Dads Sofa

Another Dad Blog

Category: In The News (page 2 of 3)

Comments on and sharing local and national news.

‘Get the baby out of here’ – Trump tries to get along with a baby…

It seems that Trump has tried to get along with a baby… and failed…

Moral of the story? Don’t let your kid cry when Trump is speaking. I guess…

Dear David Cameron, Good Bye, and Thank You?

Dear David Cameron,

I’ve wondered over the last couple of days, as we’ve seen you moving on from being PM (and possibly a massively well paid speaking job and / or middle eastern peace seeking role), what my daughter will hear about you as she grows up? What will she hear about how the country was led back when she was born?

Will she hear about how you encouraged a Big Society as you came to power? And how that phrase seemed to disappear as time went on?

Will she cover the Libyan war in History? I wonder what people will say about that, and how the after effects were managed?

If she asked, would I mention about how some may say that your party’s campaign tactics have been a little… negative?  The thing is, it has occasionally worked for you.

What will people say if she asks about Englands response to the refugee crises? (As a side note, I guess thats still ongoing, not heard about it in the news recently)

I guess a lot of what she will hear will depend on what happens over the next few years. Will the UK still be United? I wonder if History will come up with a clear reason over why we had a referendum?

Would I tell her about the welfare state, the sanctions, and the changes in the benefit system that arguably led to a rise in Food Banks?

Or should I just explain that it was in your time that I and others really seemed to start to care about politics? That people gave up their own time to help other people, and run things like foodbanks? I guess some would argue you’ve done something about housing.  Stuff like that, I guess you should be thanked for.


Thanks for your time. (I guess time will tell anyway. )



Dads Sofa

P.S. Thanks for not taxing pasties.

Who should be the next England Manager? (From The World of cbeebies)

Over the last seven days it feels almost everyone is resigning their jobs. It started with a Prime Minister, and now the England Manager job is vacant.

This led me to wonder (possibly in a fit of post EU Referendum result depression) Who, in the world of cbeebies, should be the next England Manager?

The Voice from Sarah and Duck

Sarah and Duck TitlesLets look at “The Voice” from Sarah and Duck. Is he is a parent figure? Is he the voice of a shared consciousness between the characters? Either way, he seems to be a respected and possibly knowledgeable figure in their lives.

Sadly due to his only feature being a floating voice, he wouldn’t be liked by any media outlet (except possibly radio). Therefore he is out of the running for England Manager.

Iggle Piggle

He is the key figure in a crowd of various strange, amusing, and talented individuals. He is the one that appears to hold them all together, to the point that he is the last one asleep at night.

Sadly his lack of ability to talk could be unfortunate, but some may see that as an advantage.

Mr Tumble

TumblejpegI’m sure people would be ok with a clown in charge of the England team.

But some may argue he should be the next Prime Minister.

Charlie and Lola

How about some sort of joint position? Charlie would be the sensible one that talks to the press… the players… other managers… everyone.

Lola would be the one that comes up with the tactics.

Sid and Rebecca from Lets Play!

letsplay_slidemain (1)This could be a winning formula!

Every week, Sid or Rebecca takes on a new job, and seem to do that job really well. These jobs seem to range from Nursing to being a Rock Star. Whatever it is they do, they seem to do it well. Therefore I would argue for another joint position, with both Sid and Rebecca in charge.

They pretend to do everything else well, I’m sure they can both pretend to be the England Manager.

Any other ideas to add?

Some Non-EU Conversation Ideas.

Ok. Lets face it, its been an “interesting” week here in Britain, with slightly over half the population* voting to leave the EU… Obviously this leaves just under half the population* wondering what the other half were thinking.

Now if you’re meeting up with people over the weekend, but want to avoid a fight about the EU, it may be best to try and avoid talking about it altogether.**

To help with this, let me introduce you to The Non EU Referendum Conversation Starter Card. Feel free to print this out, and take it with you as you go out and about this weekend, and use it to help you decide what to talk about… without upsetting anyone**.

Conversation Card

* …that voted.

** Possibly. Sofa cant be held responsible for any negative outcomes from using this conversation starter card. Positive ones… we can. Negative… Big no….

A note about today (from earlier this week) 


Does Devon need school lollipop patrollers?

School lollipop patrollers, the people that annoy some motorists, by ensuring mostly small children can cross the road safely. They have been a staple of a childs walk to school for a number of generations, but does Devon need school lollipop patrollers?  That’s the question that has been asked by Devon County Council a couple of times over the last 12 months or so, and according to the Exeter Express and Echo they are on the verge of not saying no – but that they shouldn’t be funded by tax payers money.

According to “The Echo“:

Despite overwhelming opposition from the public, schools and councillors, a proposal by Devon County Council to cease funding school lollipop patrollers has been approved at its cabinet meeting today.

The fate of the future of the service will now be decided next Thursday at a meeting of its full council.

The reason behind the cost cutting plans is to save £250,000 a year from the county council budget. Instead the cost will transfer to schools, with the patrollers themselves employed by a third party that would deliver the service on a full-cost recovery or commercial basis.

If schools decide not to fund the cost of their patrol, the alternatives are for it to be run by volunteers or to lose the service.

In other words, if a lollipop patroller service disappears, the council will say its the local schools fault for not sorting it out.

Is this David Camerons Big Society being played out? People needing to volunteer, because the state doesn’t want to find the money to help small  kids, and hassled parents to cross the road?

There is a campaign going, to try and save the crossing patrols, if you agree with what they’re trying to do, please sign their petition at

When The Police Play Frozen

I love this video clip showing a police car in the middle of an American snow storm.

