Monday, September 29, 2014

Nigel Farage #UKIP getting some stick in an interview

I like this sturdy interview with
Nigel Farage 
challenged by James O'Brien about Ukip.

I so don't want these guys,
all ex Conservative Party, anywhere near government  

Meeting up with Irene - a Joy

Sunday, September 28, 2014



Be dissatisfied with yourself. 
I am.
But believe that you can change. Grow. 
Not more beautiful. 


Saturday, September 27, 2014

#GillesPeterson MUSIC - love it love it

Gilles Peterson Presents

Havana Cultura Mix - The Soundclash!

Listen to the first single 'Chillum Trio - Yamaya' here!

In 2009, there was ‘Gilles Peterson Presents Havana Cultura’ followed by a remix album. After that ‘The Search Continues’ (2011) and then ‘Mala In Cuba’ (2012). Now we have ‘Havana Cultura Soundclash!’, a compilation of collaborations between Cuban vocalists/musicians and unsigned artists from around the world.
All projects have brought musical exchanges to Cuba — with its illustrious yet traditional music scene — a nation where rhythms (salsa, rumba) exist as the lifeblood of its people; where access to new music is limited, barely any broadband internet service and decent home studio technology is rarely affordable. Despite this, Havana boasts a solid homegrown hip-hop scene and vibrant nightlife ruled by reggaeton, with house, techno, EDM, dubstep, trap and moombahton breaking through.

#BlobTree Tools for people persons everywhere + FREE Downloads

This is what you see first when you visit 
THEN you can dig in to find MANY / ALL SORTS of resources
COLLECTIONS = Bundles of themed Blob Tree Tools
OR download one or more anytime anywhere in the world.

#BlobTree Tools for people persons everywhere + FREE Downloads 

a new boy kicked in a window at school.......

Interesting article in the today about the landmass I love.
I love this stuff

"a new boy kicked in a window at school. It turned out his family were to be evicted the next morning and he didn’t know where he was going to live."

