Posts Tagged ‘blair’

VARIOUS BLOGS 8 (3/5/17)

May 3, 2017

letters to Daily Mirror. only one printed.
I find it hard to believe that Tiverton Town Council lost two full years of Council Documents.
The first thing that should be taught on computer security course is the grandfather, father storage system for files.
Even a basic Windows domestic PC platform will recommend a monthly backup of your files.
Computer memory is extremely cheap and fast nowadays; it should be a routine to save working files and archive others.
To lose two years worth can only be construed as mismanagement, or an administrative convenience.

What is the point of asking anyone on BBC’s Question Time, how they’d feel, if an elderly relative had had to wait 8 hours on a trolley in A&E?
This is root cause of the disaffection between voters and politicians.
We know that their elderly relatives would be snug and secure in a hospital bed, whilst most of ours were waiting for an ambulance.
The same applies with many of the public services, which the majority rely on, such as education, social care, pensions, public transport and so on.
Small wonder that panellists rarely answer questions directly, when they can not speak from a common experience

Why has the BBC started asking “when” we should be charged to see a GP?
The question should be what is the point of a GP, if you are going to charge to see them?
It’s the GP who does the initial diagnosis and then re-directs to a specialist, as needed.
It’s the GP, who judges, whether you should be allowed prescription medication.
It shouldn’t an overworked random intern in A&E.
In a civilised Society it shouldn’t be a return of Blackadder’s “wise woman”, or ancient folk remedies for the masses and a privatised NHS for our “betters”

22/2/17 (printed)
Sound recordist Simon Clark is reported as putting the blame for poor sound quality on flat screen TV’s.
I don’t believe this is the case.
As someone with poor hearing, I use radio headphones to listen to TV.
More often the problem is “atmosphere”.
Trying to distinguish what is being said in noisy offices, restaurants, dance halls is too realistic.
It doesn’t happen in old Hollywood films, where the “atmosphere” is set as the stars walk into a noisy room, then once the dialogue starts, the “atmosphere” is tuned out.
The same complaint applies to football matches, where the commentators might as well give up and go for a pie.

With what’s happening to our NHS, it’s unbelievable, for me, that we are helpless to prevent it.
There was no mention of this destruction in any pre-election speeches.
In fact we were assured that the NHS was “safe” in Tory hands.
In normal circumstances, one can understand the need for Governments to have the stability of a five year term of office but the Sovereignty of Parliament becomes a farce, when the wishes of the Population are ignored as an irrelevance, even in times of War.
There needs to be a means for the population to demand a General Election, or, at least, a referendum on issues, which directly affect the whole population.

Printed version:

#|t’s unbelievable what’s happening to our NHS and it has left me feeling helpless. There was no mention of plans to shut hospitals in any pre-election speeches. In fact, we were assured that the NHS was safe in Tory hands. There must be a means for people to demand a referendum on huge issues.

Remind me why our Gas and Electricity were privatised.
To turn us into a shareholder nation? But if working people had enough spare cash to keep shares, Wonga and Visa would be out of business.
They were going to build new power stations etc., which is why some are still running decades after they were supposed to be closed down. It’s why the Government has agreed to pay an extortionate price for the French and Chinese to build a new nuclear power station.
Prices would come down through greater efficiency.
It’s all a nonsense, really. Instead of one overpaid CEO (like British Gas boss, Iain Conn), we have a dozen, each with a duplication of Accounts, Computer, Admin, PR, Sales and Advertising departments.
We have a whole industry badgering us to Switch suppliers, wasting a few more hours of our lives. Who pays for them?
I remember the bad old days, when the Nationalised Industries weren’t pre-occupied with maximising shareholder profits but with keeping the Nation supplied and minimising customer
complaints, delivered through badgered MP’s and Ministers. I even remember complaining about having to wait in for the gasman to bother to show up. Still some things never change.

