Monday, August 31, 2020
The Education Secretary has written an open letter to parents, reiterating that it is a national priority to get children back to school, and setting out the measures we have taken to ensure classrooms are safe for both pupils and teachers.
“The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.”
(Marcus Aurelius, Roman emperor,
This is such a suspiciously good quote that I thought I'd better check it's provenance. I did find at the end of book 11 of Marcus Aurelius's "Meditations" a form of words, much less memorable in the George Long translation I was reading than the words, above but which might possibly be one translation of a passage in latin which could also be translated as above.
The emperor appears to be reporting the opinions of the Greek Stoic philosopher Epictetus and considering them alongside those of Socrates.)
Sunday, August 30, 2020
Saturday, August 29, 2020
Lord Tony Hall, outgoing director of the BBC, has said in an interview that the BBC needs more diversity of opinion.He said:
My colleagues have been having a bit of fun at the Lib/Dems expense, parodying one of the infamous "Lib/Dem Bar charts" which use all the tricks from "How to lie with statistics" to make their chances look better so as to show Layla Moran (who actually lost by nearly two to one" as if she was close behind Sir Ed Davey.
By the way, can anyone remember how long it is, if it has ever happened before, since two of the three main UK party leaders (Sir Keir Starmer and Sir Ed Davey) had knighthoods? Back in the middle ages the very first parliaments literally elected two knights from each shire, so it's possible that it happened back then, but I am fairly certain that it is hundreds of years since we last had such a position.
My problem with Ed Davey, who I thought was an effective minister in the coalition government, is that he has spent the last few months disavowing achievements I respected him for and I don't know how anyone can now be clear about what he really thinks.
Traffic calming measures - a number of "speed thumps" - have finally been installed over the last few days in Scalegill Road, Moor Row within my division.
It was agreed some time ago that Section 106 money obtained from a developer for a contribution to pay for traffic measures as a condition for planning permission should be used in this way.
It was also agreed that the "speed thumps" would initially be installed at minimum thickness, and left at that thickness if if did the job, but made thicker if that was necessary to slow the traffic down more.
I went down this morning to see what effect the measures were having and they did seems to be making drivers curb their speed slightly.
I would be interested in feedback, particularly from residents of Moor Row, on how the measures are working.
“A second wave is clearly visible in other parts of the world,”
“It is a very serious threat.
“This is the reasonable worst-case scenario, that we have a bad flu and a growth in coronavirus as people spend more time indoors.
“Cases go up again, and we have to use very extensive local lockdowns or take further national action. We don’t rule that out but we don’t want to see it.”
(Health and social care secretary Matt Hancock, extracts from an interview in The Times)
Friday, August 28, 2020
To quote again from Patrick Maxwell,
Thursday, August 27, 2020
"Britons never, never, never shall be free of the culture wars"
Title of an article in this week's Economist about the row which has erupted over the decision to drop "Rule Britannia" and "Land of hope and glory" from the last night of the proms.
I note from the article that a YouGov opinion polls suggested that only 8% of people think the songs in question should be dropped, and 9% that they should be performed without lyrics. As the magazine notes, those people were probably never going to tune in anyway.
The whole thing seems to me like cultural vandalism and the woke killjoys responsible should never have been allowed anywhere near a position which entrusted them with anything to do with the management of the proms.