Sunday, July 23, 2017

My five-year-old daughter was fined £150 ... for selling lemonade

 Andre Spicer

Disgusting British bureaucracy.  When my gorgeous twin stepdaughters were about 8 or 9 we had a very productive lemon tree so experimented  with making lemonade out of some of its produce.  When we had a product, I organized for the girls to set up a stand outside our place and sell glasses of lemonade to passers by for $1 each.  They loved it and it is one of their fondest memories of their childhood.  We were living on a main road so at one stage the local cop -- this was in a small Australian country town -- drove past, came to a screeching halt when he realized what he had just seen and approached the girls. 

Did he create anything like the horrible scene described below?  No way. He was fascinated and talked to the girls in a friendly way.  He bought a drink and went on his way with a pleasant memory of the day.

Why could those animals of British bureaucracy not do that?  Why could they not have turned a blind eye? The more you see of British bureaucrats the more you doubt that they are really human.

There have been incidents in the USA where officials have tried to shut down children's lemonade stands but the outcry has made them backpedal. Will that happen in Britain after this episode?  Don't hold your breath


Like many parents, I’m forever searching for ways to entertain my children – especially at this time of year, when the school holidays loom. I know that visits to our local playground won’t be enough to get us through the long summer days. So, I was pretty pleased when I hit on the idea of helping my five-year-old daughter to run a lemonade stand at the end of our street.

I would have thought twice if I knew what was in store for us.

Really, it was my daughter's suggestion. On the way home from school one day, she told me that she wanted to run a stall like they had at the school fete. "What do you want to sell" I asked.

"Food and toys", she replied.

"Do you want to your sell your toys?", I replied, trying to hide my excitement. My daughter took a second to think.

"Maybe just food then".

The next morning, she announced that she wanted to run a lemonade stand. It sounded very American, but it would entertain her and she might even learn a thing of two. I started looking up lemonade recipes.

That weekend, after 30 minutes of labouring over the blender, we had four jugs of lemonade. My daughter drew a sign with some beautiful bright yellow lemons on it. I added the prices: 50p for a small cup; £1 for a large one. After cleaning off an old table, we packed up our things and walked to the end of the street. A music festival was taking place in a nearby park, so dozens of people streamed by every minute. My daughter stood proudly in front of the table. "Who wants lemonade", she called out. Within a minute, she had her first customer.

The lemonade quickly disappeared and her little money tin filled up. A happy scene. And then, after about 30 minutes, four local council enforcement officers stormed up to her little table.

"Excuse me", one office said as he switched on a portable camera attached to his vest. He then read a lengthy legal statement – the gist of which was that because my daughter didn't have a trading permit, she would be fined £150. "But don’t worry, it is only £90 if it’s paid quickly", the officer added.

My daughter burst into tears, repeating again and again "have I done a bad thing"?

After five minutes, the officers' jobs were done and they went on their way. We packed up and made the short walk home. My daughter sobbed all the way.

When my she had finally calmed down, I started to try to make sense of what had just happened. I’m a professor in a business school, so I probably should have known some kind of permit was required. But this was a five-year-old kid selling lemonade. She wasn’t exactly a public safety hazard.

Later, I tried to lay the matter to rest. "We can get a permit and have a stall another day", I said.

"No. It’s too scary", she replied.

Holding the notice of the fine in my hand, I’m reminded just how restrictive we have become with our children. When I was growing up, my brother and I were able to wonder miles from home without adult supervision. We were encouraged to sell things to raise money for clubs we were part of. By selling biscuits, we learned about maths, communication and basic business skills. But more importantly, we gained a degree of confidence. I can’t ever recall a council officer popping up and fining us.

The world my children are growing up in is radically different. Today, kids are watched by parents around the clock. Most are not allowed beyond the front gate of their house. Everything children do today is carefully regulated by officials, inspectors and their own parents. There are good intentions behind all this obsessive monitoring. But these good intentions can quickly sour.

At the same time as we supervise the joy out of childhood, many of the things which actually help our children thrive are disappearing. Councils have closed youth clubs and young people’s services. Teachers spend more time ticking bureaucratic boxes than teaching kids. Parents are more interested in monitoring their social media feed than playing with their kids. Meanwhile, the number of children being prescribed anti-depressants has gone up 50pc in five years.  

