Newsbits


Respect your food: 

David Cameron wants us to “take our food seriously“.  He thinks we don’t respect our food and all too often treat it like fuel.  [Information point!  It actually is fuel – for our bodies.  Like car engines, we couldn’t run without it].

He also believes that governments, business and individuals can “create a culture that respects food.

So everybody, remember to talk nicely to your food, spend some quality time with it and always listen to and value its opinions.  Respect is a two-way game and your food will rebel if you don’t treat it as an equal.  Or…

…you could just tell Cameron to stop meddling in personal lives.  The *nanny* status is supposed to belong to Labour isn’t it?

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The animal’s voice:

A new Animal Right’s  party called  Animals Count  is to be launched in London.  It follows the success of a similar  Party for Animals  in Holland which recently gained two seats at the Dutch general election.  Well, animals can’t speak for themselves and I’m sure many would agree that their rights should be protected.  I’m not so sure a whole political party is needed to represent them and I can’t get the image of assorted animals lining up to vote at local elections out of my head but small-interest parties do give voice to certain important issues and raise their profile.  And they keep the other bigger parties on their toes a touch. 

If only the animals themselves could set up a party, I’m sure they’d do a whole lot better than some of the chumps we have now in governments around the world.

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Approaching children about child poverty:

It says here that child poverty affects a staggering three million children here in the UK.  The article states that children respond best to strong visuals rather than bleakness and so the BBC Newsround team, along with CBBC, have come up with some cartoon type documentaries about the plights of disadvantaged kids which are aimed at children between the ages of seven and eleven.  Trials using children watching the docu-cartoons showed that they were engaged right till the end, some with tears in their eyes.  

Watch the cartoons here.  I’m very impressed with the BBC for this.  The cartoons are very sensitively made and wholly appropriate for the age-range they are targeting.  And Dilon’s story made me cry.  They all do.  My little boy also watched one of them and he’s already asking a million questions!  

Kids do absorb more than we perhaps realise.  My own children have been upset – disturbed even, by images they’ve seen on their TV.  Some of the Iraq war footage shown on the news channels put many questions in their minds.  And the Full Stop ads from the NSPCC brings them to tears every time they see one.

I don’t want to burden my children with unnecessary worries.  Childhood days should be carefree.  We want our children to appreciate how fortunate they are but we don’t want to overload them with negative emotions of guilt and suchlike.  We want them to be aware of the world around them and know that some children have it hard but we don’t want them to be forever fretting about their anguished unknown peers.  

But we can reach a balance and it can’t hurt to gently instill a social conscience into them which will hopefully impact their behaviour and their attitude towards their own friends so that they grow into caring and compassionate adults. 

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6 responses to this post.

  1. Nanny State or power to the ‘pressure groups/parties’. Difficult one this, which won’t go away because of the power of multi-media to have anyone’s propaganda disseminated to a wider audience. I do wonder increasingly whether parliament shouldn’t largely be run over the internet! I think Downing St.’s website is very interesting in it’s attempts at voter interaction.

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    I also constantly monitor my own thoughts and feelings regards how much exposure my kids should have to the more difficult topics shown on tele. Trying to explain Iraq to a 5 year old is near on impossible and I don’t really want to, except that it has been going on for 3 years of her life so she has of course ended up seeing it on the news. ‘What’s that man doing?’…He’s a soldier. ….’What’s a soldier?’….etc. I agree a balance has to be struck with more difficult issues rather than avoided!

    Reply

  2. Posted by misslionheart on December 3, 2006 at 9:23 pm

    Some very sad stories…..

    Reply

  3. ML…yes, very.

    Matt, I was close to writing a letter of complaint to the BBC once or twice during their Iraq war coverage because they often showed graphic footage on their early evening news programmes when the kids were around. I’m not against it being shown but I think the graphic scenes should have been aired at more appropriate times. It can be distressful for children and it’s certainly too complex for their young minds to absorb. We teach them non-violence and then they see it for real on the TV screens. Talk about mixed messages!

    Reply

  4. Only way really is to watch the later news programmes at 10 & 10:30pm (or catch News24 if that’s too late). BBC won’t filter their stories ’cause that would throw up other issues.

    Reply

  5. Yes, you’re right Matt. The news can’t be censored or given a watershed. That’s why I never actually sent my letters of complaint.
    And I’m sure there’s no lasting damage – no future hang-ups lurking inside my kids heads.
    When the Iraq war was kicking off I would automatically switch on the news to hear the latest, thinking my kids were oblivious to it all. But of course their curiosity radars don’t miss much. So basically it was as much my responsiblity.

    Reply

  6. David Cameron should read this appeared on the Baltimore Chronicle yesterday about

    RonaldMcDonaldandOtherDeceptiveVillains

    Reply

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