Just back from Shaftesbury, had birthday lunch with Kate’s aunt and uncle (Margie and Richard). We were in a very popular place called the Salt Cellar at the top of Gold Hill, great views. Gold Hill is mainly famous for the hovis ads, which is a bit sad really.

Must say I’ve taken a little dip the past couple of days, probably a bit of a cold. Throat more sore and keep having sneezing fits, which is a little weird. Also those who know me know that my sneezes are somewhat volcanic.

Thanks for comment Jo, just read link ‘Living Within Justice is not Living With Injustice’ by Librarian Shipwreck (it’s on WordPress) and has some interesting stuff especially about lack of respect for ‘the other’. Respect has always underpinned my way of being and my work as a teacher, since I’ve been a sentient being I’ve not bought into the racist, misogynist, class ridden ways of much of our media and become more aware of how those with power too often resort to promulgating fear and disrespect of the other. What I feel now is anger at the powerful and very wealthy for what they have done and continue to do, I have no respect for them, they only deserve ridicule, contempt and a pitchfork between the shoulder blades for they foster ignorance.

Watched Adam Curtis’s latest documentary ‘Bitter Lake’ on i-player last night. I love his style, the way he takes a premise then moulds and develops it to try and reveal something greater. Also the way his commentary is minimal and he uses such a range of visuals: from Carry On Up the Khyber to archive newsreel to home movies all thrown together in a montage of images. He uses Afghanistan as a centre of events, which in many ways it has been for quite a while and represents how our leaders start out by trying to present situations as simply good versus evil which soon unravel into unresolvable complexity. Also that Roosevelt’s deal with the Saudis after the second world war (on Bitter Lake) has had many unforeseen and unfortunate consequences, and added to the complexity. It links with  ‘Living Within Justice is not Living With Injustice’ as both describe how mythologies are presented by our leaders, such as the simplistic ‘good versus evil’, and that they soon unravel.

bliar’s myth that we were the goodies fighting the baddies in Iraq has soon unravelled and he’s seen as a war criminal by many. I’m also just reading Ghost by Robert Harris, he used to be a mate of bliar but later thought bliar suffered from a ‘messiah complex’ and became too obsessed with money and the kleptos. In Ghost a ghostwriter is employed to write an ex-prime minister’s memoirs and whilst doing so becomes embroiled in the ex-pm’s indictment for war crimes. I now have this weird juxtaposition of reading about extradition and torture in the book and watching and listening to descriptions of the same on Curtis’s film in the same evening. Weird.

But I, like I’m sure many others, try hard to hold on to stories and myths and that many of us have quickly latched on to the election in Greece. Of course there is the obvious danger that we invest too much and will soon be disillusioned but for now it gives us hope that there is some alternative to the austerity narrative and tory bollocks for example.

Forced myself to listen to condom features cameron on the toady programme this morning and his continuing promulgation of the tory myth. Makes me so angry that when one actually knows the facts and evidence almost everything he says is a fabrication, but I suppose as the Librarian Shipwreck writes: “It is rather fascinating the extent to which people can become accustomed to living with injustice”.

Following on from menstruation in sport (and Michelle Hanson) did you know that tampons are taxed as luxury items! Only women bleed, but men set the taxes.

Paul McCartney looks weird.

Just read the report suggesting the government’s academy programme for schools isn’t performing as well as they claim, no surprise there. They interviewed some geezer called Greg Martin, head of Durand Academy in London. He’s trousering a lot of money for himself, well he is a ‘star’ and worth it. Last year he got £230,000 for being a head and received £165,000 from a company that developed some of the school’s assets creating a private gym. Days get sadder when even headteachers become kleptos.

Anyway one comment about this caught my eye: ‘Parental attitudes and also the wider popular and peer-group culture are crucial. Schools can only do so much. A greater problem is the anti-learning, anti-intellectual popular culture in Britain, and unfortunately, it’s been around for decades.’ As a teacher I’ve often been lectured to by others about teaching and teachers whose qualifications are that they were once pupils at a school and maybe have a relative or friend who is/was a teacher. Armed with this extensive knowledge and understanding of teaching they proceed to slag off teachers. They are also often anti-intellectual themselves and have developed a strange aversion to learning. Obviously the schooling they received has played some part, maybe they went to a secondary modern school learning at an early age they were educational failures or maybe a faith school where they were abused one way or another. Whatever the reasons it’s sad, especially sad for their children who might continue the cycle of ignorance and are likely to, as Librarian Shipwreck states: ‘choose the cheap distractions put forward to lull us into inaction’.

So we come full circle, this circularity that keeps so many of us in a state that the kleptos and BBs are so happy with.

Manifesto 71:

  • elevate and celebrate education and respect teachers and teaching such that we truly start to eliminate ignorance.

PS I must be getting old as there’s another discussion about the Archer’s scripts dumbing down, feel like I’ve heard this before many times.

Keep on keeping on, love Duncan.


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