Now, after Lemonadegate, as I contemplate the long school holidays which lay ahead, I’m even more confused about how to entertain our children. Setting up a lemonade stand is obviously far too risky. Perhaps I should just rely on that good old fashioned parenting technique – handing my daughter an iPad so she can spend hours watching a creepy guy opening up toys he has just bought.


UPDATE: The power of publicity at work.  The council cancelled the fine and apologized. 

In a statement Friday, the council said it was “very sorry” about what happened and that its enforcement officers are expected to “show common sense, and to use their powers sensibly.” “This clearly did not happen,” it said.

A multicultural father in Britain

A mother yesterday spoke of her anger that she only learned about her partner’s violent past after he beat her five-year-old son to death over a lost trainer.

Marvyn Iheanacho, 39, had a sickening history of violence, including six convictions for domestic abuse after he attacked five partners and a child.

Yet despite his appalling record, the burly thug with a terrifying temper was allowed to look after the boy after he embarked on a new relationship.

He started going out with single mother Lilya Breha, who was never told by police he had just been released from prison for assaulting his fifth girlfriend.

On a trip to the park on November 20 last year, the jobless father-of-three lost his temper when his new partner’s son, Alex Malcolm, lost a trainer.

Iheanacho battered the little boy with such savagery that witnesses who overheard eight ‘booming’ blows initially thought two grown men were fighting. They heard the child begging for mercy, sobbing, ‘I’m sorry, I’m sorry.’

Instead of taking the dying boy to hospital only a five-minute walk away, Iheanacho carried him through the street before taking a cab to Miss Breha’s home in Bromley, South-East London, where he attacked her, throttling her as she tried to call 999.

Iheanacho, who was known to Alex as 'Daddy Mills', admitted beating the boy before in a note

'If I think about all my mistakes, shame takes over and I find myself overwhelmed in anger. 'My anger help me to push forward but fears helps me to fly high. Up up and away. 'Do I really love Alex, five years old small cute lil boy.

'Who want nothing more, than daddy mills to love him protect him but most of all keep him from harm - even though I had to beat him just now for sicking up in the cab - why why why I say - so the answer is yes yes yes I love him and like with all my heart but may not enough- I am real, faithful making money - so why ain't I happy?'

When Miss Breha managed to raise the alarm two hours later, doctors were unable to save the youngster, who had 22 bruises from head to toe. He died two days later following a bleed to the brain.

Iheanacho had denied murder, but was convicted yesterday. A jury at Woolwich Crown Court took six hours to dismiss his story that Alex accidentally fell off his shoulders as he walked back from Mountsfield Park in Catford, South-East London. Iheanacho, of Hounslow, West London, will be sentenced on Tuesday.

Miss Breha only learned of his past during his trial. He had so many convictions it took prosecutors 15 minutes to read them out.

The Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Police Act 2014 gave police the power to request a criminal behaviour order in cases of domestic violence, forcing offenders to tell officers every time they begin a relationship so police can warn new partners about them.

But Miss Breha, who had a five-month relationship with Iheanacho, was never contacted by police or made aware of his appalling past after they met through a mutual friend as he was being released from prison.

The Ukrainian mother, who occasionally left her son in Iheanacho’s care while she worked two jobs as a baby sitter and dog minder, wept as he was convicted.

‘It’s a joke,’ she said. ‘I just wish I’d known. I knew he had been in prison, but he said he was innocent. I had no idea about his past and the first time I heard about it I was disgusted. I was so shocked. I just felt sick.

'Alex was so small but he was my strength and my purpose for living. 'The hardest thing I have ever had to hear was that my child died. I remember it like it was yesterday.

' Lying next to him in a hospital and praying that everything would be fine, that he will open his eyes. 'I didn't even get to tell him I love him.

'All I got was to put my hand on his chest and feel every single one of his final heartbeats.'

‘I was so naive. He would come over and help Alex with homework. I trusted him. He had his own kids. I never imagined this would happen. Something should have been done with someone like that.’

Miss Breha paid tribute to her son, saying: ‘We called him little angel. He was perfect. He was my best friend. He was my strength and my purpose for living. The hardest thing I have ever had to hear, was that my child died.’


Germany's media failed in their duty to cover the migrant crisis responsibly and treated anyone critical of Merkel's open door policy as racist

Germany's media failed in their duty to cover the migrant crisis responsibly and treated anyone critical of Angela Merkel's open door policy as racist, an influential German institute study has claimed.

Researchers at the Otto Brenner Institute said they studied thousands of articles published by daily newspapers during the mass influx of refugees in 2015 and 2016.

Hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers arrived in the country before the German Chancellor closed the border in March last year when Balkan states cut off the migration route.

According to Die Zeit, the study said newspapers appeared to take on the role of 'public educators' during the crisis instead of objective critics of public policy.

The report, to be published next week, said some publications had treated people who criticised government policy as being potentially racist.

It suggests some of the reporting 'massively contributed' to a split in German society and loss of confidence in the media.

Former Die Zeit editor Michael Haller, who led the research, told the newspaper: 'Most journalists failed in their job as someone who is supposed to objectively explain the world to readers.'

Opinions of experts, German citizens and asylum seekers themselves were often ignored, Haller added, according to The Local.

At the height of the refugee influx, thousands were crossing into Germany everyday having made their way up through southern and central Europe.

At the same time, there was a rise in support for far right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party which opposed Merkel's open-door policy.

But its support has recently plummeted as the refugee influx to Germany has slowed, and it is polling at around seven per cent nationwide.

Merkel's CDU party meanwhile has strongly regained ground, with polls showing it mustering close to 40 per cent of support, leaving the second most popular party SPD trailing at around 24 per cent.


Australia's ABC censored church’s ‘positive story' about domestic violence

And lied about it -- in good Leftist fashion. For a fuller coverage of how totally dishonest the program was, see here or my final post on AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, of 21st. It was a classic example of Leftist cherrypicking. They ran with one little quote they liked and ignored the other facts that totally contradicted what they were claiming. There is no truth in them (John 8:44). They are Satanic

A senior female Anglican leader has expressed “disappointment” that her “positive” story in fighting domestic violence was ignored by the ABC in its controversial TV program claiming Christian men who go to church occasionally are the worst abusers of women.

Sydney diocese Archdeacon for Women Kara Hartley was ­interviewed for more than an hour by ABC journalist Julia Baird for the report on 7:30 that aired on Wednesday night, but none of her comments were aired.

“I probably wanted to promote our views and our responses more than came through — my disappointment is that there is positive work and a positive conversation, and I would have liked that to be highlighted some more,” Archdeacon Hartley said yesterday.

Archdeacon Hartley’s remarks came as the Catholic Archbishop of Brisbane, Mark Coleridge, ­revealed he had, on request, provided the ABC with extensive comments for a related online essay by Baird and co-author ­Hayley Gleeson. But not only did Baird and Gleeson not publish any of his remarks, they falsely reported he had not responded.

Only after the diocese made an official complaint to the ABC did it amend the article yesterday.

“The archdiocese of Brisbane tried to tell ABC reporters about the work we do to assist people who are affected by domestic and family violence,” Archbishop Coleridge said.

“It’s time that the ABC took ­seriously its role to tell the story of the real Australia. It should disengage from the groupthink that has produced an antagonistic, one-sided narrative about the Catholic Church in this country.”

An ABC spokesman declined to comment. The 7:30 story by Baird and ­fellow ABC journalist Paige MacKenzie has been widely condemned for its apparent reliance on, and distortion of, a footnote in a 2008 paper by a professor of ­theology at Phoenix Seminary in Arizona, Steven Tracy.

ABC presenter Leigh Sales said: “We talk about women in Islam, but statistically it is evangelical Christian men who attend church sporadically who are the most likely to assault their wives.”

But 7:30 did not report that ­Professor Tracy’s original paper actually found “there is an inverse relationship between church attendance and domestic violence”.

“Conservative Protestant men who attend church regularly are found to be the least likely group to engage in domestic violence, though conservative Protestant men who are irregular church ­attendees are the most likely to batter their wives,” his report said.

The 7:30 segment, which acknowledged “there has never been any real research” on the topic in Australia, quoted advocates claiming “the church is not just failing to sufficiently address domestic violence, it is both enabling and concealing it”.

In the segment, Baird cited concerns that “as long as women’s voices are denied within the church, domestic violence will continue”.

But it made no mention of Archdeacon Hartley, who has been in the Anglican ministry for 20 years and is a leading member of the church’s domestic violence taskforce.

Archdeacon Hartley said she had emphasised to Baird that “domestic violence in our church is unacceptable … I and the senior leadership are absolutely committed, there is no confusion”.

“The first thing we do is we listen and we believe,” she said. “We work out with them what is the best way to be safe, to be cared for … is it going to the police, is it getting you out of your home?” “I am really passionate about this work.”



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


No comments: