Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. Sign in or register to get started.

politicalbetting.com » Blog Archive » The Good Friday open thread

SystemSystem Posts: 8,489
edited March 2013 in General

politicalbetting.com » Blog Archive » The Good Friday open thread

Big Ben through the railings twitter.com/MSmithsonPB/st…

Read the full story here


«134

Comments

  • dugarbandierdugarbandier Posts: 2,596
    Happy Easter!
  • AlastairMeeksAlastairMeeks Posts: 30,340
    FPT @NickPalmer We have open plan in our offices and it's very popular. The problem with a lot of open plan offices is that they have been used primarily as space saving methods. We arrange them in pods of four where ideas can be pooled and informal meetings take place naturally. They do not save much space on normal offices. Here's a typical image:

    http://tinyurl.com/bsub88n

    You have to work in a different way from working in offices, that's for sure, but the differences are almost all positive. And no one has their own office.
  • JosiasJessopJosiasJessop Posts: 26,227
    Happy Easter to everyone.

    Mike, make sure you take a hat in this cold weather. We all know what happened to the last person to go on Ilkley Moor baht 'at (although I hope you don't know anyone called Mary Jane):

    Wheear 'ast tha bin sin' ah saw thee, ah saw thee?
    On Ilkla Mooar baht 'at
    Wheear 'ast tha bin sin' ah saw thee, ah saw thee?
    Wheear 'ast tha bin sin' ah saw thee?
    On Ilkla Mooar baht 'at
    On Ilkla Mooar baht 'at
    On Ilkla Mooar baht 'at
    Tha's been a cooartin' Mary Jane
    Tha's bahn' to catch thy deeath o` cowd
    Then us'll ha' to bury thee
    Then t'worms'll come an` eyt thee up
    Then t'ducks'll come an` eyt up t'worms
    Then us'll go an` eyt up t'ducks
    Then us'll all ha' etten thee
    That's wheear we get us ooan back
  • redcliffe62redcliffe62 Posts: 342
    Enjoy the break. I was going to do a SeanT and post some photos of Oz at 32C and on the yachts in the big Brisbane to Gladstone race but I could not put you guys thru it after all those cold days over there. Spent day over salmon and champers giving advice to savvy English blokes who want to move here permanently and what they have to do to get in with the new rules apparently being tightened.
  • AndyJSAndyJS Posts: 29,395
    edited March 2013
    Andrew Mitchell will not be amused to learn of this:
    "The Times and the Guardian reported that the police files sent to the Crown Prosecution Service contained "no evidence" that Downing Street police officers lied about their account of the incident":
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-21969990
  • CarlottaVanceCarlottaVance Posts: 52,030
    @AndyJS

    Or that the BBC did not report:

    "However, on Thursday night, the CPS indicated it was unhappy with the file it had received from the Metropolitan police and was awaiting more evidence."

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2013/mar/28/lebgate-file-contains-no-evidence-that-police-lied
  • JackWJackW Posts: 14,787
  • CarlottaVanceCarlottaVance Posts: 52,030
    "BBC unions silent over the Maggie Question
    BBC staff who went on strike yesterday said they were prepared to return to their desks if Nelson Mandela died, however the staff's generosity stopped there."

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/bbc/9960715/BBC-unions-silent-over-the-Maggie-Question.html
  • JosiasJessopJosiasJessop Posts: 26,227
    AndyJS said:

    Andrew Mitchell will not be amused to learn of this:

    "The Times and the Guardian reported that the police files sent to the Crown Prosecution Service contained "no evidence" that Downing Street police officers lied about their account of the incident":
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-21969990

    The wording of that BBC report is interesting, especially the 'Downing Street officers' bit. That does not exclude other officers.

    Does anyone actually still believe that the police log is a genuine and honest account of what happened that evening?
  • AndyJSAndyJS Posts: 29,395
    edited March 2013

    AndyJS said:

    Andrew Mitchell will not be amused to learn of this:

    "The Times and the Guardian reported that the police files sent to the Crown Prosecution Service contained "no evidence" that Downing Street police officers lied about their account of the incident":
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-21969990
    The wording of that BBC report is interesting, especially the 'Downing Street officers' bit. That does not exclude other officers.

    Does anyone actually still believe that the police log is a genuine and honest account of what happened that evening?

    Apparently the CPS is unimpressed by both the quality and quantity of the evidence presented by the police re. the Mitchell case.
  • foxinsoxukfoxinsoxuk Posts: 23,548
    edited March 2013

    AndyJS said:

    Andrew Mitchell will not be amused to learn of this:

    "The Times and the Guardian reported that the police files sent to the Crown Prosecution Service contained "no evidence" that Downing Street police officers lied about their account of the incident":
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-21969990
    The wording of that BBC report is interesting, especially the 'Downing Street officers' bit. That does not exclude other officers.

    Does anyone actually still believe that the police log is a genuine and honest account of what happened that evening?

    Tom Newton Dunn, political editor of the Sun, is on Radio 4 Any Questions tonight, but he may not wish to comment on the case. Also on is Clare Gerada, President of the GP's so may have some interesting discussions on the Lansley reforms. she is generally a very good media performer. also David Trimble and Angela Eagle.
  • AlastairMeeksAlastairMeeks Posts: 30,340
    It's foolish judging secondhand reports of reports. We are watching rival media campaigns play out in the press. We have to assume that everything we read is furthering someone's agenda.
  • PlatoPlato Posts: 15,724
    @foxinsoxuk

    I can't understand why Angela Eagle is Labour's main media spokesbod - she's been all over the airwaves recently and just sounds horribly whiny and looks like a very grumpy unmade bed.

    Even if she's making a valid point I find her almost impossible to listen to without getting distracted or being put off by her tone. Surely they've someone else for this job.
  • CarlottaVanceCarlottaVance Posts: 52,030
    New Statesman interview with the greatest leader Labour never had:

    http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/uk-politics/2013/03/thatcher-was-good-looking-and-brilliant
  • PulpstarPulpstar Posts: 68,520
    Remember all to be wary of Easter polls, Tories tend to go down a few % points.
  • foxinsoxukfoxinsoxuk Posts: 23,548
    Plato said:

    @foxinsoxuk

    I can't understand why Angela Eagle is Labour's main media spokesbod - she's been all over the airwaves recently and just sounds horribly whiny and looks like a very grumpy unmade bed.

