Caption Competition: ‘We are at a stand off Mrs May. You may be reaching for Melania’s on switch but I have a Secret Service man behind you ready to press your off switch first’

Heh, heh, heh!

Flibbertigibbet News

WINNER: ‘We are at a stand off Mrs May. You may be reaching for Melania’s on switch but I have a Secret Service man behind you ready to press your off switch first’ (from Bryntin)

RUNNERS UP

Melania grows extra hand to avoid face to face handjobs (JaneThwait2)

Theresa May auditions as Mr Tickle (from NorthernPugface)

The ultimate political reacharound (from SnortfastX)

This month’s photo come courtesy of: bbc.com

DATE: 5th Aug 2018

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I’m on my war horse part 2: Use me as a conduit

It is good to see that since the Academies Act 2010 which conjured this abysmal malarkey into existence dissent has evolved from a few voices in the wilderness calling “foul!” to a recognisable movement protesting, challenging and impeding some of the signature chicanery attending academisation.
Sharing ideas, experience, intelligence and competencies has attended the growth of campaigning against these entities who are invested with the, seemingly, bottomless publicly funded war chests they need to fight their communities, parents, children and staff. A conduit is offered; another front wherein to organise.

Beryl Kingston Blog

Since I put up my last blog ‘I’m on my war horse’, I have learnt several interesting things. The first is that the struggle that the staff and parents of Waltham Holy Cross School are putting up to try and avoid being made to leave the control of the local authority and be turned into an Academy – which they do NOT want – is by no means a one off.

warhorse

Over 227 people visited that blog on the first day and some of them told me about other schools who are or who have been in a similar position. So I am writing part 2 of the blog as you see, so that people who haven’t seen part one yet can do so now and people who have something to say about what has been and is happening to them and their school, can send me the details…

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Anne Lister and a Theology of Naming Lesbians.

Fascinating read. I visited Shibden Hall during the early ‘80s while at teacher training college and Anne Lister is not amongst the first memories of the visit. Much more wholesome for our infants was a day at nearby Clarke Hall attending a clandestine catholic wedding and searching for priest holes.

Jeanne de Montbaston

There are many things about the current kerfuffle over Anne Lister that make me reach for a facepalm gif, but it’s one particular comment that tipped me over into writing this blog post.

In case you’ve never heard of her (and if so, you are missing out), Anne Lister was a Yorkshirewoman, born in 1791. She inherited the late-medieval house at Shibden Hall, where her manner of dress and her habit of seducing women earned the nickname ‘gentleman Jack’. Lister kept a diary, in code, which tells us a lot about her sexual exploits, but she was also devoutly Christian and in 1834 she organised a wedding ceremony to her partner Ann Walker, in Holy Trinity church in Goodramgate, York. Delightfully, Holy Trinity recently agreed to put up a blue plaque in honour of Lister and her marriage, which is both charming and rather daringly polemical, given the Church of…

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Tuesday Roundup: News on Supreme Court, Climate, Tariffs, Manafort, Koch Brothers, and Russian selloff

What with Brexit, and a government running away from its responsibilities, not to mention the heatwave with fires on the moors, and the uncritical witch hunt for everything anti Semitic it is nice to read of the orderly, temperate and non incendiary happenings in the US.

The Secular Jurist

By Robert A. Vella

There’s lots of important news to get to today, so let’s get right to it.

From:  Trump administration must stop giving psychotropic drugs to migrant children without consent, judge rules

U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee in Los Angeles ordered the Trump administration to obtain consent or a court order before administering any psychotropic medications to migrant children, except in cases of dire emergencies. She also ordered that the government move all children out of a Texas facility, Shiloh Residential Treatment Center in Manvel, except for children deemed by a licensed professional to pose a “risk of harm” to themselves or others.

From:  Supreme Court denies Trump admin request to halt youth climate lawsuit

The Supreme Court on Monday denied the Trump administration’s plea to halt proceedings in a landmark lawsuit by young people seeking stronger federal action on climate change.

While rejecting the government’s request to…

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Don’t like the 14-year-old gay? Then sashay the fuck away.

Happy to post this on Gogwit’s Blog without further comment.
Please have a read and consider reading more of Spiller of Tea.

Spiller of Tea

Everything’s a bit fucking shit right now, isn’t it? On this side of the Atlantic, our government has decided it’s a better idea to buy every packet of plasters in Boots than it is to simply not cut our own fucking legs off, and on the other side, the animated turd of someone who has eaten nothing but Cheesy Wotsits for a year is trying to destroy the entire fucking planet as though it was a thing as insignificant as a woman’s life. It’s nice, therefore – necessary, even – to stumble across something a bit more uplifting from time to time so we don’t all go completely shitting mad. 

Imagine my relief, then, when the first thing I saw on Twitter this morning was a video of a gay teenager who has been invited to perform his drag act at Brighton Pride next week, after his school had…

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TREASON!

