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An atrocious radio interview…

The performance this morning at 08:45 of Amol Rajan was atrocious, I used to enjoy him on the Media Show but his personal qualities are proving insufficient to be fronting early morning news on bbc r4.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amol_Rajan

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006qj9z

Amol Rajan was interviewing Steve Barclay and made a complete mess of it, I would hope his bosses tackle this horrible treatment of Steve Barclay; this is a new low, is not acceptable. In my opinion Steve Barclay was quite in his rights to abandon and walk away from this horribly ‘loaded’ treatment. Steve stuck it out much to his credit.

I think there needs to be an inquiry and there needs to be an apology from Amol and from the bbc for this.

Amol needs to realise this is not a gladatorial engagement, you don’t pick up points for destroying your ‘enemy’ and you certainly must not promote your own emotive bent when the format is principally to deliver current news in an unbiased intelligent manner and in this case allow the interviewee impart of their best. This is not the place for a tabloid shock treatment.

In my opinion the UK sort of ad hoc muddled through with covid, in all fairness we were completely in the dark and anything like ‘lockdown’ was at first contemplation a real shock to contemplate and seemingly alien to anything any of us had experienced. We knew there would be casualties, this is sad and lamentable, but such is life (and death) and covid. Death I am afraid stalks the Earth and will take the vulnerable.

I see now we have a media bandwagon of stirring up passions with ‘accusations’ of groupthink and the leapfrogging to new insights all by means of hindsight. Of course hindsight will temper and modify our opinions, how else can this be, it will provide ammunition for critics but as stated already at the time in my opinion we mostly did the best we could in those uncharted waters. Better then than the USA under fairground trickster trump and the extraordinarily timid Dr Fauci and seemingly so-disengaged Deborah Birx; trump we may remember dumped the Dept for dealing with pandemics the first week he entered Office; or at least dumped by those pulling the strings, I doubt trump would ever have an opinion of anything other than his own self.

If learning from the past is so much in vogue among pundits then how was it of the foot and mouth crisis of twenty years ago the guidelines and basically the manual of operations learnt and devised from the previous foot and mouth thirty five years earlier by the Duke of Northumberland was totally ignored! Important lessons and methods such as burial on site being totally ignored. That particular Duke was very highly regarded, I doubt anyone knew more of husbandry and correct farming practices.

Personally with unfolding covid it jarred on me that mass event gatherings were allowed to continue for so long.

Likewise it seems to me inconceivable that some care workers were allowed to continue WITHOUT the covid jabs.

Dido Harding and the Track and Trace I think needs some greater scrutiny, the costs were bizarrely high yet a trifling twenty quid a week to the poor the Government seems ‘so important’ and needs to be cut in such a cruel, petty short sighted way; the longterm cost I’m sure will be far higher than any twenty quid.

Here we are with this mornings reaction … https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/uk-58880971

(However, jarring to see Cummins with his worn out violin being given a soap box to whine from, yet again).

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Boris, lorries and food…

If Boris cannot match drivers to the necessary requirements of an adequate operating capacity for this countrys food needs then what the heck is he doing managing this country?

Can he be trusted or can he even comprehend the necessary fine detail and sophistication of fiscal policy, the control of money supply and inflation, of effective financial management, of international relations, ie complicated stuff ad infinitum etc etc all bound up with understanding nomenclature and terms that I cannot comprehend? The last few days we have had daily re-runs of ‘crisis what crisis’ when in fact the first requirement to solving anything is to realising there actually IS a problem.

Increasingly when I see and hear Boris I cannot help but recall some bumbling inept middle or higher rank military man.

The highly toxic and disadvantageous mix of Brexit and shunning of all European hired hands is an absolute recipe for disaster but yes we certainly walked into it eyes wide open. Farage and any other brexiteer you can think of have certainly landed us into a complete mess, setting the clock back fifty years.

