Saturday, October 27, 2012

The six faces of Lara Croft

Letters to Lara

Now on Kindle
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The "Letters to Lara" project took about a year. Pupils at a school in Sussex wrote letters to Lara Croft. This is not all that different from a frequent activity in English Literature - pupils writing to a character in a novel or play.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Gove 's apology is not enough

Michael Gove has written an apology to his French teacher in this
week's Radio Times. How amusing. Apparently he was a revolting
individual in those days too.

Whenever a secretary of state for education goes, teachers heave a
sigh of relief and pray to St Jude, the patron saint of lost causes,
that the next one will be better.

We are still praying. Each one has new and wonderful "initiatives"
which are brought in without consulting teachers or parents and
usually against the advice of all education practitioners. Gove's
"Free School" fiasco is a case in point.

I am very pleased that Gove has apologised to his French teacher,
albeit thirty years late. I suppose that means that the rest of us
will just have to wait another thirty years. We won't all live that

In any case, as any teacher can tell you, an apology is meaningless without a change in behaviour.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Austerity isn't working

The government response to the TUC march on 20th October was "we don't care what you plebs think, we won't change our brilliant policy." So no surprises there then. This means that Mark Serwotka and Bob Crow may well get their way and precipitate a general strike. See if the patricians will listen then :)

Commentators have noted that Miliband was booed when he tried to turn an anti-cuts rally into a pro-cuts rally. People are not keen on "nice Labour cuts" - or as one banner said "Labour = same cuts with a different knife".

The trade unions should stop throwing good money after bad Labour policies and fight for the policies they believe in:

* make the rich pay for the crisis they caused

* give the people the welfare state they deserve.

No more kowtowing to polticians. People should not fear their governments. Perhaps it is time governments started to fear the people.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Try going into a Starbucks and refusing to pay for your coffee. My guess is that you would soon find the long arm of the law on your shoulder. They would not tolerate anything so thoroughly dishonest.

However, although Starbucks have been regularly telling their investors that the UK business is highly profitable, they have been telling the taxman a different story. Reuters has compared Starbucks' two versions of events thus: "To its investors, it sells an espresso - strong and vibrant. The UK taxman gets a watered-down Americano." Indeed they have been legitimately claiming that their business in the UK shows a loss while raking in massive profits.

Household names like Starbucks and most famously Vodafone have been using accounting trickery which would get them labelled scroungers if they were unemployed or disabled.

But have no fear. Liberal Democrat Danny Alexander boasted that he intended to recruit a hundred more Revenue men to crack down on tax evasion. What he did not boast about was the fact that 1500 Revenue men and women have been sacked since this government was elected. This is taking disingenuous mendacity to an Olympic standard.

Derek McMillan
Mid-Sussex Socialist Party


Thursday, October 04, 2012

Academy Thought Control

How would Govey react if a local authority school were to insist that all governors support comprehensive education? I imagine he would turn fifty shades of blue and explode.

However, Academies are quite within their rights to sack governors who do not fulfil the person specification "fully supports academy status".

This came to light at St Bede's School in Cambridge where this clauise was used to remove a long-standing governor and trade unionist.

Curiously another person specification for governors was "to be able to think critically." So it seems that on planet Gove you can only think critically if you agree with the Academy program.