Posts Tagged ‘politicians’

Education: Stupid talk is back

November 15, 2014

Just when you thought the pollies had run out of stupid pills and were edging towards some sort of sense, Nicky Morgan opens her stupid fat mouth and says stupid ignorant things and instead of wooing teachers back to the fold, she fucks it right up again. I was starting to think the Tories were really getting the wood on Ed and his lot, especially with Nicky’s understanding of the work-load issue, her compassion for the ludicrous hours we work; she’d even gone soft on her anti-gay stance.

She was looking promising, especially when Tristan Hunt had managed to piss us off with his ‘licensing’ of teachers and his latest beaut idea about firing us if we can’t control 30 15 year olds forced to read Dickens cover to cover. (Bring it on, Tris, you come and have a go!)

But Ms Morgan couldn’t help herself, she couldn’t keep it in, couldn’t stay nice and away from the stupid pills. No, she announced that STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths) subjects were the only choice, that Arts subjects “hold them back for the rest of their lives”. She also says that Maths is the subject employers value the most. I wonder where that came from – it hasn’t washed into my halls of learning.

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It’s inconceivable isn’t it in one of the world’s leading producers of culture and Arts that the Education secretary says it holds you back – limits your career choices. Possibly it does in other parts of the world, but here, in London, where the money made from theatre, galleries and stadiums is excessive, where one of the biggest draws for tourists is the West End and the museums and galleries, what is she on about?

This type of subject-ism is already damaging students’ futures. We’ve already seen the downgrading of subjects such as DT and Food Tech. Music and Drama have been disenfranchised in the government sector, as has Art. These subjects are being culled from school curriculums and are increasingly only on offer in exclusive, expensive educational enclaves. The Arts are in danger of becoming the province of the rich and well to do. Actors are increasingly coming from the posh lot, not the working classes – no more Michael Caines. And what of music? Will it all be Mumford and Sons and X-factor desperadoes? No more Keef and Mick, or Sting?

Why publically value one set of subjects – and therefore students – over another? Why say these people are better because they can do this? Do I look at my children and say my Physics degree child is more valuable than my Fine Arts degree child? Morgan has been as damaging in her pro-STEM comments as previous commentary about the value of other subjects, in perpetuating the erroneous belief that one stream is better than the other, that choices made at 11 or 15 damage you for the rest of your life. Limit is not the same as damage, and the world is full of people who chance job, make choices as they grow older.

Society needs all sorts of people. It needs the builders and makers, the thinkers and doers, the outside-the-bloody-boxers.  Importantly, Arts and Sciences are not separate beings: they are compatible and complimentary. An engineer or architect making bridges and buildings is as much about aesthetics (Art) as it is about numbers and science (STEM).

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Think about Brian May – guitarist extraordinaire with Queen, who has a PhD in Astrophysics. Everyone’s scientific darling Brian Cox also played in a chart topping band and Richard Dawkins is married to an actress. Nicky Morgan might like to consider Brian May’s career choices. His A levels were awash with Physics and Maths, yet he chose music and I hate to think how much money he’s made. More than as an astrophysicist, wouldn’t you reckon?

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A child should have a rounded education in all areas, be able to make intelligent choices about their future based on their skills, their abilities, what they can contribute to society and not just on what their earning capacity might be.

A society bereft of Music or Art, or Theatre and Dance is an impoverished place to be. It lacks heart and soul and we may as well be under the rule of ISIS or any hard-line Communist regime. The Arts breed thinkers, dissenters, those that can see the world as it really is and then make it into what it should be. Ah, that’s the problem – this government doesn’t want thinkers or dissenters, it wants sheep and cannon fodder. Silly me…

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This is a stupid question, but I’ll ask it anyway. Has Nicky Morgan sat in a class with students who hate Maths, who don’t get it and just want to be free from the subject as soon as they can? No, she hasn’t. And she hasn’t taught 18 year olds still attempting to struggle through their GCSE in English because someone says they have to have that too!

Can we get a grip on what Education is and what it should be and shut the fucking politicians up before they do any more damage to an already broken and shattered part of society? Now would be good. (Images courtesy Private Collection)

Reasons to be Angry, Part…

March 15, 2014

Hum along to Ian Dury and the Blockheads Reason to be Cheerful as you peruse this weeks musings: a consideration of the many reasons we have to be angry and a but as well.

The world is not a nice place, even for the relatively affluent of the West. We struggle, we fall down, we lose, we win. And it seems to me we spend an inordinate amount of time being angry – sometimes with good reason and sometimes just because it seems the best emotional response.