Why are some Labour MP’s joining the Tory chorus of attacking Jeremy Corbyn?
It can’t just be the loss of Copeland, where the Labour vote has been dropping by thousands ever since the initial success of Blair’s Gov’t in ousting the “Sleaze” ridden Tory Gov’t.
Blair was encouraged to quit in favour of Brown, because of his unpopularity.
Brown lost the following election mainly because of his beggaring the Nation to bail out the banker’s but partly because of his “bigot” attack on a Labour supporter.
I think the latter carried more impact for the ordinary voter.
Miliband lost the next election and gave fuel to UKIP by further deriding Labour supporters and denying them the right to a referendum on the EU and by not challenging the Tory claim that Labour were not responsible with money.
Two elections lost but Corbyn has yet to lose an election.
Nevertheless, he has been subjected to so much abuse by MP’s of his own party, that Labour voters at the far Left and far Centrist have been given cause to withhold their vote.
Whether, or not, Corbyn is replaced, Labour looks set to lose the next election, unless the whole of the Parliamentary Labour Party starts singing from the same song sheet and a tune that all sections of the Labour vote can endorse.
Judging by recent comments, still being made by some MP’s, this will never happen.
No doubt there will be plenty of suggestions as to who can replace Jeremy Corbyn but they will all be tainted by either Blairite or Corbynista attacks and will lose votes from one of those sections of voters.
I fear we are about to lose our NHS and enter a period of far Right control, which will take us back to the 1930’s

Reading the article on the Sunday Mirror Poll, it says nearly two-thirds of Labour voters are satisfied with Corbyn staying as leader.
We need to grow on that and find out why the remaining voters aren’t happy.
It also says that over 5 in 6 think Labour has the right policies.
Presumably the remainder have some concern over particular issues.
We obviously need to consider what these may be, bearing in mind that you can’t please all the people all the time.
Perhaps further polls are needed but ones which seek to find what aspects of Tory policy concern their voters.
I can’t believe that all of their voters are happy with their policies on the NHS, prisons, police, HS2, trains and schools.

I was told that in order to sell their cars in the EU, Nissan had to agree to incorporate poorer but more expensive French components such as the nylon reeled electronic window winder (5 million imported parts per day).
If Nissan remains in the UK and has surcharges imposed by the Single Market, then Nissan would presumably be able to manufacture their own, better quality, components here.
They would be producing a superior product, more cheaply.
It would be worth the Government’s while to try to keep Nissan here, if they cared about the Economy and UK jobs.

Although I can’t endorse The Lords interference in the brexit process, their amendment has pointed up the lack of support for Theresa May’s intent to use the future of EU residents as a negotiation tactic.
This total lack of support must surely have lost her any hoped for leverage in her negotiations.
Her EU opponents will be confident that she can’t play this “chip”
Consequently she might as well go for the humane option of assuring all law-abiding EU citizens resident here that they will be allowed to stay, if a reciprocal arrangement is agreed
I would think that those, who do consider themselves as British, would formalise that status and apply for citizenship to avoid future problems.

I understand the logic of the Law against “stealing by finding” but I have strong sympathy for the woman prosecuted for pocketing a stray £20 note.
I have known a case where someone found a £20 note being blown along a beach.
Someone, who found one folded up on the floor of a packed New Year’s Eve pub.
Whom do you tell?
To whom would you pass it?
Legally, you take it to the police, you get a chitty and in 6 month’s time, if no-one has reported it lost, you are invited to claim it.
Would you be able to take it into a cop shop and explain what you were doing?
Would you be able to tell anyone that you had done this?
What if it was a 10p coin?
If you lost a £20 note would you report it to the Police, hoping to recover it?
There’s legality and morality and there’s a fear of ridicule.

I like the idea of futsal mentioned in the piece on Daniel Sturridge.
It made me wonder if its use of a smaller ball explained the dominance of South Americans.
The smaller size of the ball must mean a greater concentration on the ball, rather than the opponent.