The Tories talk of ‘levelling up’ but as every day ticks by there is nothing other than an increasing inequality, a blind halfwit would surely be able to ascertain of this. A case in point has been the withdrawl of the £20 regular covid payment, being withdrawn we are told ‘to save money’ but this so-called reason is complete nonsense, the hardship, anxiety and fear engendered by this measly withdrawl of an assistance payment will result in far more than any twenty quid per person in future spending to help the poor and needy. Yet it is only now that furlough payments are to cease, an expense that could have stopped even months ago. A bit of a joke considering present day mobility, there must be many people back to working full time and pocketing the furlough money. Another state sponsored scam…..

To compound Tory stupidity as well as announcing stopping the £20 covid payment Boris and team announce ‘new measures’ to help the poor ie another form of payment to look for. Surely if all is ticking over why the heck introduce yet another with set of hurdles with all the attendant stress and admin costs of starting all over again from scratch! Loony is the only term for Boris & Co. Madness. All of this when we are staring into the prospect of inflation of the likes we have never seen for many decades even for the simplest things as food and heating.

Why is practical wisdom and the foresight of experience so unfashionable?

Another quite blind and stupid idea from Boris and his team of which Rishi Sunak the Chancellor seems adamantly keen are the cuts in Overseas Aid, this again is madness. Imagine in your mind projects and programmes that would be abandoned, food, medicine, healthcare, schools, assistance to self sufficiency, birth control, education, equal rights …. all scuppered by the ‘levelling up’ Tories. I’m sure China would be delighted to step-in, if we in the West are so stupid then good luck to them. Very much a case of out of sight out of mind with Boris and the team I think, this could in fact suit them admirably as a campaign slogan.

If I were in charge the first thing I would do is hunt down those big corporations that are so skilfull at tax evasion, the Amazons that are destroying the multivarious web of stockist to end user network that has existed for a long time, their relentless market capture.

Additionally here in the UK we have an epidemic of individuals operating for tax purposes as Limited Companies, this I think is as obscene as any tax avoidance by say Amazon. Already this typical individual IR35 is on ‘big money’ and somehow pleads themselves as a special case somehow not needing to contribute as all the rest of us…. quite sickening. Yet still expect a legal system, Police, education, healthcare whenever it suits them! IR35 hypocrites I think is the correct term.

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I was steam-rollered, jackbooted and literally forced into …

… having to accept against my will a ‘condensing boiler‘ most certainly against my wishes and remember its me that foots the bill (for in this case something i did not want) ie a replacement central heating boiler of the newer ‘condensing type’. This would be say eight years ago and cost me £1,700 GBP.

When the young man left after totting up I’m guessing £700 for ten hours labour (which is more than double any hourly rate I have ever charged never mind pocketed as a wage, in fact three times the amount on invoicable monies alone) …. I was left with gaping holes to fill and particularly with no immersion heater for instant hot water and the facility to air our clothing etc in the aptly named ‘airing cupboard on the upstairs bedroom level! Its particularly jarring to me we lost the immersion heater upstairs.

In winter it kept upstairs warm too, taking the edge off the cold. maybe indicating an inefficiency, but appreciated and of course now lost.

Point of this post and something that i only realised yesterday is that the super-duper pile of crap called the condensing boiler is in fact now seeming itself as out of date and backward when with the modern push to eliminating gas fired boilers now elevates the long uninstalled immersion heater I reckon as looking so much more attractive (its electric not the now shamed gas) and attractive to the ‘powers that be’ the authorities and the bright bunnies running around oh so desperate to install the latest. I wish them well in their Spanish villas and three car families and unfettered consumerism fuelled by decades of insisting on the installation of gas fired condensing boilers at very juicy hourly rates, certainly not a lifestyle of mine. In actual fact i hope they fall flat on their face and i look forward to once again having an immersion heater in the airing cupboard.

copyright climate-change-briefing.com 2021 E&OE

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Who are you on the web?

I know folk that elaborate and near fantasise whilst i have to stand there in all amicability listening to their preposterous stories, previous roles in employment, outlandish car insurance claims, bogus university courses and general misinformation.

