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  Other press
Posted by: Steve (Unmasked) - 04-06-2018, 03:32 PM - Forum: Fleet Street - Replies (2)

When the mainstream media just isn't enough.

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  Press Cycle #23 - Bullying
Posted by: Nathan - 04-03-2018, 11:52 PM - Forum: Marked Press Cycles - Replies (4)

"The two party leaders have both done separate speeches on their anti-bullying policies. Is this a serious issue, and which party is more right on on this issue?"

This press cycle will close at 11:59 on 08/04/18

Remember to "bolden" the tagline of your statement.

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  Press Cycle #22: Homosexuals
Posted by: Steve (Unmasked) - 04-03-2018, 05:58 PM - Forum: Marked Press Cycles - Replies (9)

"The Government has announced that it is going to try again to repeal section 28 - is that the right thing to do, and does the government need to go further on gay rights?"

Closes 23:59 on 6 April

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  Con SP: It's time to tackle Bullying - Childline Speech
Posted by: James Allen (Unmasked) - 04-02-2018, 07:46 PM - Forum: Marked Speeches and Conferences - Replies (1)

Leader of the Opposition Sir Harold Saxon today gave a speech at Childline* on bullying in Schools. Mr Saxon stressed that more needed to be done, including anti-bullying legislation to ensure schools are best placed to tackle bullying and protect victims.

*Permission from Andy

[Image: john-simms-the-master-will-return-in-new...or-who.jpg]

Quote:Ladies and Gentlemen

Thank you for the welcome, it’s a pleasure to be here today.

Bullying is a very serious problem that nobody should have to endure. Bullying not only causes distress for parents, but it also causes distress for the person who is being builled. Bullying without a doubt tears the lives of families apart. 

There are many victims of bullying. Joanne Geldert is 14 years old and has been bullied since she was at primary school. Joanne is now in secondary school, she is still being bullied.*

 Joanne has previously contemplated suicide because of the bullying. 

Brave Joanne has kept a diary of every verbal comment or form of physical abuse. 

I would like to read to you an extract from her diary that she wrote: “Bad points: Lesson one, someone called me a stupid badger. Lesson two, someone called me a fat cow. Break fine. Lesson three, someone told me to f*** off and called me a fat cow. Lunch, a group called me names through lunch. Lesson four, a boy punched me. Lesson five, fine.” 

She later wrote: “Coming out of school, a boy jumped on me and started kicking and punching me and called me names. Good points: Three people talked to me today”. 

Joanne has to write the day’s events down in a diary because she is being bullied. Everyday, Monday to Friday, then after the weekend Joanne is back in school on the Monday where she has to get through school then write the day’s events in her diary, going over what she may have experienced that day. 
Joanne’s school have said that they have put a range of strategies in place to help her, whilst we can’t say for certain whether any of these strategies are having a positive effect, it’s clear that Joanne is still going through pain and suffering and going through an ordeal which can be tackled. 

Joanne isn’t the only person that is being bullied, many, many young people like Joanne are going through the same ordeal, being called names, being kicked and punched, keeping a diary of the day’s events, even contemplating suicide.

It doesn’t just affect victims when they are at school, it also affects them outside of school, with their friends at the park or the shops, or even at home.
As more and more people are now using mobile phones, bullies are now trying to terrorize their victims. People have received text messages from their bullies, even going as far as saying they wanted to kill them**. This can cause people to be scared to even leave school, go into the playground, the library or even go into school, because they have had text messages from the bullies saying that they will be waiting for them. 

This is a problem that is quickly getting worse. It is getting to the point where students are being  taken out of school because the bullying is getting unbearable. 

This has got to stop and we all have to do more.  This is a real problem that we simply cannot ignore, thousands of young individuals are going through pain and suffering due to bullying. 

So what can we do? The truth is we must do more to protect victims of bullying, that goes for the Government, that goes for schools, that goes for all of us. We must do more to not only raise awareness that bullying is a real problem, but we also need to tackle the issue at it’s heart and allow schools to punish the perpetrators and allow the relevant organisations to take effective action. People are suffering, and little is being done.

