Tag Archives: The ghost of Winston Churchill

Gove: “Won’t someone think of the children”?

The  government approach to the public sector strikes – particularly the teacher’s strike tomorrow – is quite simply, appalling. In response to the teacher’s strike, the government has resorted to the classic tactic of using emotional  blackmail and blatant misrepresentations to try and sway public opinion in their favour. All of a sudden, single parents matter when they never mattered to them before. The children – the pupils – are also being dragged into this. “Won’t someone think of them”? But these words are hollow and insincere and amount to little more than public relations gimmicks. That shouldn’t surprise us: since they came to power, the Tories have relied rather heavily on PR. I thought Blair was pretty bad for his addiction to PR but Cameron is a former PR man; he lives and breathes it.  Never before has a someone with a background in PR occupied the highest office in the land. It is a first. But his efforts to make use of PR looks a little tired and clichéd.

Teachers have gone on strike before, yet given the rhetoric coming from the mouths of the Tories, it would seem that this was the very first time that teachers have voted for industrial action. Teachers are now painted variously as “irresponsible” and “selfish” people who are more concerned with their unions than with teaching. Predictably,  right wing commentators like  the Daily Telegraph’s Hon Tobes and Katharine Burbalsingh have chimed in with their smears and dark mutterings of “leftist conspiracies”. I won’t bother to quote or link to their blogs but needless to say the blogs all attract the usual rubbish from their braindead readership about banning trade unions and how the ‘left’ is ‘destroying education’. 

Burbalsingh’s blog draws on this Torygraph article by Graham Paton et al. In it, he accuses the National Union of Teachers (NUT) of “bullying” headteachers into going on strike. The opening paragraph reads,

The National Union of Teachers (NUT) has written to schools throughout England and Wales telling them they could be in breach of employment law and health and safety regulations if they keep schools open during the pensions-related dispute.

What this paragraph doesn’t tell you is that Gove, resembling a weak-kneed version of Kitchener, has suggested that parents could volunteer to keep schools open. What Gove overlooked was the fact that anyone who works in a school needs to have a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check. Any headteacher who allows parents to act as ersatz teachers would be breaking the law. This is not about the omnipresent ‘red tape’. This is a matter of child protection. The NUT was right to warn headteachers of such issues. Indeed, just because someone is a parent, it doesn’t necessarily follow that they cannot be child-abusers as well.

Further down the article,

As tensions between ministers and union activists escalated, schools were warned against bringing in supply teachers to cover for striking teachers and told any moves to plug gaps in the timetable with permanent staff would be “very damaging” to morale.

But then who says that supply teachers aren’t and cannot be members of trade unions? It’s a terrible presumption.

The strike is only for one day but to hear Tory commentators talk, you’d think it was for a month. As someone pointed out to me the other day, no Tory had a problem with the days lost for the Royal Wedding. Indeed the Tory press has depicted the teacher’s strike as a regular occurrence. The last such strike was in 2008. This is what the Guardian said in 2010 when the NASUWT threatened to strike,

The last teachers’ strike was in April 2008, when at least 1 million children in 8,000 schools went without lessons after the NUT, which represents more than half of the profession, clashed with the government over a pay deal that it said would leave its members worse off. It was the first national teachers’ strike for 21 years.

That’s right, before 2008, teachers hadn’t voted for a national strike for 21 years!

The Sun’s tone is as you’d expect,

IT is time to make a stand.

 On Thursday, a hardcore of militant teachers will try to shut all Britain’s 23,000 state schools by striking over pensions.

 It would harm pupils and cause family childcare chaos.

The Sun says this cynical strike must not succeed.

Today we call on parents and the majority of moderate teachers to keep schools open.

 For decades, education has been in the grip of hardline teaching unions.

There’s one thing missing from this leader: an image of Winston Churchill giving the ‘V’ Sign. In typically hysterical fashion, the Scum have dubbed the strike “The Summer of Hate”. You will recall from this blog, that the word “hate” has now been conscripted to serve ideological masters. For years the US right in have used the word in the same way to claim the moral high ground. Is it childish? You bet it is.

Even Ed Miliband has said the strike is wrong. Are we still in the 1980’s? Milly Band says,

You do not win public backing for an argument about pensions by inconveniencing the public – especially not while negotiations are ongoing.

 A point has been missed by a country mile here. The government told the public sector workers what it intended to do (while labelling them parasites) and it had no time for negotiation. Only as the strike day approached did the government consider negotiation. Lest we forget, on 17 June, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander preempted negotiations between the government and the unions by announcing the coalition’s intentions for public sector pension ‘reform’.

This Tory-led government has been gunning for education since it came to power. They introduced free schools. They announced that they were going ask Niall Ferguson to rewrite the history syllabus, then it cancelled the Better Schools Programme.  “Won’t someone think of the children”? Won’t someone think of them, indeed.

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Filed under Conservative Party, Cuts, Education, Government & politics, Journalism, Media, propaganda, Yellow journalism

Nile Gardiner – visionary?

It shows you how long Nile Gardiner has been living in the States. He seems to have completely forgotten how the British political system works and, instead, conflates the US system with the British system. This is from a blog that he wrote for the Torygraph in May of  last year.

As I wrote in my op-ed piece earlier today, Nick Clegg is the first major party leader to run for Prime Minister on an anti-British ticket. He is filled with a self-loathing for his nation and its institutions, which came across in spades in his response to The Times letter.

