I just signed the petition “Allow international observers to monitor this year’s general election.” on Change.org.
It’s important. Will you sign it too? Here’s the link:
Mr Bunny Chow
I just signed the petition “Allow international observers to monitor this year’s general election.” on Change.org.
It’s important. Will you sign it too? Here’s the link:
Mr Bunny Chow
Here we go again I have worked myself up into teeth spitting fury and frustration, I’m sure that those of you who go to the effort of reading this rant will think by the end that I am a sad, arrogant arse and I wouldn’t blame you for feeling that way because it’s probably true but I cannot help but share this with someone especially as Mrs BC has given up listening to me pontificate my frustrations.
A few of you who have stuck with me for a while now may remember my two-part series from October last year which if you don’t you can read here and here but if understandably you can’t be bothered to go back to my earlier rants I’ll give you a brief background, My kids go to a nursery school which is set within the grounds of a privately run but government-funded high school, their basic tenet is to make profit and take control of a school that was failing under government control. To earn the big government moolah they have to show lots of shiny statistics that include things like reduced exclusions etc. this is very easy for them to do as they basically just ignore every behavioural problem that they can.
The school is run by a slimy young businessman who in these pages I have named Mr Litebeer, I met with him last year to complain about a specific indecent I witnessed and he chose to brush under the carpet. Since then our paths have barely crossed, barring a minor rant from me about the amount of litter around the school which to his only credit in all of my dealings with him did improve for a few days thereafter.
Yesterday though I found myself trying to drop my boys off and all the allocated nursery parking spaces had been occupied by builders skips, delivery vans etc. as I was on my way to work and time was of the essence I chose the first available parking space which I will freely admit is clearly marked Principal.
Ten minutes later I returned to find the following note (only names have been edited otherwise it is as written)
PLEASE DO NOT PARK IN THIS BAY CLEARLY MARKED “PRINCIPAL”
THERE ARE YELLOW BAYS CLEARLY MARKED “CUTE SHINY NICE KIDS NURSERY” FOR YOU TO MAKE USE OF.
of course I being an arrogant arse myself I could not leave this be and drop this so decided to respond to Mr Litebeer thus
Dear Mr Litebeer,
Thank you for the note you left on my car this morning. Whilst I appreciate that the bay I was parked in is CLEARLY MARKED “PRINCIPAL”, somehow the yellow bays clearly marked “CUTE SHINY NICE KIDS NURSERY” seemed to be full of delivery vans that were clearly making deliveries to the school.
If you are unable to ensure that your delivery people park in spaces other than those clearly designated CUTE SHINY NICE KIDS NURSERY, I am afraid that I will be forced to continue to park wherever there is available space.
However, while writing, I would comment that one of the principal tenets of secondary education is readying young men and women for the real world and that as PRINCIPAL your primary role should be setting an example of how to earn the respect of others. Your note definitely does not set any such example.
With this in mind, I also would like to bring to your attention that I have seen no marked changes in student behaviour since we met last year (the incident where one of your male pupils punched a female pupil in the face and you chose not to punish them). I do realise that since the majority of construction has ended there is less interaction between pupils and Cute Shiny Nice Kids’ parents, yet we are still forced to endure daily lashings of loud and disturbing swearing, tomfoolery and disrespect for their elders – never taking into account the impressionable young ears surrounding them.
It is ultimately your responsibility for making sure that the pupils are aware of the nursery school children and the public in general and that they conduct themselves appropriately. It may appear that in today’s society swearing is commonplace, but it is still generally unacceptable in polite society and allowing it to continue on school premises to me shows a lack of control by the school over the pupils.
The concerned parent of the next generation
Mr Bunny Chow
this solicited the following response from Mr Litebeer.
Many thanks for your prompt response, I regularly make use of the cross hatched area as you suggested but as I’m sure you noticed when parking this morning that too had a delivery vehicle in it.
As for swearing and intolerable behaviour may I suggest spending time listening to and acting on the complaints of the public rather than blindly believing that your pupils behave in exactly the same manner as when in your presence.
If you would like to meet with me again to discuss the behaviour of your pupils I’d be more than happy to take the time.
