We need to talk about Diane Abbott. Now. (EXPLICIT CONTENT)

Diane Abbott has been a topic of talk, chatter, discussion, criticism – mostly unfair – and, most recently, speculation.
I am very pleased to share this excellent, thoughtful perspective on the subject of Ms Abbott, her story and why she is deserving of respect.

gogwit.

JACK MONROE

This is not a recipe. I wrote this as a series of tweets today and readers asked for it as a blog post, so here it is. Our politics may differ, so feel free to skip straight back to the recipes if that’s what you’re here for.

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT DIANE ABBOTT.

Right one of us political writer people needs to do this and it looks like it’s me. Grab a seat. I wanna talk about Diane.
Diane was first elected as an MP in 1987, the year before I was born. She has been dedicated to serving the British public for longer than I have even been alive. Hold that thought. Understand it.
Diane was the first black woman to have a seat in the House of Commons. She MADE HISTORY. Her father was welder, her mother a nurse. How many working class kids do we have…

View original post 1,106 more words

22/7/14: The Day in Trojan Horses.

The ‘Report into allegations concerning Birmingham schools arising from the ‘Trojan Horse’ letter’ authored by Peter Clarke CVO OBE QPM was published today, Tuesday 22 July 2014, and can be found here.

Also published today on this theme:

• Trojan horse: teachers may face misconduct hearings, says Morgan (The Guardian, 22/07/14)

• Trojan Horse probe shows ‘clear evidence’ of ‘deliberate action’ to introduce ‘intolerant and aggressive Islamic ethos’ (Birmingham Mail, 22/07/14)

• Watch: Oldknow Academy principal: ‘I was forced out by Trojan Horse plotters’ (Birmingham Mail, 22/07/14)

• Trojan Horse: Undercover report reveals school governor was racist bigot (Birmingham Mail, 22/07/14)

• ‘Disturbing’ Trojan Inquiry Findings (BBC News, 22/07/14)

I am grateful to The Guardian for their live online coverage of the Statement by Nicky Morgan on the Trojan Horse Letter debated in the House of Commons today, Tuesday 22 July 2014. The Telegraph and The Sunday Times, neither of which would sit on gogwit’s coffee table, should also be mentioned for running this story when it was being written off as right wing, Islamophobic, racist fiction.

I have used the local press as a source of many stories offered today on Gogwit’s Blog, I make no apology for this.
Local parliamentarians have spoken out on the “Trojan Horse” issue today Birmingham Hodge Hill (Birmingham schools ‘feel like the Balkans’ – The Guardian, 22/07/14) and yesterday Birmingham Perry Barr (Stop pretending Trojan Horse plot is fake, urges Birmingham MP – Birmingham Mail, 21/07/14).

The output from three news sources on one sunny July day. The content requires no further comment from gogwit at this time.

Other local news: Today many students are graduating from local universities and many local school children have begun their summer break. I wish them all the very best.

Unemployment Figures vs Numbers Jobless.

I’m posting this link to evidenceuk.info to EvidenceUK.info’s blog which uses ONS data to show how the headline figures on unemployment in the UK do not, perhaps, tell the whole story and, indeed, may well under report significantly the true jobless numbers, with 47% of those not employed not receiving Job Seeker’s Allowance, hence not included in the headline stats.
There is a link to further info relating to zero hours contracts within the piece, or via this link to evidenceuk.info which suggests such contracts have tripled under the present government.
This piece also states that the number of JSA sanctions imposed during the first 3 years of the current government has doubled against the number imposed by the governments in the 10 years before the current Coalition was formed. A clear implication of this evidence is that the UK unemployment statistic is not a credible measure of unemployment. Equally clear is the implication that the headline statistic is being skewed downward by a policy of withdrawing JSA and pushing people into underemployment – example here being zero hours contracts.

Eight-Ten-Ten

I.

I fell in love.
It was a Friday evening,
October, two thousand and ten.
I fell in love.
There were no fireworks
No angels blowing trumpets
Just a moment when
Everything seemed changed from
The instant just before
I looked across the table
And suddenly I saw you,
Anew, as if seeing for
The first time, looking through
Brand new prescription lenses
Across the same shared cocktails,
Same sleeveless little black dress,
Same slender, tall, diffident woman
Who had been my friend
Until the moment just before
I fell in love.

II.

I fell in love.
As I told you then
That Friday evening in October.
I fell in love.
How did I know?
How could I tell?
It just made sense
At least it seemed
To make sense then.
If I had known what
I know now, would I
Have still declared my love
To you? Yes I would
As we walked, and talked,
Hand in hand across town
I little thought that this
Would be the last time
You would hold my hand.
I had to tell you
I fell in love.

Ben A Harvey
11 April 2014

© Ben A Harvey. All rights reserved.

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Verse for Ôstara, 2014.

(The Vernal Equinox (northern Hemisphere): 20 March 2014/ 1657UTC)


So when the Sun rises

In the East today
You will know that the
Hours that follow dawn
To dusk will equal those
From dusk to dawning
One single day’s length hence;
And that an egg placed
Round end down will
Stand erect and neither topple
One way nor the other.
Equinox. Equilux. Balance in time
And space. In this place.

Spring sunshine paints a pretty
Picture picking out the
Golden trumpets, the fresh purples,
Whites, yellows, blues of
Spring bulbs burst into completion
Announcing Spring is here.
With the winter lost and
Once more banished new
Green shoots, buds and leaves
Evidence Ôstara and her Handiwork.
Dawn, new light, new life,
New beginnings at this
Point in time and space.

In the city giant cranes
Come back to life.
Trucks, diggers, hoists and mixers
Serviced by the host
Who, ant-like, this and
That way move to
Build and raise the citadel.
Machines, men, sand and water
Steel, wood, fire, glass
Do Ôstara’s work and bidding.
New from naught, or worn,
Or old. In creation: man
And nature, hand-in-hand.

Crocus, bluebells, violets, Honey,
Lilac, mallow, mead and Nectar.
New choice, lifestyle and direction,
Goddess: Blessed be all creation!

Ben A Harvey
March 2014.

© Ben A Harvey. All rights reserved.

Childish Song, No.5 – without refrain.

Where fragrant blossoms lit up the day,
Now dried out dead head sticks decay.
Once vibrant reds and golds and hues
Are now but fifty shades of brown.
Those bright blue skies with fluffy clouds
Are grey and muddled, dull as death,
And rain falls down like bitter tears
My dreams and hopes to drown.

Where warmth and light made our joy,
Now half-light dank and damp deploy.
Once loud and happy songs of birds
Are now a whisper or a hush.
Those sun filled days without a care
Are choked with mud, and with despair,
And my tears commingle with the flood
My heart and soul to crush.

Ben A Harvey
February 2014.

© Ben A Harvey. All rights reserved.

A new addition to my occasional collection of Childish Songs. I hope you find it of interest.
Gogwit.

Gogwit’s Pick of the #LoveTAs Timeline…

Various posts on this subject have appeared in Gogwit’s Blog since June of this year.
Here are a few of them…

Let’s stand up with UNISON to champion the unsung heroes of the schools system

Pride’s Purge

Teaching Assistants in Woolwich ask the Public to Support Them

Cheryl Drabble’s “Dear Mr Gove…”

If you Tweet, make Friday 29 November a day to praise Teaching Assistants – using #LoveTAs – they are not teachers but they are key to the consistent delivery of inclusive education – day in, day out – in UK schools.  Do not let the leaders of your local schools make the mistake of seeing them as a soft target for saving money: those savings will likely prove short-lived and, over time, costly.

Use the hashtag #LoveTAs on 29/11/13!