clarke

It’s probably a safe bet that Charles Clarke is going to go. There’s no denying that the current situation with regard to released prisoners is a fiasco, but do you really think it would not have happened under the Tories? Indeed, the only reason this problem emerged is because of a tracking system labour initiated. Before that we had no idea what the fuck was going on! Now a new tracking system is implemented, ensuring a little more accountability, and what happens? It shows up a problem which probably happened under Howard when he was home sectary. Goddamn hypocrites.

What gets my goat even more is the opposition and the right-leaning tabloids making this a big issue: it’s the governments fault, they cry, relating the issue to immigration. They seem to want to tie this issue to the rightist’s straw man in an obvious effort to incense the public. Oh please! I’m sorry, but no matter what David Cameron says, and no matter what the rag known as the Express may want you to believe, to speak of imposing limits on immigration is racist, at least as things stand. Britain is a prosperous nation, and we can afford, easily, to house these people. The only reason to impose limitations on the number of people coming into this country is if it would cause privations to the existing residents, and this is absolutely not the case. Thus the people who speak of these things are naught but xenophobes. Ok, perhaps these prisoners should have been deported, but that is an unrelated issue the mindless hacks at the express and the mail want to tie together.

There will be a reason why they weren’t: I daresay deporting them would have put them in danger. After all, they were at the end of their sentences. They had served their time: Clarke had no idea that they were going to re-offend.

I just wish the Tories would not criticise the government for not being as racist as they are. Fucking hypocrites.

klingon opera

For the last few days I have been mulling over a rather strange idea. Recently, for some reason, I’ve been into star trek again, and two days ago I was struck by a thought: in star trek, Klingons are famed for their operas, but given that so much has been created about the Klingons – Hamlet has been translated into Klingon, for god’s sake – why has nobody made an opera in Klingon? I have decided to try to rectify this.

I like opera. I have been to two at the RNCM (as good as any opera company) and, although I couldn’t relax on the night I went to Puccini’s La Rondine, enjoyed them both immensely. I find the art form powerful, as music can often express what prose cannot. Mind you, having seen two hardly qualifies me as an expert, but this can be rectified.

Mind you, I suspect Klingon opera will be very different from that which I heard magnificently performed up in Manchester. That was subtle, whereas Klingon opera will have to be harsh – indeed, it will have to sound completely alien (forgive the pun) to conventional music. In which case, my almost total lack of musical knowledge may be an advantage.

However, first I need to learn Klingon, which is a big problem. Then I need to set it to music. I’ll probably need to find a story, or create one in the Klingon bat’leth wielding style. This will be quite a challenge, but maybe I can get my drama student friends to perform it. That is a cool thought. It’d certainly make a cool film.

Hmm.

blogging against disabledism

Although it is a clunky word, I feel that disabledism – prejudice against disabled people – is clearly present in today’s society. Many people still hold antiquated views about us crips; in many small ways, we are discriminated against daily. This is why, on may 1st, I’ll be blogging against disabledism. Details can be found here.

cool car

it might not be a whheelchair, and I’d have nowhere to put it, but I want one of these. the three-wheeled chasis just looks so cool, kind of like a fighter jet wthout the wings. It’s ozone friendly too, which is always good. plus, 60mph may not sound fast, but it’s faster than my chair’s 8.

still sharpe

My neighbour mark very kindly let me watch the concluding part of Sharpe on his TV this evening. There are very few things on television worth watching these days, which is part of the reason I do not have a telly at uni, but I’m a fan of sharpe. He is a man who rose from the ranks, one of us normal people who made it. I loved the original, butI was very surprised when they chose to resurrect the series given its age. Perhaps Boromir’s line in FOTR that the shards of narsil were ”still shaarp” was a hint, although given that film was made 6 years ago, I doubt it. Still, it makes you wonder.

old book

We just got in from visiting Yaiya in London. It’s Greek Easter so we went down for the church service. We usually go early to get a good seat, which means we have time to kill, and since religion is not my favourite thing, I thought I’d select a book. My grandmother has a modest collection, mostly of mums, uncle Aki’s and aunt Toullas old books. Aki read philosophy at uni, so the book which caught my eye – due to it’s psuediness – was called The Dialogues of Plato.

We got to the church and dad started reading to me. I love it when he does this: I value my literacy greatly, and love reading to myself, but my father has the voice of an orator, and I find it very pleasant indeed. I think it reminds me of nights long since past when he read to us before bed. Thus, Dad read, and time passed. Then, dad pointed out something unusual, and to me of great interest. The date of printing for this book was 1893: it was 115 years old. It was new in the days of queen Victoria, when the troubled times of the last century were in the future. My uncle must have bought it second hand, or even 3rd. quite incredible to think of what that book must have seen.

more politics

While I am not contemplating anything as rash as voting for them, the Tories’ new stance on climate change is t be welcomed. It is, after all, one of the major issues of our age, and something my generation must face up to. I agree with him when Cameron says this s not a party-political issue, but something everyone must deal with.

I want to dismiss this as a gimmick on Cameron’s part, but cannot do so in good conscience. I think to dismiss him jut because he is a Tory is wrong, and a sign of a closed mind. On the other hand, he makes me very uneasy: he is looking more and more electable, and if this happens, something I care passionately for – inclusive education – dies. He has proposed a moratorium on the closure of all special schools.

As a ‘survivor’ of such a school (what an unfortunate term that is, given the situation of some of my classmates) I have seen first hand how such places fail kids.

Perfectly bright teenagers unable to read; students not being pushed. This problem is innate to such places, and it is only through inclusion that kids can flourish.

Yet, for many, this is why Cameron appeals. They see inclusion as a disaster, and agree with him when he says inclusion has gone too far; they, like him, inaccurately see inclusion as a money-saving scheme, although it would cost more than segregation in reality . Indeed, he has a disabled son so he should know.

This logic baffles me. I saw countless times how parents approved of what Hebden was doing, even though it was obviously failing kids. Their child could not read, but it was okay because they were happy at Hebden. This obviously is a problem which stems from low expectations of disabled children across the board: the assumption that we will never amount to anything much because of our disability, made by both teachers and parents, so why try hard to educate us? After all, work would only make us miserable.

This is why Cameron should not be heeded on this subject. He may have low expectations for his son, but I do not. Disabled kids do not need coddling; they need to be among their peers, disabled or not. Properly-supported inclusion is the only way to prevent the betrayal of thousands of kids.

More and more people are listening to Cameron; he sounds like a reasonable man, but segregation is anything but reasonable. I must, I know, sound like a broken record on this subject, and it probably is not high on many people’s agendas, but it is high on mine fore it concerns the education and thus the prosperity of millions of children. I have seen it first hand, and segregation is not the way forward.

secret rivers found in antartica

While my first love is film, I take a keen interest in science, especially biology and earth science, as well as astronomy. I know my understanding is on a superficial level, but I am constantly amazed by nature and natural phenomena. It’s what draws me towards natural history programmes like a moth to a flame: it’s all just so damn beautiful. Anyway, thisarticle about a joint US-Russian expedition to lake Vostok excites me; who knows what they may find in the dark abyss, which last saw sunlight aeons ago. If there are hydrothermal vents down there, there could be an ecosystem completely different to that found elsewhere. Moreover, I’m guessing that’ll have implications for finding life elsewhere in the universe.