Mr Bunny Chow
I know, I am such a boorish arse of a human being and quite rightly the Nursery have put out a general email reminding all parents that we should only be making use of our designated bays and not inconvenience Mr Litebeer into having to park in the bay next his own and walk a whole extra two feet to his office. None of this changes that I cannot contain my wrath that this smarmy, greasy, nasty little administrator has been entrusted to raise hundreds of the next generation of oiks as they transition into adulthood. It leaves me angered that it is only a year since the riots that brought London to its knees yet this total lack of interest in the behaviour of oikish youths by the very people being paid vast sums of money to educate and mould them into acceptable members of society.
I am honestly surprised that we have not had a repeat of the looting and burning of our area if this is the attitude of the system.
I should probably stop now before I break my keyboard by typing too forcefully.
Mr Bunny Chow
Good morning friends, family and others,
It has been a while since I’ve had a full-blown rant within these pages but I can hold back the tide no longer. This post is long and involves many asides to give background information and provide light humour for me the ranter.
As some of my long term readers may recall from mention in my earliest posts Mrs Bunny Chow and I were burgled back in March last year, we lost some of our most treasured possessions including but not limited to my grandfathers Omega, Mrs BC’s late fathers retirement watch, Mrs BC’s grandmothers jewelery, her late mothers jewelery. In the middle of the value scale (emotionally if not monetarily) we lost a whole bunch of consumer electronics, camera’s etc. etc. and then down at the bottom of the scale we also lost lots of really irritating things like my phone charger, I mean seriously a bloody phone charger, why steal someone’s phone charger, they’re not expensive it’s just irritating.
But anyway that’s just for background information to give you an idea of why I am shouting inside whilst bashing forcefully at my keyboard. The most irritating thing that was stolen was the spare keys to both of our cars, I say the most because now nearly a year later, we have spent the insurance money buying new stuff and whilst you cannot replace the sentiment attached to things that belonged to your departed loved ones, you can buy new stuff and it’s fun to be able to walk into a jeweller with a big voucher burning a hole in your pocket and go I’d like this, that and that, oooh and because we’re spending loads can we please have a big discount, thank you very much.
No I’m coming back to those car keys though, because they were not covered by our home insurance and being honest citizens we of course informed our car insurers of what had happened and attempted to make a claim to have the locks replaced. Hmmmm insurance company “we’ll offer you £100 per car”, hmmmm I don’t think that’s going to cover it, try closer to a grand per car, I shouted a lot at the time and made lot’s of poor telephone monkeys in regional towns question their will to live and tangle with a master of the telephone monkey game.
The long and short of it is after them confessing to me on a recorded call that had the cars been stolen they would have paid and that that yes they would indeed cover the lock replacements for both cars they were forced to do just that and to their credit they eventually did. This of course cost me my excess for both vehicles and meant that we both lost our no claims bonus.
At the same time as all of this wrangling was going on our car insurance was also up for renewal and we discovered that because someone had phoned our insurers and claimed that they might have hit one of our cars in their big 4×4 but they weren’t sure, at the time we had dismissed this and said, no the big 4×4 most certainly had not his us and that there was no damage to our car. Our insurers though took this months earlier reported and unclaimed for incident to assume that we were obviously high risk drivers because someone might have but didn’t drive into us tried to vastly increase our premiums.
Much more shouting at regional telephone monkeys and we managed to get this incident stricken from our record after they agreed to inspect our car for damage caused by this big 4×4 when it didn’t hit us months earlier. Surprise surprise they couldn’t find any damage from where the 4×4 didn’t hit us and struck the incident from the record bringing us back to just the two claims for the two cars keys and bringing us back to a still ridiculous but much more acceptable renewal premium.
We did shop around anyway and found them to still be the most reasonably priced option and stuck with them.
Right background to rant over and fast forward to the present day.
