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Derek McMillan

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About Derek McMillan

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    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 12/26/1951

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    derekmcmillan@hotmail.com
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    http://www.derekmcmillan.com
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    derekmcmillan1951

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    West Sussex
  • Interests
    Cyberpsychology<br />Key Stage 3 ICT<br />Open Source Software

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25,108 profile views
  1. Classroom Teacher

    Well I have taken to replying to myself I see. It is possible to download the latest Classroom Teacher onto a Kindle (if Santa brought you one) and read it in bed. http://www.classroomteacher.org.uk/CTjan2011.pdf The NUT is planning action against cuts and against the specific attack on the "gold-plated" public sector pensions. Cameron boasted on the TV today that strikes cannot change government policy. The fact of the matter was that it was only the threat of co-ordinated strike action against attacks on pensions which forced the anti-union New Labour government to do a u turn. The government far from being firm has already done a partial U turn (what is a partial U turn?) on funding for literacy and sport.
  2. A plague on both your houses

    I have met people who thought the Socialist Party were impractical in seeking a new workers' party based on the trade unions. They took the more practical step of voting Liberal Democrat to keep the Tories out." Well it's a free country. Ask not what the working classes can do for the Labour fakers Ask the Labour fakers to get off their asses and represent the working classes. Have a nice day. The Socialist Party stood in 16 out of the six hundred and forty six seats contested. So who did they advise folk to vote for in the 630 constituencies that didn't have that luxury? And who will you be asking them to vote for at the next election?
  3. what's a bot?

    Sherry Turkle in her excellent book "Life on the Screen" talks about entering a multi-user domain and finding there was a "Doctor Sherry" with an office conducting interviews with users. She was not sure if it was another user or a bot. She was reasonably sure it wasn't her. Of course she could never subsequently be quite sure she wasn't a bot that was programmed to think it was a university professor
  4. Classroom Teacher

    A group of teachers who backed Martin Powell-Davies’ recent stand in the NUT Vice-President election For action on workload To defend public sector schools To defend the rights of classroom teachers in academies and trust schools And to resist the attacks on education whichever canaille wins the general election! Click here to join the facebook group. Click here for the blog The latest Classroom Teacher has articles on workload, OFSTED, Academies and the forthcoming election. It is a larger group than the Socialist Teacher group - something like three times as big - and therefore includes a lot of people who are not SP members.
  5. Health Warning

    Don't have sex, you'll live forever. At least it'll seem like forever.
  6. Spooks

    I was trying to make the point that it created a narrative justification convincingly. A badly made and poorly acted program justifying torture would be less appealing to the audience. In many ways (acting, narrative structure and photography) it is an "excellent program" although of course I take your point.
  7. Spooks

    Spooks is described by the BBC as a “tense drama series about the different challenges faced by the British Security Service as they work against the clock to safeguard the nation.” It began life as a rather transparent attempt to rehabilitate the “spooks” after their role in compiling a pack of lies to justify the Iraq War. It is a very well-written series of thrillers with a cast of interesting characters with rather more depth than you would expect in the oddly named “intelligence community.” Like its distant predecessor “The Professionals” it portrays them as human beings with a social conscience about the jobs they are asked to perform for the safety of the nation. And there you were thinking they were all old Etonians with a conscience bypass! In a recent episode (Episode 3 of Series 8) the whole issue of hostage taking and negotiating with terrorists is explored in an exciting narrative in which a group of high-powered capitalists (a thinly disguised fictional version of the Bilderberg group) are kidnapped by terrorists who have no intention of getting a ransom but instead put the capitalists on trial for mass murder in the third world and video the evidence, while uploading incriminating documents on the internet. . The Spooks are powerless as tens of thousands vote “guilty” on the internet and the terrorists carry out the death penalty online. This feeds the common fantasy that anti-capitalists are all potential terrorists and of course justifies the 'spooks' real life policy of monitoring everyone to the left of Peter Mandelson – about half the population, The plot also showed that the anti-capitalists were actually naïve tools of a russian gangster-capitalist (definitely not called Abramovich , there are libel laws after all!) who wanted to eliminate his rivals. The program definitely does not whitewash the dirty tricks the Spooks get up to but seeks to justify them. One scandal of the last decade has been the use of torture by the British secret service “by proxy”. They have been accused of using evidence provided by third parties such as the Americans at Guantanamo. In the show Lucas North (played by Richard Armitage) is shown torturing the Russian Mafioso in his own swimming pool in order to save the lives of the hostages. This is a far cry from the real life “Spooks” torturing Omar Deghayes for five years at various camps with no realistic prospect of getting any information or saving any lives. Nevertheless it is the justification of torture. Spooks is an excellent program which maintains the tension and excitement all through. It does deal with the real life issues in the secret service. You might want to take its representation of the real life “Spooks” with a pinch of salt though!
  8. Guardian Poll on SATS

    I will quote your remark in the WSTA blog if that is OK with you. Also the final result of the poll 92.4% Yes. There is a poll on youguv http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/scrapsats/
  9. Guardian Poll on SATS

    Click here to vote in the Guardian Poll on SATS.. Suddenly the politicians are waking up to what teachers have been telling them for decades: SATS are bad for education. The controversial key stage tests come to an end this week. Let the Guardian know whether you think the government should drop the exams altogether. 86.4% Yes 13.6% No Poll closes in 2 days Unlike telephone polls, the results aren't fixed and it costs nothing
  10. Worthing rally

  11. The Conspiracy Against Socialism

    It is fair to say 1) socialism has not failed it has not been tried. 2) The serious question is whether capitalism can succeed - the present global crisis in food prices and finance markets should put a serious question mark over this. 3) It is a downright lie to equate socialism and Stalinism. 4) Even the most rabid republican is noticing that prices are rising faster than income and kids are being killed off in wars from which the corporations seek to profit. So they will vote for the Socialist alternative when it is presented to them even a rather tame "socialist" like Bernard Sanders
  12. Worthing rally

    We were just overwhelmed by the response when 283 of our members turned up in Worthing - others went to the Brighton demo. The Classroom Teacher 4 flier was very well-received. The mood of members was electric and all the speakers were cheered to the echo. The support from PCS was welcome and the feeling felt by many first time strikers from small rural schools was that they are part of a much wider movement and they can feel more confident to take action. The WSTA is pushing the idea of strengthening union organisation as a result of the strike by setting up email circles of reps and using a blog and a facebook group to draw our new activists together. These 283 are the key to the future of WSTA and by making a strong organisation we can win.
  13. West Sussex Teachers on Youtube

    WSTA has now set up a facebook page http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=27771381752 To add to the Brighton and Hove NUt http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=6239878349 The TSN group http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2385602766 And of course the NUT page set up by young teachers and joined by much much older teachers like me! http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2252226331 Feel free to pretend you don't use Facebook! Incidentally the TSN site has advice on how to participate in facebook without laying yourself open to a lot of "friendship invitations" from your pupils!
  14. We have three proposed takeovers by the Woodard Corporation who would "desire" a head teacher with Christian principles - so no Jews need apply. And the fourth takeover is being fought by NAME Our blog http://www.wsta1.org.uk/labels/Academies.html The NAME blog http://namecampaign.blogspot.com
  15. Some people are gay.

    I started teaching in 1979 and I wouldn't have put up a poster like this then. I put one up in my room this week and all the comments have been positive. Some pupils were quoting it to each other as a criticism and a suggestion they might like to heed its advice. SMT have not suggested that I take it down. It is easy to download and print one out and try it out yourself. It is a small gesture but it is just a polite (ish) way of saying homophobia is not wanted in my classroom.
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