Viewing figures

Lord Norton

I recently tabled a question to find out how many pageviews the House of Lords website gets each month.  It is a question I now tend to table annually.  The figures reveal that the number of pageviews is fairly modest – over 30,000 in a good month and less than 10,000 in a quiet month.  Lords of the Blog does not attract that level of pageviews, but nonethless relative to the Lords website we are attracting a good audience.  Since we started just under two years ago, we have achieved nearly 300,000 pageviews, with the daily figure going up in recent months.  In recent weeks, the daily readership has sometimes been into four-figures.  Mind you, that has been assisted considerably by the comments of Baroness Deech and Lord Soley on home education.

In terms of the comments made, we clearly attract contributions from a number of regulars as well as from a range of readers with views on individual issues.  There is usually a link between the number of pageviews and comments made: the higher the readership of a particular post, the greater the number of comments.  Among the issues that have attracted the most interest have been those of prostitution, the drug problem, the Digital Economy Bill, and the role of the Lords.  Oh yes, and home education, which is now the most commented upon subject.   Home education and the Digital Economy Bill seem to attract not only a great many comments but also the lengthiest.

As readers know, we try to cover topics that reflect the life and work of the House and its members as well as comment on issues of concern.  It is rare for a subect not to have been considered in some form in the House, be it in a question, debate or committee report.   Are there any issues that we have not covered that are of particular concern to readers?  The subjects I have mentioned clearly arouse considerable interests.  I have learned a lot from them.   Is there something else I and my colleagues should be addressing?

49 comments for “Viewing figures

  1. Croft
    17/02/2010 at 2:23 pm

    “Mind you, that has been assisted considerably by the comments of Baroness Deech and Lord Soley on home education.”

    :-) Not even an exclamation mark!

    • lordnorton
      17/02/2010 at 3:55 pm

      Croft: There was one in the draft, then there wasn’t…

  2. Dave H
    17/02/2010 at 2:30 pm

    You’ll find that the home education bit has probably attracted some more regulars – I know I’ll probably keep an eye on things now the existence of the site has come to my notice.

    Is there a correlation between the vagueness of a Bill and the number of comments? The home education provision in the CSF Bill is a skeleton framework to be filled in later by regulations, and from what I’ve seen of the Digital Economy Bill, it suffers a similar problem. Perhaps people are just objecting to the lack of oversight of the fine print if these bills pass. It is far better and easier to have robust debate about a definite statement than it is when the text merely allows the minister to come up with regulations afterwards, with no real clue apart from a few vague and non-binding statements during the debate to silence any opposition.

    • Croft
      18/02/2010 at 11:36 am

      There is some truth in that. Both houses of parliament have really become too pliant in allowing ministers to more or less write the bill later via statutory instruments on a negative resolution procedure. As Lord Soley (?) who I think posted the figures showed they are more or less a rubber stamp as defeats are almost as rare as hens teeth.

      • lordnorton
        18/02/2010 at 1:01 pm

        Dave H and Croft: The issue of Statutory Instruments and how they are dealt with by Parliament is something in which I am keenly interested. We have the Merits of Statutory Instruments Committee (on which I now serve) and I think we need to be more robust as a House in deciding whether to approve some of the Instruments brought before us. We variously have motions of regret, but I see no reason why we should not be willing to reject an SI if it is inadequate. The Government can always come back with a new and better drafted SI if necessary. This is something I have variously discussed with other peers and plan to pursue the matter.

      • Croft
        18/02/2010 at 2:01 pm

        Your reply seems to reinforce my point about the past lack of robust examination of SIs. Well the committee has an interesting test case coming up as the new local government unitary authorities seem to have achieved new heights of opposition. An interesting process to observe as various public ‘consultations’ seem to have had not the slightest influence on the result.

  3. Tory Boy
    17/02/2010 at 2:33 pm

    Lord Norton, With more and more peers turning up at Question Time in the Lords and some lords not being able to have a seat, perhaps: the first block of benches to your right and left in the chamber (either side of the Crossbenches.)The first group of Conservative and Labour benches.) Could be joined up to the second block of benches directly next door to the first block, which would mean covering a stair isles on both sides of the chamber to make one big block of benches.

    I believe this is done at the Queens Speech, I also understand the bar of the house can be moved back towards the doors to create more room for benches. This is a matter for the house committee which should take this action.