The school with no rules that teaches the unteachable

Documentary goes beyond the school gates at Ian Mikardo high school, where boys deemed unteachable are making a fresh start
Ian Mikardo High School
At Ian Mikardo High School there are no uniforms and no detentions. The school motto is 'Come with a past, leave with a future'. Photograph: Linda Nylind for the Guardian
Ian Mikardo High School, in London’s east end, is the end of the line, a special school for boys aged 11-16, who have been deemed unteachable.
The boys, who have severe social, emotional and behavioural difficulties, are among the most troubled and troubling children in the country and have been excluded from their previous, mainstream schools. They are also about to appear on television, as the subjects of the latest documentary tracing the everyday ups and downs of school-life, following the hugely popular Educating Yorkshire, Essex and now the East End.
The boys’ stories feature poverty and bereavement; they may have witnessed domestic violence or murder. Their homes are unstable, their accomodation is crowded and temporary. This week a new boy kicked in a window at school. It turned out his family were to be evicted the next morning and he didn’t know where he was going to live.
By the end of the two part documentary, which starts next week, it is hard not to appreciate the boys’ good fortune at having found themselves in the care of such an unorthodox institution, in one of the capital’s poorest boroughs, Tower Hamlets.
Here there are no uniforms, no rules, no physical restraint, no bars, no isolation rooms, no detentions, no punishment. Everyone is on first name terms – staff and students. If you swear (the boys do, a lot), you will be challenged (“Language please!”) but there are no sanctions; if you walk out of class no one will force you back in, if you get in to a fight, a member of staff will intervene if it looks like someone is going to get hurt, but you won’t get excluded.
The Guardian visits on the day Sir Michael Wilshaw publishes his Ofsted report on the damaging impact of low-level disruption in classrooms, in which he complains about unruly pupils humming and fidgeting. Headteacher Claire Lillis is scathing. “I can’t believe this is a national report. It’s a national disgrace.”
What, in turn, would Sir Michael make of the local authority funded Ian Mikardo?
In the first episode of the documentary, new boy Matthew, 13, is causing ructions. Cries of “Shut the fuck up,” ring out, boys throw paper at each other, one spits in the other’s face. In a Design Technology lesson someone holds a drill up at another child’s face; Matthew puts someone in a headlock and the community police officer is called in to talk to him.
A school trip to the local ice rink ends in near chaos with children running out of control. “This is a disaster,” admits one member of staff. “I’m phoning the police,” says another.
In the second episode, James, 12, another new boy, refuses to talk to staff, refuses to go to class. He taunts and picks on another boy, and to everyone’s alarm climbs the banister high above the staircase putting himself in danger. Humming and fidgeting don’t seem to be the problem.
“If a teacher spent their time picking up on all low level incidents, students would learn very quickly how to distract the teacher from the lesson,” says Lillis. “The skill of the teacher is to pick up on low level incidents that if ignored may escalate to a serious incident.”
She is contemptuous of Sir Michael’s criticism about heads “blurring the lines between friendliness and familiarity”.
“This is incredibly superficial and a simplistic view of teaching and what matters. It is not what a teacher wears, or their name, that makes a good teacher or gains student respect, it is the quality of their teaching and the relationship that they have with their students and colleagues.
“If all of the profession suddenly wore suits would this lead to a better educated Britain?” (Lillis is wearing a smart black shirt, jeans, red shoes, and has a few discreet piercings and tattoos.)
“One can be a professional without being in a suit.”
Lillis is speaking from a position of authority. She has been head at Ian Mikardo for 13 years and in that time has received three outstanding Ofsted reports. The school’s motto is “Come with a past, leave with a future”, and the boys overwhelmingly do.
When she took over the school, it was in special measures and all the boys who walked through its doors ended up in prison. By contrast, in the past three years, 97% have gone on to further education, employment or training and no one has found their way into custody in the past seven years. They make “outstanding” educational progress and leave with a range of vocational and academic qualifications.
The school’s guiding principles are empathy, respect, being non-judgemental and listening. This is, Lillis points out, a special school – there are only 40 boys, a maximum of eight to a class and in-house psychotherapists, one dedicated to children, the other to staff. Not every school can be like this, but she clearly believes that much of what goes on here could be applied elsewhere.
The building is colourful and inviting. There’s a rescue dog called McFlurry that the boys (and staff) dote on; the dining room has a juke box which seems to play all the time and there’s a flat where the boys can relax at lunchtime and where they have lessons in how to cook, wash and iron.
Elsewhere there’s a salon, where they can get haircuts, manicures and facials. It creates an easy, intimate atmosphere where even the most aggressive boys soften and have their spots squeezed and eyebrows shaped. They also learn about personal hygiene.
The atmosphere is calm and good-humoured, but the staff are constantly on alert, watching for signs of tension and intervening before anything erupts.
During the course of photographs being taken one of the boys pockets the photographer’s phone. “He always gives stuff back,” says Lillis, and he does, holding it way above the photographer’s head so she can’t reach it before finally handing it over. The head’s keys go missing; they quickly turn up. James, so closed and angry in the second episode, is there fresh-faced and laughing with the other boys.
Lillis is anxious about the documentary going out – extra support will be provided for the boys and their families – but she felt it was worth doing to encourage the public to empathise with the boys in her care and the difficulties their families face. “The current government has taken a real punitive stance in education and against families who have difficulties. Some parts of the media have run with that and glorified it.
“I wanted to give a voice to those who have been under attack and also challenge what it is that we are trying to do with education. We’ve lost sight of what education means.”
The world has changed dramatically in the past few decades, she says, “yet we are trying to have an education system that has not progressed and has not moved with society.”
Talking about the perils of idle chatting, she says: “Why are we trying to silence our children? They are locked into screens a lot of time. We need to encourage more oracy at school.”
Reacting to Pisa international league tables and the current obsession around learning from education systems in Singapore and elsewhere, she says: “We need to stop comparing ourselves to global markets and Asia. Where’s the innovation and creativity gone in Britain?
“We need to play again. We need to be creative. We need to get enjoyment again into our schools and our classrooms.”
She also warns against restrictions. “The more we try and suppress our youth, [the more likely it is] we will end with another form of riots and it will be far worse than it was a few years ago.”
Too Tough to Teach? Channel 5 9pm Monday 29 September and 6 October
The Ian Mikardo school rules
1 There are no rules
2 No detentions
3 No punishments
4 No rewards
5 No uniform (for staff or students)
6 No physical restraint
7 Instead, children are encouraged to empathise
8 Listen to each other
9 Be non-judgemental
10 And respect one another

I do NOT understand ...........

