Tuesday, April 11, 2017

NCT Class

We had our very first NCT class yesterday. Going in I had two hopes, with an optional third:
·         Ro and I would feel more confident and have a better understanding of what we were getting ourselves into and what to expect with parenthood.
·         Ro might find a mate or two to speak with, who were going through the same thing at a similar time, who he could possibly escape to the pub with.
·         And, if I find a new mum friend, that would be a bonus, but it isn’t imperative.
The first class was ok: we learnt a few new things regarding birthing options, and the cultural viewpoints on pregnancy and child raising differs between we Brits and others nationalities. We also learnt about the Birthing Centre vs the Labour Ward, and the other options open to us through the NHS and privately.
Our class leader is positively lovely, knowledgeable and very approachable, so that’s promising. However my main reservation at this time is that the other attendees are very “nice”. I am hoping that with time they will relax and come out of their shells. Ro nailed it when he said “most ‘Londoners*’ aren’t overly keen to befriend new people and it normally takes them time to come out of their shells and truly relax. Other than us, who go in guns blazing trying to befriend everyone’. And he is right, we are very personable and friendly with very low boundaries, so maybe I am expecting too much too soon.
The one thing I found interesting was that most of the couples will be having their babies during mid-May - end of June, and yet none of them were particularly prepared and hadn't discussed issues like: 'the man's role within feeding', 'what type of nappies they would use?', 'how long they wanted the child in the bedroom'. They'd discussed where they wanted the baby to be born and the type of pain relief, but that was about it. I thought I had held off getting involved as I spent the first trimester convinced that the pregnancy wouldn't work out, spent the second trimester thinking that there might still be problems and being surrounded by baby stuff would destroy me. And it was only around the start of the third trimester that I finally relaxed and started considering what we needed and finally wanted to acquire it all. We did want the wedding out of the way also but that was a welcome distraction for me, as otherwise I would have been a lot more stressed.
The other realisation I made after last night's class was that Ro and I are very relaxed going into parenthood, we have discussed at length our ideals and preferred methods, we both want to take everything at face value and assess, manage and execute within the moment, and we aren't stressed about the worst happenings, as that is completely outside of our control anyway. Therefore the one thing I will walk away from the first class with, is that we are a lot more confident than I had previously thought.
I guess if this doesn’t work out, maybe the NHS day drop in might be better for us; or the post-natal NCT class may have a better selection of people for us to befriend; I guess time will tell…

*by Londoners, I mean those of us who moved into London from outside and are not proper, proper Londoners.

Friday, April 07, 2017

Warheads vs People

  Image courtesy of the internet
Image courtesy of the internet
Rowan and I were discussing the air strike on Syria this morning, whether it was good or bad, and what it would achieve.
My theory is ‘if you don’t take any refugees in and make a conscience effort to refuse to do so, you’ve no right to get involved in war or the bombing of the countries who are expelling their people’. You are either in or out. Therefore we (UK) and the US have no right to get involved. Germany and Norway have every right, however.
Then Ro said something to me that got my mind going ‘the amount of money it costs to create and send 56-60 tomahawk missiles could have resettled and housed a lot of refugees for various years’.
I’ve done some maths based on dodgy information, as always there is no actual cost of anything, just lots of hypothesis and depending on the papers stance on refugees it inflates or deflates. Plus I’m going to use Britain as the basis and all sums are approximate (I’m not an accountant or Mathematician, please bear with me).
Let’s start simply: One tomahawk missile costs £1 million.
The Guardian reported that the local authorities who resettle refugees will receive £20,520 for the first five years per refugee adult. The Telegraph cited that each refugee will cost Tax payers £24k per year. And the BBC said it could cost up to £23k for the first year.
All very confusing. So let’s use an average, £23k for the first year and add the following four year payments the government would make to local authority over the next four years (yes I’m aware that this may not cover the actual cost, but we are just looking for an average cost), this totals: £35k
Now reports on the air strike cannot quite make up their minds how many missiles were despatched, so we will say 58. Most reports sit between 56-60. That totals £58m.
We will work this out on adults only…I guess we could estimate that two children cost the same as one adult, if you like, but that would just add a level of confusion to my brain.
So based on £58m, divided by £35k, we Brits would have resettled 1657 adult refugees. That doesn’t sound like that many, bearing in mind that we said we would accept 20k, and were advised to take 50k.
You have to remember that once settled, it is estimated that they will boost the annual output by 0.1% for the EU as a whole, according to The EconomistThe Guardian pins it to between 0.2 – 0.5% growth.
The BBC says that our annual GDP is £1.8 trillion, and our exports to the EU are 13%, therefore 13% of the EU’s GDP’s 1% is 0.0013%, equals £23,400,000. £23,400,000, divided by the £35k, totals 668 people, which means the UK could resettle and look after 2325 refugees for five years, all for the same price as 58 warheads.
Therefore, Ro was right and this doesn’t even acknowledge how much it cost to get the warships out to the Middle East. But it does involve someone who doesn’t understand economics, maths or war, has no idea what 1.3846154e+17 means on a calculator. Which means I did my maths wrong and in fact, I’m pretty sure it’s my total times ten, of who can be resettled for the same price as 58 missiles.
Or even, that I didn’t take in to account that some of those being resettled won’t be of working age or have the opportunities to contribute to the economy, but we will pretend that I’m Einstein and that I’ve nailed my point well.
Thanks for your time and please, please, please do correct my terrible attempt at maths.