So to what extent do these bright bunnies fantasise online? Who do they align themselves with? What is real if anything? And what image do they wish to project?

If all they indulge in is a form of role play on sites thankfully I’ll never click then so what, thank goodness I’m bright and quick enough not to get mired down in such nonsense, neither do I have such a great need to belong nor to appear anything other than what I actually am.

But there are ‘serious actors’ to use an irritating and trendy expression, we had the predictable story this morning on bbc radio 4 news of surprise surprise the Russians with thousands of bogus accounts have been planting masses of phoney material onto discussion pages of various websites, masquerading as concerned comment from US citizens but just wishing to skew what should be real opinion; I suppose Ivan wanting to demonstrate the degeneracy of the west and our values are failing. All comes back to the useful ‘nonsense vehicle’ trump and how Ivan hitched a free ride culminating in the dreadful scenes of Jan 6th. Another instance of the web gaining too great a hold over what we read, what hopefully we evaluate and spit out again.

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‘ol Woodenhead …

I’m sorry to be saying this, yet I’m sure many millions of people are saying this also but recalling Bidens disastrous speech a couple of weeks ago on insisting to honour trumps ‘arrangement’ to back out of Afghanistan and specifically stating he did not want any more US service personnel to lose life (ie last occurred three years ago) … this will as I’ve stated already go down in infamy, it will echo for a century or more as totally a stupid move, as totally woodenheaded; of course assuming as if we were to be an extant species for so long a time period in the years ahead.

Lets face it, so much of what trump pushed for and was mostly unseen from general view for example to promote his ‘trash-crackpot-take’ on any or all situations ie environment, equal rights, healthcare, etc etc ….. we can see there can not have been anything trump couldn’t keep his grubby hands away from; yet I’m assuming the Biden administration has over-turned a great deal of the trumpian destruction, so why and so why has Biden pressed ahead with the insane withdrawal from Afghanistan?

The great obstacle appears to be in it not being easy to over-turn the trumpian envoys disastrous ‘Art of the Deal’ secret meeting/s with the Taliban which means I’m assuming Biden has to honour the pot of crap negotiated by an imbecile called trump or more likely his whoever representative, which I increasingly wonder was greenhorn Jared, but of course it was whoever flew out there ‘and did the business’. Now on bbc radio news yesterday and today we hear as how little or nothing was extracted for Western advantage but it was all a complete giveaway to the Taliban!! I’m surprised they didn’t give ’em all goodie bags stuffed with ammunition and codes and cyphers and other such advantages.

But Biden is not trump, or hopefully should not be.

So could we assume mayhem and future decades of turmoil in the Middle East exist now because of a hardly educated over advantaged low IQ son of a crook called Jared? This indeed has the hallmark of trumpian callous unthinking ineptitude and shallow gloss, wrong man for the wrong job, but looks okay for the camera.

The Taliban got it all, the West retained nothing. This is blasphemous in its stupidity, an influencing and intelligence platform cast to the wind.

Why are our so-called leaders so poor?

So who is the greater woodenhead here below, one obviously made of wood and another, taking an utterly woodenheaded direction …

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The news.

The news saddens me, as a collective effort we seem so hopeless. For instance….

Pulling out from Afghanistan is insanity, a tragedy, a betrayal of all the lives lost, work and effort on all sides. Methinks quite what is the agenda, the reason for this?

The UK lockdown with massive financial handouts (and remember some folk got nothing ie black economy workers, the inept, and a dear friend of mine) can only trigger a dreadful inflation, but also the money will be squeezed from elsewhere. As shown on the news in the last few days, nurses are hardly rewarded for all their selfless frontline effort; Priti Patel is most reluctant to loosen the purse strings and the police are to get nothing, in effect to recede in income.

Dominic Cummings lurks in the shadows to occasionally be caught in the limelight flashing his traitors dagger, so clever a man with his 20/20 hindsight yet his own tenure often created little more than discord and change for change sake; to rattle and to provoke needlessly. He thinks he is so clever, few others think likewise.

