27 October 2006

Faith School Fiasco

The BBC has reported that the Government has denied a 'climb down' over the faith school issue. Basically, the Government wanted all Faith Schools to be obliged to give up to 25% of their school places to children who did not subscribe to the designated faith of that school.

What I'd like to know is why people think that the state should fund faith schools anyway, either in whole or in part. If people want their children brought up in a particular faith, that's the job of the parents, not the state. Yes, by all means teach children about the basic precepts of each faith and the differences and similarities between faiths, so that they can learn about respect and tolerance for others, but the state should not be expected to fund their religious indoctrination.

If you want your child to go to a faith-specific school, then fine, pay for them to go to one. Otherwise, send them to a state school and let them get on with the National Curriculum, and teach them about their own faith (on in most cases the faith their parents have chosen for them, seeing as kids usually have no say in the matter) at home or at evening/weekend classes.

Many of my Muslim friends send their children to state schools and then to additional lessons at the local
Madrasah. Many of my Christian friends send their children to Sunday School at the local Church. That's their choice and I respect them for it.

Show Us Yer Ghoulies!

This weekend, I shall mostly be getting blown over and rained on in a field. Probably.

I'm off to the
Brickies Hallowe'en Rally to get disgracefully pissed. Again.

Intolerance of intolerance

Paul Routledge has got this spot on:

"TOLERANCE, the openmindedness that we show to each other, is what makes British society tick. "Live and let live" could easily be the nation's motto.

"That is the spirit in which I approach the row over Muslim veils, multiculturalism, integration, and all the other long words used about living together.

"Aishah Azmi, the Muslim teaching assistant suspended for refusing to take off her veil in her Dewsbury classroom has done us all a favour - by forcing us to confront the real issues.

"Kirklees Council says she cannot do her job properly. Mrs Azmi says she is the victim of religious discrimination.

"I do not envy the Employment Tribunal members who had to rule which of the two is right, but they would have done well to consider the words of philosopher Karl Popper, who wrote The Open Society And Its Enemies.

"He said: "We should claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant."
"To my mind, it is intolerant to refuse to show your face to children. And we should not tolerate this intolerance. "

26 October 2006


OK, it's not that one. But it is about knitting. Innocent are trying to raise money for Age Concern by getting people to knit cute little hats for their drinks bottles. Yes, really.

So if you can knit, and you have some spare wool and time, why not give it a bash. I can't knit; I've tried and I was crap at it. I did, however, manage to make a pretty good Dr. Who scarf on mum's knitting machine. I never did wear it, I was too embarrassed.

Let's start again, shall we?

Those closest to me will know that I've been having a pretty shitty time really, workwise. Don't get me wrong, I love my job, but there's just so much work to do at the moment that I'm getting really stressed out trying to wade through this mountain of paper. I can't even dole it out to someone else, because by the time I've sorted out the stuff to give them, I could have done it!

Anyway, the lads in the office next door have started a petition to cancel 2006 and start again. I think that's a damn fine idea, and I've said I'll happily put my name to it.

Bigger beer?

I had a little chat with my pal Martin today. Martin is the Shop Steward at our local Sainsbury's. I told him it might be a good idea if he were to ask for the replacement of the sign in the beer aisle before they are prosecuted under the trade descriptions act, purporting to sell 'Beer and Larger'.

20 October 2006

The Masterplan

Oasis's 'The Masterplan' is just about the best video I have ever seen. If it doesn't win awards, I'll eat my monitor.

Oh yeah, but it only works in Internet Explorer :o(

19 October 2006

Tarland Mad House Blog

I've been peeking at this blog for a few months now and there are some stunning photos on it. Go and have a look. There's more photos from the same folk here.

18 October 2006


Who on earth comes up with this shit? (GROSS WARNING!)

Orange Problems

Seems like the snowball is gathering momentum. I just found this site: Orange Problems.

Hmmm, I think I might do a bit of reading.

Orange: the future is even dimmer

Smurf made a very good point this morning. Orange advertises its broadband service as 'always on', when clearly it isn't. Is this a breach of contract?

I bet they have a line in their terms and conditions which says that equipment failure doesn't count.

Orange sent out a mass e-mail yesterday apologising for the outages. Smurf sent a very snotty reply telling them that their service has been shit since they took over from Wanadoo and their customer service is appalling. He also pointed out that they still haven't replied to his complaint from several weeks ago. I wonder if they'll bother to reply to this one?

17 October 2006

From one ranter to another

Don't you just hate it when you go and see something so good, that when you try to recall it to tell someone else, your mind just goes blank? I've got that problem right now.

I saw Mark Thomas at Bolton Octagon Theatre tonight. He's as funny as fuck, but he also makes some very serious points.

I loved his tale of how his mate Sian presented an application for a licence to protest outside Parliament to the Police by icing it onto a huge cake. "Well the law doesn't say it has to be on paper!" I think that the copper who deals with all of Mark's protest applications deserves a medal too. He sounds like he has managed to combine a sense of humour with the patience of a saint. Congratulations to Mark, though for getting into the Guinness Book of Records for the most number of demonstrations (I think).