First, no one “runs for Prime Minister” in this country. The leader of the party with the largest number of votes becomes the Prime Minister. Second, how is Nick Clegg “anti-British”?  While I have no love for Nick Clegg or the Liberal Democrats, this rant is quite bizarre and seems to come from the same wellspring as his Moonie faith. It’s the same kind of rant that he normally reserves for Barack Obama.

Gardiner spent the entire 10 days during the coalition negotiations fretting about a possible Labour-Lib Dem coalition. Little did he realise that the Lib Dems would hop into bed with the Tories – even I knew they would and I am not a well-paid political hack who writes third-rate articles for right wing magazines.

Here’s a taste of his paranoia.

Shamelessly, Gordon Brown is threatening to stay on as Prime Minister as late as September, despite overwhelmingly losing last week’s general election. In the meantime, Labour and the Liberal Democrats, according to Gordon’s grand plan, will stitch up a “progressive” government that will also include the SNP and Plaid Cymru. Once this government is formed, Brown will ask Labour to hold a leadership contest, with David Miliband as the likely front-runner to succeed him.

Simple arithmetic meant that a coalition between the Lib Dems and Labour wasn’t going to happen.  A Tory minority government would have easily collapsed. Gardiner persisted.

It is frankly the sort of farcical development one expects in Khartoum or Caracas, and not in one of the world’s greatest democracies

Khartoum? Caracas? Is he off his trolley? The short answer to that is “Yes, he is”. He chooses Khartoum simply because it is the capital of Sudan, a country that has long been associated with Islamism (remember ‘Chinese’ Gordon and the Mahdi Revolt?) and Caracas because it is the capital of Venezuela and it is where the US right’s Number One bogeyman, Hugo Chavez is in power.

On the very same day, Gardiner, presumably unable to sleep and sick with worry over the prospect of a Lib-Lab coalition,  wrote this blog. The headline screams “David Cameron should say no to a coalition with the Lib Dems”.

It is simply an illusion to believe the Liberals share with the Conservatives some kind of common vision for dealing with the massive debt crisis and saving Britain from a financial meltdown. They are, even more than Labour, the party of Big Government and endless state intervention, and are the enemies of free enterprise. Their socialist-style solutions will strangle the markets, force wealth out of the country, and scare away much needed investment. It is worth remembering Clegg’s pledge in the third televised debate to heavily tax banking profits and restrict bonuses in the financial services sector, the surest way to kill the City and end Britain’s supremacy as a centre of global finance.

“Socialist-style solutions”? In Britain? Gardiner is not a man of vision. Let’s put it this way, he’d never cut it as a seaside clairvoyant. The Petulengro family must be mightily relieved to hear this. But notice how he stirs up the paranoia, which he serves up with lashings of bile and hyperbole. That line “kill the City and end Britain’s supremacy as a centre of global finance” is meant to appeal to our collective sense of reason but quite honestly, I couldn’t care less if the banks pulled out of London. The British economy has recently been built on the daft products that have been dreamt up by City numbskulls looking for new ways to extend their greed. Those aren’t real products like ships or steel girders; they’re purely imagined.

Here he is on the Mellon Scaife-owned Newsmax Channel giving his ‘expert’ opinion.

His analysis is, again, wanting. A Conservative minority government? Is he serious?

In September, Gardiner made an almighty great cock up over prisoner’s voting rights as this blog points out. I quite like this quote,

The problem with Nile Gardiner is that he is a hypocrite. For a so-called expert dealing with the US led alliance against rogue states, not to see when the UK is itself a rogue state in Europe shows that he is either blind or as daft as George Bush and that he has the morals of Tony Blair going into an illegal war with Iraq and claiming he did what he believed to be right!

By the way, the Bush family was very close to Moon.

In 2008, this blog by Paul Waugh appeared in the Evening Standard. It’s about the former Labour minister Shahid Malik who was tricked into meeting with the Universal Peace Federation, a Unification Church front group. This is the most important bit,

Rev Moon was considered so dangerous that Michael Howard banned him from coming into the country in the Nineties. His views on Jews and homosexuals leave a lot to be desired to, it appears.

It was Michael, now Lord Howard, who was Home Secretary under John Major who issued the ban. Even though the Moon is banned from the UK, the Universal Peace Federation is allowed to continue its work here.

In October 2010, the baby-faced one was chuffed with Liam Fox, of whom he gushed,

Liam Fox is that rare politician of tremendous principle, who unfailingly places country before political self-interest. He believes strongly in the greatness of Britain as a nation, and that its continuing role as a global power depends upon her ability to project military force, including a capacity to fight alongside the UK’s closest ally, the United States.

It’s almost as if he’s writing about the US here and not the UK. What’s he trying to tell us? The headline says it all “Liam Fox is the Churchill of the coalition”. You see how he summoned up the ghost of Churchill, just as Thatcher had done in the 1980’s? This offers us a window into his thoughts. He uses Churchill as a mantra or a magical incantation that is intended to cast all demons aside – as though he were a shaman.  Trouble is, it is ineffective and makes him look desperate. His idol, Thatcher, tried to use the same trick and it blew up in her face.

Gardiner is an obsessive and a scaremonger. He’s also failed to tell us whether or not he is still a member of the Unification Church. However, it is unlikely that he’s left because Moonies don’t often leave the ‘church’ of their own accord.

Here is a quick look at what the Unification Church is and what it does,

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