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Chris McKie

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Everything posted by Chris McKie

  1. This is the first time I've tried to get on to the forum for quite some time due to the recent problems. My PC froze and became infected with viruses so I steered clear for a while. Hopefully, the new measures will keep the forum safe from any future attacks. Keep up the good work John and Andy.
  2. It appears that we may now have the answer to your question. Jean Charles de Menezes, the Brazilian shot in error, was in the UK on an out-of-date student visa. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4713651.stm This may indicate why he chose to run away from his pursuers. The officers in question have been trained to deal with such situations. It will now be up to the independent inquiry to determine whether they acted appropriately. I can only assume these officers fired five shots into the man's head because they thought Menezes was a potential danger to the public. Given the circumstances, i
  3. This is a very strange turn of events, but I hope all parties concerned are eventually able to put this episode to one side, thus enabling normal 'hostilities' to resume on the History Teachers' Discussion Forum. I have also posted the following on that forum: http://www.schoolhistory.co.uk/forum/index...indpost&p=43218
  4. Nicholas Hytner summed up why Miller will never be universally popular in the USA: "America felt rebuked by him. Many Americans have felt insulted... his refusal to meet them halfway was the magnificent stubbornness of the great artist." In short, he exposed the emptiness of the American Dream. Perhaps, it should not be a matter for surprise that he took this line having lived and suffered through the Great Crash of 1929. This certainly helped to fix his mind not only on social and economic injustice, but also the impact of such tumultuous events on the family unit. He was rightly famous
  5. Another very accessible reader has been written by Richard J. Evans entitled 'In Defence of History'. In the book, Evans offers his defence of history as a discipline from the attacks of post-modernists. It is now in its second edition (below).
  6. Good to hear from you again! The future of the Middle East is far from certain and I can't say I am much more hopeful than I was ten months ago. I certainly don't think the re-election of George Bush in November has helped the situation. There was yet more violence in Gaza and the West Bank yesterday, with seven people killed, including five Palestinian militants. These incidents have come on the back of Mahmoud Abbas's victory in the recent presidential election, an event which seemed to herald a new era of hope for the Middle East. It is, of course, far too early to determine the impo
  7. It would matter if you were having an affair with a junior member of staff. In cases like these, there is always the possibility that the senior member of staff has abused his position. I was working at a school where the head of sixth form was having an affair with a sixth form tutor. The head disapproved of this and thought it might affect his judgement about sixth form issues. He was also concerned about the sixth form students finding out about this (he thought it was setting a bad example). The head told the man he would be unable to give him a good reference (at the time he was seeking a
  8. The Dead (The Brothered Dead Lain Cheek to Cheek) by Rene Arcos In the wind that blows The veils of widows All float on one side And the mingeld tears Of a thousand sorrows In one stream glide. Pressing each other close the dead Who own no hatred and no flag, Their hair veneered with clotted blood, The dead are all on the same side. In the one clay where endlessly Beginnings blend with the world that dies The brothered dead lain cheek to cheek Today atone for the same defeat. Divided sons, fight on, fight on, You lacerate humanity And tear the earth apart in vain, The dead ar
  9. After a similar incident at the U21 match the previous night, I can't say the racist chanting came as a complete surprise. Incidents like this have sadly been commonplace in some countries in eastern Europe during recent matches involving England and Arsenal. I seem to recall Ashely Cole and Emile Heskey being on the receiving end of some abuse when England played Slovakia recently. As an interesting aside, Ashley Cole was recently asked what his favourite country was. His reply was: "I'd have to say Spain. That was one of the first holidays that I could afford. Plus it is always really ho
  10. This is rather reminiscent of what happened to me only a matter of hours ago. Today was my Games afternoon with Year 7s and due to the inclement weather, it was held in the sports hall. The students were instructed to do some circuits, involving sit ups, press ups and other such activities. One of these other activities involved them jumping over a small plastic hurdle. One of the less able athletes was finding this activity quite a challenge, so of course I proceeded to demonstrate to him what was required. I did so three or four times, but then I made the fateful decision to show my pro
  11. William Noel Hodgson, Before Action (1916) By all the glories of the day And the cool evening's benison, By the last sunset touch that lay Upon the hills when day was done, By beauty lavishly outpoured And blessings carelessly received, By all the days that I have lived Make me a soldier, Lord. By all of all man's hopes and fears, And all the wonders poets sing, The laughter of unclouded years, And every sad and lovely thing; By the romantic ages stored With high endeavour that was his By all his mad catastrophes Make me a man, O Lord. I, that on my familiar hill Saw with unc
  12. Siegfried Sassoon, Aftermath (1920) HAVE you forgotten yet?... For the world's events have rumbled on since those gagged days, Like traffic checked while at the crossing of city-ways: And the haunted gap in your mind has filled with thoughts that flow Like clouds in the lit heaven of life; and you're a man reprieved to go, Taking your peaceful share of Time, with joy to spare. But the past is just the same--and War's a bloody game... Have you forgotten yet?... Look down, and swear by the slain of the War that you'll never forget. Do you remember the dark months you held the
  13. John Simkin has some information on this topic on Spartacus.
  14. Those weapons must be in here somewhere!
  15. I certainly don't regard you as a liberal, Derek! The forum guidelines are simple and straightforward. John is right not to give in to the demands for censorship.