Paul Maguire’s assessment, of Scotland’s income, suggests that an independent Scotland would need to go asking for financial support.
However, the example offered by brexit is that a political partition is like a divorce and it’s therefore likely that Sturgeon would probably be coming to Westminster seeking a financial settlement with alimony

Seeing all those Tory grandee’s, who’d held Cabinet posts during the Tory Sleaze years, sitting in the House of Lords, for the Brexit debate, made it clear that the second Chamber needed an overhaul.
My problem is that the House of Commons isn’t really that much better, with its own drones and money grabbing opportunists.
Do we need a second chamber, if it’s only going to be a copy of the first?
Either it will rubber stamp every bill, or worse, block every bill, regardless of its content.
If we do have a second talking shop, then it has to be elected and it has to be devoid of party political alliance.
Nobody, who has ever subscribed to, or donated to a political party should be eligible to hold office.
This would probably exclude most of the older generation and create a Junior house, more representative of the Nation, from which politicians, who’d proved their worth, might be promoted to the House of Commons.

When will terrorists realise that their actions achieve nothing positive.
Hitler was reported to have acknowledged that the terror bombing of places like Bath and Coventry did nothing towards winning the war.
The IRA bomb campaign did not achieve a United Ireland.
Daesh murders will not bring about a Caliphate.
Ordinary citizens can not affect any such changes.
Their deaths and maimings, whilst being condemned by national leaders, will not affect the actions of Governments, any more than accidents such as floods or train crashes.
The terrorists will not achieve fame, or admiration, or gratitude, from anyone, least of all those whom they believe they represent.
Individually, they will be unmourned and forgotten by any but their own families.
So, why try?

This is allegedly the most heavily observe country in The World, with innumerable CCTV camera’s spying on us.
The number of Police monitoring them is limited by the persistent repeated cuts to funding of all public services.
On the other hand, we have many isolated, often elderly, citizens with time on their hands.
It would seem that this army of potential watchers could be useful in some way.
For instance: in the case of low priority terrorist suspects, watchers could be assigned to simply take screen shots of visitors/contacts, with time stamps.
A police officer could take a daily dip into the relevant files (perhaps with several watchers having contributed).
Instead of having to observe suspects on a 24 hour basis, one officer could scan a hundred sites and then call up recorded video of particularly interesting clips.

I was concerned by your graphic showing “little or low clinical value medicines”
Those mentioned on the TV News were the low cost, possibly cosmetic and others, which most wouldn’t bother their GP over.
Top of the list for savings is a medication for an underactive thyroid.
This is a significant medication.
I remember watching my Mum shambling down the street, pop-eyed, swollen-necked and looking twice her age.
After diagnosis and treatment, she swiftly returned to a younger active working woman.
This medication can’t be cheap for the individual if it costs £31 million, for the whole NHS.
It certainly can’t be described as unnecessary
Such a policy is worthy of the USA’s “couldn’t care less” attitude to the health of their poor and shows the direction that the Tories and privatised Health Care is headed

John Prescot usually presents a sound point of view on most issues but his comparison of the Iraq war with the Falklands shows a disconnect with how most voters viewed both.
The Falklands War was about an invasion of British Territory and an attack on Brits.
The Falklands might be separated from us by a couple of thousand miles of ocean but that’s an irrelevance. To most of us, it could just as easily been the Outer Hebrides, which it resembles.
Maggie’s success, in protecting “us”, gave her an otherwise undeserved success in the following General Election.
Iraq was seen as a murderous intervention in another nation’s affairs, at the bidding of the US President. The suspicion that it was about oil wealth didn’t help.
In the context of Gibraltar, Howard’s main fault, apart from being Gung-Ho, was in thinking that Spain might do any more than wave a red flag at us.

George Osborne, editor of the Evening Standard, formerly Chancellor of the Exchequer, presumably okayed the sale of some more Lloyds’ shares at £40 million less than we paid for them.
We’re told that some were bought by Black Rock, who coincidentally hired him for his expert advice and contacts.

Now it’s reported that the “entirely independent” head of the NHS is to ask the Treasury if he can borrow £10 Billion from Hedge Funds, presumably at a generous rate of interest.
If the Treasury agrees, will it be the hedge fund that Mrs May’s Hubby works for?

