Friday, December 24, 2010

Driving teachers?

A teacher at a school "somewhere in Sussex" was given a performance target of "driving" not cattle or the school minibus but other teachers!

They are clearly unaware of the traditional Sussex ballad:

Some folks as comes to Sussex,
They rackons as they knows
A darn sight better what to do
Then silly folks like me and you
Could possibly suppose.
But them as comes to Sussex,
They mustn't push and shove'
For Sussex will be Sussex,
And Sussex won't be druv.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Cable v Murdoch

Vince Cable talks a good war. He declared war on Rupert Murdoch to a couple of undercover hacks from the Telegraph. Then instead of going on the offensive he retreated with his
tail between his legs. The first war in history to be fought by unconditional surrender.

There have been calls for Cable’s resignation from newspapers owned by a certain Mr Murdoch. Now there’s a spooky coincidence.

Those who watched the debate on tuition fees will remember battling Cable’s role in that farce. Cameron and Clegg might as well have been pulling his strings as he mouthed their policies and tried to look sincere.

Interestingly the Jeremy Vine Show on Radio Two specifically asked listeners to call in with comments supporting poor Mr Murdoch. There were none.

Some recalled the lies Murdoch told about the Hillsborough disaster – lies insulting and demonising Liverpool fans. Lies which which the Sun later withdrew.

Others drew attention to Fox News which is a continual right-wing rant rather than a news channel.

Listeners also drew attention to Berlusconi in Italy who used his media empire to silence opposition to his corrupt repressive government.

Another said Dennis Potter had the right idea when he named his pancreatic cancer “Rupert”

Perhaps the best comment appeared on the Sky News own website: “I love SKY. What ever they say, i believe. Tell me what to think next Mr Murdoch?”

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Girl who kicked the Hornet's nest

The Girl who kicked the Hornet's nest
Steig Larsson
ISBN 978-1-84916-274-6

The Millenium Trilooy by Stieg Larsson is a fascinating series of books which deserves an audience beyond the devotees of crime fiction.

The girl of the title is Lisbeth Salander. She is a victim of horrifying childhood abuse at the hands of a respectable psychiatrist. She develops skills as a computer hacker which she uses to wage a campaign against men who torture women.

The 21st century slave trade – in which girls from the former USSR are duped into working as prostitutes in Sweden and subjected to rape and torture often by respected members of society – is one of the less-documented stories of the collapse of communism loudly trumpeted by the apologists of capitalism as “the end of history.” .

The books themselves develop as exciting detective dramas with a background in fact. They talk openly about the corruption at the very highest levels in Swedish society. The author was himself a campaigning journalist who exposed the dirty work of Swedish and international capitalism.

So it is hardly surprising that Salander's co-worker is the charismatic journalist Mikael Blomkvist. He is also portrayed as being irresistable to women. You might think this is a little wish fulfilment by Mr Larssen, I of course couldn't possibly comment.

The links between big business, the security services and neo-nazis are explicit in the books but all under the guise of fiction of course. Stieg Larsson himself met an untimely and unexpected death. Truth really can be stranger than

The first two books “the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” and “the Girl who played with fire” have been turned into excellent films and I for one look forward to the film
version of this one.

Journalism (noun)
telling a story the people in power do not want told. Anything else is just advertising.

Stieg Larsson was writing a work of fiction when he wrote the Millenium trilogy. The arrest of Assange for … well for being a journalist …. Suggests there is more truth in the fiction than you might expect.