Bribing pregnant women is vile

WITHOUT question, the most important job on the planet is that of being a parent. A man becomes a father when their baby is delivered, but a woman becomes a mother from the moment she discovers she is pregnant. It therefore astounds me that pregnant women

WITHOUT question, the most important job on the planet is that of being a parent.

A man becomes a father when their baby is delivered, but a woman becomes a mother from the moment she discovers she is pregnant.

It therefore astounds me that pregnant women are to be paid to stop smoking.

In a 12-month pilot scheme in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, women will be rewarded with �20 in shopping vouchers if they can kick their cigarette habit for three weeks. They can bag an extra �20 if they can give up for a month.

What is the world coming to? Women are being bribed to protect their unborn children - a responsibility which should come naturally and fiercely.

Pregnancy itself should be a good enough reason to give up smoking.

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It's vilely offensive to think a woman would not do it for the sake of her child, but could be persuaded if a �20 shopping voucher was wafted in front of her face.

A CORNISH schoolboy who was hit in the eye by a stone thrown during school playtime could now sue a council over the incident.

Judges at the Appeal Court in London have overruled a previous decision dismissing a claim against Cornwall Council.

The incident happened in July 2001, when a fellow pupil threw a stone at a seagull and it hit the boy instead. The injured party has suffered problems with his vision since the incident.

The judges said the fact two dinner ladies were supervising 400 pupils on the school playing field was clearly negligent.

I remember a time when schoolchildren would scrape their knees, fall out of trees or bang their heads, and their school or council would not be racked with worry over the possibility their parents may sue.

It just didn't happen. Accidents in the playground are a part of life and children will get hurt at some point. Short of cocooning your children in bubble wrap, it's going to happen.

I remember when I was four and a boy much bigger than me pushed me into a concrete pillar.

It was my first week at school and my mum had to come and pick me up less than two hours after she had dropped me off.

I remember sitting in the headteacher's office, with a wet paper towel clutched to my forehead.

My mum, having clapped eyes on me and confirmed I was still in one piece, was not unduly concerned.

I remember her joking with the headteacher that they had better make sure I didn't have salmonella - such was the size of the egg on my head.

At no point was blame directed at anyone other than the boy who pushed me.

The on-duty dinner lady clearly hadn't prevented the incident, but then as far as I can remember she wasn't telepathic. She didn't know it was going to happen.

Even if there had been 10 times the number of dinner ladies on duty the day the Cornish boy was hit with a stone, I doubt they could have prevented the incident.

These things happen in the blink of an eye and people, instead of seeking financial gain from a blameless incident, should remain reasonable and keep their dignity in tact.

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