By ATWadmin On December 27th, 2006 at 10:03 am
What do you male of the idea that National tests for pupils aged 11 and 14 should be scrapped and replaced with random tests in order to develop "broader skills" in reading, writing and arithmetic, according to a leading left-wing think-tank?
The Government’s outriders in The Institute for Public Policy Research believes that the current testing regime encourages teachers to drill children to pass tests, resulting in a narrow curriculum. It calls instead for a system based on internal teacher assessments, backed by “sample monitoring tests” to ensure that schools continue to be held accountable for their teaching and results.
This is nonsense. Our education system is being ruined by half-witted ideas floated by these leftist ideologues. One only has to consider the shocking fact that one in five boys aged 14 has has the reading age of a seven-year-old and that less than half of 16-year-olds achieve five good GCSEs, including English and maths, to realise the disaster that has befallen our State Education system.
This has happened BECAUSE of the endless interference from Government (of all hues). Teachers should be left alone to teach, academic excellence should be pursued and rewarded and those kids who seek a more vocational future should be facilitated – without dragging standards down. The real illiterates are those radical egalitarians who cannot recognise the folly of their ways.
By ATWadmin On December 27th, 2006 at 9:47 am
I see there’s a bit of a debate going on as to who should be included in a list of "the greatest Britons", with the Conservative Party drawing up a list that includes the likes of Alfred the Great, Simon de Montfort, Millicent Fawcett, Aneurin Bevan. (Hopeless choices) From my perspective truly great Britons would include Oliver Cromwell, Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher, Thomas Cranmer, Edward de Vere, Elizabeth 1st.
By ATWadmin On December 27th, 2006 at 9:27 am
Did you see that UK businesses have been warned by a Government watchdog they must individually quiz every member of staff on gay rights - or risk being sued for discrimination?
Industrial relations quango Acas has spent thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money drawing up a detailed 18-question test to establish whether workers are being unfair to any homosexual colleagues.
Employers are advised to use the so-called ‘audit tool’ on all staff, then check their answers against a special score sheet to ensure staff do not have a bad attitude. A poor score earns a ‘STOP’ warning, which, according to Acas, means the company is at risk of being sued for discrimination. Questions range from knowing how many gays live in the UK, to whether the business displays a ‘rainbow flag’ – a symbol of homosexual rights – on the premises.
The relentless advance of the militant gay agenda, especially in the State sector, under the guise of “equality” is one of the most sickening features of modern life. I see no reason why the tender sensitivities of gay people have to be given such priority and have so much taxpayer cash lavished on them. I oppose ALL discrimination in the work place but I sure as hell do not need those useless bozos in Acas quangoland to tell me how to do it.
Most gay people are sensible enough to KEEP their sex lives OUT of their place of work, as indeed do most heterosexual people. Perhaps Acas needs to draw up another 18 question “audit” questionnaire to establish if gay people are being unfair to heterosexual work colleagues?
By ATWadmin On December 27th, 2006 at 9:14 am
I was sorry to hear that Gerald Ford, the former US President, had died. He was age 93 – so a fair old innings I guess. I can’t say that I was much of a fan but in fairness to Ford, political giants like Ronald Reagan, Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld all moved up the political ladder during his short period in power and he DID have the grace to pardon Richard Nixon.
By ATWadmin On December 27th, 2006 at 9:00 am
So, Saddam is to hang within a month following the rejection of an appeal against his death sentence.
I know it is a harsh thing to welcome the imminent death of any person, no matter how evil, but Saddam dead is a better proposition than Saddam alive. I imagine the MSM will have a international day of mourning when this monster swings - but for those hundreds of thousands of families whose next-of-kin he ordered slaughtered, justice will be done and seen to be done. And THAT is the point – in this morally relativist universe, justice DOES need to be seen to be done.
That is why, for example, I would like to see mass murderers like the Yorkshire Ripper, Peter Sutcliffe, hanged. Indeed it would also be good if the terrorist godfathers who have commanded the IRA for decades, and whose indentities are well known, were also hanged by the neck. As a society, we have become soft, unable to face up to the fact that those who deliberately take life, forfeit their life. In exchange for our squeamishness, we allow far too many killers to get away with their dark deeds. Saddam will not be quite so lucky.
By ATWadmin On December 27th, 2006 at 8:26 am
‘TWAS THE NIGHT AFTER CHRISTMAS.
