Up the psephologists.

Good Friday, is there a Bad Thursday? Wednesday was a good Wednesday until I read an email from from the HR company with the conclusion from a second occupational health physician based on the assessment by the first occupational health physician that ill health retirement is ‘not relevant at this stage’ for me. There were so many objections to their reports that I’ve sent off 2 emails to the company, for example that they have not even contacted the oncology team who treated me. As I sadly anticipated the bureaucratic bollocks begins in earnest.

As an antidote I’m continuing to read David Graeber’s book ‘The Utopia of Rules’ and his anarchist anthropologist’s take on modern bureaucracy. If you read this blog I think it’s a book right up your street David. It has so many gems I’ve marked many pages already, here’s an example on what bureaucrats do with all their assessing, auditing, measuring and so on:

“Market reforms only reinforce this tendency (it is a fact that the neoliberal ‘free market’ has caused a big increase in bureaucracy, any public servant will confirm this as their institutions ape private companies). This happens on every level. It is felt most cruelly by the poor, who are constantly monitored by an intrusive army of moralistic box-tickers (currently led by ids) assessing their child-rearing skills, inspecting their food cabinets to see if they are really cohabiting with their partners, determining whether they have been trying hard enough  to find a job, or whether their medical conditions are really severe enough to disqualify them from physical labour. All rich countries now employ legions of functionaries whose primary function  is to make poor people feel bad about themselves”

And this gets reinforced by tory twats and the like with their divisive ‘strivers versus skivers’ bollocks. What is so very sad is how many people buy into this nasty narrative, but then it is an explanation of why so many support that evil grinning gargoyle.

So the ‘leaders debate’ and little to get excited about but it provides employment for lots of talking heads and psephologists. It was good to see three women on the platform and they all performed well, especially Nicola Sturgeon. Hey Simon, there’s been a fair few mentions of the SNP standing in England, they apparently quite seriously considered Berwick.

Interesting news on Wednesday with a report of Clarkson’s epiphany and how he’s now supporting the Grauniad’s campaign to keep carbon in the ground. Here is a quote from the article on April 1st: ”

Following what he described as a “dark night of the soul”, Clarkson said he hoped to “regain the trust of the British public” by dedicating his time and financial resources to sustainable energy, road safety and forging mutual understanding and tolerance between people of different cultures and religions.”

Good to have you on board jeremy.

Last week at Jo and Den’s I pinched (as in squeezed with my fingers) some nettles testing whether they would sting, and they didn’t. Seemed like the neuoropathy has stopped feeling in my fingertips. When I tried it today I got stung!

There’s a new play, ‘The Inspectors Call’. written by a former head teacher Peter Campling. It’s about ofsted and in his view:

“we are sucking the soul out of teaching, and it is having a very, very damaging effect on the kids. Everything these days is measured. The stress of waiting for an inspection can be almost unbelievable, and dominates the lives of both teachers and pupils”.

Exactly what I’ve known for many years and experiencing inspections actually gets worse each time. It is no wonder there is a crisis in teacher numbers as recruitment is reducing and so many leave. Time that we had a proper look at education, perhaps set up a working party outside of the political parties and I’ll lead it. Read a piece by a Finn called Pasi Sahlberg about how Finland chooses it’s teachers. For example they do not naively think that the most academically able necessarily make the best teachers, like condom cameron and many others do. As Sahlberg states this is a myth and should ‘be kept away from evidence-informed education policies and reforms’. Instead the Finns have a system that works hard at finding the right sort of people who will become career-long teachers.

So a hundred or so kleptos sign a letter supporting the tories. Interestingly they kept the banking and hedge fund kleptos from signing as if we’d all be unable to see through their cheap electioneering. More thoughtful ‘business leaders’ like Jim Mullen of Ladbrokes has disassociated himself and the company from the letter. He has ‘identified the unpleasant tone of self-importance’ that such signatories have. For me the smugly corpulent sorrell typifies this type.

Keep on keeping on, love Duncan


2 thoughts on “Up the psephologists.

  1. Duncan, I read your blog every day! Although sometimes I have a catch up of a few days. Apologies for lack of recent comments. Been very bogged down with ‘form filling’ of late 😉 which is part of what I have to do. But we are automating it all and then will have lots of fun. The so called government’s systems will not be able to cope when we are filing thousands of forms every minute. Alas, they try to control us with these oppressive ‘forms’ and ‘regulations’, and, of course, the bad guys ignore it all so they are able to do more bad things whilst the good guys try to comply and then don’t have time to do good things. But the government don’t care. In my view the problems of the klepto culture are not a result of, say, capitalism vs socialism, if those terms even mean anything any more, but of this sort of ‘don’t care’ moral bankruptcy. Also, you can’t really make people do good things and stop them doing bad things through legislation, regulation and bureaucracy. If we remove or make irrelevant our corporate / government ‘leaders’ and their hideous morals maybe people will revert to following the human conscience, behaving like human beings again and helping each other. We don’t need effing rules set and enforced by the morally bankrupt who arrogate to themselves authority over us. Titles and uniforms must go. Is this too simplistic? So, I have ordered The Utopia of Rules. Graeber was interviewed by Brand in Revolution. Quite interesting. On other news, I read A Colder War. Quite good but not a patch on Le Carre methinks. Must remember that the quotes on the back cover are promotional! I recommend Carres’ A Delicate Truth’ – it is a total annihilation of New Labour. Love to you and Kate.


  2. thanks for comment David, hope you enjoy Graeber I think he’s up your street, surprised you haven’t seen him around. Agree with you on A Colder War, have you red any Robert Harris? He used to be mates with bliar then they fell out, think over Iraq. Anyway he wrote Ghost which is about a recently retired british pm. Love to you and Avril, will have to meet up soon now I’m getting a tad more human.


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