I’d be surprised, if not, but it’s no surprise that voters have contempt for politicians, who create the relevant laws and promulgate practices, which enable them to legitimately raid the National coffers, whilst protesting that their dealings are perfectly legal and above board.

Mr. Cameron’s involvement in tax havens, his father-in-law’s wind farm subsidy, The Lords attendance fees, MP’s OTT expense claims, Jeremy Hunt’s £12million windfall, all the other perfectly legitimate tax-payer funded activities, such as privatising rail, education and NHS contracts can all be explained away and protests brushed off, as lacking merit.

But the stench of corruption lingers outside Westminster, where they are so accustomed to the smell that they no longer notice it.

Reports on A&E queues, on people dying because of ambulance delays, on shabby, privatised care homes, on homeless people escaping reality by using Spice, on schools asking parents for funds, on tent cities forming and all the other reports on the by-products of this corruption are becoming very noticeable to voters

Why do sites like Ticketmaster have to be so scammy?
I had to book two ticket to Queen for my wife and daughter @ £69 each but by the time I had jumped through all the hoops and accepted all the add-ons, the final price was about £87 each.
They know that customers of such events will accept the add-ons, so why not be up front and just charge a flat £90.
They know it will be paid and instead of irritating fans, they could hand out free souvenirs to earn bouquets, instead of brickbats.

The final £50 voucher for is just snide.

I was pleased with the verdict in the candy-striped house case; more so with the the decision by the judge that the Council had misused their powers under the Town and country planning Act 1990.

My understanding was that this sort of legislation was originally brought in to stop the creation of slums and shanty towns, ensuring that all housing was safe and fit to live in.

Legislation then let it creep to protecting “Our great houses”
It has, since, been extended to the protection of the character of “charming villages” and “industrial heritage” sites and now to any ordinary house with neighbours, who have friends on the Council.

A cottage in Kennford, Devon was apparently the wrong shade of pink, another in Inverclyde was the wrong shade of cream. In both cases, Councils used their muscle to intimidate the owners.

I’ve no doubt there have been numerous other similar cases of bullying.

The candy stripe house was an extreme example of not “fitting in” but its owner was just awkward enough to fight the bureaucracy, which no longer works to serve the public but sees itself as having manorial rights.

Unfortunately, the move towards mayoralties will probably negate this ruling as each local fiefdom begins to create its own Laws to suit the whim of whomsoever has been ceded power.

John Prescott is right on many issues but is wrong on GE1997
Labour didn’t win that election, so much as the Tories were thrown out of office by a disgusted electorate.
Yes, Labour did a lot of good but it also did a lot that was disliked by the voters (mainly via Blunkett) and this showed in the vote share in successive GE’s.
It wasn’t just Iraq that allowed the Tories back in. It was a generation who’d forgotten what happened under the Tories.
Those people need to be made to look at what they’ve done this time in terms of food banks, homelessness, prisons, police, fire services, post office, banks, NHS and other aspects of Austerity.


@DailyMirror publishes first puff piece in Blair’s campaign against populism

November 25, 2016

Tony Blair has begun his campaign to destroy #brexit,  with a puff piece in the Daily Mirror.

He begins by saying:

“When I say ‘let’s just keep our options open’, it’s condemned as treason”.

Straight in, with two lies in one sentence.

He uses his favourite impression  of “I’m just a nice, reasonable guy”

First lie is that he merely wants us to keep our options open, when he’s pushing  “The remain” option, as the one he’s wants to sell us.

M r. reasonable guy lays the ground for his second lie,  that this reasonable view has seen him condemned as treasonous.

No-one has condemned as treasonous for  wanting to keep our options open.

He’s been condemned as treasonous for the illegal Iraq war.

He’s also been condemned as anti-democratic in announcing that he’ll use his money and influence to try and overthrow the referendum vote.

This could be regarded as treason, depending on how he goes about it.

You have to look closely at everything he says.

That two-lie sentence wasn’t an off-the-cuff line.

It will have been carefully crafted, with the aid of his wordsmith, Alistair Campbell.