    • lordnorton
      18/02/2010 at 1:07 pm

      Tory Boy: There can certainly be pressure on space at Question Time. If the benches occupied by the cross-benches become crowded, it is now possible for cross-benchers to sit on the very back bench on the Conservative side of the House. You are correct about the re-arranging of the chamber for State Opening. The bar of the House can be, and is, moved. I suppose, if it became absolutely necessary to create more space, the benches could be extended to encompass the area occupied by the public seating below bar and the seats for spouses on the other side. I suspect some will argue that the answer is to reduce the size of the membership of the House, but I doubt if this would address the issue of attendance at Question Time. Reducing the size of the membership is likely to remove predominantly those who rarely if ever attend.

  4. Gareth Howell
    17/02/2010 at 2:35 pm

    You seem to have had about 30-40 correspondents in the last couple of weeks, which would account for most of the page views.

    I should think that the House of Lords’ website would be quite well frequented for business purposes.(the one on

    I had those page views about 10 years ago, and checked the origin of the viewers too, and quite a few of them were misdirected, and went on their way.

    They might , in your case have been looking for Blog Lords cricket, or Mr Lord, the furniture maker etcetera.

    The serious page view analysts, the prospective hackers, of whom there are still far too many,have quite a range of information available to them from their Service providers.

    Towards the end of John Major’s term of office, so little happened that in 1996
    parliament packed up in about June and did not come back until October. It was all grinding to a standstill.

    The problem with parliament and government is that a Labour government is far too keen on proprietorial ownership, by government, of everything, whereas a Conservative one is far too keen on owning everything for themselves and to hell with the government office for which they take a wage.

    This much is obvious by a fairly casual inspection of the actions of Members of local government councils.

    Yet, and yet, there is a kind of corruption,
    (and that is what has not been covered, since you asked!) which lies very exactly in the ownership of capital by the state, in the form of health service, or educational service, and if you had asked Mr Paisley 30 years ago, in the possession of a defence service by the state, when he raised a quasi private army of his own, as a contrast.

    Parliament, in both places, seems to be fearful of seeking out corruption because it does not know enough about the organisation itself which is corrupt, or there are plenty of members, who are paid to maintain what others perceive as corruption is actually the soul of integrity!

    They are happy to form committees and make friends, but the corruption of the social security system, for example over the course of 40 years is breath taking in its magnitude, whilst
    members whose task it is to investigate such things breathe deeply and forget all about it, with fine wage packets, and big savings.

    The way that the UK lives on the rest of world, and makes them suffer for it too, whilst giving vast sums to 4m or more claimants,is abominable, but apparently insoluble.

    The Chancellor would merely describe it as negative income tax, and any way don’t they all pay VAT, so what’s wrong with that?

    The stress on the interest of the state in the personal health of those dependent on
    the state for ‘healing’ (as if that is possible)beggars belief, but there has been no proper management of what seem to me to be
    a new age of cannibalism, by theatre surgery methods, in the 21stC.

    I understand from B Murphy that the Germans are rather more wary about such new methods
    of dealing with people’s “health”, but it is the involvement of the state which is at the root of the problem.

    B Thatcher tried her best to address this problem but ended only by allowing far worse
    corruption than she had recognised in the first place.

    Incompetence such as Major’s in the 90s, does sometimes have its good points as far as departments of government, and their possessions are concerned!

    • lordnorton
      18/02/2010 at 1:10 pm

      Gareth Howell: On your point about how people reach this site, this is something that has been discussed before. We may well attract readers by reasons of serendipity,but that is a good thing if we are drawing in people who otherwise would not read the blog. On corruption, I think both Houses are keen to address it. I have taken a particular interest in ensuring the security of the ballot.

  5. Concerned Home Edder
    17/02/2010 at 4:44 pm

    I would like a general question and answer session – perhaps a regular thing where we can ask anything (work of HoL’s related of course).
    Though asking what fav biscuit is (like Mumsnet seem to be obsessed with) might not be out of question…
    I understand that soon a HoL’s committee is going to look into the Boundary Committee recommendations to change Norwich and Exeter into Unitary councils. Not sure what a response you would get, but that interests me.
    Also, it would be interesting to hear about court cases that reach the Lords and maybe a “step through” of what happens. Maybe something high profile akin to Gary McKinnan (example only). Why they reach you, what you can and can’t affect etc. Might be obvious to you all, but not the rest of us.