    Even if she's making a valid point I find her almost impossible to listen to without getting distracted or being put off by her tone. Surely they've someone else for this job.

    I find her much the same, particularly not a good voice for radio. Labour is a bit short of good media performers on the front bench. Alan Johnson and David Milliband always had personal charm and it was possible to warm to them. I quite like Yvette Cooper, but I know she is not to every ones taste.
  • MikeSmithsonMikeSmithson Posts: 6,979
    edited March 2013

    Plato said:

    @foxinsoxuk

    I can't understand why Angela Eagle is Labour's main media spokesbod - she's been all over the airwaves recently and just sounds horribly whiny and looks like a very grumpy unmade bed.

    Even if she's making a valid point I find her almost impossible to listen to without getting distracted or being put off by her tone. Surely they've someone else for this job.

    I find her much the same, particularly not a good voice for radio. Labour is a bit short of good media performers on the front bench. Alan Johnson and David Milliband always had personal charm and it was possible to warm to them. I quite like Yvette Cooper, but I know she is not to every ones taste.
    Not as bad, though, as the dreadful Michael Gove - the man who thinks history is about learning lists of facts and who is only beaten in the negative polling by Osbo.

  • AndyJSAndyJS Posts: 29,395
    edited March 2013
    YouGov:

    LAB 42%
    CON 29%
    UKIP 13%
    LD 11%

    https://twitter.com/YouGov
  • PlatoPlato Posts: 15,724
    OT - just finished watching all four series of Spiral/Engrenges, excellent stuff of the gritty French cop drama variety. If you're looking for something with intrigue, twists and turns = well worth a watch if its repeated or you fancy splashing out on something with subtitles.

    Also can recommend Grimm - imagine Buffy with cops.

    I'm having trouble with Psych but only a few episodes into S1 and since its got as far as S5, I'll see if it gets better. I always wondered what happened to Dule Hill [Charlie from the WWing]... It's a PI version of The Mentalist.
  • RogerRoger Posts: 14,946
    @Carlotta. "BBC unions silent over the Maggie Question"

    The most respected and famous international political figure of all time versus (probably) the most despised the British Isles has known (certainly in my lifetime).

    I can see the equivalence!
  • AndyJSAndyJS Posts: 29,395
    edited March 2013
    @Plato

    Thanks for all the box sets recommendations. Only problem is finding some time when one won't be interrupted by something or other.
  • CarlottaVanceCarlottaVance Posts: 52,030
    @MikeSmithson

    "Some of the UK's leading historians have endorsed Education Secretary Michael Gove's new history curriculum for schools in England.

    Fifteen historians, including Profs David Starkey and Niall Ferguson, wrote a letter to the Times newspaper.

    The letter welcomed Mr Gove's controversial plans to have topics taught in chronological order, saying it had "long been needed".

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-21600298
  • AndyJSAndyJS Posts: 29,395
    edited March 2013
    I don't know whether times tables counts as rote learning but I'm definitely in favour of children learning them. You can try to learn them from first principles but it would take rather a long time.
  • foxinsoxukfoxinsoxuk Posts: 23,548

    Plato said:

    @foxinsoxuk

    I can't understand why Angela Eagle is Labour's main media spokesbod - she's been all over the airwaves recently and just sounds horribly whiny and looks like a very grumpy unmade bed.

    Even if she's making a valid point I find her almost impossible to listen to without getting distracted or being put off by her tone. Surely they've someone else for this job.

    I find her much the same, particularly not a good voice for radio. Labour is a bit short of good media performers on the front bench. Alan Johnson and David Milliband always had personal charm and it was possible to warm to them. I quite like Yvette Cooper, but I know she is not to every ones taste.
    Not as bad, though, as the dreadful Michael Gove - the man who thinks history is about learning lists of facts and who is only beaten in the negative polling by Osbo.

    Give does come over as a bit of a swot, but he is well prepared and passionate, so does come over well. He was generally considered to have had a good QT last week. I am not so keen on his politics though. I was thinking of who comes over well on these panel programmes independent of politics.

    Clare Gerada is a good media performs for the GPs, so should come over well.
  • SouthamObserverSouthamObserver Posts: 35,924
    Roger said:

    @Carlotta. "BBC unions silent over the Maggie Question"

    The most respected and famous international political figure of all time versus (probably) the most despised the British Isles has known (certainly in my lifetime).

    I can see the equivalence!

    I'd have thought that it is more a case that Mandela is not in good health, has not been for a while and is currently battling a condition which is known to kill many of those who suffer from it, especially if they are as old as he is. There is no current suggestion that Mrs T is in the same position. So one is potentially at death's door, the other isn't: we are talking practical possibility as opposed to hypothetical.

    No political journalist worth his or her salt would want to be kept away from covering the death of Mrs Thatcher when the day does come. It will be an era defining story.
  • CarlottaVanceCarlottaVance Posts: 52,030
    @Roger - you, and the BBC unions are wearing your politics on your sleeve - if the passing of one of our longest serving PMs - whatever your view on her merits - is not as least as newsworthy as the passing of another country changing politician - perhaps they wouldn't want to interrupt the parties they (and you?) are planning on her demise?
  • SouthamObserverSouthamObserver Posts: 35,924
    AndyJS said:

    I don't know whether times tables counts as rote learning but I'm definitely in favour of children learning them. You can try to learn them from first principles but it would take rather a long time.

    All my children learned their times tables at school.

  • foxinsoxukfoxinsoxuk Posts: 23,548
    edited March 2013

    Roger said:

    @Carlotta. "BBC unions silent over the Maggie Question"

    The most respected and famous international political figure of all time versus (probably) the most despised the British Isles has known (certainly in my lifetime).

    I can see the equivalence!

    I'd have thought that it is more a case that Mandela is not in good health, has not been for a while and is currently battling a condition which is known to kill many of those who suffer from it, especially if they are as old as he is. There is no current suggestion that Mrs T is in the same position. So one is potentially at death's door, the other isn't: we are talking practical possibility as opposed to hypothetical.