He’s announced that Labour has lurched to the Left and Tory’s to the Right, thus leaving the middle ground for him to step into and speak up for all those floating voters., who’ll buy what he’s selling.

It’s untrue that the Centre ground is vacant.

Corbyn and McDonnell may be old Left but they are heavily constrained by MP’s, who were raised to eminence under Blairite policies and who still occupy the centrist seat

(It wasn’t Socialists, who voted to bomb Syria).

For me , as a supporter of Corbyn, the mis-named centrist position isn’t a midway position, so much as a right of centre position and Tony Blair is a Tory in disguise.

Look at who he’s teamed up with.

Richard Branson isn’t a cavalier/hippy entertainments guy.

He’s the banker who’s buying up much of our NHS and is pushing to buy up more.

That’s why he’s linked up with Blair, who made his millions bringing “peace” to the Middle East and brokering deals for Haliburton and other US companies, eager to “help” in that region.

Listen to Blair but learn to recognise phrases that he repeats word for word, because they’re the one’s, which are selling the biggest lies

@educationgovuk Public school discipline won’t work in State schools.

February 2, 2014

Dear Mr. Gove,

Public school discipline won’t work in State schools.

In fee-paying schools, pupils are motivated to conform and accept such measures of censure and control because, even if it is not natural to them, they know that if they don’t, they’ll be kicked out of that school and sent to a State school.

Lines, detentions and similar punishments only work, where the pupil consents to them and there is nothing in Law, or Minister of State edict, which will make them.

Your Civil Service advisor’s know this.

It’s why they advised one of your predecessor’s to punish the parent’s, rather than the pupil’s, when a child  truants.

The hands of the Court’s, The Police and the CPS are unable (and unwilling) to attempt to curb the behaviour of those under the age of 16.

So why do you stand in your pulpit, blinker’s on, and demand that teacher’s, who daily monitor hundred’s of children, be able to accomplish this feat, which is beyond your own wit to do.

10% of the population are mentally unbalanced, 10% are subnormal, 10% will appear before a court, as adults. Only 5% will achieve a useful, honours degree. (percentages are guessed-at but probably close to reality)

In a State school, pupils of every class and kind, except those of the privileged, have to attend.

Some will attend under duress, without any genuine way of preventing them showing their displeasure, except to some extent, by teacher bluff.

Of course, some teacher’s will engage and fascinate their pupils: But not every pupil and not every teacher.

Consider some of our own Prime Minister’s, who have actually boasted of their lack of skill in Maths.

How do you engage and fascinate and, yet, teach the dyscalculic, in a class of variously abled pupils?.

How do you engage and fascinate and, yet, teach French to the dyslexic in a class of variously abled pupils?

How do you engage and fascinate and, yet, teach anything to the latent Kray twins, intent only on terrorising your variously abled pupils?

Unless you re-instate the sort of facilities, closed by Blunkett, where specific categories of pupil can be catered for, then teacher’s will never be able to even begin to dominate and raise standards to those of Pre-Blair.


blogpost letter to S.Exress on Homework

June 10, 2013

Jeremy Wright’s plea for less homework could hopefully lead to some relief for teacher’s.

Shortly after Blair became P.M., the talk in Education was of research, which showed that compulsory homework provided little, if any, benefit to pupils.
School’s were moving towards creating a system whereby only those requesting extra homework needed it to be set.

However, another situation arose, whereby concern was being raised over latchkey kids creating problems for a shrinking police force and the story, printed in the media, was that Tony Blair’s mother-in-Law had asserted, over a dinner table, that these children wouldn’t be roaming the streets, causing trouble, if they had homework to do

The Education Department did a quick about face and implemented homework guidelines to be implemented by all school’s, for all age group’s.

Setting of irrelevant homework’s is easy but pointless and on occasion, e.g. when starting a new topic, the only option is to set homework’s along the lines of completion of classwork.

