Monthly Archives: March 2011

Cohesion. Opportunities?

The Power of Nightmares
Politicians have needed to find new ways to develop cohesion, but who benefits. Is this the cohesion we want to see in a diverse society?
Cameron says multiculturalism damages the UK. Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy have made similar statements – as has has Trevor Phillips chair of the Equalities Commission!

Ken Livingston’s response (as Mayor of London)
Schools were given a duty to work for social cohesion in 2006. Teachernet was a substantial resource for schools, teachers and governors but this has been decommissioned by the present government. Nevertheless the duties of the 2006 Act remain in force and are restated in the Government’s website.

Watch the cuts. Miss the bigger picture.

I had intended to go to London yesterday to join the quarter of a million or so saying that “cuts are unacceptable”, but I wasn’t early enough for the coach and so went for the Chiltern service to Marylebone. I was warned that there was a coach service for a significant section where the line is being upgraded to provide a quicker service in advance of HS1.
I note that The Guardian is seeking a “cuts watch” section asking volunteers to monitor specific areas. Problem is cuts aren’t just cuts, they getting rid of public services to introduce something else. In Birmingham we are faced with two new “Free Schools” this September. They come unplanned but as a result to allow any Tom, Dick or Harriet to open a school and to do so with their own curriculum, staff, pay rates and conditions qualified or not. Is this just a cut? Of course not it is s complete change of ideology. A few years ago it mattered that we had a “National Curriculum” so that no one deviated from a narrowly devised nationalistic choice of “knowledge”. When money is the guiding factor you can teach anything -which could include any crackpot extremist agenda.
Yesterday the Labour Party and friends in the labour movement reclaimed the protest – even though they themselves uphold a programme of cutting, if not so far or fast. They do not contest the idea that a redistribution of wealth has meant that resources have passed into fewer hands, but then they were perpetrators of privatisation. Blair and co. followed a Thatcherite agenda to privatise more and more public services, including prisons. Did Thatcher dare do this?

The Nuclear Lobby

Information on the latest of incidents in Japan in the history of nuclear panic is emerging slowly and in a variety of versions. The Japanese government is advising people to close to the stricken power stations to stay indoors and to close windows. People of Tokyo are said to be unconcerned. Is that so? Governments of other countries such as UK and France are advising nationals to leave pronto. What do they know?
Much about Chernobyl was kept under wraps so as not to discredit the nuclear industry elsewhere. An earlier “accident” at the former Windscale plant in the UK in Cumbria was reported as a minor problem at the time. Although the British government went as far as renaming the reactor to help air brush memories away. The truth has taken longer to emerge. The “incident” was close to a major disaster.
We know that politicians past and present are involved in the “revolving door” joining powerful multinationals as advisers. We don’t want nuclear power, it’s dangerous for us and for our children. Those we elect are soon bought off with lucrative offers to exert influence on governments. The nuclear lobby is alive and well. You bet it will put a gloss on Japan.

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