    • lordnorton
      18/02/2010 at 1:18 pm

      Concerned Home Edder: Thanks for the suggestion. The possibility of having a Q&A section is something that has been raised before. I will pursue it. I favour the idea of having a Q&A sidebar on the site, allowing readers to post queries. It is in the absence of such a facility that I do the occasional post, such as this one, inviting readers to post queries or topics they would like covered. I will think about the possibility of posts arising from the queries you raise: how we deal with secondary legislation and perhaps more on what has happened now that we have lost the law lords and the Supreme Court is up and running. Given the transfer of the judicial function to the Supreme Court, we no longer have cases coming to the Lords. As I mentioned in some earlier posts, it was not a change that I favoured.

      • Concerned Home Edder
        18/02/2010 at 1:34 pm

        “The possibility of having a Q&A section is something that has been raised before. ”

        You could always advertise the fact that you are going to hold a Q&A asking for questions. Some blogs have guests – you could have guest Lords who have specialist areas and ask for questions in advance of a few weeks….

        “Given the transfer of the judicial function to the Supreme Court, we no longer have cases coming to the Lords.”
        I had no idea this had happened and I would guess most of the general public wouldn’t either!

      • beccy83
        18/02/2010 at 5:04 pm

        We do have guest Lords from time to time giving us information about their specific area of expertise. You can see previous posts from Guest Lords in the authors drop down box at the top of the page. Thanks for the feedback!

  6. Bedd Gelert
    17/02/2010 at 5:26 pm

    Please do ‘stick with it’ because any blog can take time to build up a critical mass and to reach a ‘tipping point’ to use the jargon.

    The current debate about the film made by Ray Gosling seems worth consideration.

    I won’t repeat the phrase he used about the law, but it does raise the question as to where we might find ourselves if large groups of people no longer feel able to follow both the spirit and letter of the law.

    Personally, as I’ve mentioned before, I think the law at the moment is ‘about right’ on this issue, especially with Keir Starmer issuing some clarification. But the danger is with sentimentality, and I would be very concerned if Ray Gosling was sent to prison.

    But then I fall into a trap which would soon see me reversing my stance that it was right that Frances Inglis should go to prison, and then we could be in a very dangerous place indeed.

  7. Bedd Gelert
    17/02/2010 at 7:00 pm

    What about a weekly ‘off-topic’ slot ?

    Maybe on Friday, for general questions, stories in the media, and maybe to give you a chance to let us know any light-hearted anecdotes ?

  8. Wolfgang
    17/02/2010 at 7:06 pm

    Costs of the Lords aren’t a subject of much discussion and you’re attacks on me show that you haven’t a clue like the other lords.

    What is the average daily attendance by Members per session in the House of Lords?
    Session 2008-2009: average daily attendance = 400 Members
    Average daily attendance figures for previous sessions

    Main expenditure heads 2007/08
    (net operating cost £121.5m)

    How many days does the House of Lords sit in a session?
    Session 2008-2009: 134 days
    Sitting figures for previous sessions


    Now I trust Phillip you can do the maths.

    121,500,000 / 400 / 134 = 2,266.79

    The daily cost of employing one Lord to the tax payer.

    I think the first question to be asked in the chamber is
    why you cost us so much?

    The second one is that since you are all under some sort of delusion that its now where near this much, the statements
    about value for money are also completely wrong


    (It’s more than 2,000 pounds a day)

    To paraphrase another Lord. It’s a mystery what they were doing with expenses. From the latest lot, its a mystery why you haven’t stopped the porkers in the Lords.

    1 day a month makes it your main home? Only in the dolaly world of the Lords.

    ie. If you don’t have a rule specifying which is your main home, you don’t have a rule specifying which is your second home. Why they have you been handing out expenses for second homes when you haven’t got lords to say which is which? You can’t have it both ways. Or is that Schrodinger’s cat applied to government pork?

  9. 18/02/2010 at 1:39 am

    Lord Norton said: “Are there any issues that we have not covered that are of particular concern to readers?

    It was good to see the attack on liberty posed by the DCSF bill, with its Home Ed clauses, thoroughly aired by some very knowledgeable comments. I hope readers feel better informed.