Two problems arose with this approach:
Although the diligent would be rewarded by their high effort in class time, this would be a source of anger for ambitious parents.
Those pupils, who were reluctant, or who were unable to complete work in class, would meet similar concern with doing the work at home.
The consequences were, then, twofold:
Parental complaints of both too little and of too much homework, came pouring in.
The solution was to set up a bank of homeworks.
Here again varying ability levels, as well as temperament rendered this problematic.
Hard, intermediate and trivial versions of the same homework topic were created.
Again, this created complaints.
Able pupils were aggrieved that their free time was being cut into, to a greater extent, than if they were set the trivial homeworks. Whilst they could accept the logic of the differentiation, it did cause disaffection, especially in the adolescents.
Parents would be upset that their children were being set the easier homeworks. (parents talk and compare the status level reflected in their offspring’s academic standing).
Furthermore, Senior staff were under pressure to provide data comparing pupils level of ability and this wasn’t possible with such disparate levels of homework targets.
One size fits all was demanded by data collecting for league table analyses, which forced teacher’s to attempt to force all pupils to operate at the same level of homework tasks
It is politically incorrect to speak of pupil IQ’s, which, before Blunkett closed and sold off all the special school’s, ranged from 80 to 120 for the majority of mainstream pupils.  In common parlance road-sweeper to undergraduate.
Before Blair announced a target of 85% of pupils achieving the equivalent of 5 GCE grade C’s, 20% of pupils were classed as ESN  (Educationally subnormal). these were now placed in mainstream classes on the pretext that no-one would notice, even with Classroom assistant’s sitting right next to them like a huge billboard sign.
To avoid complaints from ambitious parents, the homeworks would have to be aimed at a minimum of average ability level. However: bearing this in mind, it becomes obvious that some pupils would be unable to start the homework, let alone complete it, especially those requiring a Classroom Assistant.
Such disheartened pupils are hard to enthuse and we must also bear in mind that some of the average ability pupils were/are
socially aberrant to the extent that they are known to the Police and are easily identifiable, by staff, as future rivals to the Kray twins.
This creates a problem of how to be even handed in a one size fits all school environment.
Motivating pupils with gold stars, smiley faces etc. doesn’t work if they are handed out too liberally and they certainly don’t work with pupils who don’t produce any meaningful effort at a homework.
Furthermore, if motivation is all carrot and no stick, the proportion of homework fails will rise, even for the most charismatic and respected teachers. (teacher’s meet 200 pupils a week, in secondary school, not all will be captivated)
If pupils weren’t punished for failure to complete homework then it wouldn’t be done and, again, ambitious parents would be complaining,
Traditionally, School discipline is maintained via setting lines, or by detention.
First line punishment would be more written work(?), usually the setting of lines to copy or copying out the school code or some equally, intellectually undemanding task.
Failure to do this (by pupils who had, after all, failed to do homework and who would, by now, have further homework), required that they be moved to the next level.

A short interjection here, in that this was/is not a problem for all subjects e.g.P.E., Pottery, Drama and fun, non-academic subjects.
It’s not a problem in public school’s, faith schools, grammar schools, or the new foundation schools, which always have the “shape up, or ship out” option.
Hence the worry about mainstream schools becoming “sink school’s”, especially in area’s where the catchment is average ability, at best. (mediocre, in Blair speak)

Returning to mainstream school’s we move to second line punishment, i.e. school detention.
Pupil’s, failing to do homework, quickly found the flaw here and the numbers to be catered for, rose rapidly.
Senior Staff found the demand on their time had risen rapidly, especially as pupils with 10 hours of homework a week to fail at, could only achieve two detentions per week.  Some could achiev a week’s quota by second lesson on Monday, leaving themselves invulnerable to further teacher torment
Senior staff were quickly overwhelmed and the problem was transferred back to the staff “creating the problem”. I.e. those teaching the more rigorous subjects of Science, Maths, modern languages and English, along with History and Geography.
So, these staff were required to put in two to three extra hours detention after school as punishment for having such pupils and for teaching such non-fun subjects.
Pupils would have to be waylaid leaving lessons in other parts of the school, when possible, as they quite happily “forgot” that they had a detention. Sometimes, they could claim a prior detention with another teacher. This puts individual staff in the role of Wiley Coyote, rather than The Pied Piper.
One particularly taxing aspect is what to do if there is only one miscreant.
What teacher would be foolish enough to keep a pupil alone in the classroom with him/her?
Homework creates unnecessary discipline problems, with various half-baked idea’s, promulgated from on high, to give a pretense of solving the issue.
Previous to the crackdown on pupil absenteeism, disaffected final year pupils were tacitly encouraged to truant but reduced policing and rising pilfering by truants in town centres, meant this had to stop. (except for the occasional Ofsted)
Schemes such as Mentoring, agreeing contracts, two day suspensions, contrived end of term trips for whole year groups, proms have been tried but all it really needs is an acknowledgement that for many non-academic pupils, school is a cheap form of baby-sitting cum incarceration cum reduction of unemployment figures.
Homework is just a cruel and unnecessary abuse of the unenfranchised.