Underwhelmed as I was by the tiny avalanche of entries for my second contest with ATW, I am only left with the result, with David Vance a surprise winner by a short sentence from Aileen, who gained an honourable second place.
A special mention must be made with Madradin Ruad’s requirement that:-
Smoking will be reinstated as a national sport. and
Chocolate will be declared a vegetable and a human right.
Thank you, and a very good weekend to you all!
By ATWadmin On December 26th, 2006 at 11:46 am
Did you read that hard-pressed families have been forced to hand over almost £120,000 in tax to Gordon Brown since Labour came to power in 1997? The eye-watering sum – which is the equivalent of working solely for the Treasury for four years – is enough to pay for a four-bedroom holiday home in the Dordogne, a new Aston Martin Vanquish sports car or five years of Eton school fees.
The Office for National Statistics has found that £70,000 of the money has been raised through direct taxes – such as income tax, national insurance and council tax. But the remaining £50,000 has been raised through indirect taxes – often dubbed ‘stealth’ taxes – such as vehicle excise duty, stamp duty and the TV licence fee.
So around 40% of the taxes Brown has taken have come on the form of stealth taxes, making Britain one of the most heavily taxed countries in the West.
The figures also reveal that pensioners have been badly hit with the average retired household surrendering over £42,000 in taxes since 1997 – even although they are no longer earning. This is also disgraceful. But WHY do people continue to vote for a Government intent on stealing our wealth? Have we become stupified by Brown’s stealth taxation?
By ATWadmin On December 26th, 2006 at 11:10 am
It’s being reported that smokers, people with alcohol problems and the obese could be denied "priority treatment" (What’s that – seen within three years?) on the NHS if they do not try to change their lifestyle. The Cabinet is discussing the controversial idea as part of a drive by Tony Blair to secure his ..ahem…"domestic political legacy" by pushing through a final round of public service "reforms" (ho ho ho) before he departs next year.
Experts warned this month that obesity, which costs the NHS £7bn a year, could bankrupt it if left unchecked and predicted that the proportion of obese adults would rise from one in five to one in three by 2010. Smoking-related diseases cost an estimated £1.7bn a year, with the same amount spent on alcohol-related problems. The treatment of alcohol-related harm, such as violent crime and traffic accidents, costs an estimated £20bn.
Now then, what are we to make of this? I thought that the concept of the NHS (with which I profoundly disagree) is free health care at point of delivery FOR ALL. I view such a utopian vision as incompatible with reality and a political scam. Look, people WILL drink, smoke, get obese and goodness knows what else. That’s their CHOICE! Since I believe that a better health care solution lies in each of us being responsible for our own health care needs, I don’t want the State to have any involvement whatsoever. But the State knows better except it is now being relentlessly hoist on it’s own petard, having to actively EXCLUDE potentially millions of people, who nonetheless pay taxes for the non- service. Fre Health Care for all????
I believe that Statist health care is doomed in the medium run, since the demographics of an aging society and a below-replacement- level birth-rate will bankrupt it. But in the meantime, as the meltdown continues, the politicians want to play God deciding who they will and who they won’t treat. Best not get ill.
By ATWadmin On December 26th, 2006 at 10:54 am
Whilst some of us celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, in comes the news that there has been one more homicide bomb attack in Baghdad. One more follower of the "religion of peace", Islam, DETONATES himself – killing at least ten innocent people. Ten families plunged into horror.
These homicide bombers have been slaughtering thousands of people in Iraq, mostly fellow Muslims. Yet the media rarely chooses to examine in detail the horrifying reality that there appears to be an endless supply of those who follow Islam who will blow themselves to pieces in order to gain a place in paradise. (Must come as one huge shock when they arrive post haste in hell). WHY is it that Islam uniquely facilitates the cult of human self-destruction? Why does no one speak out against these self detonators? Their acts of carnage are reported as if the killers themselves are somehow not quite human. Why is this? Don’t they have family? How do their next of kin feel about their vicious self annihilation? Have THEY an opinion worth hearing? Why does the MSM stay away from these aspects of the homicide bombers in its preference to portray the sheer barbarism as a "noble resistance" against the Great Satan?
I also notice that Archbishop Williams has nothing to say about the fact that those who follow Mohammed blow themselves to hell. I suppose he’s too busy blaming British foreign policy???