The Tory government has repeatedly outlined plans for every single school in England to become an academy by 2022. An academy, for those unfamiliar, is a state school not under the local education authority. They are often run by chains funded by wealthy backers and were originally introduced to prop up failing schools. The first school in Sheffield to become an academy (in 2006) was a school in a very rough area with a very bad reputation. Incidents of violent bullying were common (one girl had her hair set on fire, whereas another had her face slashed). When it became an academy, its reputation improved. So did that of many other inner city schools. So the Government thought it would be handy to encourage non-failing schools to join the scheme.
So now we have more than half of all English secondary schools being academies and a growing number of primaries joining the scheme. In some towns (Bournemouth, Swindon and Doncaster being examples) all secondary schools are academies. The LEAs there are responsible only for a dwindling number of primary schools. It’s plain to see that the Tories are planning to cut education costs by eventually abolishing LEAs, hypocritcally while sending their children to expensive public schools. Without LEAs, thousands of children will be in the hands of people not fit to run a school. The horror stories of chain heads running off with the money will only increase once every school is an academy. And then, obviously the schools will close, causing neighbouring schools to become overcrowded and contribute to an inadequate learning environment.
Academies are not bound by the National Curriculum. Freedom of education, I hear you say. Isn’t that a good thing? Maybe so, but academies can theoretically abuse this to insert their own politics into their curriculum. Now I’m not saying the National Curriculum isn’t a propaganda machine, but take the rumours (albeit denied by the head) that one Christian academy chain is teaching young earth creationism instead of evolution and you’ll see why centralised guidance is better for everyone.
Academies are also free to charge fees, even in working-class areas where many people would be unable to afford them. Let’s say there’s a working-class area with two schools. One charges fees and is in a central location, whereas one doesn’t but is at the other side of the area. It would be unfair to the pupils who couldn’t afford to go to the central school to walk a far further distance every day just to get an education! Low-income parents are already struggling to pay for uniforms in which every little item must be bought direct from the school (in the name of “equality” apparently, even though very few 11 year olds can tell the difference between Sainsburys trousers and Gucci ones), but that’s another story.
In conclusion, the academy system will hurt English education. Parents are voicing outrage over it and have been for some time, but the Tories, as usual, are only listening to the sound of their own farts.
Whatever one may think of the US, the recent #TakeAKnee controversy has highlighted its memetic status as “land of the free”.
Last season, a number of largely black NFL players began kneeling instead of standing for the pregame national anthem to protest police brutality. To American patriots, the symbols of the country are held in a quasi-sacred regard. Many of these same people often declare themselves champions of free speech, but believe that the right shouldn’t extend to “denigrating” the anthem or the flag. Seems a little hypocritical, doesn’t it?
When this attitude reaches government level, it becomes authoritarianism. Donald Trump wants the NFL to expel all players who “take a knee” or otherwise protest while the national anthem is playing. So far, he has yet to take action while the #TakeAKnee movement spreads out of American football and even worldwide (there are rumours that several international footballers will do the same during the next round of World Cup qualifiers). You know why it’s spreading worldwide, Donald? Your big mouth. You are threatening to take away freedom of expression and we won’t stand (literally) for it.
Freedom of speech is about the freedom to state something and freedom for people to disagree with it. This is what’s happening right now. Nobody’s being prosecuted, nobody’s being attacked, and I hope it stays that way.
In shades of the Emma Watson controversy from a few months ago, it’s no surprise to hear Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke talk about the abuse she’s recieved from radical feminists because she happens to do nude scenes. After all, the Dworkinistas argue that women are forced into such, that porn in particular is misogynistic violence.
It’s an attitude I find hypocritical. Feminism used to be synonymous with “women’s liberation”, ie. giving women the same rights and freedoms as men. If a man can choose to go into porn or do a nude scene on a TV show, surely a woman can. Her body, her choice. The fact that proponents of this have to call themselves “sex-positive feminists” is a reflection of the splintering of the feminist movement. Merely calling yourself a “feminist” is no longer good enough. You have to qualify it with whatever special interests you have within the sphere.
So why be against a genre which allows women so much freedom? It’s not like incidences of sexual assault in clothing-optional industries go unpunished, nor are they as frequent as the opponents claim.
And if you don’t like it, why not just live and let live? There are a lot of things I don’t like but I’m not calling for them to stop.
Decided to do something with clippings of recent writing. Am starting to look for unpaid proofreaders for this novel extract (to do so while I’m on holiday 5/8 to 19/8), so if you’re interested, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There was no nothing getting through.
Though when the rubble bore down on me I began to have second thoughts
Second thoughts when the rubble bore down
A tsunami of ’em
In the parking lot of silver surfers
I slide up a staircase’s bottom
Engulfing my bearings
I think there was too much!
I think there was too much!
You can direct my question, direct my question.
Detachable manners all know how to play.
The ball still nearly broke hobby and Sindh.
Hobby and Sindh.
Hobby and Sindh.
But I have almost my ticket hobby.
Oh, the lineup was shot!
The lineup was shit!
I think there was too much!
The right way to play all season.
Praise be to the squirrel god.
I have been very busy as of late.
It’s not too much fun particularly when you have deadlines to meet.
But if I didn’t have deadlines, I wouldn’t be motivated.
I’d say things are about 80% done as of today, April 30th. I need to make punctuation checks and go through again before submission on the 17th.
I’m particularly obsessive when it comes to grammar. Too obsessive actually.
PS: 100 points!
The news that Donald Trump has banned April Fools’ Day did not come as a surprise to me.
He hates even the slightest jokey comments made about him. No doubt he’s pushing to make jokes about him illegal 365 days a year, which is a massive blow to free speech and yet more evidence to suggest he is a totalitarian.
Not to mention he’s the biggest fool of them all.