    However, The issue of UK sovereignty, as subsumed by the EU, seems to get little airing on this web site, except in the comments section. More discussion on this take over of almost all meaningful power, by what is a foreign power, would be welcome be me and some others.

    • lordnorton
      18/02/2010 at 1:23 pm

      Alfred: As you say, it has been mentioned primarily by readers. What may merit a longer post is just how the House deals with proposals for EU legislation. The process of scrutiny in the Lords – through the EU Committee and its seven sub-committees – is extensive. I doubt if the provisions of the Lisbon Treaty – providing for the ‘yellow’ and ‘orange’ card procedure for national parliaments – will make much difference to the capacity of national parliaments to affect outcomes, but the coming together of like-minded national legislatures could help ensure that they have a greater impact.

  10. Carl.H
    18/02/2010 at 12:03 pm

    The blog could certainly do with more advertising. No link on the BBC democracy site ? I still think people are maybe slightly afeared of interacting with someone called Lord and it is apparent through the home ed blogs that the public have little faith in the system. The home ed`ers, or a lot of them, seem to be of the mind the bill is a done deed and no one will listen. Perhaps I`m naive, or not, but I still believe if firm evidence is put forward the House can and will make changes to a bill. I live in hope.

    Something else to address ? Where`s that toilet roll that`s got my list on ? lol. I should think just about every piece of legislation in the book. Top of my list has to be Local Authorities, especially the abuse of power and invasion of privacy. Then there`s teenagers employment or training, they need to be out of bed and off the streets during the day. Housing, now there`s a subject..private landlords living off the system and the Government throwing tax payers money down the drain by paying rent instead of buying/building properties. An average family will cost £200 week rent plus tax credits/social of another £200-250, add to that Council tax….The man would have to earn £30k per annum + just to be in the same position which is unlikely at £5.80 min wage for unskilled labour.

    Oh look you`ve got me started now….Yes there are a miriad subjects to cover.

  11. lordnorton
    18/02/2010 at 1:31 pm

    Carl H: I agree about raising our profile. I do come across people who apparently feel intimated raising issues with a Lord. I only know because they mention it. It is somewhat paradoxical in that members of the Lords tend to be among the most pleasant and helpful people you could find. On your other issues, you may find that looking through the pages of Hansard – or the Parliament website generally – many or all of them have come up in some form in parliamentary proceedings. Indeed, you may find the website something of a welcome treasure trove.

    • Gareth Howell
      18/02/2010 at 4:33 pm

      “new local government unitary authorities seem to have achieved new heights of opposition”

      Varying the method of government seems to be popular, but not good. They were all bent when they were abolished in 1974, and now here they are again.

      “I do come across people who apparently feel intimated raising issues with a Lord”

      and yet meet a pretty girl of 20, who is still innocent, and it makes her feel much better, about what she is just about to lose.

      Now THAT is traditional!

    • Carl.H
      18/02/2010 at 5:05 pm

      RE: Other Issues.

      Thank you for the pointer toward Hansard & Parliament which I peruse from time to time anyway when work allows, which is frequently in the current climate.

      My Lord, the point I was try to get across re other issues was not how Parliament debates these issues but how between Parliament and us, Joe Public may debate. My Lord has mentioned in previous posts how he has been educated somewhat, I feel that it is the gap between us that needs filling at times. There are often gaps between theory and application and I feel we need to fill this if possible. There is a vast expanse of knowledge out here and we give it for free, no million pound reports or statistics.

  12. Senex
    18/02/2010 at 2:33 pm

    I’m afraid the thing that is on most peoples mind at the moment is “Where do I find the money to pay for the things I want and to pay off my debts?”

    I know for a fact that HBoS is sometimes pursuing ‘debtors’ in an unacceptable way using nagging phone calls from a 0845 602 9441 number. This bank is government owned so why is it happening?

    The house can do something about this but can it raise its own bills to address what is happening? The other associated issue is automated systems cold calling people for marketing purposes. Should this be addressed by legislation?

    I think it is particularly cruel for those people who just manage to keep their heads above water and in firm control of their indebtedness only to be pursued by somebody like HBoS in such an unaccountable way.

  13. lordnorton
    18/02/2010 at 3:30 pm

    Senex: You draw attention to important issues which certainly can be raised in the House. I have a feeling that that the issue of automated cold calls has been raised recently. It is something that may need to be addressed through legislation. The conduct of the banks that are now supported by public funds is also variously raised. These are the sorts of concerns that we need to pursue.