Herd immunity in the UK has crept in through the back door, Matt Hancock would never have allowed it, makes one wonder if it was engineered he would be got rid of for this purpose. He has my utmost sympathy.

Does anyone talk about transmissability and how the young are letting us all down; ie throngs of excited sub-thirty year olds here in the UK insisting on raves and partying for no purpose other than hedonistic thrill once that whistle blew at midnight. A ridiculous sight of people supposedly going on toward adulthood and right on the cusp of the delta variant taking hold. Madness and a sad indictment of Boris Johnson, when books are written he will not look good. My routine of masks, gloves, keeping distance and hand washing will remain. Already numskulls get too close at the checkout, I can see I will be speaking my mind on this.

UK track and trace is being allowed to run rampant, far more damaging than the thing it is supposed to be stopping. Is this the mark of yet another Dido Harding disaster?

UK death stats covid linked are too crude, of those able-bodied economic contributors what is their real number? There needs to be clear demarcation between the fit and those never able to withstand such a dreaded virus anyway.

Because of covid vast amounts of people are behind schedule for treatments, operations, or their cancer being attended to. Its tragic dedicated professionals and expert teams have not been allowed to get on with what they do best.

And why has the need to cope with climate change seemingly fallen off the page? I read little news of arctic warming, ice loss, of permafrost turning to mush and the ultimate extinction trigger of methane release. Theres a trickle of news re forthcoming COP but little else, very little pressure if any for us to change lifestyle and values. Commutes, SUVs, holidays abroad and burger consumption seemingly all go ahead at full tilt.

Forthcoming COP26 in Glasgow will be another melodrama of fine intentions but of insufficient real action. The frustration among scientists and informed individuals must be horrendous and no doubt sadly the IPCC will again demonstrate how deaf they are and how far they lag behind. Poor Greta, she must be tearing her hair out at how hopeless we all are. I’m wondering, the IPCC appear so slow they would be better classified as a ‘historical society’ that only exists to write up, record and ponder long after the event.

copyright climate-change-briefing 2021 E&OE

ps. I nearly forgot, the travesty of cutting aid from the UK to countries most in need. Can the bods in charge not realise or see in their minds eye how vital this money must be? Scandalous!

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What kids need …

… and how we can educate them formed the basis of this mornings 0900 BST prog on bbc r4.

BBC Sounds – Rethink, Rethink Education, Is the current exam system fit for purpose?

Amol Rajan did an as usual excellent job as MC and the sage words of Kenneth Baker were the highpoint. The other contributors seemed not able to place rigour or logic upon much of what they said. Sometimes they descended to nonsense, not realising their silliness, throughout all this Amol was a beacon of equanimity.

As usual anything ‘rote’ was ridiculed as un-necessary but how else can we get a body of knowledge into ones noggin, but also a term neglected was of ‘understanding‘ … it is understanding that should be the result of an education, whether it be a day or a decade. Equally derided these last forty year has been a practical hands-on education ie working with materials and to improve skill, Kenneth Baker particularly realising the importance of practical work for the majority of non-academic working class kids. I went to Technical College the first of any of my bloodline and it suited me fine as day release for five years, it was sufficient.

In the bbc r4 prog today why was it that ‘English’ was lauded as such a good thing to age seventeen, at that point I would assume most kids would find it excruciating. Book-learning suits the academically adept but for the ordinary an education needs tweaked to include manual skills and hand-eye co-ordination, practical dexterity and problem solving combined with knowledge acquisition. It may be old fashioned ie ‘the dovetail joint’ but it lays the foundation, the bedrock for more exalted slick and technical activities.

Again, realise with the web kids know less than ever.

Are the Educationalists to blame for all the endless and ultimately pointless ‘re-jigging’ of curriculum?