As mentioned we’ve just agreed to trade in the two cars for a newer single car as discussed earlier in the week and of course needed to organise some insurance for the new car as well as cancelling our policies for the cars we’re trading in. After doing lots of virtual leg work online and receiving all sorts of wild and wacky quotes ranging from the we won’t insure you at all because you don’t meet our demographic of never use the car but have it garaged and massaged only policies. To we don’t want your business but will give you a quote of £4000 per annum on the off-chance that you’re a moron and will buy it any way. To lots of the big advertising, big name insurers quoting around the £2000 mark down to the more sensible sorts of quotes that we were expecting around the £600 per annum mark.
Annoyingly cheapest on this list was our present insurer, but because of my past experiences with them I decided to ring a couple of the slightly more expensive options first, and what did I find out, that the cheapest three quotes we’d received were all from my present insurers trading under different names and that I might as well stick with the original letterhead as it was still slightly cheaper than going for the same company using a different letterhead. Aaaargh, I called them up and went through all of the usual what is your inner leg measurement and do you intend to actually use this car you are buying or just garage and massage it questions.
Then we began discovering all sorts of interesting little asides, for example that because we’re not letting our old policies with them run for a full year we will not be entitled to claim any no claims discount that we’ve built up with them accrue we’d be starting again from scratch, so much for loyalty, it obviously means nothing to them, no of course it doesn’t they’re an insurance company and they have us by the short and curlies, we need insurance by law and they know it, ha ha ha ha, what a business plan they have.
Not to worry though Mr Bunny Chow we can offer you an accelerator policy which will allow you to accrue a years no claims discount if you buy a ten month instead of annual policy. Ok we’ll go for that then, right ok then move on, you’d like to pay monthly sir, we’ll that will be 15% more expensive, ok we’ll pay by credit card in one lump, of course no problem but we do charge you an extra £5.95 for the privilege of paying us by credit card.
Aaaargh, now because you are going from having two policies with us down to only the one policy it means that you lose the benefits of our advanced policy which means that we will no longer cover you for personal injury if hit by an uninsured driver and also in the event of total loss and you lose the right to a replacement vehicle whilst we investigate. Now I can add these options back on for you for an additional £56 each or if you were to take both and because I’m a smug telephone monkey and I like you I can offer them both to you for only an additional £91.60, No, well just remember Mr Bunny Chow that you cannot add these options on later because we’re and insurance company and have you by the short and curlies.
Right thank you for handing over your (actually Mrs Bunny Chow’s credit card) details and paying an additional £5.95 for the privilege, but because I’m a charming sales person with a regional accent and obviously paid far too well for anything but sales, in order to cancel the policies for your other cars I’ll need to transfer you to a moron in an Indian call centre, I will send you a free cuddly toy for your loyalty though…………..
“Ello my name is Sanjiv how may I be helping you please”, “I need to cancel the policies for my old vehicles please” Ok sir but please first I am asking for your inside leg measurement for security reasons I am needing to asking for this please, after going through this tedious process I hear cries for help emanating from the other end of the house and rush to the aid of Mrs Bunny Chow who has been attempting to persuade our toddler to try using his potty for the first time. Mrs Bunny Chow has succeeded in the persuasion but unfortunately our toddler has missed the potty. I hang up.
After operation clean poop off floor, now screaming toddler and side of potty, to be fair Mrs Bunny Chow was far more involved than me, I just fetched industrial strength cleaning products and attempted to control my gag reflex. Mothers are much better at this sort of thing and Mrs Bunny Chow is particularly amazing, I again attempted to complete operation
lets give our money to lots of crooks who have us by the short and curlies buy car insurance.
“Ello my name is Ranjeev how may I be helping you please”, Hello Ranjeev I’d like to cancel two of my cars off of my policy, “ok no problem sir may I please be having your inside leg measurement for security purposes please”, waffle waffle yada yada, “thanking you very much Sir now please I need to be speaking with Mrs Bunny Chow to asking for her inside leg measurements and to asking her please the same questions I have just asked you now please sir” I tried arguing but Ranjeev was nothing if not persistent thorough so Mrs Bunny Chow duly took the phone and repeated the same yada yada waffle waffle I’d already been through before giving Ranjeev permission to speak with me about one of the cars on the policy.
