Archive for May, 2010

state schools – academies

May 30, 2010

 

Public schools have been around for a long time and part of the reason is that their structures were built to last a long time. State schools have, on the other hand, always been built at lowest tender and for the most part only a small percentage of post-war buildings have survived any length of time..

One of the consequences of this has been that while public schools have manageable running costs, State schools have always been expensive to maintain. The cost of such maintenance is a large part of the reason why Governments since the 1980’s have been unsuccessful in privatising State schools.

Taking money from the Local Authorities and giving most of it to the School Governor’s, is fine in theory but in practice the school’s are unable to achieve the economy of scale that has previously been achieved through the local authorities.

If the Academies are to work, then they need to be allowed to build up reserves from their allocated annual funding and encouraged to form coalitions that can negotiate group insurances etc. Either that or leave them in the umbrella of  Local Authority Administration but give the schools the power of deciding which Capital Asset projects are to be assigned available resources.

Advertisements

effective policing

May 30, 2010

  Stories about effective policing being overtaken by cost considerations are becoming depressing. The latest story about a cyclist being “allowed” a choice of  a 20 minute slot of CCTV footage, as an example of a police investigation is not just laughable, it is a case of the public being defrauded. We pay for a service, which is not being supplied. Any private organisation offering this level of service would be the subject of investigation, yet we are expected to accept it.

In this particular case, why can such CCTV footage not be freely available to the public over the Internet? I see no difference between snoopy, old Mrs. McNosy whiling away her hours watching  me walk down a city street and Mr. Plod watching out for people parking on double yellow lines.

At least Mrs. McNosy doesn’t charge us for her vigilance and could act as a witness, with hard copy evidence of crimes committed.

Or is that the flaw? Would it mean the Police, the CPS  and The Courts having to earn their pay? Would it mean having to pander to populism and build more prisons, in which to place criminals?

Bomb disposal

May 30, 2010

In these days of Keyhole Surgery and Robot Spy Planes that are operated from the other side of the World, why are we still wasting human life dismantling terrorist bombs?

Instead of  trying to entice bomb disposal experts back out of retirement, with sums that would make a banker die laughing, they should offered the same sums to help perfect the tools that would enable these bombs to be investigated at a safe distance.

If situations such as the cinema style “is it the blue or the green wire?” a simple remotely actuated tool could be put in place, whilst the robot, or bomb disposal expert, retires to a safe distance.

Maybe such devices would be expensive, or not always feasible, but it’s about time that this was considered as an alternative to asking brave men to re-enter the lottery of bomb disposal.

pensioners in prison

May 28, 2010

I received an American version of this as a chain email but it summarises a position that needs addressing over here too.   Let’s put the pensioners in jail, and the criminals in a nursing home.

     This way the pensioners would have access to showers, hobbies, and walks, they’d receive unlimited free prescriptions, dental and medical treatment , wheel chairs etc. and they’d receive money instead of paying it out.

They would have constant video monitoring, so they could be helped instantly,if they fell, or needed assistance.

Bedding would be washed twice a week, and all clothing would be ironed and returned to them.

A guard would check on them every 20 minutes, and bring their meals and snacks to their cell. They would have family visits in a suite built for that purpose.

They would have access to a library, weight room, spiritual counselling, pool, and education.

Simple clothing, shoes, slippers, P.J.’s and legal aid would be free, on request.

Private, secure rooms for all, with an exercise outdoor yard, with gardens.

Each pensioner could have a P.C. a T.V. radio, and daily phone calls.

There would be a board of directors, to hear complaints, and the guards would have a code of conduct, that would be strictly adhered to.

The “criminals” would get cold food, be left all alone, and unsupervised. lights off at 8pm, and showers once a week.

Live in a tiny room, and pay £500.00 per month and have no hope of ever getting out.

 

Gillet and Hicks are leeches

May 27, 2010

I know it won’t happen but, in view of Hick’s raising the price for his destruction of Liverpool Football Club to £800,000,000, it would be nice to believe that Liverpool fans could act in concert and shake off this leech.