Remove the requirement that homework be done by all pupils.
For those that want it, continue setting it (and post it on-line)
That way pupils who wish to do homework can be set it at a worthwhile level and parent’s who wish to push their children can see what has been set.
A further advantage would be that teacher’s could put meaningful comments on pupil’s work, knowing that it will make a difference to the pupil, rather than simply satisfy the tickbox culture of teacher assessment.
Pupil’s will feel less antagonistic towards school and the teacher’s of less fun subjects.
Teacher’s will feel that they are achieving something, without harming their career progress.
The only people who might lose out are those who “know” that they can enthuse a class of 15 year-old, low achiever’s, last period on Friday, in the Summer, with the joys of solving simultaneous equations and with plenty more for homework to do over the weekend.

the destruction of the UK education system, as a prelude to privatisation.

December 12, 2011

Letter to Daily Express:

The item mentioning the boy, who threw dilute acid at classmates, because he was bored, is typical of the consequence of policy, followed by successive Governments.
When Police numbers were cut, there were complaints about truants shoplifting and being rowdy.
Measures were instituted to combat truancy and force disaffected youngster’s back into the classroom. Teacher’s suddenly became Child minders / warders.
At the same time, Mr. Blair decided to insist that the streets be cleared of youngster’s by setting extra homework, contrary to the Ofsted findings of the time, which had said that homework offered little benefit to those pupils, who were not inclined towards it.
In order to keep the young offenders and the disaffected in school and working, a policy was instituted of watering down the syllabus (making it more approachable by low achievers) and making lessons more interesting.
Suddenly the best teachers were those who could keep children entertained.
Except in schools were there was streaming, lesson content became irrelevant in terms of exam success and the pressure was on to enable improved exam results, without any depth of learning required.
The recent stories about pupil violence and examiner corruption are a direct consequence of these policies.
The fact that we now have little in the way of manufacturing employment suggests that the majority of pupils would benefit from an education system that didn’t pretend to offer an academic syllabus for everyone.
We need to do away with meaningless paper qualifications and move towards life skills training, where education (encouraging pupils to seek knowledge) is part of that process but where the emphasis is on what will be useful to citizens to enable them to become more self-reliant e.g. woodwork, plumbing basics, car maintenance, Home economics etc.
 Those, capable of academic success shouldn’t be excluded from these skills but could opt for additional, relevant courses, once they’d selected a vocation, somewhat along the lines of the American model. Those, who show sociopathic tendencies could possibly benefit from special academies, where they can be mentored, away from the mainstream, avoiding the deleterious effect that their presence has on class management.

P.M.’s backdoor visitors

July 26, 2011
One fallout from the hacking case, is the news that Murdoch and family members were given backdoor access to Number 10 by Cameron and his predecessors.
When tasked by a member of the Select Committee, Murdoch grinned, declared that it was at David Cameron’s request and suggested it might have been to avoid photographers.
The question was not put as to why our Prime Minister’s might not want the Public to know, via The Media, why they were meeting with this particular Media Mogul and his underlings, in secret.
Number 10 is a Government building, intended for implementing Government policy.
If these visits were official, then they were of public interest.
If these visits were Social, then that is a worry and therefore of public interest.