I should explain this a little further because we had two cars under one umbrella/multicar policy we each had one car insured with us as the main driver and as named drivers on the other car. So despite it only being one policy in order to do anything we both have to be present but hey what do you expect they’re an insurance company and have us by the short and curlies.
Anyway once the yada yada’ing and waffle waffling was over I could get down to the reason for my call in the first place, “ok no problems please Mr Bunny Chow I will be more than happy to be helping you with this request please, as we have you by the short and curlies we will be charging you please £42.95 to be cancelling your policies before the term has ended please, no it is not mattering that you are a loyal customer who has taken out a new policy we are an insurance company who has you by the short and curlies please and anyway please we are sending you a free cuddly toy for your loyalty please.
Aaaargh!!!! We got there in the end, our new car is insured from Saturday and the policies on our old cars will be cancelled from Sunday night, now I suppose I should probably get on the phone to the dealership and make sure that the car definitely will be ready for us to collect this weekend.
an update from Craig at Damn Fine Food, I’ve suggested he sends them a postcard with a tracking number and a big proud get stuffed from Australia.
Anyway have a read of what he has to say below
Mr Bunny Chow
One thing I have to report on is that the scam saga continues. It really is amazing the lengths that these people will go to. They won’t fool me, but it annoys me that so many people will get fooled by them.
After not corresponding with them further they went silent and I thought that was it, however I received an email stating that if I did not send the tracking number within 24 hours that my eBay account will be suspended. Their email still comes from the consultant.com domain so it’s clear that it is them. The next step that I will take is to notify Yahoo that one of their accounts is being used for scams, and I will also report the scammers to the domain authority and ISP to try and get their domains revoked.
This isn’t so much a guest post as opposed to me reblogging this post from friends Caroline and Craig who were unlucky enough to nearly be caught out.
Please be vigilant.
Ah something to break the blog boredom!
On Tuesday evening I put our old camera on eBay. I started an auction with bidding at $50, and set a “buy now” amount as $150.
I was surprised the next morning to find that someone had bought it at the buy now amount. I duly started to interact with the buyer, although I did notice something strange, that I was asked by the buyer to email them directly to confirm something. Not having used eBay before (I had used a similar service in South Africa), I didn’t think it was a particularly weird request despite their request to quote the item number in the subject. I should add that at this point everything seemed legitimate from the eBay website.
I received an email from the “buyer” saying that they normally reside in Australia, and that they are currently in the US performing audits for the nuclear industry. They wanted to buy the “item” (i.e. no specific mention that it was a camera) as a gift for a cousin who is a missionary in Nigeria, and that they would be happy to pay the amount for the item, plus $150 for international shipping. Alarm bells went off with two keywords in my brain – item, and Nigeria. Why do scammers always seem to use Nigeria for their nefarious activities? The email address for the buyer did not match the name of the buyer – not inconceivable that this could happen, but suspicious. In any case as long as I had the money before shipping it didn’t really matter where the people were or where they wanted me to send the “item”. I checked with Australia Post that $150 would be sufficient, and it is. Shipping a 1kg box to Nigeria will cost approximately $95. Cool, after the cost of the box and packaging I get to make a little bit more profit. They also wanted me to confirm that the item was in good order as they didn’t want to send their cousin a dud gift. I confirmed that it was ok, but mentioned that the camera did not have a lens and that this would need to be purchased separately. In the email they wanted me to confirm that it was ok to pay via PayPal or whether I would prefer a bank deposit. I indicated that it was fine to pay with PayPal. I heard nothing except for an email from eBay and from PayPal to say that the buyer had paid and that I was now required to send out the goods. Everything seemed good … or did it?
The first thing I noticed in the generally very professional and authentic looking emails were a few errors such as specifying my name as the buyer, and the word ‘you’ being spelt with a capital Y. Upon closer inspection the email address that the emails were sent from were suspicious. So far, all communication from eBay came from an address at ebay.com.au. The email that I received, supposedly from PayPal, came from an address at accountant.com, and the email supposedly from eBay came from consultant.com. By this time I am very suspicious that something is not right. I log in to eBay and of course there is no mention of this email. I log in to PayPal and there is no payment.
eBay and PayPal have an email address that you can send a suspected spoof email to, to verify that it is legitimate. I sent both of these emails to the addresses at both eBay and PayPal, and received a reply from eBay that the email was indeed a spoof and that I should be very careful about continuing the transaction. Really?