We have a system here in the UK where the old style wood and metal practical work has been discarded. I personally feel this is outrageous and does a dis-service to those pupils with any inclination to this activity. I remember at our north country Secondary School circa 1969-74 anything ‘sports field’ or gym was lauded with so much kudos, yet my own excellence (and speed) at wood, metal and tech drawing brought near zero standing. How come I never got to shout at anyone that couldn’t do the task or got it wrong? Goodness enough times as freezing cold out of doors this was the only time anyone noticed me, to ridicule. Yet I was master of my craft when indoors and using my hands. But also the practical trades are also about problem solving, building a body of knowledge, of ‘learning’ and each time aiming to do better, to be neater, less flawed. Apart from throwing a clay pot probably the only opportunity to develop minds eye co-ordination, of visualisation. Educationalists have seemed adamant in the last forty years to diminish and throw to the wind such fine attributes. And we wonder why the UK struggles to be a first league manufacturer!

Lets face the truth, for past the age of fourteen is there anything touched upon at school that was of any use to them whatsoever, I mean for ordinary folk? Nope!

trump deliberately shreds climate good sense…

Yup, the Clown in Chief wheezes and chunters onward strapped into his dodgem car of  stupidity ….

parp parp bang bang crash collide !

trump and his quite evil disregard of impending climate change is a danger, a gross refusal to get savvy and wise up to what needs to be done. a supreme example of ignorance. I cannot even say pig-headed, its an insult to pigs.

Google loves me i can tell, I seem to have completely disappeared from what previously had been first page image results when I googled for ‘chemtrail UK’ or ‘UK chemtrails’ …  I think its from pasting a youtube from an active critic of chemtrails that indeed has himself been dropped / banned by youtube and google. One gets the feeling google is sucking up to trump just a little bit too much. Time will tell. from this one can assume that anything ‘subjective’ is being policed and freedom of opinion is being hampered, again, George Orwell predicted this.

Heres an update on the trump administrations laundering of truth, the refusal to listen to experts …

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2019/05/even-steve-bannon-thinks-trumps-latest-climate-change-plan-is-too-extreme

 

 

 

The limits of knowledge …

…  its quite a high falutin’ term and has been used many times in the past, but mostly toward ‘advanced thinking’ by academics and philosophers but in my post here I mean it toward how it is often so difficult to put across in a few words areas of interest that I think others should also explore, ideas for children to build upon with activity and focused attention, a potential source of interest, joy and knowledge.

The limit of knowledge is that they are not interested and parents often now will view it as if witchcraft, ie the unusual, the less trodden pathway !!!

A case in point is encouraging young people to get a little more art and craft orientated in a practical manner, to explore images and artists from the past, to get practical  whether its cutting and pasting or sketching or modelling, clay, plaster whatever. To develop manual dexterity, to open pathways of thinking and co-ordination.  If by age ten they are not so inclined or have never known such activity then its not a given they will show any interest whatsoever in their lifetime. The curse of the screen has in a decade destroyed centuries of skill development that each child could experience so that in life they can have some facility with their hands, sketch, visualise, convey their meaning. Nursery rhymes, simple songs and poetry have for most children fizzled to nothing, become non-existent, needlework, helping with mother… all gone. Knowing the latest pop video release or minute nuanced trend in pop fashion is not building or development for rounded able citizens, just candyfloss, so much smoke and mirrors based on fantasy, endless escapism.

Looking at the Times newspaper April 29th p.29 print edition we find not even experts can agree, for instance counter to any common sense the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health decided this year there was no evidence that screen time itself was harmful!! This beggars belief. April 2019 the World Health Organisation injected some sanity to ask parents to greatly control and limit the amount of screen time children experience. Hurrah for the World Health Organisation !

Surely even a few brief seconds of seeing children hooked and over-enthusing on this junk can tell a parent or concerned adult all they need to know. Dear knows how poor their abilities will be as they progress through school, I’ve a feeling performance could be assessed as two and three years behind. Even the use of paper and being able to practice handwriting, sketch convey ideas is seen as arcane and marginal to requirements!!!

More enlightened parents will see to it Little Jonny does not skip the fundamentals the basics and will realise among other things paper and bookbased learning is essential. Theres an element of social class and background here that is being amplified and widened. A screen just cannot provide the depth quality or reinforcement to learning that is required, or the joyous serendipity of say a paper based textbook or encyclopedia.

