Monday, 17 May 2010

Best Story - Danish workers and Beer

Having listened a few weeks ago on a podcast (can't remember which one, but do remember it was on Highbury Fields) about the upcoming strike in Denmark by Carlsberg workers, I couldn't help myself, but smile when I read this article in

Reason 1
They were annoyed that the right to drink beer at work was taken away. What? They had the right to drink beer in the 21st century? How did that happen? Also, I wondered whether or not I was going down the rabbit hole when I was supporting the right to drink beer at work, but there is a broader point going on here about management and imposition within workplaces and that cuts in conditions can't be unilateral when we're talking about livelihoods. Same with BA and the strikes in the UK.

Reason 2
The strike is growing rather than diminishing over time.

Reason 3
Because at some point, the tag line was always going to be: Carlberg: probably the best strike in the world.

Now don't hate me for writing that...

Worst Story - Texas Education

The minute I read this article in the Guardian this morning I knew that no other would come close in its FAIL.

Brief recap - Texas state board of education, mainly conservative christians with, what seems a K spelling, has decided that the current curriculum is too 'liberal'.
My personal favourites of the changes are:
  • The McCarthy witch trials may have been justified
  • Slave trade rebranded as 'Atlantic triangular trade'
  • The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is driven by Islamic fundamentalism

There will also be an emphasis on the good of free market economics. Because Jesus was all for the rich...

Eric Hobsbawm wrote that nations were created through education and history, that elites create these concepts to keep the masses in their place. While I'm not so sure about the concerted effort of elites to do this, I see validity of his point in the use of the education system to indoctrinate, on both sides. And that is why we must ensure that all sides are represented, discussed and critiqued.

Education should be about empowerment, to enable students to be who they want to, to push through our thinking and to develop new ways of living. This effort by Texas is just about creating clones and is extremely worrying.

Friday, 14 May 2010

Comment: First day of the Coalition

And look, the world hasn't ended.

I don't care that Labour and Lib Dems couldn't do a deal. It still wasn't the government I'd hope for (though I'd welcome the electoral reform). Whatever party was going to come into power, the key issues for me were going to change, and not for the better.
The ConDem coaltion (go on Cameron, keep trying to brand it the Liberal Conservative govt) just means that it's going to go at that much faster pace.
Hospitals and NHS services are going to change, they were always going to no matter who got in from the main parties. Private contractors are delivering services now and will continue to do so. Academies, creating more divisive competition in the education sector will move at a faster pace now. I'm not even going to consider right now the cuts to adult education that will see the work I do take a further back seat.

I'm not overly obsessed with how long the coalition's going to last. It will last for as long as it will last. The fact that we're not really questioning the legitimacy of the similar policies is more of an issue for me.

Worst Story - Oil in the Gulf of Mexico

While the Guardian has this news story, I've been following this for about three weeks in the American media. While the UK press has become obsessed with the General Election, it's been grounding to know that there is a life outside the UK.
Shame that this has to be a major story though.

What I find really interesting is how do legal loopholes exist where BP is able to lease a rig that was made in S. Korea, owned by a Swiss company and flagged in the Marshall Islands in order to get around regulations?

And this is just a Bush throwback, the Obama administration is enabling more off shore drilling.

If you don't know how to drill safely then don't do it at all. The cost is not just to the environment but also the those that rely on the Gulf Coast for their livelihood and when we can ensure energy security in other ways the story is one big massive FAIL.

Best Story: Desmond Tutu and forgiveness

Tucked away in the Independent yesterday was an article on Archbishop Tutu's speech at an event for the Forgiveness Project.
Why is this the best story? I'm sick of coalition talk, of the pessimism from all sides on how the coalition will effect us. I'm for the politics of hope rather than fear and in the belief that if we work together, we can achieve a just world.
A couple of years ago I stayed at the Desmond Tutu Center in New York and it was an amazing place to be. In the middle of this busy city was this oasis of learning and contemplation. Then, as now I am in total awe of those who are able to move forward when tragedy strikes and rebuild.

So, best story because I choose hope over fear.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Getting Started

Welcome to my blog, The Pankhurst Post.

It aims to take the news stories of the day that I've found interesting, with my take on it, and where possible so thoughtful analysis. Though, I can't always promise that...