Monday, 25 May 2020

Education, education, education, and not a drop to drink....


I often wonder whether those whom we have elected and those whom they appoint to do certain things actually have much of an idea what ordinary people think and have to deal with. I know that their words indicate they care but do they, really?
Take the case of this Corona virus problem. Of course it is a problem, people generally have no immunity and we might well ask why this has occurred at all. Like how was it possible to yet again originated in China? What are they doing there? But that question will have to be asked and hopefully answered another time.
But the virus is just one of the problems we face today, let’s take Wales, Wales is a much poorer part of the UK, and nothing like the London and Home counties areas. In Wales education is bedevilled by a quango called Estyn that ‘supervises’ standards. We might ask what standards and what are they based on? In my book standards mean the quality of the education on offer. But seemingly, at least according to Estyn they base standards on the attainment levels of pupils. In other words how many A’s have been acquired. It seems that they continually ask, nay demand standards increasing but without the resources needed to do so. Wales struggles with old legacies of ill-health, unemployment and more but let that rest for a minute. It should however be quite obvious that increasing standards in education needs more than putting pressure on educators e.g teachers. It needs an infrastructure to do so. You simply cannot tell pupils to learn who have no support at all from family or have no family. The social structure just is not there. These are facts that escape organisations such as Estyn and indeed I suspect government as well. Or if they know they simply ignore it.
It is true that some of the teachers are below of what is required. That is a problem that needs sorting by higher educators. It does no-one any good to have teachers who do not really want to be in the class-room. The battlefield which is today’s classroom is entirely of the governing classes’ making. Meddling politicians, poor decision making, and above all political dogma have decimated the quality of education in all fields. It is time to give the teaching professions the power back to educate and side-line political interference.

Sunday, 24 May 2020

Hurray! Politics are back! It's a Bank Holiday!


It is a wonderful day, of course because it is a Bank Holiday!. The world is slowly going back to what it was before. The backbiting, the politiking, the snide remarks, the opposition taking potshots at the government, minute by minute. Yes, I feel quite at ease again! And oh yes, I nearly forgot we are still home-chained, furloughed or whatever else this virus has made us suffer. Listening to the BBC’s continual ever droning-on reports about the virus, which is the only thing they now talk about, I want to throw the TV set out of the window but fortunately I have Freesat and can switch over to some other 100 channels!. A lot of repeats but hey, I had forgotten there was once a program called ‘Merlin’. Nice to see again.
Listening this morning to the reports on the main channels; Dominic, the same Dominic who advises the PM, seems to have a bit of trouble. Well, he might as well get used to it. The knives are out for him, no doubt. I suppose it is the old, old story yet all over again. These are the people who tell everyone else what to do but it seemingly does not count for them. However, I must say that if I had been in his place I would have done exactly the same! Looking at the personal issues, that of family coming first you can easily see the route he took to solve a problem. OK it was not next door but if you are in these type of situations you might not think particularly along straight lines. You act and you act fast. It might not be politically correct but you would not care a damn! Besides all that, from where I am sitting I see thousands of cars along the A4119 every week, people completely ignoring to stay home and waltzing off to the beach of public parks which normally they wouldn't do. But now, it's a virus holiday, you know! So, as far as I am concerned, leave the man alone, he is a pretty good advisor as far as advisors go, and Boris needs a strong, common sense guy who is not afraid to kick some buckets about. Keep going DC! Show the Guardian where to stick their papers. It’s just a lefty hack nowadays anyway. Cheers, here’s to DC!

Thursday, 21 May 2020

The new way of life to come?


I think it should be obvious by now that we are looking at a different economic scenario than we have been used to. In particular the enormous number of aircraft flying and now not flying. The benefits (not in employment I’m sorry to say) have been pretty clear. Clear skies, less, much less pollution. In other words we have to develop a type of economy that perhaps would look a lot more like it was hundreds or so years ago. More self-sufficiency. Why should apples or lambs meat come from 6000 miles away? In cities like Birmingham or London, there should now be electric buses with more space for individuals. Car-less city centres or even whole cities, with bike lanes for bikes and electric mopeds. We have to tackle urban pollution, and plastics in particular. Everybody has to take much more care about what and how they throw away stuff. We simply must respect nature and all the things that live. We need food but we don’t have to factory farm. In any case we should eat less meat. Much less.
I suppose there are no easy answers, whatever we do there is a negative side to it somewhere or other. We do need to find the right balances.
Humanity seems to be a strange abnormality on the planet. We use everything we lay our hands on, whether needed or not. When we find we do not really want it or need it, we simply discard it by throwing it anywhere convenient. A grass verge around a road will do fine, some of us think. Or flush our used cooking oil down the toilet, easy, out of sight out of mind. So, perhaps this Covid-19 is teaching us one thing, that everything that lives is important. Also that we do not have to live on a never ending roller-coaster. We do not really need to get drunk on a Spanish beach, there are plenty of beaches in the UK. It really is time to re-think how we want our civilisation to be. More, how we want to be on this planet. So hopefully we might in the end avoid making a planet of deserts, swirled around by seas that are poisonous for every living thing and devoid of fish. It is our choice, so let’s make the right one!