Next I receive another spoofed email, supposedly from PayPal with the title, “You received a payment from your eBay buyer – SHIP NOW”, again from accountant.com, followed from a direct email from the “buyer” stating that they had paid and that I should send the item, and giving me an address in Nigeria (which when I checked on Google Maps appears to be valid). Since they already have an email address for me I thought I would lead them on a bit, so I replied saying that I had not seen the money in my PayPal account and that I would only ship once it was showing on my side.
The reply from the “buyer” duly came stating that the money had been deducted on their side and that I need to send the item, and then send the tracking number to PayPal for them to release the funds. Yeah, sure, how gullible do they think I am?
I replied once more saying that I would go to the post office later in the day and send the item. That’s the last email I was prepared to send to them.
In the mean time I looked up the name of the person whose account it was on eBay and matched the address to the same suburb that was listed as the original shipping address. There was no exact match, but there was a match for the name at a different street in the same suburb. I called the number but got no reply. I wanted to find out from the person whether they did indeed have an account at eBay and warn them that it had been compromised. What I guess had happened is that somehow that person’s eBay account had been compromised, and the scammers had taken over their account (and their good standing 100% positive eBay record), and changed the email address to point to their own address at yahoo.com. This is why the name of the account and the email address did not match.
I then received an email from the scammer saying that they would wait for me to go to the post office (no choice there really), but asked that I do it quickly (in their words “as fat as I can”). (I wonder why?) I did not respond.
By this time, I had already wasted half of the day dealing with this, so I got to doing some work.
A little later I received a legitimate email from eBay stating that my eBay listing had been removed and that all transaction fees would be refunded. The reason, “The listing has been cancelled due to bidding that took place without the account holder’s authority”. They continued, “We have temporarily suspended the account used and are working with the account holder to prevent any further unauthorised activity”. They then warned me again not to continue the transaction. Good on you eBay.
I figured that was that, and that I could now re-list the camera, but they literally meant it when they said my listing had been removed. There is now no trace of it, so I will have to set it up again from scratch. No problem, but if this keeps happening it’s going to be a bit of a pain.
Did I mention that I thought that there would be nothing further? Yes I did. I was wrong!
A little later while I was at dinner, I received an email again supposedly from eBay. ”Restoration Of The eBay Listing Purchased by …” was the subject, and went on, “This is to inform you that we have restored the eBay listing involving you and … Which has been removed back on the eBay database. We have investigated the issue and have found out the original buyer and owner of the account purchased the item before a third-party had access to the buyers eBay account. We sent you an email regarding the purchase and the buyers eBay user account. These issues have now been resolved and you are required to continue with the transaction. You must remove the item or stop the sale of the item to any other buyer if you have re-listed the item before receiving this message. eBay is officially guaranteeing you that security measures will be put in place in order to receive the payment for this transaction securely.”
I’ll give them full marks for persistence, and about 80% for grammar and syntax. Of course a check of the email address shows that the email again came from consultant.com. IGNORED!
Exactly ten minutes later (a tip that the whole thing is computer controlled), I received another message from the “buyer” stating that I need to send the item and tracking number quickly as the account had been hacked and that they needed to make sure the transaction was completed before the account was hacked again. IGNORED.
I haven’t heard from them again, yet.
Persistent little buggers, but I like to think I’m impervious to scams. Perhaps one day I’ll be proved wrong, but it’s not like I go looking for them. It is clear though that this trail is designed to tap into insecurity about being a new eBay user and not really knowing exactly how things work, and I’m guessing also hoping that the person doesn’t really know how to recognise spoofed emails. They really are the low lifes of the world. Scammers I mean, not Nigerians, as this may not have even involved Nigerians. However, the point of this whole exercise was to get me to willingly send an item to an address (in this case an address in Nigeria), and them ultimately not have to pay for it. That item will then be received and most likely sold at a local shop to some unsuspecting buyer.