  16. Well, an admission from the outset: I'm a history teacher and have been deeply influenced by some of the poetry of the First World War. Having visited the battlefields of the Great War on many occasions, they never fail to leave an indelible mark on me. No doubt a few of you will be familiar with the story of Lieutenant Noel Hodgson of the 1st Devonshire Regiment who at the age of 23 wrote his last poem before attacking at Mametz on the Somme. Hodgson predicted his own death at the hands of a German machine gun situated in a nearby cemetery. He is buried alongside many of his fallen comrad
  17. That is a worrying, but hardly surprising statistic. What should be done to redress the problem? Are you suggesting that the electorate in the USA (and indeed in any other country) should be made to sit and pass a 'political awareness' examination in order to be eligible to vote? This would surely further cut back the turnout figures. However, your statistic highlights one of the fundamental reasons why I am personally against the Australian system of making voting compulsory. I suspect that the USA is not alone in this problem, although the issues will vary from country to country.
  18. Or, perhaps a case of vote for Blair in order to scupper Gordon Brown's dreams of the premiership.
  19. A few comments re John Kelly's last post: 1. I am grateful Saddam's reign of terror is over in Iraq because he was one of the most brutal dictators of the post-war era. I would not classify Blair in the same bracket as Saddam not only because the former, unlike the latter, has not gassed his own people. As for the Kurds, I am sure they would have preferred Saddam not to have claimed jurisdiction over them in the 1980s. The fact that he did resulted in his use of chemical and biological weapons against them. You refer to Blair and Bush as terrorists in your earlier post, but can you tell me
  20. When I use the term “neo-fascist” I mean an extreme right-wing political party. This is how I saw the Conservative Party in the 1980s. In other words, the ability to pass legislation to increase the income and power of the wealthy. In this Thatcher was highly successful. At the same time she undermined the poor by creating large scale unemployment and by passing legislation that weakened the trade union movement. Am I permitted to call Michael Foot’s Labour Party of the early 1980s neo-Communist? It’s not a term I would use, but people on the left of the political spectrum far too easily us
  21. John Simkin (blue): I have noted you have not replied to my points about how Thatcher/Blair have redistributed wealth in favour of the top 20% of the population. Or that Thatcher increased rather than reduced government spending. I assume you accept that I am right on this. I fail to see how Blair has redistributed wealth to the top 20% of the population by not reducing the top rate of income tax. Gordon Brown has presided over many redistributive policies, including the working families tax credit and the minimum wage. Blair’s government have also quite drastically increased expenditure o
  22. By the definition of terrorism you use, Saddam Hussein was surely a terrorist. He certainly used actions to intimidate and coerce his own people, as if we need reminding. We should be grateful his reign of terror in Iraq is over. Tony Blair (and George Bush) do not deliberately target innocent civilians to further their political and social objectives. That is exactly what Osama Bin Laden and his followers in Iraq do on a regular basis. Kidnapping and executing civilians is barbaric. Blowing up and firing bullets at screaming children is similarly so. When was the last time Tony Blair
  23. John wrote: It is pure Tory propaganda to state “Thatcher’s main aims were to reduce the power of government, decrease the tax burden and to promote private enterprise.” She did nothing of the sort. She increased the power of government during her period of power. Nor did she reduce the tax burden. What she did was to change the shift in the tax burden from the rich to the poor. She did this by reducing income tax and increasing indirect taxes. Does wholesale privatisation not reduce the role of the state and allow private enterprise to flourish? The British economy was in a sorry state in t
  24. Wishful thinking on your part, John. The General Election will result in another victory for Labour with a reduced, but still healthy majority. You are correct to suggest that the Tories will make little headway. As long as Michael Howard remains as leader and memories of the 1990s are still fresh in the minds of the voters, the Conservatives will not form a government. The Hartlepool by-election saw them relegated to fourth place, behind UKIP. The plurality voting system in this country weighs heavily against major inroads being made by the Liberal Democrats. As Thatcher herself said, i
  25. I think you might be reading too much into it, John. The Americans let the pressure of the event get the better of them and the European simply played out of their skin. These things happen in sport. The pressure of favouritism means that the 'best' team doesn't always win. I'm sure you can think of countless sporting occasions when the best team has ended up on the losing side. The match at Edgbaston today springs to mind. Does anybody honestly believe the Australians have poorer team spirit than the England cricket team? The American football team did remarkably well in the last foo
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