Thursday, December 29, 2016

Ed Balls Speaking Out for Capitalism

Ed Balls has a conversational style of writing which makes this book easy to read. However his view that there is nothing wrong with capitalism will not make him any friends in the Labour movement.

He elicits sympathy for his battle against his stammer. His view that anyone who disagrees with him is a Communist will probably elicit less sympathy. He criticises the Oxford Labour Club for discussing whether to have a hammer and sickle on its banner and complains they rejected his openly pro-capitalist stance.

The book seems to be more significant for its omissions than for its content. It gives some interesting and amusing anecdotes from the point of view of one of Gordon Brown's henchmen but glosses over the role of New Labour in turning the Labour Party from a party promoting peace and public ownership into a party promoting war and privatisation.

The Blairites wanted Labour and Tories to be as different as "left Twix" and "right Twix"..

He talks of his and Brown's "distress" and " "disquiet" over Iraq. He fails to explain why they did damn all to publicly oppose Blair's blood lust and subservience to George W Bush.

In his Education role he developed a useful skill. Every teacher organisation in the country was opposed to SATs and Academies. Balls managed to metaphorically stick chewing gum in his ears every time they spoke to him.

He coined the phrase "Every child matters" except the children of Iraq and Afghanistan who were bombed from a great height. Clearly they did not matter. 
Balls' sycophantic grovelling to the royal family is disgusting. He talks about the privilege of meeting the queen (the richest tax dodger in the land). He also expresses his (probably unique) view that Prince Charles' ventures into politics were of any use whatsoever.

Stick to the dancing, Balls. As Craig Revel Horwood might say, "New Labour was a disaster, dahling."

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Rail Safety

I remain to be convinced that driver-only trains are as safe as those where there is a guard. There are many case histories of people who have been helped by rail guards. I think Southern Rail have handled the dispute very badly and getting passengers to contact the rail unions to criticise their actions was scraping the bottom of the barrel. This is particularly so because RMT report that most passengers who contacted them supported the idea of guards on trains.
What they are not telling passengers is that the increased risk to passengers of DOO has even been recognised by the Rail Safety Standards Board (RSSB) which is funded by GTR and other Train Operating Companies. RSSB have said
“DOO does not create additional undesired events but may increase the likelihood of an event occurring or increase the severity of its consequence." That is not a ringing endorsement of Driver Only Operation. Yet that is what Southern Rail is incorrectly telling passengers.


Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Domain of Dreams in Ontario

Domain of Dreams has been added to the Teen Fiction collection at the Main Library Branch located in downtown Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

For those not lucky enough to live in Ottawa it is available from Amazon

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Book Burning and Closing Libraries

To promote the Domain of Dreams I have been contacting School Library Services throughout the UK. I tried the website but in fact many of the links do not work. In the end I found that this was because School Library Services all over the country are being cut in a short-sighted measure by the government and local authorities to save money.

If you think education is expensive, you should try ignorance.

Ignorant people burned books because they hate ideas. Are the Tories closing the School Library Service for the same reason?