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Do the Math!

have seen their
wealth increase
since the
That’s enough to pay off the deficit of
and have change.

Meanwhile 19 US owned multinational companies are paying about 3% tax on their earnings in the UK.

A roll call of corporate rogues who are milking the country
The scale of unpaid tax now outstrips the entire deficit. Forcing the elite to pay up is a matter of both justice and necessity

Seamus Milne - Guardian 30/10/2012


On a weekend when the Merz Barn in Cumbria is facing closure
a fascinating exhibition of assemblages has just finished in Holt.

Merz Barn faces closure
Lake District shrine to modern art where Kurt Schwitters worked on his last
great dadaist project under threat after losing grant.

Charlotte Higgins - Guardian 19/10/2012

Dick Lee’s Assemblages














Cameron talks nonsense about Primary Sport

Art & Design and Technology are to receive comparable time and money to complement the time given to PE in the Primary Curriculum.
History and Geography will soon follow. Art & Design and Technology have been reduced to a rump in most Primary Schools  over the last two decades. With the emphasis on the notionally high value subjects  English, Maths and Science (the notorious, three Rs of Primary Education). The teaching of Arts & Humanities  have suffered an almost terminal decline.
But,with the realisation that the Sports Parnerships set up by the Labour Government and the 2hrs of PE per week in Primary Schools have made a huge impact on young children's appetite for sport a volte face was about due. The Conservative /Liberal partnership have decided to reinstate the Sports Partnerships in full to  further the ambitions of Primary Children for sport. Even more, they will take full account of the annual questionnaires that school's completed concerning participation in sport particularly the children’s wishes for other sports to be available to Primary Children. The coalition have accepted that children's aspirations are not limited to those old chestnuts of football, hockey & cricket. The questionnaires showed that children wanted to expand their horizons to for example eg Tae Kwando, BMX, Mountain biking, Canoeing, Horse Riding, Yachting and many others. A further increase in funding has been earmarked to enable these aspirations.
These initiatives will have a huge impact on the aspirations and long term health of the children in this country.
It has become clear to the coalition that other subjects need to be encouraged in the same way for the long term creativity and entrepreneurial health of the country. Art, Design & Technology, Geography and History must be encouraged to the same level as PE. A creative ICT curriculum must also be encouraged with a focus on  programming. A coalition spokeswoman confirmed the need to engender a creative and entrepreneurial spirit from a young age  'quality art and design education in Primary Schools was an absolute essential in enabling this aspiration.' She also commented on the creativity in the historical pageant in the opening Olympic Ceremony. 'This sense of history and accompanying creativity needs to be well and truly nurtured in our young children.'
It has become clear that a more rounded and joined up thinking is necessary to stimulate the health and wealth of the nation and it starts with  listening to and then encouraging the aspirations of new generations of young people through a wide variety of sports and opportunities for creative learning.
We must encourage the sublime mixture of individual talent, pairs,  and groups in schools to achieve a healthy, wealthy and creative nation and prove that we really are all in it together.


 To show what utter nonsense is spoken by the Prime Minister about primary school sport then please read
TES Forum -
Teachers not wanting to play their part in sport
The Ofsted Report on School Sports Partnerships
Mike Baker's piece on School Sports Partnerships

And if you watched CBBC's newsround on the 13th August, they made it very clear to children that this year's olympics success was all about the cash injected to provide the facilities, the sports scientists, the fitness experts etc, to leave the athletes free to train. A very definite targeting of some very able and talented individuals for the benefit of the country, all provided by National Lottery funding. Now if the Lottery was state run and all the profits went into sports facilities across the country the children's aspirations to take part in a much wider variety of sports could be nurtured. Basket ball courts at the end of every street, a bmx track in every town, upgrade school halls for dance and gymnastics and a host of other provisions.

Reclaim Jubilee

It is the ancient Hebrew tradition of seeking the equalisation of land, property and ownership rights through seven cycles of "sabbatical years".
This biblical jubilee also shaped the commitment of Jesus and the early Christians to stand alongside the poor and dispossessed, rather than with the representatives of empire. "Remit our debts, as we remit the debts of others" is at the core of what we call the Lord's prayer. The phrase was later sanitised into "forgive us our sins", in order to turn wrongdoing into a purely personal matter removed from the harsh realities of economic and political injustice.

Let's reclaim the jubilee
The word is synonymous now with a pageant of privilege. But its ancient meaning is radical

Simon Barrow - Guardian 03/50/2012

Sincere Apologies

Apologies for the Incident.
We didn’t mean to make unemployed unpaid workers sleep under the London Bridge as part of their exploitation / work experience.

Call for inquiry into use of unpaid jobseekers as jubilee stewards
Security firm issues 'sincere apologies' for treatment of stewards but insists it did not exploit workers

Shiv Malik - Guardian 05/07/2012

Hungary on the way to Totalitarianism

It was another bad week for the west's great Enlightenment tradition. On Monday, the Hungarian government of Viktor Orbán, leader of the highly conservative Fidesz party, introduced its controversial new constitution allowing itself discretionary authority over the media, courts, the central bank and even personal conscience.
There is to be no division of powers in
Hungary between the executive, legislative and judiciary; no guaranteed freedom of the press, nor judicial impartiality; no freedom of worship. Abortion and same-sex marriages are outlawed. And echoing other horrific moments from Europe's dark past, Orbán proposes to offer ethnic Hungarians living in neighbouring countries Hungarian citizenship, rather as Hitler did for ethnic Germans in Czechoslovakia.

Now is not the time to turn our backs on Enlightenment values
From Hungary to South Africa, the US to the UK, the right no longer embraces progress or tolerance, reason or democratic argument

Will Hutton - Observer 08/01/2012