And in other news we went to a Korean restaurant for dinner, but you can read about that on our food blog!
As promised here is an update.
I have now met with Mr Litebeer and his two oiks for a session of what they call restorative justice. PC Fred was there too although mostly silent. Unfortunately it was a complete waste of every bodies time. The two youths listened to me rant at them sullenly refusing to meet my eye throughout, they mumbled apologies to each other and to me after initially trying to deny that anything had taken place and professing to be the best of mates despite their body language displaying a mutual loathing of each other.
They obviously have more distrust of figures in authority than their hatred for each other though as they stuck to their guns, seemingly not caring about their school, their education or the general public’s perception of them or their school.
I explained to them that I was just as unimpressed with their schools handling of the situation as I was their behaviour which went someway to softening them up before they were dismissed and sent back to classes by Mr Litebeer.
I then set about Mr Litebeer, a surprisingly young man (my age at a guess) explaining my utter distaste for his handling of the situation and his lack of consideration in getting back to me in a timely fashion. He tried to head me off by explaining that modern Head Teachers are like CEO’s and that if I had been trying to contact the head of any other business I would have been faced with similar setbacks and delays.
Of course I didn’t point out my history of dealing with the boards of plenty of big businesses in my recent crusade against poor service, but I did explain to him that whilst business may indeed put in place barriers to stop the general public from harassing their boards, this may have helped him in dealing with nutters but did nothing to improve the reputation of his school which he held so dear and that if he had bothered to head me off early with swift and decisive action he may well have saved himself lots of embarrassment and even more wasted time.
If I’m entirely honest I don’t think any of this went into his head blocked as it was by all the grease emanating from the slime bag that he was as he continued to spew soundbites about improvements that his wonderful self has made since he took over the running of the school and how great and wonderful his shiny new building will be once it’s completed.
I gave up and took my leave, but if you’re thinking of sending your child to a high school in the Coulsdon Area email me at email@example.com for more details of this school so that you can avoid it.
I’ll bid you all adieu
Mr Bunny Chow
How an earth do I get myself into these situations, I’m not entirely sure if it is because I care more than most or if I’m just unlucky or just stubborn but I have become one of those people I always swore I wouldn’t. I have become the interfering, grumpy old man.
I’m going to give a bit of background information here before I launch into my full blown rant mode.
My older son the Monkey Boy attends a day nursery which is located within the grounds of a local high school, this high school is publicly funded but privately run as a business and here lies our first problem, they have targets to achieve in order to continue to receive the government funding required to make them profitable.
Anyway that’s the very basic background of why I have become involved in a local high school so I’ll go into my story of why I am shocked and displeased with the education system.
I didn’t know much about the school or academy when I decided to send my son to the the nursery, they are unrelated to each other in any way other than sharing the same premises so didn’t think it all that relevant.
The school itself is undergoing extensive renovations so large parts of it are closed off while they knock down old buildings, erect new ones etc and the administration block and a percentage of the classes are taking place in prefab temporary structures and there is a large presence of site traffic and builder types.
None of this is a major issue other than The Monkey Boy’s obsession with diggers, which he will shout repeatedly whenever he sees one and if they leave his vision or he thinks about them he will instead shout digger gone or digger all gone which is actually quite sweet even for the millionth time. His vocabulary is now expanding daily and the digger obsession is easily distracted by something else he sees now anyway be it a neenaw (fire engine) or copter’ (pretty much anything in the sky but better if it is actually a helicopter)
I’d initially been quite impressed with the school with staff on the gate in the mornings checking the state of the students uniforms and contents of their bags etc. etc. but since this current term began I have been forced to report two instances of groups of pupils fighting outside of the nursery block and then on Monday morning having dropped off The Monkey Boy and about to head back to the hospital to look after The Bug (see my previous post) that I witnessed a young man and he was a young man well over six foot and although gangly not a kid by any stretch of the imagination punch a female pupil in the face.