Political double speak


There are definitely two different languages spoken in Britain today. English and English. Let me explain. One is the normal English spoken by ordinary people and another is spoken by the political classes. By political classes I mean everybody who does not work but gets paid by the state. One speaks we blue collar workers understand, the other speaks in words no-one can understand.
The political classes speaking about the influx of migrants which continues unabated and now includes hundreds of small boats, dingies, inflatables of every kind come up with ‘Reckless acts facilitated by criminals that we are determined to stop!’ I had to look in a dictionary to figure out what was meant. Just meaningless drivel. Next thing is they are simply landed in Dover, even medically tested and moved to a nice spot somewhere green, free food, free accommodation, free medical care. All whilst waiting for a judicial something or other before let off to start picking fruit. So, nice words but as usual no real action to stem the original problem. Am I over-reacting? Am I an idiot? Perhaps I might be but I just wonder why everyone in the political class comes up with this English which does mean nothing at all. What class form teaches this, Eton? Possibly, there are classes in how to speak, how to obfuscate (see, I can do this as well! Obfuscate, to hide, to perplex), how to watch your back and how to put the boot in without someone noticing. There are definitely still different classes in this country. I know we are probably used to it but surely it needs changing? We need more ordinary people in government. We also need to take to task the greatest inequality of all, the pay and salary systems. It cannot be good to know that some who do not produce anything at all, like those who work in the financial sectors, can trouser up to £1,000,000 in bonuses? Well, enough of this, Boris might be the man to take it to task, I’m waiting!

Sunday, 10 May 2020

Where does the money go?


Quite a number of people are heard to say Virus? What virus? And yes it is difficult to figure that out as those who do not suffer any of the illnesses it brings or are young, or could be immune and even might have had the disease but did not even know it albeit just had a sore throat. But there are and were those of us who literally died. This obviously is a time of stress. The papers are full of reports of the failures of government, criticisms of the Civil Service, the way they seem to countermand the wishes of the government and its ministers, it is all laid bare. Now we have to endure the most stressful of times being locked down at home for fear of spreading the virus. Well, looking around I see as many cars on the road as ever. I see people walking about in threes and fours, many ignore the guidance of staying two or three metres apart. Young men just push past you in the shops, ignoring the yellow arrows on the floor. So, an obvious disregard for health guidance.
You will hear the old adage of ‘God has sent this to humanity in judgement for having turned away from him and in judgement of our immoral lives’. They probably see God pulling a lever in Heaven called ‘Judgement’, particularly after having heard the various politicians and their incoherent reporting of the facts. I can be a critical person, one of my pet dislikes is the failure of the Church, yes I mean all the Churches, their failures to discuss a world, its social aspects, the way we ought to live and treat the planet, but there is precious little. The point is that God, the way I see it, has in infinite wisdom created a whole Universe. Not just the Earth. That needed some basic rules, one of which seems very like cause and effect. Such as if I abuse the planet, it will wither, if I abuse my body I will get ill. If I abuse my neighbour there will be repercussions and harm might follow. This has nothing to do with God, the virus has nothing to do with God, it pretty well follows our careless attitude to health and cleanliness. It most likely started in China, whether through laboratory carelessness or market conditions , we do not know but thanks to our own lifestyles, travelling all over the world, living close together, meeting hundreds of people every day, globalisation, pollution weakening our lungs and so we fell foul of the virus. This might not be the last either, if we do not change we will continue to fall prey to ever more virulent diseases. So, God is not sitting in heaven dropping viruses all around but we should still take and think of this time as an opportunity. The positive environmental effects , decreased production of mostly useless items and tourism diminished, particularly to the alcohol sodden beaches of Spain, because we were halted in our tracks before the environmental catastrophe would have become unavoidable. Or perhaps even irreversible!
Edit - I seem to have lost a bit about financing after we go back to normal. Whatever normal means. I think I deleted it inadverntly. I will think of it and write another post.

Wednesday, 15 April 2020

Waking up is hard to do...


From time to time I watch some good reporting type programs on YouTube. Showing some sights in the world, China, Korea, Japan and a host of other countries. Showing the infrastructure. Well, my heart sinks looking at some of the things shown. Comparing that with what is around here in the UK. They build roads, new, railways electrified, everything runs on time, hardly standing in trains, plenty of seating capacity. The trains are supersonic or so it seems. 400 kms an hour and some don’t even have wheels! Like the Maglev. Over in the UK Wales is lucky to get second-hand old diesel buses! The roads are in such a state your car will need a new suspension within one year of buying it. Where does all our money go to?
Am I missing something? Let’s have a comparison exercise, we have the NHS, a great thing to have. It costs billions though, other countries only have a rudimentary system that mostly you have to pay for. In Holland they have a three-tier insurance system. The bottom tier actually is not worth having, it only allows doctor’s visits and rudimentary hospital services. No dental stuff. But it is a fair question, where then is our money spent? It does not seem to be on our infrastructure. Despite all those wonderful politicians mumbling on TV about how hard they work, may I ask – where and what for? Where is our Maglev? Plans for that would be mired in controversy from the very beginning. We, the citizens of our country will have to decide what we do really want. You know for a nation that started the industrial revolution, we got stuck at the magnificence of steam and oil whilst the rest of the world got electrified. We need to wake up and more so, wake up our politicians! One last question - where did all the money earned from North Sea oil go? I think I know but over to you readers.

Tuesday, 7 April 2020

Come back Boris......

Just to mention our prime minister (the best one we've had for some time!) is now also suffering the effects of the Covid virus. Let's hope, nay pray, that he will pull through! It would be terrible to have to go through all that electioneering, backbiting, arguments, telling lies and more, all over again. So Boris, get better soon, I'll keep my fingers crossed. At least you are in the right place, the hospital in London in which you are now is one of the best. And as an aside we have to be thankful for the people of the NHS, talk about putting your life on the line? It should be applauded. But humanity has a short memory span, when this is all over who will remember the unstinting service of the nurses and doctors? Well, for one I will! It is through them I am still here and not in a shallow grave or wafting about like a spirit. Look at what they do now - going to work knowing how their day may end. Soooooooo, here is a big hand from me.

PS I used an image from dreamstime.com, I think it's royalty free.