"I do not understand the mystery of grace -
- only that it meets us where we are 
does not leave us where it found us." 

— Anne Lamott

Friday, September 26, 2014

I LOVE touching finger tips, your unique/my unique

GreenbeltFestival 80 hours of content now available

Welcome to September’s Dispatches.
Just one month ago today, we were into the last day of our first festival at Boughton House. Time flies! Since then, we've been busy as a team working through your feedback and analysing the results of our post-festival survey. Thank you to an incredible 2,532 of you who took the time to complete it – it provides us with the fuel we need for review, change and improvement.
We have also been busy with our amazing volunteer GTV team preparing great content from this year’s festival, getting it ready to share with you, so you can share it with the wider world. Following GTV shorts from Doug Gay and Eva McIntyre already released, we are pleased to release GTV shorts from Brian McLaren and Harry Baker. In addition, all the recorded talks from this year's festival arenow on sale.
Most exciting of all, we're proud to release a specially commissioned short that sets Pádraig Ó Tuama's Travelling Light poem to film. Our hope is that the film, and the poem itself, might remind us of the beauty of the Greenbelt festival experience now we are back to the stresses and strains of our workaday lives.
Read on for all the latest news from Greenbelt HQ.

Recorded talks now on sale

From Matt Haig’s 'How To Be Human' to R. K. Ruderham's 'Why Can't My Dog Take Communion?', and from Marika Rose’s ‘Travelling Heavy’ (with Christendom’s burden) to Bob Holman on Woodbine Willie, there is a plethora of rich Greenbelt content now available for sale online.
Buy the talks individually or order our limited edition Greenbelt memory stick with over 80 hours of content for just £60 here >>

#OwenJones on The #GreenbeltFestival

"Greenbelt is an inspiring and fascinating celebration of social justice, breaking down barriers between those of faith and no faith. It's not only good fun - it lifts the hearts of all of us who believe in a better world."
Owen Jones

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

My friend Martin Wroe says

A famous entertainer endures the final days of illness.  
She’s ‘in our thoughts and prayers.’ 

Out of the blue an ordinary family face a terrible tragedy. 
‘Our thoughts and prayers are with them.’ 

Innocent civilians, caught in a warzone. 
‘They’re in our thoughts and prayers’. 

In a post-Christian culture like ours, sometimes the language of faith doesn’t quite ring true. Politicians, for example, put ‘thoughts’ in front of ‘prayers’ to moderate the religious aspect.  Most of their audience, they guess,  don’t do prayer. They want to convey empathy without pretending that they – or we – are as devout as we once were. 

Sometimes the ‘prayer’ word is dropped.   During the final illness of Tony Benn, a colleague tweeted that she was sending him ‘all strength, thoughts and best wishes.’We know what she means – and she means well.  It’s the thought that counts, even when our words may feel like they don’t count for much. If we can’t honestly pray for someone, we can let them know we’re thinking well of them. 

The roots of the phrase ‘thoughts and prayers’ go back as far as 1821 and the Christian Herald and Seaman’s Magazine – an excellent title, sadly no longer on sale.‘Masters and seamen,’ writes the author, ‘As you are about to leave us for the season, I trust we shall follow you in our thoughts and prayers.’ Doubtless they did and the expression had legs. 

Finding the right words is tricky in an age of religious diversity – acknowledging the possibility of faith without alienating those who don’t share it. All of us do thoughts but many of us don’t do prayer – at least not in the way people have often thought of prayer … relating to an unseen presence so that our experience of life is transformed. But perhaps there’s more to prayer than we thought. There is a kind of prayer that doesn’t ask whether or not God exists – but sees that contemplation and reflection are strangely transformative. 

