Overheard in Westminster
"Doctors going on strike could be the worst PR day imaginable for us. Leak something man: anything. Just make sure its controversial and misunderstood. What's that? Education reform? Damn you're good! That'll have every public sector unionist in uproar and we can deny it all next week."
#uk #gov #education #gp #strike #gooddaytoburybadnews #politics
'Tougher' exams to replace GCSEs
Education Secretary Michael Gove plans to scrap GSCEs for England and return to O-level-style exams, the BBC understands.
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I’m delighted to see Mark Thomas new book “The People’s Manifesto” is now available from the publisher as a traditional paperback and an ebook. It’s as razor sharp as any of his previous books & TV shows, and stunningly diverse because each policy was suggested and voted on by the general public in shows all over the country last year. I was at the Newbury gig. It was very funny. Definitely a present to consider for all thinking carbon based life forms in your vicinity.
As a five year old in 1977, punks scared me. In the village where I grew up there were only two bits of graffiti that I can recall, one was the anarchy symbol, daubed large by the shoe shop, and the other was the word “sex pistols” enhancing the wall near the public toilets, just next door to the Baptist church. Continue reading
In March, the US federal reserve made a 29 billion dollar investment bailing out the collapsing Bear-Stearns bank. Last month the behemoth mortgage lenders Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac were underwritten to the tune of 200 billion dollars. Yesterday the seven hundred billion dollar bail-out bill on federal intervention in financial markets was rejected by the House of Representatives. Continue reading
The experimental petition system that Downing Street is running has generated it’s first 1,000,000 signature petition: it asks the PM to “scrap the planned vehicle tracking and road pricing policy” and it’s a great example of how public opinion is not necessarily good for the public. Continue reading
The Empire has backed the Jedi Council in its bid to be exempt from laws on adoption by families of fewer than three genders.
Jedi leaders from Coruscant to Endor say its teachings prevent its masters placing children with lifeform collectives that only comprise one or two genders and have threatened to close their adoption centres if bound by the Imperial Senate’s rules. Continue reading
When re-reading the International Declaration of Human Rights the other day, I found myself mulling Article 1 repeatedly: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.”
Shortly after, I found myself thinking the unthinkable. I found myself thinking Republican thoughts. Continue reading
The British Government has never been more accessible and the DirectGov website now boasts over three million unique visitors per month, a figure that’s rising by 10% each month.
Those users are primarily discovering public service information and not having an active say in government, but something is changing in a small but significant way: you can now petition the UK Prime Minister online. The dawn of digital democracy is upon us. Continue reading
BBC news have been extensively reporting that former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein has been sentenced to death, following his conviction for crimes against humanity. This sentence shows that a respect for human rights is not a part of the freedom that has been offered to the Iraq people by “the coalition of the willing”. Continue reading
Q: How many Essex girls does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: The same number as before, but the lightbulb lasts longer because its used less. Continue reading
Nuclear Energy is neither carbon-free, nor is it a secure energy, yet our government representatives appear to be drinking in everthing the Nuclear Industry offers them.
This morning on the BBC’s Breakfast Television programme we were treated to an interview with Alan Johnson MP, the Trade and Industry Secretary. The interview follows coverage of the the announcement that the government has ordered the Health and Safety Executive to assess all UK nuclear reactors. Continue reading
For me, the arguments against nuclear power-plants in their current form are overwhelming; the most significant of these being the collapse of the “nuclear is clean” argument (because of the apparent hidden CO2 costs of preparing the enriched uranium). Continue reading
I cannot let the landmark events in Kansas go by without a mention. The Kansas Board of Education have introduced Intelligent Design into the curriculum. Continue reading
So, George W. Bush turns to the Palestinian PM and Foreign Minister and says: “God told me to invade Afghanistan and Iraq”. Continue reading
I’ve not seen the work of Clay Bennett before today. Beautiful drawings, with biting political observation. Well worth a read. Continue reading
Chris Samuel, pictured (naturally) with a cup of tea here, has just posted this wonderfully cogent message regarding the importance of open standards in government IT. Continue reading
The UK General election is now only three weeks away, so the country is awash with billboard adverts and whole pages of newspapers bought for the purpose of swaying the public’s opinion. Continue reading