Thursday, 5 November 2015

Kez and Kes (19/08/15)

So, Kezia (Kez) Dugdale has been elected as the new leader of the Scottish Labour Party - I wish her well because at just 33 years old Kezia will be one of the youngest leaders ever of a major political party, north or south of the border.

Women leaders are now in charge of the SNP, Scottish Conservatives and Scottish Labour which is a remarkable turn around from the first Scottish Parliament in 1999 when the top tier of politics was an all male affair.

Donald Dewar (the parliament's first First Minister) represented the best Labour had to offer, Alex Salmond flew the flag for the SNP and David McLetchie was the 'head honcho' for the Conservatives - and all three had previous careers before moving into politics.  

Kezia Dugdale, on the other hand, has gone straight from university into working as office manager and adviser to Labour MSP, George Foulkes, between 2007-2001 before being elected as a list MSP herself in 2011.

And just four years later Kez finds herself in the top job after a brief spell as deputy leader to the former Labour Westminster MP, Jim Murphy. 

So for no reason other than the fact that the name Kez reminds me of one of my favourite films 'Kes', directed by Ken Loach, here's a great scene from the movie featuring Brian Glover who used to be a professional wrestler, would you believe. 

Overbearing Teachers (13/05/15)

When I was a member of the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) I was driven half-mad by teacher members who lost no opportunity to tell me about the terrible problems at their schools.

Except that these problems, school discipline for example, were never reported officially in any way on the basis, as my teacher colleagues explained, that this would give their schools a bad name, one from which they would never recover.

So everyone moaned and groaned with anecdotal claims and stories which made their classrooms sound like war zones rather than places of learning.  

All of which reminded me of this clip from the classic film 'Kes' starring David Bradley as Billy Casper and Brian Glover as an overbearing teacher.