We first need to ensure that schools have the right policies in place that teachers and staff can follow to help tackle bullying. In a recent survey of over 2,500 pupils, 45% of boys and 43% of girls said their school did not have a policy on bullying***. The Conservatives will introduce anti-bullying legislation where it will be a legal requirement for schools to have a written anti bullying policy that staff will have to follow. The policy itself will be decided by the school and parents, students and staff must be made aware of it. Whilst we accept that most schools have an anti bullying policy and some are quite strict, there is a large number of schools that do not know how to tackle bullying, they don’t even have a policy. How can we take the fight to bullying in our schools when some schools don’t even have a policy? A legal requirement for an anti bullying policy will ensure that if bullying is reported, it has to be handled correctly by the school. No excuses. 

We also need to review the current policy around reducing the number of pupils excluded from school. As pressure is mounting on schools to reduce the number of pupils they exclude schools want to meet their targets and therefore are not taking the right action when it’s needed. The current policy sends out the wrong message, it sends the message to schools that they cannot exclude bullies when they should be able to because they have to meet their targets on reducing the amount of exclusions. Schools should of course effectively discipline bullies, but exclusion should not be off the table just to meet targets, schools should always be free to exclude bullies where the school deems appropriate. 

The next Conservative Government will also issue guidance to all schools on preventing and responding to bullying as part of their anti-bullying policy. This will include the government’s approach to bullying, the legal obligations and the powers schools have to tackle bullying and the principles underpinning the most effective anti-bullying strategies in schools.

It's time action is taken to tackle these problems that are just getting work. Silence is not the answer, the Conservatives take bullying very, very seriously. I was mortified when I heard about Joanne’s story, people like Joanne should not have to go through the ordeal they face every day. They should feel safe and should enjoy learning, not looking over their shoulder, worrying about going places in or out of school or even contemplate suicide. 

Bullying is a national crisis, Bullying will not stop if it is tolerated or ignored.  We all need to be reminded that bullying doesn't have to be an inevitable part of school life. We must take effective action to eradicate bullying, the Conservatives will introduce legislation in the coming weeks, together we can take tackle this major issue and ensure that our pupils in schools feel safe and not threatened. 

Thank you. 

*Telegaph link

** BBC


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  Press Cycle #21 - Attacks in the US
Posted by: Nathan - 03-30-2018, 11:11 PM - Forum: Marked Press Cycles - Replies (10)

"Following the terror attacks in the US, and the suspected terror attack in France, what must be done moving forward?"

This press cycle will be closed at 23:59 on 03/04/18.

Remember to "bolden" the tagline of your statement. 

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  Damilola Taylor Trust Speech
Posted by: Charles Trenython (CON) - 03-28-2018, 08:56 PM - Forum: Marked Speeches and Conferences - Replies (1)

Mr and Mrs Taylor, their family and distinguished guests assembled,

It is an honour to have been invited by Mrs Taylor to speak at this event today in remembrance of young Damilola and the opening of the Damilola Trust. I think it would be appropriate at this point to take a moment to remember his life which was cut far, far too short. Please, let us bow our heads for a minute of silence.

[minute of silence]

…thank you all. The death of young Damilola is one which captured a nation. A nation who joined Mr and Mrs Taylor in grieving for the loss of their young son. The Taylor family have been offered our full support in investigating their son’s death and I am pleased to announce that they will be working with the Government to advise us on the matter of anti-bullying and strategies we will be adopting. I also have a horse in this fight so to speak; my young children with my beautiful wife Emilia, Harold and Emily who will be able to provide me with a no-nonsense insight into what goes on in schools and with young people today.

The way in which this young boy lost is life represents the very worst in society and highlights a problem which is less extreme forms, exists across the nation. That is a lack of tolerance within our communities. Unfortunately, and as politicians this frustrates at least myself personally, it is extremely difficult to make communities instantly more tolerant. We can introduce deterrents against types of hate crime or discrimination, but this often relies on gathering evidence and people being courageous enough to come forward to report the crimes and more importantly, the perpetrators.