What other music would you expect to hear from it?


Staying Safe Online

Back in the day, I used to work on a Technical Support helpdesk for an Internet Service Provider. Yes I was one of those guys you ring when your internet stops working. It was around this time, when I began to care less about how the internet worked, instead I cared more about why people used the internet, and how people behave online.

I guess it was natural then that my interested was caught, when I had email come through about a new campaign from Get Safe Online and their partners. This is a campaign aimed at making people think twice before they act online, and not fall pray to scam emails, texts, or other forms of ‘Social engineering’ where fraudsters manipulate victims into sharing confidential information.

They hope that the following advert will “encourage the public to think twice before they act online”


Whilst the advert can possibly seem a fear inducing, I guess its to raise awareness. For example, you cant always believe that you’ve had an email from a friend who has randomly found himself stuck in the Ukraine., and needs money to get home*.

The Get Safe Online website is worth a look for their massive amount of advice ranging from online banking to safeguarding children.  While I’m not likely to send money to someone who says they’re randomly stuck in the Ukraine, resources to help educating our little one as she grows up in a more connected age then myself can only be helpful

David Cameron wants people to attend parenting classes.

Todays news features a speech David Cameron is expected to make tomorrow on parenting, and his want for people to attend parenting classes.

According to The Guardian:

The prime minister will call for a revolution in child rearing this weekend by suggesting that all parents should attend classes on how to discipline their children.

In a move likely to enrage those fearful of an encroaching “nanny state”, David Cameron will say that it should be the norm for parents to receive instruction on how to behave around their offspring.

As part of a speech on the family, Cameron will announce plans for a parenting classes voucher scheme, claiming that all parents need help and that there is too little state-sponsored guidance on offer.

“In the end, getting parenting and the early years right isn’t just about the hardest-to-reach families; it’s about everyone,” Cameron is expected to say on Monday. “We all have to work at it. And if you don’t have a strong support network – if you don’t know other mums or dads – having your first child can be enormously isolating.

“Of course they don’t come with a manual, but is it right that all of us get so little guidance? We’ve made progress. We’ve dramatically expanded the number of health visitors, and that is crucial. But that just deals with one part of parenting – the first few weeks and months. What about later on, when it comes to play, communication, behaviour and discipline? We all need more help with this – the most important job we’ll ever have. So I believe we now need to think about how to make it normal – even aspirational – to attend parenting classes.”

Read the rest over at The Guardian.

A couple of things about this (in no particular order):

I associate classes, with learning how to do something. Is there a right way of being a parent?

David Cameron is expected to say “having your first child can be enormously isolating.” Thank goodness for Sure Start centres already existing, and already helping with this. Oh hang. haven’t a load been closed?  If David Cameron is that keen to start parenting classes, why cant he throw this money into Sure Start and other Children’s centres, and use some of that for parenting classes?

I had the the phrase Nanny State going around my head before its mentioned in the article… didn’t the Conservatives  in the past accuse the (then) Labour government of running a Nanny State? 

I know I’m being negative about this, but I do like the idea of helping people know how to parent if they want it. I can imagine parenting classes being helpful if you’re memories of your own parents aren’t great, or you’re not in a stable position yourself.

It could be the choice of language that I have a problem with? Perhaps “Parenting Support Groups” would be better? Safe places in the community were people can come, with or without kids, and mix and talk with more experienced parents? Possibly have a few “parenting help” videos playing in the corner? A library of books to borrow? Staff who can signpost to other agencies as needed? They can be places of casual learning and support, without the risk of being told the right way of being a parent.

Looking at the above paragraph, I cant help but think that there isn’t much there on top of what other groups (EG Childrens / Sure Start Centres, Nappuccinos, Churches) already do. David Cameron used to speak about a Big Society, why doesn’t he support the people in the community to help parents more, rather then spending the extra money on setting up something massively new?

Besides… Didn’t David Cameron leave his daughter in a pub?

Whats your thoughts on these plans?

Not a post about Pigs…

I dont know about you, but I’m a fan of Twitter. Most of the time its a nice way to keep update on people, websites, and local news, but every now and then something stands out, and well… its kinda funny. When allegations started to break last night of things that David Cameron may – or may not have done to some poor swine, the hammed up puns came thick and fast.

Whilst the toddler was being particularly distracting today, I wondered what people were being distracted from in the news? What are we not talking about?

How about, Free School Meals? Or I guess that they might be going…

According to The Independent:

Free meals for infant school pupils are likely to be scrapped in George Osborne’s November spending review, it has been reported.
According to Sky News, the government is considering the cut despite pledging to continue the policy in the 2015 Conservative manifesto.

Free hot school meals for all schoolchildren between four and seven, regardless of their parent’s income, were introduced by former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg in 2014. It was estimated that it would cut costs to parents by £400 per year, per child.

Government departments were ordered by the Chancellor to cut their budgets by up to 40 per cent in July, under his spending review due in November.

The Department for Education has the majority of its spending budget protected.

However, £14 billion of spending within early years education is subject to cuts and the Universal Infant Free School Meals programme (UIFSM), which is estimated to cost between £600m and £800m per year, falls under this category.

I guess time will tell if The Conservatives will keep school meals fair.

While we are waiting, please sign this petition to ask the government to keep Universal Infant Free School Meals in schools.

In the mean time, I guess we could always talk about the amount of tax paid by Lord Ashcroft, our response to the Refugee Crisis, use of foodbanks, the price of bacon…

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