Sunday, September 20, 2009

Labour Spending cuts, Ed Balls speaks!

Having gone from the ridiculous position of "Labour investment verses Tory cuts" to admitting that Labour will have to cut spending Ed Balls announced that he thinks he can save £2 billion in education. (The BBC has this here)

He does have some good suggestions, like cutting 300 staff in Whitehall who issue curriculum advice. This will have more than he thinks as well, as the rubbish they write has to be read by teachers and consumes an enormous amount of time for very little gain.

However where he is wrong is thinking that one head master can run several schools. The rational is there, because secondary head teachers used to be fairly well paid and are now ridiculously well paid, but the problem is a school needs a figure head and that is its head master/mistress. Having one super head over several schools and then a series of deputies will make a lot of schools feel rudderless.

Still, on the plus side, at least Labour no longer see our pockets as bottomless pits of cash that they can raid.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Interesting prison blog

One of the interesting things about blogs is less blogs like mine which discuss what is going on and more blogs like Night Jack*, and NHS blog doctor which give you an idea of what is actually going on at the coal face.

Well, here is Prisoner Ben's blog.

I have read all of it and found it quite enlightening.

Prisoner Ben murdered a friend at the age of 14, handed him self in to the police and pleaded guilty etc and got a tariff of 10 years. He has been inside for 30.

*We can of course thank the Times for ruining that one, the useless nasty MSM.

Gender change at 12? And now 9? Has the world gone mad?

Yesterday's Sun carried an article about a 12 year old boy who turned up o school dressed as a girl, and with a girls name.

Today the Sun has another story about a 9 year old in the same circumstances.

This is nuts.

If you read this website set up to help children and adolescents with gender identity issues you will note that very few of these cases are actually resolved by a gender change.

There is no doubt that these children are both confused and unhappy. Many "right on" people will think that it is great that they have parents and schools who are trying to be supportive. The problem is that these boys are just far far too young to understand the decisions that are being made. No one can make this sort of decision for them, and they are definitely far far too young to decide themselves.

When I said that the schools was trying to be supportive, I did not actually mean they were actually succeeding. They could not have announced it in a more cack handed way if they tried*. Meanwhile parents who are voicing concern on the Internet are being threatened by police. Its a bot of a shame there were none about to help out Fiona Pilkington and her family over 7 years of abuse, but then they were not a "right on" type of case.

Hat tip to Manwiddicombe for the link in the Sun.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Government spending cuts

It seems the debate has moved on from the very facile "Labour investment versus Tory cuts" to the merely somewhat facile nasty Tory cuts versus Labour's caring ones.

The reality is this:

Labour have been spending money like it was water over the last 12 years and have now run out. Thing is, its our money not theirs.

They seem to have measured success less by what they have achieved and more by what they have spent. We now have the best paid doctors in the OECD and spend more per head on education than most countries in Europe to less effect.

Now up pops Lord Mandelson who claims Labour must be wise spenders not big spenders. Well, up until now they have been both big and stupid spenders.

Take for example prison policy. One day a prisoner will be released. In fact pretty much every day prisoners are released. You will bump into them. Someone was running a course on comedy in prisons. The project was cancelled when Jack Straw got to hear about it. Now ask yourself this: Could you rather an ex con told you a really good joke or mugged you?

See what I mean.

The BBC has this.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Germany invades Poland! The 70th anniversary.

70 years ago today Germany invaded Poland, which started the second world war, the most destructive in history. One fifth of Poland's population would be dead by the end of the war.

Of course, the events that led to this point were already in place, like the annexation of Austria and the invasion of Czechoslovakia.

There are memorial services in Poland today.

The BBC has this.