EVERY day, the playground near my house is swarming with young kids.
Cheek by jowl and mask- free, they clamber over the slides and roundabouts alongside complete strangers before running into the arms of their exhausted parents.
Meanwhile, their school remains closed to pupils because someone has deemed it “unsafe” for them to return, despite the strict social-distancing measures already in place and playtimes expertly organised around social bubbles.
Go figure. Kids need regular exercise and I have no issue with playgrounds remaining open.
But they need educating too and, witnessing the above, it’s completely illogical that we still don’t have a coherent road map as to when the “lost generation” will be back in the classroom.
Particularly the poor secondary school pupils, who can easily comply with strict safety measures yet find themselves stuck at home and, if they’re lucky, staring at a computer screen for eight hours a day.
GCSEs and A levels have been cancelled for the second year running and, given that most of the required learning is done the year before, it is unlikely that the “Class of 2022” will sit the full exams either.
DERELICTION OF DUTY
And for what? Beats me. If supermarket workers can continue to work for the greater good, why not teachers?
After all, the majority of them say they are desperate to get back in the classroom.
The answer, one suspects, lies with the teaching unions, who, if recent reports are anything to go by, are sacrificing our children’s education on the altar of political beliefs.
Last week, a coalition of leading private and state schools made an incredible offer to vaccinate all of England’s teachers and education staff during a half-term blitz this month.
But the National Education Union — the largest in the UK with 450,000 members — dismissed the idea, causing one education expert to call the move “political” because the NEU didn’t like the fact that the offer was made by private schools and the state academies that operate outside of local authority control.
Which, if true, is a shocking dereliction of duty to ensure that the current generation of youngsters get the education they are going to need to help fund the countless billions being thrown at this pandemic.
A report for the Institute for Fiscal Studies has predicted that all this lost education will cost our kids around £350billion — approximately £40k each in income — over their lifetimes.
Meanwhile, a poll to mark Children’s Mental Health Week says one in six British kids are suffering mental health difficulties.
I’m only surprised the figure isn’t higher. If the NEU and other politically motivated unions continue to have their way, it soon will be.
Phil Collins awards rap
PHIL COLLINS’ ex-wife Orianne Cevey is raising cash by flogging off multiple gold discs and music awards.
Curious. I had no idea she was such a successful recording artist.
Bugged by dubai dummies
IF you’re feeling down in the dumps, perhaps this photo of Sheridan Mordew in Dubai will cheer you up.
For that’s the aim of the 24-year-old “influencer”, who says it’s an “essential work trip” to provide her fans with uplifting and motivating content. How admirably selfless of her.
The Middle East appears to be littered with Sheridan and her ilk doing poolside posing, preening and pouting for the benefit of their social media followers while seemingly caring not one jot about those silly little Covid rules the rest of us abide by.
Virus, what virus? Another of them – former Love islander Georgia Harrison – has spent a total of 92 days in the Maldives and Dubai and mitigates: “I flew somewhere safe and beautiful rather than sitting in a flat. Who wouldn’t if they could?”
Er, the 60million-plus people in this country who are taking the “essential travel only” edict seriously?
Given this blatant disregard for joining the rest of us in making sacrifices to beat this virus, perhaps “social influenzas” might be a more apt description from now on?
Nothing to prove
SUMMER Monteys-Fulham, the former girlfriend of Bake Off star Paul Hollywood, says she has nothing to prove while posing in her kecks with a loaf of artisan bread.
Hmm. Think we’ll take that with a large pinch of sea salt.
What she’s clearly trying to prove is: “Look what you’re missing.”
Power behind abusers
EVAN Rachel Wood stars in one of my favourite films – political thriller The Ides Of March – and plays to perfection the part of a fragile young woman whose vulnerability is exploited and abused by an older, powerful man.
Now we know why she was so convincing.
At 18, she met the singer Marilyn Manson, aka Brian Warner, and now claims that he “horrifically abused” her for years.
She’s joined by four other women who say they were subjected to the same treatment.
Despite 52-year-old Manson insisting their claims are “horrible distortions of reality”, he has been dropped by his record label with immediate effect.
He once said of Evan: “I have fantasies every day about smashing her skull in with a sledgehammer,” a revolting remark that was dismissed by his reps at the time as: “A rock star promoting a new record, and not a factual account.” Charming.
Evan adds: “I am here to expose this dangerous man and call out the many industries that have enabled him, before he ruins any more lives.”
And therein lies the important point that, while there will always be unpleasant individuals in the world, something we can stop is their deeply questionable behaviour being facilitated by whatever money-making machine surrounds them.
Eye didn’t see it coming
THREE-QUARTERS of people who have affairs wear glasses, says a poll for The Sun on Sunday.
They think that specs make them look sexy and more approachable.
Plus, of course, they’re also a marvellous disguise when you’re trying to sneak out somewhere unnoticed.
Clooney’s sew swooney
IF you thought that George Clooney’s only experience with a needle was that lucky syringe he often clutched as dishy Doug Ross in ER, think again.
For not only is he swoon-tastically handsome, he’s also a “make do and mend” kind of guy who’s extremely handy around the house.
“If we were on an island and you had to pick somebody to help you survive, I would pick me,” he says.
So would I, George, though admittedly your raft-building skills might not be the sole reason for that decision.
He adds: “I do a lot of sewing the kids’ clothes. And my wife’s dress that tore a couple of times.”
Unbelievable, right? Though slightly more convincing than his suggestion that the glorious Amal might wear the same outfit more than once, let alone one that’s been mended.
Spur us the excuses, Rita
THE venue that broke Covid rules by hosting Rita Ora’s 30th birthday party is battling to keep its licence while the singer herself has apologised for the “small gathering” that, she says, was a “spur of the moment” decision.
No, Rita. A spur of the moment decision is deciding to turn left instead of right.
Or ordering a takeaway curry instead of fish and chips.
But booking a venue, paying £5k up front for “drinks and nibbles” and inviting 16 friends is very much a pre-planned event.
GOT a story? RING The Sun on 0207 782 4104 or WHATSAPP on 07423720250 or EMAIL [email protected]
— to www.thesun.co.uk