So, to a list, something we haven’t had for a bit: Reasons to be Angry

Rude people – in all bits of life, for no reason whatsoever – in the supermarket, on the bus, at work, spitting their nastiness at you without justification – taking their anger out on you

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Public transport – for those who must rely on tubes, trains and busses to get around and suffer the rudeness of bus-drivers, ignorance of fellow passengers (shoving, loud music, smelly food, etc), regular delays, over-crowding, unexpected cancelations – yes, all round crappy service

People who don’t read – no not people who can’t read – but those who can and actually don’t bother. You know, those who respond to your request, your email or letter and it’s manifestly clear they haven’t understood a thing because THEY HAVENT READ IT PROPERLY AT ALL – and you know once more how stupid most of the world is.

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People who don’t try, who don’t have a go, those who give up at the first sign of a set back, who can’t cope with any sort of criticism – yes, GCSE English students and your ilk, I am thinking of YOU.

People who bully, who crap on you for no reason other than they can and it makes them feel superior, even though they are the epitome of inferior. Their power and your powerlessness is the perfect recipe for anger.

People who lie, who can’t tell the truth, who don’t care about the truth, who deliberately dissemble and undermine the truth are truly rage makers. Yes, think politicians, CEO’s – any bastard trying to cover their arse and put you off. Not to mention children who lie at the drop of a hat, even when they know that you know the truth!!

Politicians – please don’t let me even begin on Michael Gove or Tony Abbott. God save us from democratically elected politicians who have no fucking idea about anything other than their own small world yet presume to lecture us because they think their position – which they owe to (some of) us – makes them somehow intelligent, all knowing and all powerful. At least we don’t like in the Ukraine, Turkey or Syria, etc, so I guess that is some small consolation…

The treatment of women in an increasingly misogynistic, hard line religious extremist world is very good reason to be angry. For anyone who thinks the feminist fight is won you are being an idiotic ostrich, ignoring the atrocities and injustices perpetrated against ordinary women who simply want to be able to go to school, drive cars, marry at a decent age and not be the property of a man, be it their father or husband.

The power and greed of big corporations who are literally raping the planet – killing the bees, poisoning our water ways, ripping down our forests, killing our reefs, and then suing governments and not paying their fare share of taxes. Corporate greed is killing our planet.

The ever increasing divide between the rich and the poor – actually it’s a gaping unbreachable chasm these days, as exemplified by the aforementioned politicians and corporate greed. Between them ordinary hard working people have been comprehensively screwed over.

 

But, stop now. You can’t be angry all day – no it’s Saturday and the weekend and it would be a waste to lose the day, the creeping warmth, in negative emotions, in the futility of anger. This is what I want you to do instead.

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Join an organization that is trying to make a difference – WWF, Greenpeace, sign petitions, attend rallies – it is a way to channel negativity and feel you are not alone in your anger and outrage.

Do something that makes you feel good – get outside, in your garden, go for a walk, watch the rugby, have a big sleep in, read in bed all day.

Be with people you love – always the best cure – and make sure you laugh – a big babbling, effusive bubbling laugh that can’t be stopped can cure anything.

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Hug the things you love the most – you can’t be angry snuggled up to the one(s) you love.

Smell something wonderful – grass, aromatic candles, your dog – smells do lovely things to the chemicals in your brain, so go ahead and sniff

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And finally, when all else fails, eat some chocolate – of any description – especially Mars Bar Cheesecake! (Images courtesy of Private Collection)

Hypocrisy

October 2, 2011

Hypocrisy definitions

1. A pretense of having a virtuous character, moral or religious beliefs or principles, etc., that one does not really possess.

2. A pretense of having some desirable or publicly approved attitude.

3. Do what I say not what I do.

Hypocrites are everywhere, and they make us sick every day when we consider the actions of –

Politicians, who tell us to tighten our belts, pay taxes, live with pay freezes, etc but then vote themselves pay increases and continue to rort the public purse as much as they can

Bankers, who fail and are bailed out by the public at the behest of politicians, but who continue to pay themselves obscene bonuses and continue on their risk taking path

Celebrities who lecture us about carbon footprints but then fly around the world as and when they like (Sting)

Sports stars who get paid huge sums for endorsing products based on their wholesome appeal but who are cheating on their wives (Woods, Rooney, etc)

The Church (especially the Catholic Church) who preach love and charity, caring for others, justice and forgiveness but who have routinely turned a blind eye to the abuse of children over the years, leaving ruined lives in the wake of their brand of Christianity

But what about you – the hypocrite within? Consider the following – are you guilty?

You like to drink but hate it when other people are obviously drunk

You’re a bit on the chubby side but find fat people obscene and lazy

You’re careful with your money but hate it when others are mean

You like to dress well but don’t like show ponies, or mutton as lamb

You like to eat well but deplore gluttony in others

You believe in the virtues of hard work but are as lazy as sin

You lecture your children on the dangers of drugs, alcohol, sex, staying out late but never-ever tell them what you were like

You’re as jealous as hell of JK Rowling’s writing fame and riches, deploring how one can have so much, but wishing desperately that your books sold like hers

I could go on…

Blameless are you? I doubt it, but don’t fret, hypocrisy is one of those things that makes us human, as long as we’re not hypocrites in all that we do!