Thursday, 16 October 2008


Governments buying shares in banks
A big up-yours to the laissez-faire. Who/what is laissez-faire? The idea of unregulated capitalism - thought up by crazies in the 70s, brought to life in the 80s by Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan, and now dead. Sure, of all the industries that should really be nationalised for the public good - transport springs to mind - banking was relatively far down the list. But the financial crisis was caused by people playing make-believe with money and now the concept that the free market can regulate itself is dead. I'd be happier if it wasn't taxpayers who are paying for it.

UK education shock - less exams, not more
SATs exams for 14-year-olds (Year 9) are to be scrapped. The government is of course blaming the American company ETS Europe's monumental screw-up earlier this year, but the plain truth has been obvious for many years - UK school pupils are some of the most overtested in the world. Parents' damaging demands for league tables and government's endless search for figures and data to prove progress is backward and negative - I should know, it was my school year that first took SATs and first had A-levels split into AS and A2 exams, giving young people 3 solid years of exams that seriously affect your life.
Ironically it was the Conservative Party which pointed out children being overtested, when they love league tables and examinations more than anyone else.

UK civil liberties shock - 42 days no longer an option
Also this week, after being rejected in the House of Lords, the government's proposed terror law will no longer include the ability to lock terror suspects up for 42 days without charge. This would have had much more news coverage if it wasn't for the financial crisis - it's amazing that the government didn't try and force it through for the very same reason. Okay, nobody likes terrorists - terrorists are arseholes. But "terror suspects" could be anyone - the Brazilian man shot dead on the tube was one. And we do not want authorities locking people up for an extra 2 weeks without actually charging them for a crime - for "terror", for whatever.

And while the world learns to wash its hands...
Today is the first United Nations Global Handwashing Day, where millions of children and young people across the developing world are being taught that washing your hands is not only clean, but can pretent deadly diseases. So easy, so simple, so important.

...the U.K. doesn't know how
I saw a news article today called "Faecal bacteria join the commute". Yes. You read right. "Faecal bacteria" are bacteria from shit. Apparently 40% of commuters tested in a recent investigation had shit on their hands. 40 PER CENT. I would doubt these findings, but I'm a man, and I see other men not washing their hands in toilet. But seriously, shit. SHIT. What is wrong with people?

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