The usual approach to removing a leech is to apply a lit cigarette end to it but as that analogy would lead to an illegality, the alternative is to poison its food.

Give up watching LFC for a year.  Support Tranmere or Wigan.

Without revenue, The Yanks would have to use their own resources to pay off debts, or find a bank, willing to back them (Could any politician allow this?). Even if they sell off all our best players, which they seem intent on doing anyway, they’d still find it difficult to offload LFC’s dead carcase.

The added benefit would be that they might run back to the States and destroy American businesses instead.

Then Obama might get on to them.

Controlling company excesses

May 27, 2010

Companies in Russia have, it seems, political appointees on their boards. This obviously wouldn’t be acceptable here. Not because of the odour of Communist control, or of Totalitarianism but because of the susceptibility of our politicians to being corrupted. However, a clerking service, using a rotating pool of Junior Civil Servants, might be beneficial in enabling Company boards to advised against ill-conceived plans. E.g. plans to award themselves lavish bonuses, whilst at the same time arranging to cut worker’s wages; plans to close plants in this country and outsource to our competitors.

England strips

May 27, 2010

 The England team has alternate strips of red and white. It could be a good idea to insist that all premier clubs chose one, as their alternate strip.

In fast passages of play, it is obvious that players will sometimes pass to opposition players wearing a strip similar  to one with which they are familiar. Hence the need for alternate strips.  If my suggestion is followed, English players would be less prone to such errors at club level, whilst foreign players would have a slight disadvantage when playing at international level.

NasUWT should sue

May 27, 2010

NASUWT

The recent case of the teacher, who attempted to murder a pupil and who was set free, shows up the sorry state that our schools are in. Effective action can’t be taken against the anvil of  pupils and parents. Nor against the Hammer of  Headteachers, LEA’s and Ofsteds. Teachers are the only ones that can be pressured. In this analogy, the nuts; some of whom crack.

This teacher has been rightly sacked, yet the NASUWT is demanding that he be re-instated. This Union is mad. How is it serving its members best interests, by this stance?

Why would they want to subject this poor man to teaching conditions that created this situation?

They should be trying to protect their other members by suing this school for every penny of its budget.

What about the staff still serving there? What about their jobs, if the school goes bust?

Well! It’s simple.

Don’t sue, and they suffer similar mental stress, eventually leaving teaching and being replaced by new untried and undamaged staff.

On the other hand sue, the school closes and a new school opens, re-employing most of the cheaper staff, with a new budget.

The process is repeated throughout the country. The union leaders show some guts and sue all schools that do not protect their staff. Eventually teachers join the ranks of those who can’t be unduly pressured and attention will be paid to those represented by the hammer and the anvil

Magistrate’s freedom

May 27, 2010

 

Presumably the rules that allowed a magistrate to be sacked, for correctly  referring to a defendant as “scum”, are still in place. Presumably the people, who implemented those rules, are still in place, over him.

Whether or not those people have a vindictive streak , the culture, which thought those rules appropriate and even necessary, is almost certainly still in place.

It’s not enough that one magistrate was rescued from the effects of such crass regulation.  Kenneth Clarke needs to use his new position to send down a message through the judicial system, emphasising the need to free magistrate’s from excessive political control, particularly control over their ability to intelligently express themselves.

Clerks of Court need to be reminded that they are there to guide (the emphasis being on guidance) their magistrates on points of law, not on points of political correctness.

Manifesto’s

May 27, 2010

  Why the complaints about the present Cabinet’s discarding of sections of each parties manifesto’s. Rejoice that either party has actually honoured part of their manifesto.

What percentage of any political manifesto  has  been honoured, by any Government, in the last five decades?

I, personally, expected all manifesto commitments, of all major parties to evaporate, after May 6th.

I am delighted that just one, that on ID cards, has been honoured. If the referendum on P.R. takes place, then, win or lose, I will feel that we have moved one step closer to a true democracy.