Thursday, June 30, 2011

Ed Miliband. He's not a scab. He's an idiot.

Ed Miliband.  He's not one of these.
Yesterday HarpyMarx wrote a blog post calling Ed Miliband a scab for telling Labour MPs to cross picket lines.

I think she gives him too much credit.  I present to you Exhibit A.

It's almost like he's got a piece of string coming out of his back tied to a little plastic ring.  I'm not sure who's stood behind him pulling on it though.

I've given my views on the way the Government has handled pension reform before.  That is my main argument on the issue.  The Government have got it wrong.

However, I'm also not sure what strikes will achieve, and I think possibly the unions have been a little too quick off the mark.  But I support their argument on pensions completely, and that's the most important thing to me.

Ed Miliband seems to have done it completely the other way round.  He's criticised the strike as his main line of attack, and then added that he also thinks the Government have been "reckless and provocative".

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Teachers Pensions Strikes - My article in @middlebrowmag

The Teachers Pension Strikes

On Thursday 30th June, two of the three main teaching unions – the NUT and ATL – will stage a one-day strike over changes to the Teachers Pension Scheme. My own union, the NASUWT, continue to fight the changes through the courts. As such, I’ve yet to be balloted on the issue, but I shall be cheering on my colleagues from the sidelines.

I don’t want to strike. I didn’t support the NUT when they went on strike over pay in 2008. But this is so very different. For a start, the ATL are going on strike with them. The ATL. This is the first time in their 127-year history that they will have participated in a national strike – not only that, they’ve never even had a ballot on it before.

Read the rest of this article at Middlebrow Magazine

Monday, June 13, 2011

Review: The Government Inspector @ The Young Vic until 9 July

On Saturday evening Laura & I went to see The Government Inspector at The Young Vic, near Waterloo.

Straight off the bat, I highly recommend it.  We didn't really know what to expect of the seats, just £10 for a stool in the gallery.  But, they afford an excellent aerial view, you can lean on the balcony bar if you get tired of sitting up straight, and the stools are well cushioned.  (Hooray!)

The play itself is a comedy about corruption, paranoia and mistaken identity, set in a small provincial town in Russia.  The town mayor hears word that a government official is coming to inspect the town, throwing (the corrupt) local officials into panic and confusion.

Meanwhile, Khelstakov, a foppish young layabout, dressed in the latest St Petersburg fashions, is stranded in the town's inn, having lost all his money in a card game.

He is then (unsurprisingly) mistaken for the Government Inspector, with hilarious consequences...

Thursday, June 09, 2011

A Bucketful of Bone Marrow


Look at me, going all two-posts-in-one-day on you!*

I should probably be in bed by now, but I thought I'd share this with you.

Just now on the Join Me forum, someone posted a thread about a young girl called Alice, and her bucket list.

Alice is 15 years old and has terminal cancer.  She started a blog two days ago about her efforts to complete her "bucket list" of things she'd like to do before she goes.  It's called Alice's Bucket List.

It may be just two days old, but her first post has already received 1057 comments.

It's not a begging site asking for donations, but one of the things on her bucket list is To make everyone sign up to be a bone marrow donor.

So here's a link explaining all about bone marrow donation.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

The Case of the Tripling NHS Waiting Lists

[Whoops!  I originally put Waiting TIMES instead of Waiting LISTS as the title, and in the body, of this post.]

On the way home from work this evening I read this on the Telegraph website:

It reports that after various NHS targets were scrapped by Andrew Lansley, waiting lists seem to have tripled in just one year.  At the time he said:
"We will now have to see whether patients' rights and publishing data are sufficient to prevent waiting times creeping back up."


Friday, June 03, 2011

Night of the Living Dead Aid

This morning I accidentally stumbled on this old blog post from 2009, about Dambisa Moyo's book, Dead Aid, and I thought it was worth resurrecting its rotting corpse and taking another look.

It was a bit of a ranty rambly blog post at the time, and I also forgot to follow up one of the comments, which linked to this radio interview with Moyo, which I've now listened to.

In summary of what I'd said before, Moyo used the book to sweepingly label all (governmental) aid as "bad" and feeding corruption, and so should be stopped.  She also had seemed to have criticism for humanitarian and charity aid.

What particularly worried me at the time (and is still my main reservation) was her apparent faith that the free market would simply "step in" and do everything that governmental aid is failing to do.  Apparently Chinese and other foreign investment will inevitably bring growth to African wealth.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Persistent Pigeon

This sign was on the front door three Saturdays ago at the venue where I go to the Saturday Acting Academy (which is very very good if you're interested in getting into acting - I'm on the intermediate course at the moment).

I never got around to posting it, and the following Saturday the sign was gone and the door open.  Then last weekend the sign had returned.  I'm sure it's only a matter of time before the pigeon learns to open doors, like the velociraptors in Jurassic Park.  Clever girl...

I won't know if the sign is there again for this Saturday's session because I'll be auditioning at this place in Wapping for an evening course from September.  Eep!