    Croft has reminded me in the other thread of the case for publishing the lists of subjects in which peers take an interest, so that anyone who wishes to raise a particular concern can do so directly with the most relevant members. Your comments reinforce the case for doing that.

    • lordnorton
      18/02/2010 at 3:31 pm

      Senex: As a PS, I have now replied to your earlier post in the ‘Strengthening the House’ thread.

  14. 18/02/2010 at 4:16 pm

    Has the House of Commons ever considered setting up at blog like this? It would risk partisan posturing but, if it managed not to descend into party politicking and instead became a forum for reasoned debate, it might restore my faith in the Commons. I certainly find this website has solidified my support for the Lords as an institution.

  15. lordnorton
    18/02/2010 at 7:35 pm

    governing principles: Not as far as I am aware. The problem associated with trying to get one going is that which you mention: the possibility (probability?)that Members would start point scoring. As previously reported, some New Zealand parliamentarians have a collective blog, but they are drawn from the same party. As far as we are aware, Lords of the Blog is unique. The fact that we are able to operate in the way that we do does, I think, reflect the distinct nature of the House.

  16. lordnorton
    18/02/2010 at 7:39 pm

    Concerned Home Edder: Your comments on the Supreme Court – that its existence is not widely known – reinforces my case against setting it up in the first place. The purpose was to ensure people could distinguish between the legislature and the judiciary. If they are unaware of the court’s existence, then it constitutes something of a waste of public money. The people who do know about it are likely to be those who could distinguish between the House of Lords in its legislative capacity and the House of Lords in its judicial capacity.

    • Gareth Howell
      19/02/2010 at 10:01 am

      “If they are unaware of the court’s existence, then it constitutes something of a waste of public money”

      They are not unaware since everybody knows of the existence of the Highest court that they can go to. What it is called is neither here not there.

      The reorganization, and noble lord Norton can only be talking with party tongue in cheek, effects the people who organize it a great more than the people who are used by it.

      I really do wonder! They do say that politics, Lord Norton is one of the most simple (and scientific!) sciences, until you start talking about it.

      Then it gets complicated.

      My learned brother has one word answers to ALL complex political problems, and it is extraordinary how astute and obvious the replies are, but then he is not in the least bit interested in politics.

      • lordnorton
        19/02/2010 at 11:01 am

        Gareth Howell: Concerned Home Edder clearly didn’t know about it, hence his comment. The change was made precisely because it was felt that names do matter.

      • 19/02/2010 at 12:21 pm

        Worse still, I saw some comments (on the BBC News discussion of the bank charges case) saying how dare the new Supreme Court come along and overturn the ruling of an old and established court. I’d say the change of name has done no good at all.

  17. 19/02/2010 at 12:53 am

    LotB and the general election: any issues out of bounds? This is the first time that a GE might impact on what can be said here. Or not.

    • lordnorton
      19/02/2010 at 11:03 am

      ladytizzy: A very good point. I presume we will be able to continue during the GE period, rather in the same way that peers can have acess to their parliamentary offices (as long as not used for campaiging purposes), whereas MPs cannot. I will, though, check.

  18. 19/02/2010 at 1:13 am

    While waiting for the pronouncement on the deliberations above, I will draw your attention to the problems suffered by Ron Scuttle MP:-

    “…Young Mums Breakfast Club, Disadvantaged Teen Equestrians, 45-to-63-year-old Romany Drop-In Centre, Fair Trade Speed Dating luncheon, Breastfeeding Learners Roving Support Bus, and South Nestyn’s Child Carers Chinese New Year Celebrations.

    Proof you can’t actually die of whingeing constituents.”

    Probably his best diary entry.

  19. Senex
    19/02/2010 at 12:08 pm

    Lord Norton: Some more topics the HoL might look into?

    I was somewhat surprised to learn of nurseries charging parents for days when the child was absent on sickness, bank or annual holidays. Nursery contracts along these lines are in wide spread use and represent something akin to a club membership not unlike a fitness gym where you pay whether you are there or not.

    What concerns me is that parents struggle hard to both work and fund nursery childcare and will often go into debt to do it. Should parents be subsidised when a child is absent under these circumstances?