    No political journalist worth his or her salt would want to be kept away from covering the death of Mrs Thatcher when the day does come. It will be an era defining story.
    Like her or loathe her, and I was a loather, she is the dominant political figure of the last few decades. We will be discussing her legacy forever. The only other figure of similar stature would be Tony Blair, though now it seems compulsory to loathe him.
  • @Roger
    "The most respected and famous international political figure of all time versus (probably) the most despised the British Isles has known (certainly in my lifetime)."

    I think you're missing the bigger picture here. It should not be the role of journalists on a publicly funded news body to decide what news we get on the basis of their political prejudices.
  • SouthamObserverSouthamObserver Posts: 35,924

    @MikeSmithson

    "Some of the UK's leading historians have endorsed Education Secretary Michael Gove's new history curriculum for schools in England.

    Fifteen historians, including Profs David Starkey and Niall Ferguson, wrote a letter to the Times newspaper.

    The letter welcomed Mr Gove's controversial plans to have topics taught in chronological order, saying it had "long been needed".

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-21600298

    Given the other subjects that need to be crammed into the school day the idea that kids will get anything other than a cursory introduction to much of British history from a full chronological approach is pretty ridiculous.

  • PlatoPlato Posts: 15,724
    Imagine if this was our night sky...

    RT @tehautumn: What Saturn would look like if it was at the same distance away as the moon from Earth. http://tinyurl.com/dytgkw8 < WOW
  • CarlottaVanceCarlottaVance Posts: 52,030

    Given the other subjects that need to be crammed into the school day the idea that kids will get anything other than a cursory introduction to much of British history from a full chronological approach is pretty ridiculous.

    The greater the vehemence with which our education establishment denounces Gove, the more I suspect he is on to something.

    Did these "great and good" protest as the UK's international education ranking sank under grade inflation and "prizes for all"?

    Thought not.
  • foxinsoxukfoxinsoxuk Posts: 23,548
    In order to understand history, one does need a certain factual knowledge. My son did endless bits on how evacuees were treated and how things were on the home front, but had only the haziest idea of why the Nazis were bombing Britain in the first place.

    History requires facts and chronology as background, before one can have useful discussion on primary and secondary sources and the meanings of competing narratives.
  • Happy Easter, Mike,
  • CarlottaVanceCarlottaVance Posts: 52,030
    @Plato - the tides, on the other hand......
  • RogerRoger Posts: 14,946
    edited March 2013
    Gove is one of those ghastly old buffers who think because that's how they did it when he was at school its got to be the way to do it...A politician in the Maggie mould but the country has moved on.

    He always reminds me of those parents who say they used to get a sound thrashing when they were young and look how well they turned out!
  • Scott_PScott_P Posts: 51,453
    @OliverCooper: By taking on the task of checking Davey as well as Cable, Michael Fallon is now Minister For Not Letting The Lib Dems Screw Up The Economy.
  • GeoffMGeoffM Posts: 6,071

    ...Michael Gove - the man who thinks history is about learning lists of facts...

    Yes, ridiculous that tedious "facts" should get in the way of knowing about history.

    As Einstein famously remarked: ""Of course it's fking right, I checked it on Google"
  • DecrepitJohnLDecrepitJohnL Posts: 13,300


    Does anyone actually still believe that the police log is a genuine and honest account of what happened that evening?

    Does anyone still believe that the Downing Street cctv cameras are so ineptly placed that they missed most of the action, including Mitchell's admitted swearing at the police? What was on the footage David Cameron saw?

  • AlastairMeeksAlastairMeeks Posts: 30,340
    History is not just about facts, in the same way that human biology is not just about bones. But any attempt to try to understand human biology without some reference to how the skeleton fits together is going to be futile.
  • PulpstarPulpstar Posts: 68,520
    Plato said:

    Imagine if this was our night sky...

    RT @tehautumn: What Saturn would look like if it was at the same distance away as the moon from Earth. http://tinyurl.com/dytgkw8 < WOW

    I'm hoping ISON is as good as the hype it is getting :E !
  • richardDoddrichardDodd Posts: 5,472
    Mike,enjoy Ilkley,my home town for 30 years,try Hebers Ghyll for a walk.
  • SouthamObserverSouthamObserver Posts: 35,924
    edited March 2013

    Given the other subjects that need to be crammed into the school day the idea that kids will get anything other than a cursory introduction to much of British history from a full chronological approach is pretty ridiculous.

    The greater the vehemence with which our education establishment denounces Gove, the more I suspect he is on to something.

    Did these "great and good" protest as the UK's international education ranking sank under grade inflation and "prizes for all"?

    Thought not.

    Great avoiding the point skills there.

    If you teach history from 10,000 BC through to 2013 in chronological order from the age of 5 to 16 you end up teaching very little of any interest or importance because there is not enough time in the curriculum to do anything justice.

    A much more sensible approach, which would also be chronological, would be to identify key points in history and to focus in order and in depth on those from a variety of perspectives. So, say: the Romans; then the build up and aftermath to 1066; the Wars of the Roses; the Tudors; the Civil War; enclosure, the Industrial Revolution and the birth of Empire; the Victorian era; WWs 1 and 2 on the home front and the battle field. That's eight subjects, each of which could be given a year. And even then you are missing out great swathes of the past.

  • AlastairMeeksAlastairMeeks Posts: 30,340
    Pulpstar said:

    Plato said:

    Imagine if this was our night sky...

    RT @tehautumn: What Saturn would look like if it was at the same distance away as the moon from Earth. http://tinyurl.com/dytgkw8 < WOW

    I'm hoping ISON is as good as the hype it is getting :E !
    I remember standing in the grounds of the UEA aged 7 staring hopefully to try to see Comet Kohoutek. Put not your faith in astronomers on such matters.
  • NickPalmerNickPalmer Posts: 17,460
    Good YouGov for Labour, but probably further random fluctuation around the 10 lead - someone here commented that Labour was "drifting down" when it went to 9, but really nothing much is happening.

    It's interesting that this is despite some hardening of the Tory position in the secondaries in recent weeks. I think what's happening is that people are very gradually starting to think about the coming election and the loyalists are rallying round a little - "suppose they're not as bad as the other lot" etc. But that's not affecting the underlying situation, that Labour has nearly all the 29% who voted for Gordon plus 10ish points from left-wing Libdems, and both blocs of voters are implacably anti-Tory. There's a bit of churn - 2% of Brown voters are now Tory, 6% of 2010 Tories are now Labour - but it's very minor. UKIP reinforces the problem for the Tories but even if most of them returned it wouldn't be anywhere near enough to win.

