Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Election Fever

Is anyone else excited? The sad fact is that noone really is outside of Westminster Village and the Media Circus. I won't get in the habit of quoting a Tory front bencher (particularly this one) but Liam Fox MP said today that the electorate were already election weary. It does seem that this election was announced two years ago, not two days ago.

Cameron, Brown and Clegg have gone big guns today to get their first message out there, to set out their stalls for the next 3 weeks or so, but to what end? All of the pollsters and media know-it-alls are throwing around the term "hung parliament" like there's no tomorrow seemingly setting us all up for no winner. The fact that Clegg is getting a mention is interesting in itself, the leader of the third party should have had his sun by now as the real countdown begins.

The most interesting factor in all the polling and second-guessing is exactly how many people will vote. If you were a not-so-bothered, politicians-are-all-the-same voter and you were being told that no one will win, would you vote?

It's going to be interesting.

It's been a while.

It's been a while. Oh dear it's been a while...

Saturday, 18 July 2009

What ever

3 more days. 3 more days and the summer is up. What a year! Taught some of my best classes ever (Y11) and hopefully the results will be good (remember to post them for me as I won't be there people, I will need to know while I am on honeymoon.) Yesterday was very interesting, saying goodbye to the tutor group for the summer was coolness, never had the experience of having a tutor group that is truely mine and seeing them move through a year in school- the previous one being Mrs Smith's (loser) group and all the craziness she did to them.

When the bell rings on Wednesday it will be awesome. Have no idea what I am going to do: apart from get married. Maybe I should set myself some challenges. Any thoughts? Are there still people who follow me blogging, apart from Suz who is the blog legd?

Peace for now:

One challenge: blog more.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009


I am sat blogging in my room wearing a t-shirt that says "Obama is my homeboy". This should be noted.

Today I came home I sorted through my post to find a leaflet from the British National Party. Obviously with all of the European elections in two weeks, all political parties are seeking votes, we last week had a flyer from UKIP. To see in my house a leaflet from the BNP made me shake with horror, had my local area come to a point where such a evily subversive party were allowed to walk on the streets. I feel like I am in Germany in 1933, receiving in the post a note signed by Adolf Hitler. Britain should be panicing when such hate mail is allowed to fall through letterboxes freely.

The other night they broadcast a Party Political Broadcast which I missed. I have just now watched it on YouTube. The first thing that grabs you is the amateurish nature of the film, my GCSE Media students could make a better film. The camera is shakey, the boom mic is in view, the party activists stumble over most of their words, it is stupidly bad. As Charlie Brooker points out in his blog about it, it is obvious why it is so bad, no proper media company would touch them, no matter how much money was offered. The most chilling thing is the words Nick Giffiths says, noting at once that his party would not support funding for projects "in minority" communities. Firstly, he is advocating a politcal areana where some are ignored and unsupported. His party constantly talk about the (white) majority who are forgotton by Westminster, so he wants to forget about a group himself- he is simply playing the same game. But the most chiling thing is that he is advocating starting ghettos. Hitler famously did this with the Jews in Germany, where minoriy groups were walled into parts of cities, monitored and forgotten. Obviously Griffin is selling himself on removing immigrants from the country, of "sending them back home", forgetting the fact they are home (most of "them" were born here and are second generation at least), anyone with an understanding of the movement of people and logisitics would realise this is not possible. What would end up happening if, god forbid, the BNP took power would be the realisation that this can't work and a second plan would be hatched which would involve another "solution"- see where I am going.

The fact is that extremist parties always grow in popularity in a time of political strife, and in particular economic problems. Before the recession we had heard from them in a growing manner, but now there is a surge in their place. No doubt when times are better we will give them less time and spot-light. The fear however is that people in Britain do not realise what they are letting into their houses through the letter box, on the TV and in theirs.


Friday, 1 May 2009

No one on the corner has swagger like us...