This means there is an increasing gulf and stratification between those that can and those that cannot. An increase in differences of social class and performance. This unravels the efforts made to increase opportunity and pull up the poor performing, particularly since the Second War.

https://chicago.suntimes.com/well/world-health-organization-guidance-limiting-kids-screen-time/

Yet still in the above we hear of groups asking for evidence … answer = watch the bloody kids and see how skewed their behaviour actually is !!!

Likewise the UK Guardian in its often emotive woolly nonsensical fashion asks for evidence – as if again do they not use their eyes and ears to see things are amiss!

Kids cannot even ride in the car without having a screen installed right in front of their faces, to suck on the digital pap as they journey along; God forbid, more junk from Hollywood and endless animated crap. What we could describe as using that dire term of modern times ‘a targeted audience’. Or maybe a film about journeying thro Monument Valley … as they drive thro Monument Valley ?

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/04/24/limit-screen-time-hour-day-5s-none-2s-says/

 

 

Ramble, my fear of data, bbc dumbing down …

Twice recently i’ve heard material / programmes on bbc r4 that are utter garbage, misleading and vacuous. You can spot them from a mile away, bought-in i guess and often about tech, data, AI and delivered in a breathy ‘we are travelling so far ahead’ BS mode that its all utterly unbelievable and always with a Stateside voice-over.  delivered as if all is unavoidable, we will / are being overwhelmed by data, analytics etc. Please back up your fantasy projections; I mostly believe what i hear but journalism of rigour needs proof.  I am being expected to believe candyfloss ….

You are talking to a man that does not buy in to modern crap, my idea of fun is to chop the sticks, wash by hand, use a pen, doodle, learn things each day, memorise verse and text, look at books which allows me access to brighter and clever people than myself, to enjoy and learn from mans art and handicraft of decades and centuries gone past.

We can expect worse, The Times newspaper Tuesday March 26th (p.20) voiced concern at the dumbing down of bbc r3 and 4 … Michael Buerk worries over the predominace of public school educations, but personally I am less concerned on this point, as surely its never been much different?  All i want is quality.  I do not want to hear a dumbed down repetitive output that is blinkered to better things. I put my faith in the privately educated! However the new Director of Radio  James Purnell is very youth orientated and is actively reducing bbc r3 & 4 but is ring fencing younger targeted material on radio 1 and 6 music as sacrosanct (ehm … anybody listen to these at all) ?  Tish pooey … the young couldn’t care less abt radio as a medium and radio 1 is nothing of its former self, it cannot be, times have changed no longer is it universally what we could hear playing in households up and down the land (as a kid we mostly tuned in to the Dutch pirates, not understanding was a bonus).  Programmes such as bbc r4 Womans Hour have been badly served, re-scheduled at a most unsuitable loony time on weekday mornings when mothers and housewives etc have to get busy !

A bit like Brexit, the increasing love affair with data and AI is quite puerile, sickening and needless. But like zombies etc we rush to embrace this crap!

I quite happily have no washing machine and each day wear clean shirt, boxers and t-shirt (its called a washing line) … likewise no mobile phone. I do not need such things and i save energy and minimise my electrical consumption and data footprint. BUT BUT BUT in our desperation to embrace technology theres an unfathomable appetite to harvest data, endless data .. what fckng time I open my curtains or what i have in my fridge should matter to no-one. This is data gone beserk and human values need to prevail, not the values of some faceless twit in a corporation i care nothing for.

For instance ‘bit coin mining’ we read consumes the electricity of a small country! If ever a bubble was promoted it is bitcoin. Perhaps it will be tulips next ….

So lets connect again as how we are hellbent of racing to the abyss, below in the Grauniad we read of the electrical power required to run banks of servers and data collection of which so much is pointless and trivial in the extreme … https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/dec/11/tsunami-of-data-could-consume-fifth-global-electricity-by-2025