    Times tables - it's been useful over the years to know them (up to 10 anyway, not sure that knowing 11*12 is that useful), and there's a category of things like that which it's handy to know by heart, but a mistake to think that it's the main object of education, which is surely to train the mind plus basic skills rather than accumulate specific facts. I do agree with learning history chronologically (not a list of kings but a what-happened-next? approach: it's just more interesting and informative) and would be interested to see someone put the case against it - why isn't this done?
  • Gove is extremely intelligent, highly articulate, speaks impeccable English; is clearly erudite, invariably polite, obviously well read, impeccably well-mannered has a self-deprecating sense of humour; is prepared to challenge a Law Lord whose respect he has not earned (ie is not scared of The Establishment) - and is the adopted son of a Glaswegian couple who ran, IIRC, a fish shop.

    He also had a highly successful 'real-world' career before going into politics.

    Those who seek to denigrate him are undoubtedly scared witless by his frightening ability and astonishing achievements - in several fields.
  • RogerRoger Posts: 14,946
    "It should not be the role of journalists on a publicly funded news body to decide what news we get on the basis of their political prejudices."

    That's not how it would have happened. Some Telegraph hack would have asked the BBC union if they'd go back to cover Mandela's death-"yes". 'Well what about Maggie?' "pass!"
  • RicardohosRicardohos Posts: 258
    GeoffM said:

    ...Michael Gove - the man who thinks history is about learning lists of facts...

    Yes, ridiculous that tedious "facts" should get in the way of knowing about history.

    As Einstein famously remarked: ""Of course it's fking right, I checked it on Google"
    That's mischievous of you at best. Mike's comment said 'lists' of facts, a words you have deliberately omitted. I teach part-time in an inner city London comprehensive and the idea of getting the children to learn lists of facts is risible. That isn't how to get young people to learn. It might have worked in the sort of school Gove went to, and indeed like the type I did. There we had caning and fagging (no, really) and we learned lists of facts and times tables. It was boring as hell and the teaching was, frankly, appalling. There was no sense of how to get children with different learning styles to engage with topics, and therefore how 'really' to learn what meaning there is. Gove has two related problems. First his ideas are hogwash. Second he's odious.

    It repays listening to the wonderful Ken Robinson again http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iG9CE55wbtY

  • FensterFenster Posts: 2,115
    Just a comment on Education:

    I have no doubt that Chinese and Korean kids are stealing a march on ours. Like Serbian kids beat our kids at tennis. They are probably worked harder, bullied a bit, better motivated and not as distracted as our 'pampered' lot.

    There are probably lots of reasons.

    But just to throw my own anecdotal evidence into the ring. I have a little boy who's in nursery (he's three and a half) and will be starting school full time in September; in Wales, where I know education is run slightly differently. He learns the alphabet via phonics, he can count to twenty, he knows all his colours and is pretty good on shapes and it is AMAZING how adept the little ones are at using computers (and phones), much better than I am at it.

    He's not a particularly bright kid, though it's obviously hard to tell at his age and his attention span is the usual for a boy, he wants to play not learn. But I've been impressed with how much they learn through repetitive play-based learning. It's seems a lot more focussed and joined-up that when I was that age.

    For instance, we got given a sheet from which he needs to start learning cursive writing. I didn't do cursive writing till I was about seven or eight, but his teacher said it helps with their reading/spacing of words. He can't write his name normally yet so it does seem a bit premature! But overall it does appear that the teachers are getting stuck into them young, giving all the kids - good or bad - an advanced learning-set to help with their reading/writing/spelling.

    Which must be a good thing.

    But if Gove can improve things again, then great. The biggest barrier when I was at school (in an admittedly, very rough - all boys - comprehensive) was the stigma attached to bright kids. They got bullied and battered and shunned as swots. I was fairly bright and got into the top sets but I avoided all the hassle by being good at sport and hanging out with the nutters. Staying under the radar!
  • CarlottaVanceCarlottaVance Posts: 52,030
    @SouthamObserver

    It's out for consultation - tell them what you would drop:

    http://media.education.gov.uk/assets/files/pdf/h/history 04-02-13.pdf
  • MonksfieldMonksfield Posts: 1,939
    Roger said:

    @Carlotta. "BBC unions silent over the Maggie Question"

    The most respected and famous international political figure of all time versus (probably) the most despised the British Isles has known (certainly in my lifetime).

    I can see the equivalence!

    Lets not forget that back in the Seventies it was still received wisdom among daily mail readers and foot soldiers of the right that Mandela was a dangerous terrorist who should be locked up permanently if not executed.

  • SouthamObserverSouthamObserver Posts: 35,924
    Roger said:

    "It should not be the role of journalists on a publicly funded news body to decide what news we get on the basis of their political prejudices."

    That's not how it would have happened. Some Telegraph hack would have asked the BBC union if they'd go back to cover Mandela's death-"yes". 'Well what about Maggie?' "pass!"

    Anyone with half a brain understands that Mandela could well have been dying, while there is no suggestion that Maggie is. Thus, there would be a contingency plan for the first for this specific strike (has it happened yet, did anyone notice?), but not for the second. Had Mrs T been in hospital suffering from pneumonia with David Cameron saying the country should pray for her and her family it may have been different. Obviously the Telegraph would like to pretend that is not the case, but like many on here it does have a rather transparent agenda!

  • CarlottaVanceCarlottaVance Posts: 52,030
    @Monksfield - any of them planning parties on Mandela's death? The apologists for the unions are understandably (I hope!) embarrassed by the parties planned by some on the left on Thatcher's death.
  • RogerRoger Posts: 14,946
    "First his ideas are hogwash. Second he's odious."

    Interesting that so many think the same-even those not interested in education. Fine post Ricardohos and well worth looking at the Ken Robinson clip again. The country has moved on and dinosaurs like Gove and his party are dying a slow death.
  • FluffyThoughtsFluffyThoughts Posts: 2,420
    AN1 said:

    Those who seek to denigrate him [Gove] are undoubtedly scared witless....

