He might have a lot on his tiny mind at the moment, but it is possible that South Yorkshire PCC Shaun Wright is considering making a large donation to the election fund of the bringer of earthquakes the mighty Douglas Carswell.
As the media hoards exit Rotherham and descend upon Clacton faster than an ex-cabinet minister caught in a boys` home, Mr Wright`s sigh of relief at seeing an empty doorstep when peeking through his curtains can probably be heard as far away as Wormwood Scrubs. Along with missing Nigerian girls, missing Malaysian airliners, missing Prime Ministers, children in Gaza with missing limbs and editors completely missing the point of the Alexis Jay report, by tomorrow the media will be asking Shaun who? (more…)
It is surprising how quickly the world returns to normal after a week or so away and once the front door has been forced open against the pile of correspondence and once the countless emails have been ignored, it is almost as if the holiday never actually happened.
Not so this time however. Something in the glue that holds the universe together had changed and something odd seems to have provoked the entire planet to jump the shark. The first clue that the reality bill was overdue came when an anxious teenager deprived of television phoned a friend to find out what happened in the latest episode of Dr Who. Others suffering from cold turkey demanded that the call be placed onto the speaker and we heard this:
“Well the lizard lady and her maid are in a lesbian marriage and living in Victorian London with a miniature version of Eric Pickles, a T-Rex spontaneously combusted and a cyborg that looked like David Cameron was impaled on the top of Big Ben and then went to heaven.” I retreated to the comfort of news websites only to find that the surrealism was pandemic. (more…)
Diving for pearls
Of all the important things taught at seats of learning both great and small, how to be a parent stands little chance of being included on the curriculum. Like parachuting, deep sea diving and mating, all the manuals, theory and research in the world cannot replace the hands-on experience of on-the-job training. Failure seems inevitable as attempting to channel positivity, hope, compassion and basic human decency without imposing anxiety, fear and an all consuming ambition is a balancing act that is almost impossible to carry off. Thus, misplaced and erroneous reflected parental glory came a knocking on the door on AS-Level results day.
We have tried our very best not to impose pressure in the pursuit of top examination grades preferring to allow young minds to chart their own course. We failed on occasions and with hindsight comments such as “what do you mean you can`t grasp the concept of filial piety in King Lear” and “for heaven`s sake, child, it`s only a quadratic equation” barked across the dinner table did not exactly help. After a while, the stock question “have you done your homework” was always replied with “yes” even though we knew the answer was always “no”. As one wag many years ago wrote on the wall of the gents at my student union; “knowledge wilts in the greenhouse of academia”. (more…)
Today, the beginning of the First World War will be marked with solemn remembrance of the soldiers who fell and the civilians who perished; there is little point in commemorating the 1918 Armistice.
On 3 August 1914, the then Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey delivered a rousing speech intended to prepare the nation for war. Filled with tub-thumping patriotism extolling honour and courage and sacrifice, the Viscount Grey of Fallodon`s call to arms displayed the time-honoured and continuing skill of a politician to say one thing and know the exact opposite. On the evening before war was declared, safely in the privacy of the Foreign Office, Sir Edward Grey is reported to have looked out of the window at the gathering dusk and said; “The lamps are going out all over Europe. We shall not see them lit again in our time.”
Now that his time has long gone, the lamps are still going out and not just all over Europe but all over the planet. The only light in this terrible history are candles lit to the memories of lives lost in Guernica, Coventry, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Hanoi, Halabja, Basra, Vukovar, Kosovo and so many other attacks on civilian populations. (more…)
The spin doctor at the back is saying; “He`s good. He just nicked that kid`s lunch and the dinner lady is rolling a big, fat bogie to plop into his rice pudding”.
It is irrelevant to ask who Nicky Morgan is because the correct and only answer is that she is not Michael Gove. Elected to parliament as long ago as 2010, the member for Loughborough`s elevation to a senior office of state came as something of a surprise but the nation`s children can rest assured that nobody, with the possible exception of Rolf Harris, could damage education with the zeal of her creepy and now officially ugly predecessor.
To suggest that Nicky Morgan`s only qualification to be Secretary of State for Education is her lack of a Y chromosome would be maliciously erroneous. Like almost every previous Secretary of State of differing shades of political grey, Qualified Teacher Status or actual classroom experience is not listed on the essential requirements section of the job description. Instead, Ms Morgan`s CV contains invaluable expertise perfectly suited to the coalition government`s education policy. Before entering parliament, Nicky Morgan was a corporate lawyer specialising in mergers and acquisitions. Promoted to equalities minister, she has voted against equal marriage. (more…)