I was incensed, I was enraged, I very nearly punched him on her behalf but instead what I believed to be common sense prevailed, note the use of the past tense there. Anyway I instead frog marched this young man across the playground in front of all of his friends berating him on his behaviour and handed him over to a member of the faculty who I later learned was called Mr Northern County, well he isn’t but it’s close enough and will do for the purposes of this narrative.
The following morning with The Bug still in hospital and my blood still up I decided to make a formal complaint to the school which I did and asked for the head teacher to contact me to discuss what was being done about these levels of violence. Remember I am on school premises for a maximum of twenty minutes a day and only walk through the very public areas. I dread to think what is going on in the quieter corners of the school. The school secretary assured me that she would pass my complaint on the headmaster Mr Litebeer and he would be in touch to discuss my concerns.
Later that morning I received a call from Mrs Dragon, Mr Litebeer’s PA, she began getting my heckles up by saying that Mr Litebeer was too busy to call me personally but that the school had a policy of restorative justice which you can read more about in that link and that because the pupils were confined by the building works etc. etc. they are going to play up and that once these building works were finished they would become sweet and lovely children and that they were not doing anything different in this time as it was all going to be hunky dory once the builders were gone and all the kids would love each other and become decent and upstanding members of society.
Rather impolitely I explained to her that she was talking bollocks (I know I don’t normally swear here but I’m really angry so sorry) and that Mr Litebeer had better call me with a better explanation as to what his plans were to get his pupils under control or I would take my complaint further.
Surprise surprise, by the following morning Mr Litebeer had still not bothered to call me despite me following up again the previous evening so on my way to the school I called and said that I was on my way down and would like to meet with Mr Litebeer and that if he couldn’t find five minutes to call me then I would be forced to knock on his office door and interrupt his very important meeting with my complaint.
Instead of this happening though I was met at the school gates by a very nice policeman who we’ll call PC Fred again a psuedonym but you’ll notice not an unflattering one, PC Fred walked with me while I dropped off The Monkey Boy and then invited me to his office to discuss my complaint further. Office, OFFICE, OFFICE I hear you ask, yes his office, PC Fred is permanently based at the school.
PC Fred explained some more background to me, he is not a school spokesman and in reality wanted more info on my complaint but we spoke for an hour or so during which he was extremely frank, fully agreeing that when he first joined as a beat policeman it was the good old days and misbehaving kids were given a clip around the lughole by the Local Bobby which actually gave them respect and fear for the constabluary something that is sorely lacking from todays youth culture. PC Fred being based at the school is copied in on all communications relating to violence and other potentially criminal behaviour at the school. He explained to me that the school had originally been a government school funded by the local authority but had been so unsuccessful that a contract had been given to a private company to try things differently.
All of the senior management had been replaced and this profit making took over changing the school name, it’s uniform but not it’s nasty pupils which it ships in from all over South London and not just the local area. The School is set targets by central government and has to adhere to them in order to keep it’s contract. Key to these targets is they need to reduce the number of permanant exclusions that the local authority had to make. In order to achieve this they use different measures of punishment and have different policies to more traditional schools (read they don’t exclude the kids because that costs them money) and instead do things like separate problem children into a different part of the school and onto different timetables etc, they also as mentioned regularly search the students not only for contraband but to ensure that they have their stationary, books etc as required and ensure they are in the right state of mind to learn.
PC Fred explained to me that as an independant he could not force Mr Litebeer to call me but did agree to attempt to chase him on my behalf. He also obviously had little belief or faith in the softly softly methods employed by the school (which the schools PR Team call “Tough Love” by the way) despite him on the surface backing up their policies. He explained to me that the punching I had witnessed the previous day had been dealt with by the school but that as both parties had independantly denied anything other than horseplay taking place they were unable to place any sanctions on either child despite there being an independant complaining witness.
He did say that the school was meeting with both pupils and that they would be undergoing the afformantioned restorative justice sessions where they would have to sit and explain to each other how they feel about the incident and hopefully prompt an apology and feelings of guilt from him to her. I have my doubts of course. PC Fred also showed me the schools incident report which included the charming quote from Puncher, “why is this man even getting involved it’s none of his business, she kicked me so I pushed her it was just messing around, stupid man” The girls report was similar but said that they had just been messing around like they always did and it was no big deal.
