Category education

The Age of the Individual

Where did it all go wrong? The age of the individual could have been a good thing. It was supposed to be a good thing, because the institutions the “individual” was supposed to be fighting against were giant soulless beasts and no one was rooting for them. The machine, the corporation, the oppressive state. So […]

Confirmation Bias

First thing you should know is that this is yet another post about being, you know, nice. Obviously, being nice isn’t very interesting and is rarely particularly amusing, so this post may struggle to achieve either. Apologies. Normal, cynical, hilarious service will resume soon. In the meantime, I’ve been thinking about confirmation bias. In case […]

Empathy, imagination and weakness

It’s so easy to laugh It’s so easy to hate, It takes guts to be gentle and kind…. I never thought I’d quote Morrissey here, but he’s right, isn’t he? When someone cuts you up on the motorway, or is noisier than you think they should be, or behaves in some way that inconveniences or […]

Choice. Respect. Wibble.

This morning, the new London Gateway “super-port” opened for business. Lots of big ships will come and unload their fridges and cars and 50″ plasma TVs and rare and exotic potatoes, and because the population density is so high in the South-East of England, this will mean things arrive in the country that little bit […]

The beatification of the businessman

The world’s a very different place from the one I grew up in back in the late seventies and eighties. I’m not talking pace-of-life, or geopolitics, or technology, although obviously all of those things have changed beyond comprehension (which should give anyone who thinks they can predict what things will look like in thirty or […]

“I agree with Nick”

Where, as The Pixies so memorably sang, is my mind? You know how this blog works. I take a major global story everyone’s talking about, add a unique slant no one else has thought of, and a million people say “wow, that’s cool”. Or I take a tiny local story, add an interpretation that relates […]

Axis of evil

A story posted a while back by a friend on Facebook got me thinking. The story’s here, and the headline pretty much sums it up. Campus police on a prestigious American university seem to have been siding with the perpetrators of rape against its victims, a mix of the “it wasn’t really rape” and “she […]

What’s “important”, and why that matters

Wait a third of a year for a post about words and meanings, and two come along at once. A fortnight ago I was penning this piece about definitions and the law. And shortly afterwards I was given an object lesson in how easily this same subjectivity of language can be manipulated for political ends. […]

When I were a lad

You may have seen the latest set of Gove madnesses over the last week or two. Not content with a history of policy so crazy he got himself his very own poem here a few weeks back, the honourable secretary of state for education has set his sights on two new targets: teaching assistants, and […]

Michael Gove was a Merry Old Cove

Michael Gove was a merry old cove A merry old cove was he, He called for a change to curricula, And he pissed off the NUT. Every little thing that the Govenor did Made him look even more of a clown, Like a mint spent on gilt-edged bibles For schools that were falling down. “Sport” […]