    On the subject of home education: one of the things that organisations do before they allow their people to act as mentors or tutors is for them to acquire a formal but basic academic qualification in education.

    For home educators the City & Guilds organisation provides various courses leading to a recognised qualification. For instance NVQ 40772

    This is worthwhile obtaining because all of the skills learned in the home environment could lead to employment in a school as a support teacher? Other courses such as the 7303 and 7318 are available for career advancement; the important thing here is that such home educators could form a reservoir of cost effective qualified teaching talent to supplement but not replace professional educationalists.

    • Croft
      19/02/2010 at 1:10 pm

      From a pure business perspective fixed ‘membership’ fees are massively easier (and therefore cheaper) to administer. There are often considerable differences in the costs of fixed direct debit fees -v- regular cash or cheque payments and so the consequence of your proposal could indeed see higher costs for parents choosing or using a pay-as-you-go model.

      Fixed memberships gives far smoother and more predictable cash flow to what otherwise might be peaks and troughs with consequent problems with staffing levels and the use of temporary/permanent contracts.

      • Senex
        19/02/2010 at 6:02 pm

        I meant that the state should subsidise parents in these cases. Cutbacks?!

    • 20/02/2010 at 5:54 pm


      er… how on earth is a City and Guilds “Certificate in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools – Vocational (No. 7330 )” going to be an appropriate qualification for home educators? (hint: home education is not school at home).

      We are child-led home educators. We do no formal learning whatsoever. If my child wants to do a workbook, then I have a stash of them available, but months might go by with zero interest in such things. Most of our learning happens through child-initiated play, purposive conversation, and just, well, _living_. We help our children learn in their early years, and we stand back and offer help as requested as they learn to walk and talk and ride a bike. Why do we lose so much confidence in the parental skills of nurturing and the child’s passion for learning once they hit school age? Why do we then, as a society, start claiming that teaching is a terribly difficult thing, best left to professionals, and that children won’t learn without external motivation? Cui bono?

      Requiring parents to hold a city and guilds certificate in being a classroom assistant would be guaranteed to have a negative impact on home-based learning.

  20. 19/02/2010 at 3:37 pm

    Further to the comment from Senex above on sick children, employers must allow parental leave to look after the child from anything up to two weeks at a time. For microbusinesses this can lead to severe and prolonged problems since the number of employees, by definition, is tiny.

    Employers are not allowed to ask a prospective or current employee if they have suitable alternative childcare arrangements, such as a grandparent. There is no mechanism as with a sick note to verify absenteeism or to compensate a parent. When both parents are working it is unfair on the employer of the carer, made worse when the carer works in a microbusiness. Do answers all point towards a single solution?

    My second bête noire is with all things on charities including the Charity Commission. Are donors being duped? Should wealthy institutions such as the Church of England or the Univerity of Oxford continue to benefit from key tax exemptions?

  21. Carl.H
    19/02/2010 at 6:20 pm

    “Are donors being duped?”

    By some….ABSOLUTELY.

  22. 20/02/2010 at 6:56 pm

    Here’s the Saturday list (day off tomorrow):

    Hung parliament – good or bad for advocates of PR? Any particular effects on HoL?

    State funding of parties – could do with another airing after expenses exposé.

    Justice – is process more important than the truth? Should jury members have a law degree?

    Culture – favourite museum in UK/world.

    Definitions: define a ‘Code of Practice’, differentiating it from the bog standard ‘regulation’, or ‘government guideline’ (Governing Principles might like a stab at this). Then define a statutory Code of Practice. I really thought I’d cracked this.

  23. 20/02/2010 at 8:42 pm

    Ladytizzy: I’ve never come across your Saturday list before. Off-hand I would stab at:

    Code of Practice: Rules to which an organization’s members sign up. Self-enforced.

    Regulation: Rules imposed by the government/government body. Can by enforced by government in the civil courts.

    Government guidelines: Rules suggested by the government/government body. No enforcement but, should an accident occur, failure to comply can leave an organization open to accusations of negligence.

    Statutory Code of Practice: Rules imposed by the government/government body but enforced by the organization. Breaches can be perused in civil and criminal courts.

    Would be interested in the correct answers. Got to run.

  24. Carl.H
    02/03/2010 at 1:46 pm

    “Is there something else I and my colleagues should be addressing?”

