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Masterful Inactivity – the Solution Everybody Runs Round in Circles to Find

Inactivity, masterful inactivity – time for a return to the concept? Published in 2013 on Suite 101, this is republished to complete the transfer across of material from that site. It is out of date with some details, but not the main thrust. Less is more should perhaps become the mantra as governments run round like headless chickens trying to do something in a crisis. Whenever anything goes wrong in the country, as it invariably does many times a week, it isn’t long before somebody somewhere starts the cry that SOMETHING MUST BE DONE!! MPs, under pressure from constituents fed by 24/7 news, start clamouring for something, anything. We may then get an inquiry chaired by some bigwig, a task force, a major relaunch/revamp/rethink, a public consultation, a Government Tsar, a White … Read entire article »

Filed under: Articles at Suite 101

The Art of Riding Roughshod Over the Views of Voters and Taxpayers

This article was first published on Suite 101, 5 January 2013. It is reprinted here as I transfer material from Suite 101. As the argument continues about how elected representatives in a democracy balance special pleading and pushing through their own solutions, we pose some further questions. Is Democracy Always a Compromise Between Caving In to Special Interests or Riding Roughshod Over Them? People opposed to onshore wind farms should not have their views ridden over roughshod. This pearl of masterful wisdom is reported by the Daily Telegraph (4 January 2012) as coming from planning minister Nick Boles to fellow MP John Hayes in a private letter.The report by Christopher Hope, Senior Political Correspondent confirms that Boles told Hayes, local people have genuine concerns. Other Issues Equally Deserving He shouldn’t stop there. There are dozens … Read entire article »

Filed under: Articles at Suite 101

Reading Between the Lines of the Party Leaders’ New Year Messages

Originally published on Suite 101 for New Year 2013, it is republished here as I bring articles across from that site to this one. While details have often passed now, the point is still valid about reading between politician’s lines. It’s always sensible to look for the hidden messages behind Party leaders’ annual New Year greetings to the electorate. This year is no exception.   The end of one old tired year and the welcoming of a shiny new one is a golden publicity opportunity for politicos to put out best wishes to one and all and to say how brilliantly his or her party has done and how marvellously bright the future is under their auspices. Or how badly the government has done and how much better it would have been/will be under … Read entire article »

Filed under: Articles at Suite 101

The Principle Elements of Examining Secondary School Drama

The assessment criteria for examining secondary school drama is quite simple: give students a vocabulary and clear framework for what works and let them learn by experiment. This article was first published on Suite 101, January 2013. In the 1960s and much of the following decade, where there was British school drama going on it was unstructured and delivered by a handful of inspired devotees who had seen the enormous potential of getting teenagers to roleplay, simulate and make-believe.Nobody thought it was possible to evaluate significantly drama work for examination purposes. When the National Curriculum arrived in the late 1980s drama was not included in the 10 core subjects, but curriculum drama began to come under pressure to come up with some examinable criteria. The Arts Council report Drama in Schools (2003) … Read entire article »

Filed under: Articles at Suite 101, Drama Teaching

No Apology for Putting History at the Top of Today’s Agenda for Young People

This article was first published on Suite 101, November 2012. It is republished now as it is still timely. Although computers never forget, the digital age creates a kind of permanent present. Society neglects its past roots at its peril. This is a hot Westminster topic.   Discussion about history suggests clever quotations. We learn from history that we don’t learn from history (attributed to Oscar Wilde) and those who don’t learn from history are condemned to learn it over and over again (attributed to Mao Tse Tung), spring to mind. George Orwell’s novel Nineteen-Eighty Four (1948) created Big Brother with the chilling slogan: He who controls the present, controls the past. He who controls the past, controls the future. Today, in a watched society, its both true and relevant. English writer LP Hartley (1895-1972) … Read entire article »

Filed under: Articles at Suite 101