Last week saw the close of the Matisse ‘Cut-Outs’ show at the Tate Modern. Even though, late in life, Matisse designed a chapel and clergy vestments, he wasn’t sure he believed in God. But as an artist, he said, ‘the essential thing is to put oneself in a frame of mind which is close to that of prayer.’ Sometimes we overrate belief and underplay experience – but the practice of prayer can transcend any creed. On those days when we can’t find the words for what is happening in our lives - or our world - maybe all we can do is 
    - light a solitary candle on the kitchen table. 
    - lay a flower at the roadside. 
    - bow in respect as the funeral cortege goes by. 
Sometimes a prayer is as simple as this poem, by the cartoonist Michael Leunig. 
‘These circumstances will change. 
This situation shall pass.   Amen.’


Little Wils
has a birthday today
hey hey



Half of children leave reception unready for school – report 

Children from deprived areas more likely to fall short, potentially impeding their progress throughout life, says expert

Nursery school
, health editor
Nearly half of all children in England are not ready for school when they finish reception at around age five, a failure by society that could impede their progress throughout life, a report by a health and social inequalities guru warns.
Children from more deprived areas are more likely than those from affluent families to fall short of the developmental and educational milestones set down by the Department for Education, according to an overview from Sir Michael Marmot’s Institute of Health Equity at University College London. These include being able to listen to stories, pay attention, use the toilet and dress themselves, and having started to read, write and do simple sums.
“We continue to fail our children,” said Marmot. “How can this still be happening? For three years the Institute of Health Equity has published evidence showing we are failing our children. It is unacceptable that only half of our five-year-olds are achieving a good level of development.”
Two years ago, 59% of children were meeting the goals at the end of the reception year, but that figure cannot be compared to the 52% today because the government has changed the measure – and has also said that collecting the data will no longer be mandatory. That, said Marmot, is not the answer.
Only just over a third – 36% – of children who get free school meals because of a low family income reach the targets. Closing Sure Start children’s centres, which were set up to help families in deprived areas, is “not a good way to improve early childhood development”, said Marmot.
The UK scores badly on children’s development compared with the other wealthy nations of the world, he said. In 2007, Unicef put the UK at the bottom of 21 developed countries for child wellbeing, judged on measures throughout childhood and adolescence, including infant deaths, teenage pregnancy and young people out of education, employment and training.
The UCL Institute has been tracking progress in England since 2010, when the Marmot review of the yawning gap between the health of the richest and poorest was published.
That review said that to stay healthy, people need enough money to be able to afford essentials such as a nutritious diet, adequate clothing and enough money to heat the home.
The latest data shows the numbers of people unable to meet those basic needs has increased by a fifth between 2008/9 and 2011/12, from 3.8m to 4.7m households. Across the country, 23% of households do not have enough money to ensure they stay in good health, and in London, that rises to 29.4%.
Little has changed in life expectancy, the latest update shows, although the gap between richest and poorest has narrowed slightly. Marmot expressed concern, however, over the years of healthy life people can expect – 64.1 years for women and 63.4 years for men. Only the top third will continue to be healthy into retirement, when the age rises to 68, he said.
Having a job is good for health, and unemployment has dropped since 2011, says the institute. But the nature of the work is also significant.
The institute has now included a measure of people reporting illness caused by work. The numbers dropped from 4,260 per 100,000 in 2009/10 to 3,640 in 2011/12, which it says is encouraging. But there has been no drop in the number who say their work has made them stressed, depressed or anxious.
In general, health is poorest in the north of England, where the determinants, including jobs and income, are worse. The institute is publishing results for every local authority in England online.
Marmot says he is “completely apolitical” and would not criticise specific governments over health inequalities. But he said he had been reading the French economist Thomas Piketty, author of Capital in the 21st Century. “It seems to me wherever you are on the political spectrum, we should be looking at this huge contraction of capital and income and thinking this is not good for our society,” Marmot said.
“If we want a healthy economy, a healthy population, a fair society, a population with lower crime, we ought to be very concerned.”