    I spent 5 hours last night hunting my truant grand daughter with her 18 yo pot head boyfriend who had run away, yet again. She walked straight out of school mid afternoon, yet the school did not let anyone know. Social Services can`t help and she`s not the only similar case in her year at school. This was her first day living back with her Father because she expressed that desire and at 15, because I have no rights as a grandparent I had to agree.

    I spent my evening talking with the pot head hoodies gathered around the open shops mostly getting derision and lies. Not once did I see a Police car let alone a Police person, yet they were told she was a missing person. Of course there`s not enough Police to go around, which is why we have Night club bouncers issuing fixed penalty notices not a great idea seeing as most are controlled by criminal gangs.

    This morning I see that 3% of the population from 16-50 are taking cocaine, it`s no surprise. I spend a long time trawling facebook to find information to be one step ahead of the kids and the constant talk of lemon haze (marijuana) and of hoodies upto 22 having sex with 14-15 year old girls is unbelievable. Young girls trying to be grown up thinking they are are so by having sex with grown men, smoking pot and acting out the fantasies of gangsta rap by being “thugs”. Many of these young hoodies state their religion as “BNP” and soon they`ve kids of their own but they`ve no idea of responsibilty so their kids run riot and so the problem grows.

    More wise, caring parents take their kids out of state school to get them away from these types or try to get them in schools that don`t have these types. More pressure is put on the school system.

    3-10% of parents of 14-15 year olds are going through this kind of trouble but there`s no help. The Police can only look for runaways between emergencies, Social Services will only talk to children who state a need for help which these won`t. Parents cannot afford injunctions to keep the “thugs” (and they wear that name as a badge of honour) away. Working parents depend on schools to look after their kids, I dare say my grand daughter will get half hour detention again for walking out of school mid afternoon but I got no call.

    Her Father will take her mobile phones, yet she`ll borrow a friends in school, she`ll use school internet to arrange things on facebook, yes they get through the security measures. The unemployed hoodies sitting at home, these poor misunderstood often arrested teenagers (the parents view) waiting for messages from their school girl freinds to arrange to satiate their lust. And all the time parents are losing the battle, fighting alone for the social welfare of their precious children.

    Drugs are rife, hoodies, “thugs” have nothing to do. Parents have no help, schools no discipline, police too rare on the ground, bullying rife, gangs and the culture of gansta rap that promotes anarchy,the sexualisation of girls and killing is the norm and you ask if there`s anything to address ?

    Girls as young as 12-13 are having regular sex with “thugs”, they`re partaking of drugs, stealing (even from parents), truanting, wearing ASBO`s, exclusions as badges of honour it has to stop. Parents need help, no not some consellour but action. We need schools with discipline, we need police on the streets, we need the drug tide stemmed and we need these hoodies put to something useful daily.

    The growing tribe of youth who listen to black music and proclaim their religion as BNP need educating, work, a sense of value and the realisation that having sex with really young girls is wrong.

  25. 03/03/2010 at 12:26 am

    Next week should be lively here. But one can never have too many…

    The honours system: why isn’t it enough for Brits to reach the highest level of their career or life path?

    Referendums and petitions: what place should they have in a democracy?

    Uncontested seats in local elections: rather than a shoo-in should they be left vacant?

    Father of the House: will there be a Mother?

    • 03/03/2010 at 4:20 pm

      Lady Tizzy: As ever, I enjoy your quizzes/straw polls.

      Honors System: Because it’s important for society to recognize those who contribute extra to the state, society or their industry (although some of the selections really do push the limits of that idea)

      Referendums: A limited role, I don’t want to end up like California (so basically restricted to matter constitutional importance or sovereignty)

      Petitions: These are actually used a lot. People just need to recognize that a petition is not binding instrument in a democracy (usually a petition represents a small fraction of the population)

      Uncontested Seats: No, the people of the area deserve to be represented. Their loyalty to a single party should not be punished.

      Mother of the House: Yes, but it might take a long time.

  26. 03/03/2010 at 3:22 am

    Lady Tizzy: I would prefer it if the debate was just some kind of special Commons debate (sort of special PM Question Time, Opposition Leader Question Time and Lib Dem Question Time) as it would be less Presidential and better acknowledge the role of the parties our Parliamentary System. That said, I will just have to be happy with what I have. I certainly intend to watch.

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