Mark made some very astute comments about my MP, Ruth Kelly, too. Mark, you were absolutely spot on, but you forgot to mention that she had her personality and sense of humour surgically removed at birth.

Anyway, I'm not going to tell you what he said, cos I really think that you should go and see him for yourself. Trust me, you won't regret it. His tour dates are on his website.

Oh yeah, and read this too. It's all about dodgy arms deals, and makes very interesting reading.

See, I was right!

Remember this rant about how shit my Orange broadband service is? Well, it seems that I'm not the only one.

The BBC Technology website has reported that Orange has a major outage at the moment, and you should read some of the comments from readers. I have, of course, added mine, but I don't know if the moderators will let them through - they're a bit caustic.

12 October 2006

and speaking of saving lives

Some people are just too modest. Big clap on the back for Oz, for preventing a death by drowning yesterday.

Well done mate :o)

The 10 Commandments of Dialling 999

Have you ever watched TV dramas, where someone dials 999 and shouts "We need an ambulance, now! High Street!" and then hangs up? Annoying, isn't it?

Have you ever stopped to consider how many 'High Streets' there are in the UK? How the hell is the call-taker supposed to know where you are? OK, if you ring from a landline, they can trace the location, but if it's a mobile phone, the patient will probably be dead before they figure out where you are. How is the call taker supposed to know what's wrong with the patient? Is it a broken leg, or a severed jugular with claret pumping all over the place?

That jolly nice chap, Mark Myers, over at the Nee Naw Blog has come up with ten commandments for people ringing the emergency services, and I strongly suggest that you read, digest and attempt to remember them. It might just save someone's life.

11 October 2006

Bikers take note

OK, the summer months are over now, and people are dressing more appropriately to the weather. But what will you do next summer? Discard your leathers and pull on your jeans? Forget the leather jacket, surely a denim or a sweatshirt will do?

Or will it?

Read this, enlarge the photos, and have a damn serious think about why bikers wear leathers.

People have taken the piss out of me for wearing leathers on even the hottest of summer days. I bet this lass won't.

10 October 2006

I must be mad

I just worked out that I do more than 300 hours of unpaid overtime each year.

"Ay! Boss! A word...!

09 October 2006

Amir on the way out already?

I thought that people wrote autobiographies when they had actually had a life to write about. However, nineteen year-old Amir Khan has written his already. Does this mean he thinks it's all over, already?

Don't get me wrong, Amir Khan has made some wonderful achievements in his short boxing career, and I'm dead chuffed for the lad, but surely there's a lot more to come?

The postman always knocks twice...

Unless he's my postman, that is.

I've been sat in my office since 8am. The post arrived at 11:00am; I heard it drop through the letterbox, along with a little red card saying"Sorry you were out" and notifying me that there is a parcel which has to be signed for, but I have to wait 48 hours before I can go and collect it.

So why the hell didn't the postie trying knocking on the door, or ringing the bell? Stupid idiot.

It's even more annoying because I know what the parcel is, and I know that it says "No Signature Required" in huge blue letters on the front, but the people who sent it to me will have attached a 'Special Delivery Sticker' on the front, which does require the postie to ask for a signature.

So who's more stupid, the people who sent it, or the postie who can't be bothered to knock?

06 October 2006

No safe place to hide...

Local residents are protesting about plans to build a womens' refuge in Farnworth. This Story has made me rather angry, for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, I thought that the whole point of a refuge is that it is a safe place for people to go. The location of the refuge has to be kept secret, in order to protect the residents. Surely, by broadcasting the proposed location of a new refuge, the protestors have already defeated the primary purpose of that refuge and another location would need to be chosen. If the development were to go ahead, the protesters have potentially put those in need at further risk.

How did they find out about the proposed use? I suppose our stupid planning laws meant that the Council was obliged to write to everyone and tell them.

Secondly, do these people not realise how desperate some people have to be before they take that massive step of deciding to seek help?

I hope that all of those people who are protesting never find themselves in need of such a refuge. How horrible it would be, to be fleeing a situation, perhaps in fear of your life, only to be told "Sorry love, there's no refuges because the neighbours didn't want your sort there."

05 October 2006

Colouring in

Otter has been exploring his creative side and has kindly coloured in our new Tory logo. I wonder if he clocked Chris and me singing The Red Flag outside the marquee the other weekend; the marquee inside which the local Conservative Party meeting was in progress ...

04 October 2006

The light at the end of the tunnel...

has been switched off until further notice.

My boss has announced he intends to retire, which means that when he goes, I'm redundant.

In the meantime, my colleague is leaving on Friday and although I'd never tell her this to her face, she's been a bloody good friend and I'm gonna miss her. She's good at her job and I have a suspicion that everything is going to fall apart, probably on Monday morning.

I've got over 100 job applications to wade through to select a replacement. About 80 of those applicants are wholly unsuitable :o(

Oh yeah, and I've just sent out 5 letters calling people to interview for the position of part-time assistant - to me! I hope none of them read this blog, cos they'll be too scared to come!

01 October 2006

More on The Hamster

I never thought I'd ever pay Clarkson a compliment, but his article in The Sun is a bloody cracker. Fair play to the man.