You are absolutely right to say that the US President is wrong to consider this, and other investigations a disaster for the nation.
I have always admired, from my side of the Pond, the way that Americans are not too proud, arrogant or plain afraid to turn out theit dirty laundry onto the table; or shine a light into dark, squalid recesses with the intention of finding a better way going forward; to attempt to find a formula which yields a measure of justice and restitution. The US President is an exemplar of a strand of arrogant braggadocio. America, as a nation, also knows humility, which is a great strength for an honest democracy.
Many here in the U.K. with whom I share ideas and principles in common, called for protest, rallies, marches against the visit of the US President. My feeling is that he is a guest, the head of state from one democracy visiting a friendly democratic nation. I find the President ugly and unpalatable in his views and demeanour, as I do the current government of my country. This side of the Atlantic we can elect a new government. And in the USA, the Americans will have the opportunity to effect change.
Trump is the problem and the responsibility of the American people.

Filosofa's Word

I just love starting Monday in a haze of white-hot fury.  The Washington Post headline reads:

Putin Again Denies Russian Interference in the 2016 U.S. Election; Trump Calls Probe a ‘Disaster for Our Country’

It comes as no surprise that Putin denies interference … nobody with half a brain thought he would admit it, but no matter, for there is more than ample hard fact-based evidence that he did.  But for Trump to call the investigation a “disaster for our country”???  NO … NO NO NO NO NO!  The investigation is essential and the only thing that gives us hope we might get rid of the real disaster: Trump himself!  I am in a white hot fury over his asininity!

Putin:  … Russian state has never interfered and is not going to interfere in internal American affairs.

Trump:  There was no collusion. I didn’t know the president. There…

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Place and Time: A New Original Post and Verse.

History, poetry. What more could one wish for?

Gogwit is pleased to share a new piece of original verse.

Actually, several pieces of verse combined into one, continuing my theme of places in my home city set slightly apart from time, from a viewpoint upon which all matters temporal converge.

When, if, the section “The Up Line” is read, it may be helpful to understand that Witton and Aston stations are still in use; Vauxhall and Duddeston station still has two platforms in use and is now called Duddeston. The Vauxhall platforms long abandoned, left derelict and buried below diverse weeds, flowers, shrubs and the fauna they support.

Nechells and Bloomsbury opened and closed in Victorian times and, look as I might, I have never satisfactorily seen trace of it.

Lawley Street was a later Victorian commuter station for a town – the city of 1000 trades – which grew voraciously enough to require the infrastructures of a city, which it eventually became in 1889. Lawley Street station is long, long since gone.

Curzon Street station, Banbury Street Ticket Platform and the Southern Approaches bear witness to the grand boom years of Victorian railway expansion. Of Curzon Street and Banbury Street all that remains is the elegant Booking Hall, due to receive a new lease of life when the HS2 high speed line runs there in the 2020s.

The Southern Approaches had narrow platforms set like refuges, between the insanely complex track and track junction pathways into the main station; all travellers into Birmingham New Street, formerly Grand Central Station, will have rattled, squealed, screeched, lurched and rattled over a million sets of points, between brick arches, walls and pillars, through pitch-black tunnels: The lasting legacy of the Southern Approaches.

Grand Central lives on as the name of the shopping and leisure mall built atop the main station recently, replacing the 60s concrete version. Now trains arrive and depart Birmingham New Street; up at street level the trams arrive and depart Grand Central.

That was the history lesson. Here is the verse.


Place and Time.

A38(M) – Aston Expressway.

I looked out from the highway
To the distance, on the right,
For a place, a school,
Where I had used to work.
Where was it now,
Where had it used to be?
Along the railway line –
Follow the railway line, of course.
Composite cladded steel obscured my view,
Yet a little further onward found
The building which I sought
Where it had always been
Since the beginning of its time.

Yew Tree Road, Witton B6.

In the playground of the school –
That school, where I had been
So happy in the dappled light filled
Grounds beneath the trees,
I looked out across the open fields
And Victorian terrace houses
To the place where was being built,
In concrete and in steel,
The elevated highway from horizon to horizon.
And In that instant locking eyes,
Over rooftops, distance, time;
Intuition left no doubt
That the eye beams were both mine.

Aston Railway Junction.

Between that school and the stilted concrete ribbon,
Beyond the Victorian terrace houses and the rails;
The weathered, time-stained rails of the railway line,
That railway line – which had always to be followed.
Radius curve merged with main line track of the up line,
Which ran always into Town, into Birmingham.

The Up Line.

“Witton, Aston,
Vauxhall and Duddeston,
Bloomsbury and Nechells, Lawley Street;
Curzon Street, Banbury Street, Southern Approaches,
Grand Central Station – All change! Alight here!
Change please at New Street for all onbound journeys.”

Birmingham, New Street Station.

Change here for everywhere, any place and any time –
For every destination that will take you far from here;
Board the express, or the stopping train, to promised time and place:
The remainder of your season until you return to clay.

Here, Now, Always.

But I digress; forgive the musings of mortal man
Who has looked across the rooftops, space and time
And locked gazes with
His younger self,
His older self;
Both time past and time future, perpetually now.


Ben A Harvey,

31 May 2018.
(C) Gogwit’s Blog (Ben A Harvey), 2018 – all rights reserved.

The image of Birmingham’s LNWR station, 1 June 1854, reproduced from The Illustrated London News of 3 June 1854 and is public domain, used here with gratitude.
In great appreciation of TS Eliot.
With great love to ….