We absolutely must do more to help integrate communities together. One area we as a Government can directly affect is the bullying which we have to admit exists. We must give schools across the country the power to give more severe punishments to students who think it is okay to bully or be complicit in bullying to their peers. Often bullying is conducted in large groups with perhaps a single so-called ring-leader. It might be that only the ring-leader is punished and those who are complicit in the actions of the aforementioned ring-leader get off without retribution. In many ways, this does not represent closure for the victim of the bullying because those people associated with the bullying, didn’t get their punishments. Therefore, we will make it the responsibility of every student in a school to report bullying if they see it happening, otherwise, they will be considered to complicit with that very act. Doing nothing is almost as bad as doing the bullying themselves because it will make it worse to know that it is a group rather than an individual. It often will make them even more fearful to report the bullying if they know it might just continue under a different “ring-leader”.

A message we need to send to students is what would they feel like if they were in that situation. Bullying is bigger than getting a few laughs in front of people you’re trying to act big in front. We need to make it clear that even more than ever that this behaviour will not occur anymore. Schools and academic institutions will be instructed to take a zero-tolerance approach to bullying. We will be announcing a National Bullying Hotline which will have the ability to work with local authorities and schools to make sure that any reported bullying gets dealt with in a prompt and comprehensive manner. Creating a central hotline will mean that students don't have to rely on actions in schools or have to be seen to be going to seen to see a member of staff in schools. All that will be required is a phone call to a call centre where anonymous details will be provided for a particular action. These details will then be passed down to schools who's responsibility it will be to investigate the circumstances reported. Not only will this allow people who are subject to bullying to report bullying but it will allow those who see it happening to report it also.

It is important that schools and academic institutions have effective methods of dealing with reported incidents and make it clear to students what the repercussions of bullying are. This is why Ofsted will now include additional criteria in their school inspections to evaluate an institution's ability to a) prevent bullying from happening, b) what policies are in place to deal with allegations of bullying and c) how students can report incidents of bullying. Schools will no longer be able to achieve a rating higher than Good if they do not show the inspectors that adequate actions are taken and that proactive measures are in place against bullying. If they don't show this, they will have a certain time to change their practises and failing that, they will be taken into Special Meausures by authorities. This is to make schools more accountable to students, their families and the wider community. If we can eliminate the problem in school environment, we can create a more tolerant society for the future and our children's children.

Something which bullies might say is “it doesn’t matter – nobody dies as a result of bullying” but the fact of the matter is they did. Damilola Taylor was killed through the actions of bullying as long as I have the ability, this will be the only ever time I have to say those words. The focus on this trust should not be the speech which I gave to those assembled - it should be about remembering Damiola and kick-starting the wonderful work his trust will do for local communities. I will be happy to answer questions with members of the audience after Mrs Taylor has made her remarks.

[Speech approved by Nathan. I was invited to make a speech at the launch of the family trust and this is it. ]

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  Press Cycle #20 - Supreme Court
Posted by: Nathan - 03-26-2018, 12:20 AM - Forum: Marked Press Cycles - Replies (6)

"What do you think of the government's Supreme Court bill?"

This press cycle will be closed at 23:59 on 30/03/18

Remember to bolden the "tagline" of your statement.

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  Labour (Deputy) Leader Election Cycle 2001.
Posted by: Nathan - 03-23-2018, 07:20 PM - Forum: Marked Press Cycles - Replies (3)

"Who do you think would make the best Deputy Leader and why?"

This press cycle will close when campaigning for the Deputy Leadership ends.

Remember to "bolden" your statement.

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  Press Cycle #19 - Teacher Shortages
Posted by: Andy - 03-19-2018, 11:36 PM - Forum: Marked Press Cycles - Replies (8)

"Are teachers right to take industrial action over shortages, and what should be done about them?"

This press cycle will be closed at 23:59 on 23/03/18.

Remember to bolden the "tagline" of your statement.

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  Press Cycle #18 - The Euro
Posted by: Nathan - 03-18-2018, 08:42 PM - Forum: Marked Press Cycles - Replies (17)

"With the government announcing the five tests have been met, what next steps should be taken?"

This press cycle will be closed at 23:59 on the 23/03/18.

Remember to bolden the "tagline" of your statement. 

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