Sad Little England.

GOGWIT IS FEELING annoyed and downbeat today, this brief blog is the substance of what is getting under my skin.

I was born 10 minutes walk from the centre of Birmingham. I have never driven and my passport expired in the early 90s, I did not replace it, there seemed no need.

Fortunately I have my birth certificate.

Even so, a growing number of situations require production of valid photo ID and it is then that we encounter the true meaning of the “insolence of office” which is stressful in the extreme and which pushes me – yes, me – to the verge of losing my temper – which would be unfortunate, embarrassing and rather unpleasant.

But at least I do not have to prove, in addition, my residence status over several decades, failure to comply potentially resulting in losing employment, being detained or even being deported.

Compared to the trials being experienced by the so called “Windrush Generation” my problems seem insignificant.
They do not seem so when some functionary is required to tick boxes for documents I do not possess.

There is so much that is good about this country to be proud of and to rejoice in and celebrate.

However, the way this country has, in recent years, treated so many of its subjects of Commonwealth and New Commonwealth heritage is not among those matters for celebration. It is a matter for shame, it is a blemish and it summarises, most succinctly, where we are wrong and could do so much better.

Today, our Prime Minister apologised publicly to Commonwealth Heads of Governments for this outrageous state of affairs, until recent days UK Home Office policy. The current Home Secretary has already had to backtrack, in Parliament, on this toxic legacy from the days when the current Prime Minister was the then Home Secretary.

Fine words are, well, fine words but alone they butter few parsnips. Harm has already been done and action is required to make amends and to resolve this issue. There were fine words issued after the Manchester concert bombing.
There was an outpouring of fine words following the Grenfell Tower fire, so dreadful that one only need say “Grenfell” and everyone knows exactly what one is talking about; vanishingly few of the issues have been addressed and resolved, few of the promises have been delivered.

We often hear the call to “make a bonfire of the red tape” by which is commonly meant the checks, balances, safeguards and protocols that protect us from unscrupulous exposure to unsound and dangerous processes.

I would like to call for a bonfire of the red tape used to discriminate, deter and debar those resident in this land from living and thriving in productive and happy lives.

Gogwit.

April 2018, (c)

This is an opinion piece; it represents my views and was created as a sole enterprise.

Thoughts from a retired headteacher…

I reblog this with sadness. Sadness that a headteacher should feel motivated to write in this vein; sadness that the argument of this piece is essentially true. The keyword here is, I think, sadness.

Let Our Kids Be Kids

Teachers, headteachers, parents… use your power!

“I daily thank god that I am a retired teacher and headteacher. I simply could not ask my staff to persecute children with never ending ‘tests’ that do nothing to further any child’s education or ability to make sense of the world. I simply would have refused to cooperate with the idiots charged with designing our so-called education system.

Teaching used to be a joyous profession. Happy children, staff who didn’t dread walking daily through the school gates and heads who were left to manage their schools without the constant interference of people who couldn’t do the job themselves.

I used to be described as formidable by LEA officers, advisors alike. Yes I was. Formidable in my determination to do the very best I could for the young people in my charge.

Schools used to be about opportunities for social mobility- a chance…

View original post 118 more words

The Letter David Gauke will not be expecting and won’t want to receive – blueannoyed

https://blueannoyed.wordpress.com/2018/01/07/the-letter-david-gauke-will-not-be-expecting-and-wont-want-to-receive/amp/?__twitter_impression=true#top

“Tired? A young man like you…?”

“I stopped explaining myself when I realised other people only understand from their level of perception.”

This is a very valid take on the quandary we face whenever someone who is not an acquaintance, relative or friend sees fit to pass comment on us.
In my case the condition is not M.E. – that is my little brother’s burden – but equally difficult to explain to someone who has not experienced my illness. Do we heed the call to arms; and risk appearing defensive, aggressive, apologetic, malingering or just plain pathetic? Or do we say nothing, slink away or tell ourselves that the better part of valour is discretion?
In my experience and life, for what it’s worth, it depends on the situation.

Choice, free will and the better part of valour are wonderful things: exercise yours, here, today, by reading the excellent piece I share today.
Please consider following the author, and please appreciate their work by liking it.

Me and M.E...

by Jonathan Fitzgerald

The pay machine in the car park is on the go-slow and I’m making small talk with the two pensioner ladies waiting in the queue behind me. “It’s a bit like me in a morning,” I quip. “A young man like you?” they chuckle back, unaware.

Now I’m not about to correct and start lecturing two octogenarian ladies in the middle of a car park. In fact initially I feel a little guilty – why am I moaning when they are the old people with the aches and creaking bones

And why would they know any different anyway? I’m having an OK-ish day and they can’t tell I have something like M.E based on our 30-second interaction. And I’ll never see them again, so does it matter? Should it really get to me?

Rewind two weeks and I’m in an exercise class, trying out different things to help my…

View original post 494 more words

UNISON Launches Campaign to Protect Teaching Assistant Posts.

UNISON, the public sector trade union issued this advisory on their website on Monday 17 June 2013, arising from their conference.

This follows on the GMB pledge to campaign to protect its Teaching Assistant members at its conference in May and along with this 38Degrees petition by a teacher who values her TA support.

TAs are often considered to be a soft-option for cutting costs.  With widening public support, that may become something of a misconception.