Murdoch and our Prime Minister’s

July 20, 2011
One fallout from the hacking case, is the news that Murdoch and family members were given backdoor access to Number 10 by Cameron and his predecessors.
When tasked by a member of the Select Committee, Murdoch grinned, declared that it was at David Cameron’s request and suggested it might have been to avoid photographers.
The question was not put as to why our Prime Minister’s might not want the Public to know, via The Media, why they were meeting with this particular Media Mogul and his underlings, in secret.
Number 10 is a Government building, intended for implementing Government policy.
If these visits were official, then they were of public interest.
If these visits were Social, then that is a worry and therefore of public interest.

W(h)ither coalition?

May 7, 2011

Nick Clegg has done for the Lib-Dems, what Blair and then Brown did for Labour.

With the political demise of these two, Labour’s fortunes have soared, especially in old Labour stronghold’s where Ed Milliband has presumably been seen as a return, by Labour, to Socialist values.

Surely the liability, known as Nick Clegg, will soon be dismissed.

He and David Cameron may believe that they can soldier on but that is based on the supposition that Lib-Dems will respond to the Whip.

Sooner or later enough Lib-Dem MP’s may decide that they will ignore the Whip and vote with Labour. The coalition will fold, Nick Clegg will ousted and Lib-Dems will enter a General Election with some of their support returning, much as Labour’s has.

Those Tories that have been so keen to shaft Clegg, in the belief that they were now in control, will be tasting ashes.

Iraq was an illegal war and Blair was the one who committed us to it.

January 27, 2011
It seems like Blair’s irrelevancies are beginning to take root in some columnists’ minds.
J.Hartley-Brewer (Express columnist), for instance, has argued that more Iraqi’s would have been killed, if Saddam hadn’t been ousted through Blair and Bush’s excuse of a need for a regime change.
Not only an irrelevancy in terms of the legalities and in the context of the many other pernicious regimes around The World, but in terms of the 60 people blown up in Iraq, this week.
Blair was possibly correct in saying that, without this regime change, Iraq and Iran would probably have gone to war and large numbers would have died on both sides.
The irony here is that, before Blair and Bush quit office, they were trying to justify a further war against Iran.
The only difference would then have been that “we” would have killed large numbers of both Iraqi’s and Irani’s, leaving Bush in control of the oil concessions in both countries.
The chances are that, when “we” move out of the region, the war will go ahead, anyway, because of religious intolerance there.
The regime changes will have only postponed and, possibly, exacerbated that region’s problem’s.
Blair is still guilty of tricking us into an illegal war against our best interests and of doing our American allies a dis-service by helping George Bush to perpetrate the same con on his fellow American’s..

Let the rats run

January 10, 2011

Letter to the Express (so don’t bad mouth Maggie)

So David Cameron thinks that it is wrong to blame the Government or banks for our present level of debt.

He says that “lots of people” were to blame. Not me, not my neighbour, not my Doctor, postman or even my Councillor can be blamed, so who can he be referring to?

Of course the point is that really he just wants to avoid having to take action to censure the people who have got us into our present dire straits. The Bankers have threatened to act like overpaid film stars and to take their business abroad, depriving us of any income. The only difference is that we don’t risk penury by encouraging film stars to live here.

He’s worried that we have allowed our economy to become reliant on the banks and on insurance (Maggie’s Merchant adventurer’s and entrepreneurs).

 But as these people say: “What’s the bottom line?”.  How much in debt would we be, if we hadn’t had an income from banking and insurance but had invested in our technological expertise? (which Maggie sold off, to please Ronnie)

Both Maggie and Blair called for the Victorians to be our model but, instead of basing our wealth on our lead in technology, gained through the Industrial revolution, we seem only to have repeated the folly that led to The South Sea Bubble ( an investment scam that the rich and stupid invested their own money in, in the belief, basis of all Capitalist theory, that they could get richer wIthout any effort— but in that case the Government didn’t dive into the public purse to rescue them) may be worth the risk of letting these rats go and feast elsewhere and to start re-building our technological base.