    Sorry, no: Wodger is just witless. Still, be gentle with him; he misses Khaddafi and Mubarak and is preparing for the day when Al-Assad is removed from his fawning world-view....

  • GeoffMGeoffM Posts: 6,071

    Mike's comment said 'lists' of facts, a words you have deliberately omitted.

    Actually I quoted Mike directly from his own post, including the word you say I omitted.

  • tim said:

    AN1
    It was Aberdeen, and all the polling shows he and Osborne are the two big recruiting sergeants for tactical anti Tory voting

    Gove particularly alienates 2010 Lib Dems

    Wrong, tim!
    Whilst Gove certainly grew up in Aberdeen, he was born and adopted in Glasgow (according to his own account): the move to Aberdeen happened when he was very young and he was also educated there, having won the first of several scholarships during his academic career.

  • AlastairMeeksAlastairMeeks Posts: 30,340
    As and when Baroness Thatcher dies, it will be a destabilising event for British politics. It will be a time when those on all sides reflect on the current state of politics, and the raw reactions on both sides will polarise the currently undecided.

    Both David Cameron and Ed Miliband would have unruly tigers to ride in that event, were it to happen before the next election.
  • NeilNeil Posts: 7,983

    The apologists for the unions are understandably (I hope!) embarrassed by the parties planned by some on the left on Thatcher's death.

    Trade unions dont need apologists. They just need members.
  • FensterFenster Posts: 2,115
    My brother is a teacher and he hates Gove. When I asked him why he couldn't really give an answer.

    My brother isn't one for thinking for himself and is easily influenced. So recently I asked him to show me some Union propaganda (teachers get emailed newsletters and stuff) and fair play to the teaching unions - a bit a cult - they are extremely well organising in resisting change and influencing teachers to rally against Gove.

    Which begs the question. Is the cultural (and left of centre) resistance to change among the NUT worse than a right of centre politician attempting to drive change, for better or for worse?

    I fear Gove will eventually be overwhelmed by the teaching fraternity. They are just too powerful.
  • DecrepitJohnLDecrepitJohnL Posts: 13,300
    GeoffM said:

    ...Michael Gove - the man who thinks history is about learning lists of facts...

    Yes, ridiculous that tedious "facts" should get in the way of knowing about history.

    Vaguely remembered anecdote alert: in the Times Higher Education, a few years ago, a senior teacher of history on your side of the debate relayed his surprise that when expressing his views to the dons, he was told that universities could teach the facts but they preferred students to arrive prepared for what history actually entails: sources, interpretation and so on.

    Though perhaps that can best be left to A-level.

    There is the problem that history does not get harder as it approaches the present in the same way that, say, mathematics does. In maths, you pretty much have to teach counting and adding up in what we used to call infant schools, then simple arithmetic and times tables and so on.

    If history is taught chronologically, you end up with a seven-year-old's understanding of the stone age, a 14-year-old's knowledge of the Tudors, and so on (and history ends whenever the subject is dropped). We might as easily teach history in reverse chronological order, starting with the election of Mr Cameron and working backwards, so that the older children study the Romans and come away knowing more than that they wore togas.
  • FluffyThoughtsFluffyThoughts Posts: 2,420


    Lets not forget that back in the Seventies it was still received wisdom among daily mail readers and foot soldiers of the right that Mandela was a dangerous terrorist who should be locked up permanently if not executed.

    Does not Mandela admit his terrorism (and justifies it as necessary to remove Afrikaans oppression)? Is this admission of sin not part of the redemption process that is meant to shape modern South-Africa...?

    Skin-colour does not endow sainthood, even of the feeble secular kind; neither does right-on, left-wing politics. When the old-man passes-away he will be mourned but only St Peter can allow him through the Pearly-Gates....
  • CarlottaVanceCarlottaVance Posts: 52,030
    GeoffM said:

    Mike's comment said 'lists' of facts, a words you have deliberately omitted.

    Actually I quoted Mike directly from his own post, including the word you say I omitted.
    I suspect, few, if any, of Gove's detractors have actually read the proposed history curriculum - they just happily trot out their rote learned "lists of facts" meme - and these are the ones who argue that pupils will not learn to "think for themselves"!
  • It's very nice to see an advert for the Doctor Who 50th anniversary stamps on the site - possibly the first time ever that an advert here has been correctly targeted at me... A timely reminder that the true meaning of Easter is nothing to do with eggs or chocolate but marks the beginning of the new series of my favourite TV show. ;)

    I hope that everyone has a good Easter and that the weather isn't too unkind to any of us. I'll be in Hull staying with my girlfriend... we take the cold weather as a given there most of the time anyway.
  • SouthamObserverSouthamObserver Posts: 35,924
    antifrank said:

    As and when Baroness Thatcher dies, it will be a destabilising event for British politics. It will be a time when those on all sides reflect on the current state of politics, and the raw reactions on both sides will polarise the currently undecided.

    Both David Cameron and Ed Miliband would have unruly tigers to ride in that event, were it to happen before the next election.

    I hope to be out of the country when it happens. Hagiography will vie with demonisation. It will all be very unpleasant.

  • DecrepitJohnLDecrepitJohnL Posts: 13,300

    It's very nice to see an advert for the Doctor Who 50th anniversary stamps on the site - possibly the first time ever that an advert here has been correctly targeted at me...

    That is the point: the advert is targeted at you and most of us will not see it on the site, unless, inspired by your post, we engage in a frantic search for more Whovian material.

    The political importance, and one that is not much debated, is that not only adverts but also search results and even news are also targeted. We are rapidly approaching the situation where each side really does have not just its own opinions but its own facts.
  • FluffyThoughtsFluffyThoughts Posts: 2,420
    Off-topic:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/england/9960531/Anti-racism-group-reports-England-to-Fifa-after-fans-sang-abusive-songs-during-World-Cup-qualifier-in-San-Marino.html

    Does anyone know who this FARE grouping are? Their claims seem juvenile.