I know I have already said it but this is not what happened, she may or may not have kicked the puncher as I didn’t see it but the punchee received a severe fist punch to the face, why does no one care what I actually saw.
Surprise surprise Mr Litebeer again did not phone me and I placed a call to the schools head office (they run a number of schools for the government around the country) speaking to the HR Manager for the south east who again promised to follow up on my behalf. She agreed with my assesment that it was unlikely that someone could be so busy as to not have five minutes to spare in their day to phone a concerned and upset member of the public, not to mention the welfare of the children.
I also left further messages with Mrs Dragon requesting that Mr Litebeer contact me as soon as possible. One of the above methods obviously worked though as first thing (before 8am) the following morning Mr Litebeer finally saw fit to call me and whilst not apologetic for his lack of earlier response he did take the time to listen to me rant and does agree that the current position is unnaceptable. He still cannot place any sanction on either child because they both deny the incident but he will be adressing an assembly on violence and meeting with both students to discuss the incident further.
He agreed with me that perhaps there can be further consequences for their actions without official sanctions being placed, I have suggested that perhaps letters of appology and even essays on the problems with acceptable violence in youth culture may be appropriate especially given the recent events in the town in which we live. He said that he will consider this and has also agreed for me to meet with him and the pupils concerned in the near future. An appointment has been made for next week and I will report back my discussions with both Mr Litebeer and the puncher and punchee once this has occurred.
I fully intend to be bluntly honest with the students and Mr Litebeer that the actions of the students and Mr Litebeer are unnaceptable to a civilised public and that I am dismayed by the lack of courtesy shown to me as a visitor to the school both by the faculty (by Mr Litebeer in his failure to return my calls in a timely fashion) and the students themselves in thinking that it was acceptable in engage in acts of violence in front of members of the public.
I realise that this post has been longer and more disjointed than many I’ve been composing it in dribs and drabs over the last few days between hospital visits and short breaks in my day, but I’ll come back to my original point that there has to be something wrong with modern society when the government can take control away from a local authority and give it to a profit making business who achieve results by fudging the books to make them money and the government look better with reduced school exclusions because they instead just don’t take any actions.
This school has a police officer permanently based on the premises for gods sakes, I know that I just sound like a cumudgeonly old man but why not bring back proper punishment and teach these kids that there are consequences to their actions, what happened to every action has an equal and opposite reaction, I certainly learned that in school. Yes I fought, I realise that kids do, but I never hit any girls, and if I was caught doing anything wrong, which I innevitably was as the schools were run properly by proffesionals, there were consequences.
I have no objection to running schools as profit making organisations, every school I went to was a private one and yet ahead of these profits there was a deep underlying care for the welfare of the children and how those children in adult life would become better people and in turn bring their kids back to make them more money, as well as reflected glow from high flying pupils who went on to greater things. Now I realise that they largely failed in my case but that doesn’t change the fact that their ethos was right and that this current way of thinking in my mind at least is grossly wrong.
I have ranted on for long enough now, I’ll let you know how I get on next week.
Mr Bunny Chow
I am ashamed to be a resident of Croydon, for years my friends family and I have joked about what a scummy area we live in. The events of the past twenty four hours have proved how accurate that assesment is.
My heart goes out to all of those individuals and businesses affected by the mindless violence and total lack of decorum expressed by the boroughs youths.
They have in one night managed to destroy beautiful buildings that have stood for over one hundred years surviving the bombings of two world wars and for what.
There does not appear to be any political agenda behind these disgusting scenes other than every oik and scumbag being out to get what they can for themselves.
I condemn them all and hope that they are prosecuted to the full extent of the law or prefferably their heads are stuck on a pike on Tower Bridge as a reminder to future oiks that being a dickhead is innexcusable.
I state here publically that if my children were ever to dare to engage in this sort of behaviour I would flog them and hand them into the local police station for immediate retribution. (he’s only eighteen months old and the other one is yet to be born)
Parents reign in your Oiks and let us rebuild our borough if not our sense of community.
I think I’ve ranted enough now although I could go on.
Mr Bunny Chow