Saturday, May 1, 2010

Layer 291 . . . Fitness, Fatness, Fighting, Boycotting and Voting

It's been a busy week - mainly trying to keep up with the outpourings in the press about the election and the debates. Too busy reading to do any writing.

Too Fat To Fight

It seems the biggest threat to the American armed forces is the stark fact that so many of their potential recruits are considered too overweight, and therefore incapable of being effective killers. I'm not sure what sumo wrestlers would make of this.

This is on a par with Arlo Guthrie being turned down by the draft on the grounds of being a convicted criminal - having once been fined for dumping litter. Guthrie, clearly, didn't want to be drafted into the army to go and fight in VietNam, whereas the fatties . . . It shows a great lack of faith in being able to slim them down during basic training. Still - it's for their own good. You can't be too careful when you're out there trying to project  military power.

There's physical fatness, and there's spiritual fitness and fatness. The majority of New Labour's troops were clearly too fat to fight against social injustice and inequality. Why else were they so fucking ineffectual during the last 13 years? They were indolent, sluggish, bloated & moated, expenses-fiddling comfort-lovers, the vast majority of them. You can expect someone like Nicholas Soames to be nothing but a useless reactionary tub of lard, but corporeal lardiness is clearly no indicator of fitness for purpose when it comes to fighting for a better world for the less well off, since the majority of the New Labour crowd were not morbidly obese in anything but a spiritual sense.


'Vote for me, I'm flawed'

Meanwhile, Suzanne Moore, left wing journalist and columnist, and longtime resident of Hackney - well-known wearer of lipstick and fuck-me shoes, according to Germain G - has decided to stand for election in Hackney North & Stoke Newington - the safe seat of Dianne Abbott. Go Suzy!

Guardian Goes LibDem

Under the headline 'The liberal moment has come' the Guardian today declares its support for the LibDems, with the proviso that people should still vote Labour in Labour/Conservative marginals. Exactly. THIS IS A SINGLE ISSUE ELECTION. All three of the major parties stupidly support drastic cuts in public services. The one big issue now is to  get  a referendum on proportional representation.

Polly Toynbee also comments on tactical voting and proportional representation:

Next Saturday at 2pm, after the election, an instant-response protest is planned in Parliament Square by a score of democracy groups demanding proportional representation and pressing Nick Clegg to accept nothing less. If everything hangs in the balance then reform can still be won.

But if Cameron has won his majority, this event will be a mournful wake. The sound and fury will signify nothing: winner takes all, however huge the majority that voted against him. Your vote is indeed precious, so use it tactically to win reform so that you never need vote tactically again.


Also Too Fat To Fight?

Many headteachers will be quavering at the thought their pay will be docked if they fail to implement SATs tests in their schools, even though the NAHT and the NUT have passed resolutions supporting a boycott of the tests. Headteachers are in many ways a wonderful group of people, but it can't be denied that their lack of fight and lack of determination to do right by their pupils has allowed successive governments to inflict things on our schools and on our education system that should never have been tolerated. Time to finally stand up and be counted.

"School governors have been told by the government they could send heads home if they boycotted the tests.

Schools Secretary Ed Balls wrote to them setting out their responsibilities and what action they could take if their head took part in the joint NUT and NAHT boycott.

The National Governors' Association (NGA) says it is not clear it would be legal to send heads home and is asking the government for details.

They say there is a "huge climate of uncertainty".

Neither union has mandated the heads and deputies it balloted to take part in the action.

This means it is up to individual head teachers to decide what action to take and no-one will be thrown out from their unions if they go against a boycott."


Jon Stewart rocks! -

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