    As it's Easter, and given his past tweets (and a need to be redeemed), would it not be nice for Rio to stand-up and say 'Enough!'. It's football fer-gawd-sake...!
  • RogerRoger Posts: 14,946
    Incidentally anyone who enjoyed the 'Ted Talks...' Ken Robinson clip might like this one with Taryn Simon taking a sideways look at photography.

    http://www.ted.com/talks/taryn_simon_photographs_secret_sites.html
  • SouthamObserverSouthamObserver Posts: 35,924
    tim said:

    @Fenster

    Is there any evidence that Gove is improving anything?
    His supporters seem to have blind faith, and there's so much secrecy in the DOE regarding his pet projects it's impossible to judge mutch of what has happened

    I see the biggest Academy chain has just been barred from taking over any new schools.

    Up to now the focus seems to have been on persuading the best schools to take academy status - presumably so that it can be claimed that academies get the best results. Of course, academies were specifically devised as a means to improve the worst performing schools. When Gove returns to that - which he will have to do - then we will see what he is really made of.

  • PlatoPlato Posts: 15,724
    I'm sure not all of these are true - but still rather amusing. Layout disasters...

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/lukelewis/newspaper-and-magazine-layout-disasters
  • SouthamObserverSouthamObserver Posts: 35,924

    It's very nice to see an advert for the Doctor Who 50th anniversary stamps on the site - possibly the first time ever that an advert here has been correctly targeted at me...

    That is the point: the advert is targeted at you and most of us will not see it on the site, unless, inspired by your post, we engage in a frantic search for more Whovian material.

    So why do I get loads of ads about retiring when I am not even 50? Does the PB site know something I don't??!!

  • edmundintokyoedmundintokyo Posts: 15,624

    I do agree with learning history chronologically (not a list of kings but a what-happened-next? approach: it's just more interesting and informative) and would be interested to see someone put the case against it - why isn't this done?

    What I'm wondering here is how politicians and political commentators compile their list of "things we give a shit about".

    There's a fairly short list of obscure pedagogical issues like this that the entire political class seems to have strong, deeply-held opinions about, but otherwise they seem to mercifully leave huge swathes of education to the people teaching it. For example, chemistry teachers don't seem to have to deal with parliamentary committees demanding that they teach acids before bases, or do all the chemicals in the order you'd find them on the periodic table. (Or maybe they do and it doesn't get reported?)
  • GeoffMGeoffM Posts: 6,071

    Though perhaps that can best be left to A-level.

    Interesting. My personal experience at A-Level was a span of history from prehistoric time to the modern day. Facts with analysis. The exam IIRC consisted of around one hundred essay questions of which you had to answer ten. Over the two years we were taught a section of the course, sufficient to answer about twenty questions. In our case the excellent Mr. Davies chose to teach us British and European history from 1812 - 1945

    This was sound preparation for me going on to study the subject at University, where they were perfectly satisfied with my fact-based preparation.

    I can't speak for educational theories. I'm restricted to only having actually done this in real life.

  • AlastairMeeksAlastairMeeks Posts: 30,340

    I do agree with learning history chronologically (not a list of kings but a what-happened-next? approach: it's just more interesting and informative) and would be interested to see someone put the case against it - why isn't this done?

    What I'm wondering here is how politicians and political commentators compile their list of "things we give a shit about".

    There's a fairly short list of obscure pedagogical issues like this that the entire political class seems to have strong, deeply-held opinions about, but otherwise they seem to mercifully leave huge swathes of education to the people teaching it. For example, chemistry teachers don't seem to have to deal with parliamentary committees demanding that they teach acids before bases, or do all the chemicals in the order you'd find them on the periodic table. (Or maybe they do and it doesn't get reported?)
    History has much wider significance than its formal subject matter, because it's the one subject at school where pupils are taught how to organise facts to form opinions and make arguments. (I'm aware that students can now get taught Critical Thinking, but that's seen to be a complete doss of a subject by all the students I've talked with).
  • SouthamObserverSouthamObserver Posts: 35,924
    Plato said:

    I'm sure not all of these are true - but still rather amusing. Layout disasters...

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/lukelewis/newspaper-and-magazine-layout-disasters

    In a previous job we did a directory of leading lawyers in a certain industry and had a sales team whose job it was to upsell extended biographies to those listed at £1,500 a pop. One Canadian lawyer was not impressed with that proposition and was rude to the sales bloke pitching him. In the notes section of the database said sales person wrote next to the lawyer's name "Do not call, he is a first rate wanker". That ended up in the final directory. The recall of 10,000 copies and the subsequent reprint cost us what had been a very healthy profit.

  • foxinsoxukfoxinsoxuk Posts: 23,548
    The discussion of facts vs discussion is something that runs across to medical education. Medical students do much less anatomy and physiology than in my day, just 25 years ago. Amazingly they do very little pharmacology, considering that most doctors are pill pushers. These are considered tiresome facts, that crowd out issues like communication skills from the curriculum.

    British trained doctors are now very good at breaking bad news, and generally much better at communication than my generation. I was examining for medical school finals last week and this was consistently true. What they were much less good at was explaining their findings in terms of anatomy and pathology, and proposing treatments. They need both skills.

    The education debate also needs both. One cannot discuss the role of Mary Seacole intelligently without some background facts on the British Empire, war in Crimea and 19th century politics. Context is required for history, as biological knowledge is for medicine.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0
    edited March 2013



    I suspect, few, if any, of Gove's detractors have actually read the proposed history curriculum - they just happily trot out their rote learned "lists of facts" meme - and these are the ones who argue that pupils will not learn to "think for themselves"!
    I know only what I have seen on documentaries about education in China/Korea. In both, the school day is 9-5, and since their 18+ exam is life chances-determining, almost all students attend 'crammer schools' in the evening, typically for 4 hrs/day.

    [I assume therefore, that the schools set no formal homework!]

    In addition, most pupils also attend all-day Saturday classes (ie for 12 hrs or so) and most in the documentaries I have seen , also study at home on Sundays.

    In classes, which can sometimes be very large, the pupils sit in neat, serried rows and the teacher teaches, whilst the pupils listen, take notes and only answer questions when asked directly: it is a very, very traditional, Victorian-style approach to education.

    It is clear that ALL teachers are respected in a way that has probably not been true in British schools for 100 years - SOME British teachers certainly command a classroom in the same way - but by no means all!
    It is a style of education designed to impart a large body of factual knowledge and not to inspire imagination or individuality - it is also fiercely competitive - and NOT a type of education that I, or anyone else in the West, would like to see adopted en bloc, over here.