Poetry is an expression of the soul. I think we can all agree with that fact, and one of our greatest institutions in Britain has been the position of Poet Laurete. I mean, what is cooler than a National Poet? Even though historically it was to proclaim and celebrate royal events, it has become a way for the nation to express itself.
Today the third such person of this role of my life time was announced. I have always thought that the Prime Minister or President you were born under defines your life in some way (Thatcher and Reagan- two reasons to fight the establishment in whatever way you can.) I think that is also true of whichever P.L. you were born under. The holder of the chair when I entered in 1982 was Ted Hughes. He might not have been the greatest husband, but I am also sure that living with Slyvia Plath wasn't sunshine everyday. He was a great poet; he reflected Britain and Britain needed him. As a teacher I appreciate the work he did to establish a Children's Laurete.
The next person to take this position was Andrew Motion. He was modern, he was interesting but the biggest problem was he was unknown outside of the world of poetry and publishing. Don't get me wrong, I liked the work he did but he was a quiet Englishmen in a time when British poetry was being dominated by people like Benjamin Zephaniah. The greatest thing he did was to set an end to his term, to turn the job from a lifetime role to a set amount of years- perfect for the ever changing nature of the world.
Today Carol Ann Duffy stepped into the role. Anyone who did their GCSEs and A Levels in the last 15 years will know her and that alone is a perfect reason to choose her. She is modern (writing updated versions of fairytales and rap poems). She is electic (a writer of children's books). She is a she. Apparently 10 years ago her name was mentioned but it was decided Britain wasn't ready for a women ( a fact I bulk at seeing that two years before Hughes passed and therefore passed his role to Motion Britain was defined by the legacy of one woman whose image was worldwide- Diana- it would have made perfect sense to give the people a female voice.) We have been overdue this step. we in Britian as word readers and word teachers are still stuck in a long hang over of Dead White Men (tm) when the world has moved on: Appartheid has ended, Britain and Germany have both had female leaders, America now has a black President...Britain has a female poetic voice. I actually means a lot.

Monday, 20 April 2009


It has been a while since my last blog: Let's update with some mini-blogs...

BERLUSCONI: Count our lucky stars we don't have him running our country. The best soundbite from him whilst Italy was coming to terms with earthquake (while I was 60 miles from the epicentre I might add) was that the people who had lost their homes should treat the experience "like a holiday camp." Note to Butlins, when you are building your next resort, make sure there is room for a mass grave in the grounds.

4 WEEKS UNTIL YEAR 11 LEAVE: Even though I have 3 classes and will therefore gain 11 more free periods when they are gone, I will genuinely be very sad to see them go. Over Easter I definitely came to terms with the thought that some classes make teaching worth the aggro.

THE BRITISH ELLROY: Over Easter I read a book by David Peace, who is by far the best new author I have read in a long time. He is likened to the US writer James Ellroy because of this graphic over-use of violence, sex and swearing in his crime fiction. Worth the read.

NARNIA: Towards the end of the holidays I caught the second half (or maybe more) of a program on TV called The Narnia Code. It was probably the most interesting thing I have seen a long time. It was about a British academic who discovered a deep meaning to the Narnia books by CS Lewis. Beyond the Christian allegory he noted a link between the 7 volumes and the 7 planets of the middle age cosmic thinking (the planets being The Sun, The Moon, Jupiter, Mars, Mercury, Venus and Saturn.) The whole program was fascinating, for example: I have always thought that Lewis was deeply religious but I did not know he arrived at Oxford a militant atheist and was converted to looking at the world in the Christian way by JRR Tolkien. I was also delighted to find out that at least two of my Y11s had also watched it and I was able to discuss it with them (things like this back up by previous point on Y11s leaving, Over and Jones are legends.)

COOKIES: Cleverly nice.


Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Taylor Swift

It is interesting how music can draw out mood. I was having quite a good evening today, chicken burgers and hash browns for dinner, last few episodes of The Wire ( I am about to get to THE last one ever soon), jumped on the computer to check the emails and blog. My new favourite website is Spotify, the genius is that I can check out anything I want to listen to knowing it is a) free and b) not going to mess up my computer if I listen to it free. So today in Y10 media we were talking music and the name Taylor Swift came up. I had heard of her before but not actually listened.....Seriously, I love my country music but this is damn depressing. The most depressing this is that such a young girl is so unhappy. Country music is meant to be sung by old men who have had too much whiskey too many times, broken too many hearts and lost jobs too many ways, or my women who have been jilted, jolted or knocked around. It is not meant to be sung by girls who aren't even old enough to buy a drink in thier own country.....