Bank Time

In the course of a project to upgrade their branches high street retail bank Spam West has decided to remove the clocks.

This has created some negative feedback as punters have heard that it was done so they could not readily time how long they have been kept waiting in those interminable queues.

A spokesperson for the bank said that ‘we have evaluated with our customers what they want to enhance their banking experience with us and clocks were not an issue’. ‘Enhancing a banking experience’ Spintastic piffle. I expect customer service may have featured on the agenda at least as well as shorter waiting times.

But surely these people have watches?

And anyway, having recently had to endure ‘new account opening hell’ at the hands of a number of banks, I don’t know why anyone would want to go to a bank in person, ever.

Christmas in Nanny land

Over the past months I’ve published a variety of things on this blog. One recurring feature has been to highlight where the nanny state and ‘political correctness’ ride roughshod over common sense. As a nation the Brits seem too polite to say anything about this and it’s left to the few to be the voice of what is probably the many. Let’s hope the tide starts to turn in the new year… and on that note a little Christmas story courtesy of Nanny:

Children should be protected from “terrifying” Father Christmas, shielded from “alarming” pantomimes and encouraged not to send wasteful Christmas cards, a Government website has advised teachers.

When arranging Christmas parties in schools, teachers should also avoid arranging games of a competitive nature so that no child feels they have “underperformed”, the website said.

The advice, on the Teachernet website developed by the Department of Education as a resource for teachers, covered all aspects of arranging a festive party in school.

It said: “For very young children, Father Christmas can be terrifying, and if you are planning a visit from Santa, you’ll need to make sure that fearful children are near an exit. Trips to the pantomime can cause alarm, so the same planning applies.”

In separate advice on Christmas giving, teachers are told that children should be discouraged from sending Christmas cards to fellow pupils because they are a waste of paper.

“If you have access to the internet then why not try sending electronic Christmas cards?” the advice read.

Children should give their families “experience” presents, like breakfast in bed, as opposed to wrapped presents. “These gifts can appear much more personal, as they have far more meaning and don’t come surrounded by useless packaging,” it said.

The advice suggested that head teachers hold school assemblies, called “The aftermath of Christmas”, in which children act out opening presents and advent calendars and then throw the packaging on the floor to highlight the waste of paper at Christmas.

The site also suggested a list of non-competitive games to replace traditional games like pass-the-parcel, which it said can cause “anxieties” in the children who do not win.

“If you do have games with winners, make sure that all children are given an opportunity to succeed where possible,” the advice read.

What a load of absolute and utter mindless tosh.

Margaret Morrissey, from the National Confederation of Parent Teacher Associations, condemned the advice.

“It is so sad that we have become so politically correct that we are trying to remove the magic of Christmas,” she said. “For the majority of young children Christmas is magical. I think it is wicked if schools should try to deprive children of that.”

Hear, hear. A little bit of common sense going a long way.

A spokesman for the Department of Education, which hosts the website but says it is not responsible for its content, said yesterday: “We fully support the traditional British Christmas.

“This is not Government policy and was not produced by the department as the disclaimer on the site makes clear. We have withdrawn it as it does not reflect our views.”

A little more common sense – after the fact though. Let’s hope Santa brings a bit more. God knows this place needs it in spades.