We’re all in this together – well not quite all

Expect there to be complaints from public sector workers over the next month or so.  Changes introduced by George Osborne in the Spending Review in November 2015 will manifest themselves in pay packets next month.  These changes will adversely affect about seven millions workers, of whom about five million are public sector workers. The changes…

Trouble in the classroom

In the 1980 film The Wildcats of St Trinians the Minister of Education played by Michael Hordern finds himself dealing with an entrepreneurial bunch of school girls, set on improving their educational experience by forming a trade union.  If it was to be remade today, the stocking clad schoolgirls with pigtails would undoubtedly be seeking to turn…

IDS and the men of entitlement

The Mumbler will make no pretence of mourning the passing of Iain Duncan Smith’s reign as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.  His resignation as a matter of principle over the cutting of disability benefits to fund tax cuts, even after the cuts had been, in politicians parlance “kicked into the long grass”, is…

The failure of the snake oil salesman

The first half of the twentieth century saw a strange phenomenon in churches in the Southern States of the United States of America. Ministers in the Holiness Pentecostal Church of God lead by their Minister George Went Hensley participated in services involving the handling of venomous snakes.  The practice derived from two verses from the Gospel…

Newspeak and the politics of fear

George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty Four concerns a dystopian society in a state of perpetual war.  The society is manipulated into supporting the war by an establishment that controls the minds of its population through a central propaganda machine, distorting the truth and rewriting history.  This is a suitable metaphor for the internecine war far being fought…