Sunday, 26 February 2012

The Sunday- Patronise the Plebs Edition

You Trots just don't understand: This government may be Conservative by name but they are in fact pretty radical by nature. Less than two years into office and they have already enacted major changes in the Education system, raising fees for Higher Education and Academising much of Secondary. For a good year now they've been battling to alter the form of the NHS whilst they also go about attempting to radically overhaul the Welfare system. The ambition may be admirable, but, for many, the ideas sure as hell aren't as they seek to make life harder for those who don't exactly have it easy at the moment. But raise an opposition voice to this Government and be prepared to be smeared, patronised and ultimately ignored by a group of Ministers who consider it a success to have their breeches only part-dampened as they piss into the wind.

Education illustrates this perfectly. When the tuition fees faff was happening there was no attempt to engage with dissenting voices. Opposition was either labelled as hard-left, Commie activists, or condescendingly told that, despite representing this country's intellectual future, they were too simple to understand the benefits of being saddled with three times more debt than the current system. 'But you'll pay less per month' whinnied Nick Clegg, conveniently obscuring the fact that payments will be lasting much longer. Reforms of Primary and Secondary Education are the same. Oppose them and Michael Gove's on his soapbox calling you a 'Trot'. A concoction of condescension, obfuscation and rudeness seems to be the tonic for the government in the face of opposition.

A Tory 'listening exercise'
In the past week NHS reforms and the Workfare scheme have raised issues for Cameron & co. The majority of the medical profession apparently 'don't understand' the NHS bill and thus were excluded from the minority coalition of the willing that was assembled on Monday. Whilst Lansley might have had a few awkward moments on the way in, I expect the government weren't too bothered with the raving former-Union official that accosted him, as it plays into their narrative of their reforms being opposed by outdated lefties, ignoring the variety of professional bodies also standing against the reforms. As for Workfare, oppose the coldblooded exploitation of the jobless and you're a 'job snob' according to Iain Duncan Smith. Sainsburys, Waterstones and others obviously disagree as they pulled out the wrong-headed coalition scheme. Even Tesco's pulled out...when Tesco show more moral conscience than you, you might want to reassess your plans. But it wouldn't appear so. The government seems intent on continuing to kick the shins of those it fancies, resorting to smears, and an explanation that they just don't realise bruised shins are good for them, when they dare complain.

Inland What-pire?: Went to the BFI last night to watch David Lynch's Inland Empire, as part of their David Lynch season. I had heard (though not seen) of Lynch's work before, and was aware it was pretty weird. However, nothing quite prepared me for this.
The film is three hours of indecipherable rubbish. I enjoyed the odd five minutes, but with the film that long it's like enjoying the odd drop as you're waterboarded. Maybe I just don't get it, but you'd have to be some kind of loony film buff to appreciate whatever was going on on screen. Even the A4 sheet that was meant to introduce you to the film made zero sense. And the worst the end as I roused myself from by brain-ached stupor, people clapped. They clapped. What?

Six Nations Update: Just over half-way in and I'm 7-1 for my predictions. Admittedly I've basically picked the favourite in every match so far, with only a late Welsh penalty in Dublin depriving me of a perfect record. No surprises in the the first or last matches of this weekend. The England-Wales match was great entertainment. England have a promising group of players who could be delivering big things in a couple of years if they can stick together. As for Wales, it's all about the present. Victory against Italy will set up a shot at a Grand Slam against a French side coming off three matches in consecutive weekends. Exciting times for the immense Sam Warburton and his crew.

As for next weekends rearrangement:
France over Ireland- I want to pick the Irish as I think they're marginally the better team, but their horrid record in Paris cancels that out. Both teams need to impress next weekend, as England look ready for a scrap in the last two matches.

When the Brits were fun: Some moments from the past, because cutting off a speech because of TV isn't very rock'n'roll.

The obvious
Confusion reigns
They say musics gone downhill
And because I'm a Manics (and Comprehensive School) fanboy, how to deliver an acceptance speech

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