    There are no Modular exams and re-sits happen 12 months later (a fair percentage seem to retake their 18+ exam if they do not do well enough first time around: it's 'all or nothing', though - the ENTIRE suite of exams (not unlike IB) have to be resat, not just a single subject.

    A typical pupil there, has 70+ hours of formal, structured, academic study each week, and does maybe another 10-20 hours of 'personal study'.

    In Britain, a typical school day is 9-3, with an hour for lunch, or 25 hrs/week, to which must be added 10 hrs or so of 'personal study' - again, for a typical 16+ yo student.

    With roughly 3x the numbers of hours of structured lessons each week, it is hardly surprising, therefore, that Asian/Oriental students do exceptionally well on International educational tables, which, I strongly suspect, place great emphasis on knowledge acquisition, rather than imaginative, personal interpretation.

    There are also very roughly 25x as many children in such educational systems as there are in England, so you'd expect there to be a similar proportion of exceptionally high academic achievers, who will lead the next generation of scientific discoveries, innovations and applications of technology to everyday life: the Samsung v Apple rivalry for smart-phones is a case in point: the latest Samsung offering being ahead of the Apple i5, by most accounts.
  • PlatoPlato Posts: 15,724
    edited March 2013
    @edmundintokyo

    History has a much bigger significance on one's self image as a nation though. And when Creationism tries to creep into science teaching - its railed against very strongly by most.

    I can think of several times when a political bent was clear in my own teaching both at school and at college - there is no place for it but we have to accept that those who feel strongly will seek to influence their charges.

  • SouthamObserverSouthamObserver Posts: 35,924
    History has much wider significance than its formal subject matter, because it's the one subject at school where pupils are taught how to organise facts to form opinions and make arguments. (I'm aware that students can now get taught Critical Thinking, but that's seen to be a complete doss of a subject by all the students I've talked with).



    The way history is taught and the issues the teaching focuses on can have a significant impact on the views that children develop, which is why it is such a political hot potato. Politicians of any shade should not be allowed anywhere near it.

  • PlatoPlato Posts: 15,724
    @SouthamObserver

    LOL - I recall a marvellously revealing typo when I worked for Mercury. In those olden times when firms actually printed their internal directories and sent one to each employee - HR's database listed everyone who was due for the chop as *Overhead* instead of their job title or dept - we all got a copy and many were initially rather affronted at this odd labelling.

    And then they got the boot a few weeks later as part of a massive redundancy cull.

    IIRC British Rail timetables also managed to replace a railway station with Ulan Bator as the terminus when a compiler got bored...
  • malcolmgmalcolmg Posts: 34,484

    AndyJS said:

    Andrew Mitchell will not be amused to learn of this:

    "The Times and the Guardian reported that the police files sent to the Crown Prosecution Service contained "no evidence" that Downing Street police officers lied about their account of the incident":
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-21969990
    The wording of that BBC report is interesting, especially the 'Downing Street officers' bit. That does not exclude other officers.

    Does anyone actually still believe that the police log is a genuine and honest account of what happened that evening?

    Does anyone care
  • AlanbrookeAlanbrooke Posts: 21,536
    Plato said:

    @edmundintokyo

    History has a much bigger significance on one's self image as a nation though. And when Creationism tries to creep into science teaching - its railed against very strongly by most.

    I can think of several times when a political bent was clear in my own teaching both at school and at college - there is no place for it but we have to accept that those who feel strongly will seek to influence their charges.

    Historically of course it's science trying to creeep into creationism Miss P ;-)

  • CD13CD13 Posts: 5,909

    A few years ago, my daughter's homework was about the blitz ... along the lines of "put yourself in their place, how would you have felt, and what would you have needed?"

    It seems to her and her classmates that the obvious answer was counselling. I knew then that modern teaching had "moved on".

    Personally, I'd have thought the obvious answer was better anti-aircraft guns and a bloody deep shelter, but what do I know?

  • CarolaCarola Posts: 1,805
    Cripes, the first day of the easter hols and a discussion about education. Couple of points... teachers have very little power in any arena these days, and 'learning styles' has had something of a thrashing in recent research.
  • redcliffe62redcliffe62 Posts: 342

    History has much wider significance than its formal subject matter, because it's the one subject at school where pupils are taught how to organise facts to form opinions and make arguments. (I'm aware that students can now get taught Critical Thinking, but that's seen to be a complete doss of a subject by all the students I've talked with).

    The way history is taught and the issues the teaching focuses on can have a significant impact on the views that children develop, which is why it is such a political hot potato. Politicians of any shade should not be allowed anywhere near it.



    As a student of history I was amazed at the level of bias or to be polite influence a lecturer had in influencing a viewpoint.
    We had right wing and left wing lecturers and they clearly taught history with a very different agenda.

  • CharlesCharles Posts: 34,932
    tim from several threads ago:

    I know multivalent vaccines, and I know the risk of overstimulation from products that combine multiple antigens. A major international company has had to pull products from the market in Chile for exactly this reason.
  • JonathanJonathan Posts: 16,793
    edited March 2013
    Gove is just following his Orwell...

    he who controls the present controls the past
    he who controls the past controls the future
  • Morris_DancerMorris_Dancer Posts: 57,370
    Good morning, everyone.

    I only took history and the classics for the minimal period necessary at school. This was largely due to the stupid system of subject selection and partly because history was taught in a fairly boring fashion.

    However, since leaving school I've read a bit of history. A sound grounding in facts and figures would seem an obvious prerequisite to being to able to form a critical perspective. You can't praise or condemn Caesar if you don't understand how skilful some of his marches were, or how fortunate he was that (after Dyrrachium) Pompey succumbed to senatorial pressure to stupidly march after him.

    Miss CD13 (it is Miss, right?), that depresses me [although I do not need counselling]. I'm really not into this "How did the ordinary person feel?" kind of history. Alexander the Great matters more than a Macedonian sheep farmer from 330BC. It's slightly perverse that we have a celebrity culture fixated upon often talentless types in the modern world, but when it comes to genuine heroes and geniuses and villains of yesteryear some now prefer to focus on people who achieved nothing of historical importance whatsoever. What kind of world prefers Peter Andre in the present and shuns Nikola Tesla and Aurelian when viewing the past?

