib Dems and is good freinds with Nick Clegg. More importantly he has the respect of business people.
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Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Happy election

'This is it'- Michael Jackson quote. Today is the day of the election and all preparations come down to today. Our house has been used as a base and it has been great fun. Today I got up at 6 am (yes i know it is the earliest i've got up except from once,i got up at 4am) and leafleted Montem Road with 'Good Morning' leaflets. I would like to thank everybody who has read my blog and I wish you goodluck. You will still be hearing from me after the election.
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Monday, 3 May 2010

Labour stole my concept

Today i found out that yet another politician has stolen one of my ideas! Labour have been publishing billboards which are trying to get children to make their parents vote labour. The words I used in my speech at the Spring Conference were: 'Children, get your parents to vote Lib Dem'. How dare Labour do this?? I think i'll be having a word with that Gordon Brown AKA the Prime Minister.
Take those signs down-NOW!
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Security guard trick

Today I went to see Nick Clegg speak in Blackheath. When the battle bus arrived everyone was crowding around but Nick Clegg did not step out of it. Instead, he walked from around the corner. Then after Nick had made his speech a security guard said that Nick was getting into the Jaguar so everyone crowded around it but instead he got on the battle bus! I don't blame the guards for doing this because actually I pesonally, as one person, had caused alot of trouble already by stepping on people's toes when they covered my path to Nick. Even then I never quite reached him. So if i did this,as the small innocent child I am,think how much trouble everyone else would be causing.
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Thursday, 29 April 2010

Popcorn night

Thanks to the debates I have been allowed to stay up late on Thursday nights. I am never allowed to stay up that late during term time. I settle down with popcorn and this isn't even an outing to the cinema. The Times today states that children everywhere are being allowed to stay up to watch the debates. I have been given validation so I am going to push the boat out and ask for chocolate too.
On a serious note - I worry that Nick Clegg is going to be asked about the Child Trust Fund. I don't have a vested financial interest in this because I was born in 1999. However, I see the benefit in having money redistributed to setting up smaller class sizes. Children still do benefit.
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Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Cameron can't get his colours right!

David Cameron has stolen my thunder! I came home from school and discovered that he has been mixing colours. He said that yellow and red make Brown. That's what I do, I am the child here and i wished that i had come up with that line after years of playing with colours. After eating ten chocolates in a row (Easter leftovers) in a sulk, I then realised that red and yellow make ORANGE!!! I have been handing out orange leaflets every Saturday for the last month. Orange and yellow are the colour of sunrise and that is exactly what the Liberal Democrats are doing, RISING.
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More boos at school for Cameron

Today at school one of my classmates brought in the Times. The front page said that David Cameron saw Nick Clegg as more of a threat than Gordon Brown. Everybody boo'ed Cameron. Nick Clegg is really climbing to sucess! Later,in the playground,two boys had an argument over who was Nick Clegg's biggest fan. Nobody won because the fight had to be broken up by a teacher.
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Monday, 26 April 2010

Popularity of Nick in school

With one week left till the election my school is becoming more exciting than it has been all year. Today, my class mates and I were watching a short clip on the election. Normally children make fun of me for supporting the Liberal Democrats but today all my classmates cheered at the sight of Nick and boo'ed David Cameron and Gordon Brown. Later, they asked me loads of questions on Nick Clegg such as 'Is yellow his favourite colour?'. If that is the way my classmates show their political interests I'm not complaining.
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Sunday, 25 April 2010

LibDems save me from being told off

This story will show how much the party's profile has been raised in recent weeks. I had a stuffing party at my house and someone picked up my school bag. I had to explain to my teacher the following day what had happened and he stopped growing when I mentioned 'Liberal Democrats'. Instead, he became interested in what had happened at the party. My bag was returned 24 hours later.
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Saturday, 24 April 2010

Election 2010

This Party Isn't Bronze. It is Gold.
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