It is quite fun to read some of the lesser articles in newspapers. Yesterday there occurred a report about the UK archbishops and bishops who sit in the House of Lords (I think) making a comment about Brexit. What!? How dare they! Well, at least that seemed to be the general trend of replies to the bishops’ statement. Personally I have always wanted the Church hierarchy to be more vociferous about political matters. Because mostly they are silent. Obviously as humans they must have an opinion but mostly do not express them. So, where is this going then? I favour Brexit, not because I do not like Europe, as a previous Dutchman I do! But I abhor the oversized, extremely costly bureaucracy in Brussels. Besides all of that, the plans and rules coming from there need a psychiatrist’s look to see whether they came out of the madhouse. As such I do not mind other people having an opposite view but this furore is made by the upper echelon of a national institution, moreover an institution that should promote good living, environmental control, proper sharing of foods and resources amongst other human requirements. Brexit is a different item on the agenda. Why? Because it was voted for by a majority of the British people. We abide by voting results. Instead of raging against the establishment for failing to ensure an adequate sharing of resources, opportunities, employment and a host of other pressing matters, the Church has decided now that Brexit is the most important item on the agenda. No, Brexit is an item that has already been decided. The only thing left is to ensure our leaving will do the least harm to our population. We should not forget there are two sides here, Europe as well will want to do the same so we need compromises. The Church must not forget that! Just to indicate that Brexit should be cancelled is simply ridiculous. Although I applaud the hierarchy opening mouth, they should have engaged brain before that. Amen!
Tuesday, 20 October 2020
Saturday, 17 October 2020
Having been in educational circles for some time now, although I have never been a teacher (thank the Lord) I have become aware that there are almost insurmountable problems. First of all the political interferences, secondly the pressures generated by that interference or shall we say bad decision making, and thirdly underfunding. When I say underfunding I really mean that too much is paid to the wrong people and consequently budgets set by the aforementioned politicians are not sufficient to repair or build new schools. Building new schools in the UK is basically non-existent. Certainly in Wales where old draughty Victorian calamities are still around and have to be used because politicians are paid huge salaries and empire building is alive and well but there is no money to look properly after all our children.
Another linked problem is that of parental support. That sounds bad but it basically means that again through political bad decision making and policies we have landed into a situation where parenting can no longer be as effective as once it was. Our society now is reliant on lower salaries (minimum wage) and a twenty-four hour, seven days a week time scale. As a result children do no longer have the parental support and help they need to learn. This tends to cross over to following generations, in other words it is a downward spiral.
So, altogether huge pressures are put upon educators, teachers, to increase standards, which because of lack of support outside schools, is very hard if not impossible to achieve. Just look at the number of teachers leaving their posts. That in turn gets NQT’s (Newly Qualified Teachers) into schools quicker than it would be normally but also means lower standards of professional technical ability. It is really a circle of continuing mediocrity. Sad but it might change when politicians will stop making education one of the marks by which they themselves are judged. And frankly from where I am sitting the judge will have to say “Go to jail. Do not pass go. Do not collect £200". In fact I would add, go home and try something else like keeping chickens.
Thursday, 15 October 2020
So, it is still a funny world. My country, Wales has decided to ban all English, Scots or Irish people from coming if they themselves live in what is now known as Covid-19 hotspots. Well, think about it, how does the virus spread? Yes, through people! So, in the first place to ban people is seemingly not a bad idea. But it is not all people who behave like idiots, as they seem to do in city centres. Some of the pictures in newspapers this morning displays behaviour which is akin to idiocy. What is it with humans? So, yes if I had been the First Minister, I would ban ALL people coming from the rest of the UK. I could be persuaded to change it to all UNDER-35 aged being banned. It is these that seem to be the problem looking at the pics. Barely dressed with a pint in one hand and a ‘hunk’ at the other. Mind you, hunks today are not as hunky as they used to be. The chemicals in drinking water today, are reducing 'hunkiness' to some extent. Whatever. But the point is this, if we want to reduce or even eradicate the virus if at all possible, we need to abide by medical advice. If we lose trust in such advice we might as well order our coffins now. I stay with the advice and reduce my going-out to zero for the time being, get my groceries delivered and use Whatsapp if I need to speak to someone or other. Also use Microsoft Teams, or even better JITSI Meet, for my work or courses I follow. Most of my friends and acquaintances do the same. But then we are no longer below the 35 mark and use our brains.
NB There is no such word as 'hunkiness', I made it up but you will understand.
Tuesday, 13 October 2020
There are plenty of people who dislike Piers Morgan, ITV’s Morning News presenter/host. I am not one of them. I like his straight forward way, calling a pig a pig and not think it might be a dog. I also for 100% back his stance against the so-called liberal ultra-lefties or should that be ultra-liberal lefties, as his article in the Sun newspaper shows. It is about time that someone in the public view takes a stand against this totally idiotic world view. A view where you can no longer say ‘Black’ or ‘White’, when you have to forget the history of the nation, indeed the history of the world in exchange for some woolly concocted cr*p ideology. ‘Freddie’ Flintoff, another who has started to worry about this ‘woke’ ideology, questioning the ‘being offended’ culture. All we read or hear now is about people being ‘offended’ and climbing into the pen to spout their ‘woke’ opinions. Is this the new British disease? When top politicians are afraid to call a dog a dog? We should ask what the purpose of all that is?