    That said, it's not an either/or, but in a limited space of time (ie teaching history for a year or two) the focus should be on the greats of history.
  • PlatoPlato Posts: 15,724
    Can anyone enlighten me as to what's going on re Leeds heart surgery debacle? There's the CQC shutting it down for performance/mortality reasons, the local PCT shutting it down for efficiency reasons, the local MP campaigning to keep it open for voter popularity reasons...

    Why would anyone want to have their child treated at a place that wasn't particularly good at what it did [or potentially dangerous to its health] just because it was a few miles closer?
  • Morris_DancerMorris_Dancer Posts: 57,370
    Mr. Jonathan, you silly billy. Can you point out to me, and the rest of the class, inaccuracies or plain untruths Gove is attempting to insert into the teaching of history?

    It's hardly Orwellian to teach British history. But then, I think you're being a tinker on purpose.
  • malcolmgmalcolmg Posts: 34,484
    edited March 2013

    Off-topic:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/england/9960531/Anti-racism-group-reports-England-to-Fifa-after-fans-sang-abusive-songs-during-World-Cup-qualifier-in-San-Marino.html

    Does anyone know who this FARE grouping are? Their claims seem juvenile.

    As it's Easter, and given his past tweets (and a need to be redeemed), would it not be nice for Rio to stand-up and say 'Enough!'. It's football fer-gawd-sake...!

    Fluffy not sure if they are Scottish, but they were behind most of the times Rangers got reported to to Eufa on singing banned songs, obviously that meant they were labelled as front for Celtic supporters. Believe they may be a European group however.

    Fluffy , it appears it is a network of 40 groups throughout Europe. http://www.farenet.org/

  • That is the point: the advert is targeted at you and most of us will not see it on the site, unless, inspired by your post, we engage in a frantic search for more Whovian material.

    The political importance, and one that is not much debated, is that not only adverts but also search results and even news are also targeted. We are rapidly approaching the situation where each side really does have not just its own opinions but its own facts.

    I think it's also the case that many of us are choosing to "self-target" (to use an ugly phrase) our news anyway. I tend not to watch TV news bulletins at all now but, instead, get all of my news from BBC and other websites. So I'm already deciding what news stories I want to read/watch/hear. For example - I don't care about sport so I never click on any sport stories. That's a relatively trivial example but I'm sure I probably "self-target" on political, national and international stories too by picking and choosing what I do or don't want to know. I think it's a healthy enough thing to do - there's so much more news available now that nobody can possibly follow every story.
  • PlatoPlato Posts: 15,724
    Hmm. http://order-order.com/2013/03/29/borrowing-to-pay-public-sector-pensions-is-1-in-7/ I'm sure someone will be along shortly to nit-pick over what's contributory or not or whatever - the point is the actual number of £££ spent vs what comes in to pay for it that isn't borrowed.

    The Centre for Policy Studies has spotted that deep within the Budget Red Book is the admission that the cashflow shortfall between public sector pensions’ contributions and pensions in payment is now forecast to double within 5 years. The pensions gap is growing to such an extent that it will soon represent a significant driver of the deficit. The 2013 Budget now forecasts a Public Sector New Borrowing Requirement of £96 billion for 2015 – the year the Coalition optimistically intended to close the deficit. At £13.6 billion, the pension cashflow shortfall will then be equivalent to 14% of the deficit.
  • SouthamObserverSouthamObserver Posts: 35,924
    Plato said:

    @SouthamObserver

    LOL - I recall a marvellously revealing typo when I worked for Mercury. In those olden times when firms actually printed their internal directories and sent one to each employee - HR's database listed everyone who was due for the chop as *Overhead* instead of their job title or dept - we all got a copy and many were initially rather affronted at this odd labelling.

    And then they got the boot a few weeks later as part of a massive redundancy cull.

    IIRC British Rail timetables also managed to replace a railway station with Ulan Bator as the terminus when a compiler got bored...

    We spend a huge amount on our subs and proof-readers. It's one of our single biggest overheads. But as I always say, we are always just one typo away from bankruptcy. The wrong word in the wrong place can cost an absolute fortune! When you see those typos you linked to you wonder how on earth they got through. But time pressure plus the assumption that someone else is going to sort a problem out has led to many a disaster.

  • FluffyThoughtsFluffyThoughts Posts: 2,420
    Off-topic,

    Being a thread that has touched Mandela, does anyone know what happened to these terrorists?

    http://metro.co.uk/2006/09/11/scottish-terrorists-in-water-threat-233300/

    I remember when the story broke but have no idea how the criminal investigation went. It may be that the Government (and their Armed-Wing, The Met) chose not to do what the Irish State eventually did...?

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/jul/23/scottish-nationalist-terror-bomb-hoax-court
  • NeilNeil Posts: 7,983
    Plato said:

    I'm sure someone will be along shortly to nit-pick

    No reason to nit-pick, Plato. The notion that current public sector workers are any more on the hook for the pensions of previous generations of public sector workers than other taxpayers is a false one.

  • GeoffMGeoffM Posts: 6,071
    edited March 2013


    As a student of history I was amazed at the level of bias or to be polite influence a lecturer had in influencing a viewpoint. We had right wing and left wing lecturers and they clearly taught history with a very different agenda.

    My A-Level politics teacher was General Secretary of SYMVOS (Select Your Member Voting Society) and you were effectively forced to claim love for STV if you wanted to get anywhere on his course.

  • CarlottaVanceCarlottaVance Posts: 52,030
    Some Euro polling:

    Government Approval rating (Net)

    GB: -35
    Germ: -40
    Fra: -49
    Swe: -33
    Den: -44
    Fin: -22
    Nor: -31

    http://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/eh65gpse1v/YG-Archive_Eurotrack-March-Cyprus-EU-representatives-Easter.pdf
  • AlastairMeeksAlastairMeeks Posts: 30,340
    Typos are the bane of lawyers' lives too. I have a particular horror of "not" getting typed as "now", which seems to happen a lot more than you'd think.
  • PlatoPlato Posts: 15,724
    edited March 2013
    For anyone else who's made the eat/heat decision - Fraser is spot on.

    RT @frasernelson: A Brit is dying from cold every 7 minutes, while ministers still fret about global warming. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/elderhealth/9959856/Its-the-cold-not-global-warming-that-we-should-be-worried-about.html
This discussion has been closed.