There is a feeling in my bones that tells me that being ‘woke’ is not just about being offended. It is about power! It is just another way to exercise power to move the world into a direction only they want. But what sort of world would that be? Well, there are quite a number of books, stories, films that show what it would be like. When wives, husbands, sorry ‘partners’, tell on each other. When you have to walk on one side of the street if you were allowed out at all. Do I see here the beginning of a concerted effort that is pretty akin to a socialist totalitarian state? Is this a backdoor to just that and we don’t see it? Well, Flintoff and Piers are seeing it and so do I. It is about time that the ‘silent’ majority stops being silent and tell these ‘woke’ plonkers to sling their hook! Blimey, OK I am basically a non-original Brit but I love the idioms! I could have said ‘abandon’ but no, I like the stronger vernacular too much. Well, there it is, as some would say ‘It is what it is’ but no, it is not . When a Canadian PM wants the word ‘mankind’ banned, we really have to wake up!
Saturday, 10 October 2020
You just won’t think that sensible young people who are at university can believe that taking drugs is good for you. It can make you dance all night. Indeed it can, you can dance all night to your grave. It is beyond belief that humans, with the brain capacity they have, have this self-destruct button. An article in a national newspaper said, probably in response to the drug deaths in the north-east, that there is a celebrity cult taking drugs like cocaine believing they actually ‘help’ society. Taking coke that is from ‘sustainable sources’. Anyone who takes drugs and I don’t care who they are, have a nut loose in their brains. If you take drugs you are an absolute nutter and don’t deserve to go to university, or perform music or occupy a position in public service. Taking drugs means you are an airhead and cannot be trusted , even with granny’s crockery.
I have heard all the usual stuff, alcohol and tobacco are drugs as well. They sure are and can be just as devastating. Ask an alcoholic or someone who just cannot break the smoking habit? Yes, I have the occasional beer, I can’t stand wine, gives me a headache. Smoke? No, I don’t. It is quite simple, drugs just ruin lives.
Thursday, 8 October 2020
What is bl**dy wrong with the world today? You may ask. Politicians. Even Bojo, Boris Johnson our PM has succumbed to making policy on the hoof. Whilst taking a bath he thought ‘Wouldn’t it be good to have a wind turbine in this water? I’m the only one in here, plenty of room. I know, let’s build them all around the coast. That’ll do it’! Boris, once a blustering and inspiring chap seems to now have found the ‘dictator’ syndrome. Yes, we do need more ‘green’ energy, we need more of good, sound policy making though! Look at the ‘science’, wind turbines do not make a heck of a lot of energy. Find out what the national daily demand in kilowatts is and equate that with the average daily generated power from each turbine. I won’t bore you with maths here but apparently to generate what Boris proposed (or thought of in his bath) 30-40 gigawatts you would need to plaster the coastal waters with thousands more wind turbines. Would they supply the nation’s needs? Are you joking? They only would, if they flew hard all 24/7, still only supply at the most 10-15%! Not a very good policy then, is it Bojo? Please get into the bath quick and think up another policy. I know a few I had in the bath last night. If you’re interested make me Home Secretary and I will tell you how to solve the immigrants’ crisis. It will involve invading France but hey we are leaving the EU anyway? We have the best Navy and the best soldiers haven’t we? Well, I listened to the Defence Secretary who said something about being the best in the world. OK then, let’s go!
Friday, 2 October 2020
Having been born in the Netherlands I have been asked whether I am sorry about its past. I think the enquirer was referring to its slavery past. Yes, Holland as well as Britain, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal and Belgium were all engaged in this terrible trade and activity.
But let’s get one thing straight, I cannot change the past and nor can anyone else today. So, personally I do not feel guilty in any way or shape. I make no apology, for those times were different. In fact, especially in the UK there are castles, big mansions and estates that are entirely built from proceeds of slavery, one way or another. The wealth of some of our and other European families, even today, is attributable to slavery. But you cannot blame the present for the errors and mistakes of the past. BLM the acronym states Black Lives Matter, try to destroy everything possible that in one way or another was linked to slavery. Well, in that case please start dismantling the National Trust. Have a revolution in some European countries and throw out the royals and aristocrats. Frankly the whole thing is ludicrous. I am pretty sure that bending a knee or so is interesting but pretty useless. All across the world people are starting to take up positions of ‘This is us, anyone else is not us’. A dangerous state of affairs. It brings up the idea that some are better than others and can be dismissed as of no account. Precisely what slavery was about. The past is history. We learn from history, it is no good denying it ever happened or blaming humanity today for the wrongs of the past. We do not need to dismiss the Empire, it happened. The Empire is no more, we should adapt and ensure we do not repeat the mistakes of the past!