If you have done your A-levels, you will have, most likely, been into your school this morning. Your heart would have been pounding as you went to the desk manned by a tutor, and she will have given you that envelope. I very much hope that the news you would have read is good news. If it is A-level, I hope you have got onto the course of your choice. If it's AS level, I hope you will be progressing to A-level. In Scotland, you will have gone through all of this last Tuesday with Highers and Advanced Highers.
If this site has helped you to gain the result you have wanted, please could you consider a donation which helps me to maintain the site? The link is on the right hand side of the Home Page. I hate grubbing for money; it is rather vulgar. However I am not that wealthy on my teacher's pension.
If you have not gained the results you hoped for, I would say to you, "Do not despair. It is not the end of the world." As long as you know that you have given it your best, no one, let alone a right-wing politician, can take that away from you. If you have underachieved (be honest with yourself), you now know what is needed for success. Be hungry for it. And be determined as you retake the year.
As usual there are the stereotypical TV pictures of photogenic girls screaming and hugging with excitement, and pictures of glum boys who have bombed out.
I saw a rather sour note on the front page of today's Daily Telegraph complaining that top grades could be obtained for getting half marks. How to pour cold water on students' efforts over two years. I bet the journalist who wrote that would not score more than 20 % in a Physics paper. It was an idle stereotype of young people being snowflakes and not doing any work, and teachers idling their long holidays. I would suggest an equally idle stereotype of journalists taking their long liquid lunch...
Christmas stock is staring to appear in shops. Then there will be the Easter Bunny...
I have mapped the site with the various syllabuses. I have completed AQA, Edexcel, OCR, Welsh Board, Eduqas, SQA (National 5, Higher, and Advanced Higher), Northern Irish Board, and Irish Board. I have had to put extra content to support students of particular boards. Not all the boards have the same content. I intend to do the same for Cambridge Pre-U and International Baccalaureate. I have the Pre-U syllabus, but I cannot find an official IB syllabus. If anyone has one, please contact me.
I don't like Sundays. I never have. Perhaps it was my upbringing at boarding school from the age of 8 to 18. However, if I ignore it for 24 hours, it goes away. Six days later it returns, rather like that pesky fly you cannot swat.
The same is not true for Brexit. Regular readers of this blog will realise that I am an unrepentant remoaner. I hate Brexit with every cell of my body. And now, it seems, that a no-deal Brexit is very likely with all the consequences it will bring. You may have read the stories about the government telling various organisations to stockpile, and how Britain is going to lose access to all sorts of European bodies on which we depend on for our well-being. None of the scammers who so deceived the nation two years ago told us that. When people said that these kind of things would happen, they were pilloried. Now it seems that it's more likely that not - 60/40 according to the Right Honourable Dr Liam Fox. The confidence that many top Brexit-supporting members of the Conservative Party have in the future of our nation can be seen in the way that many of them are moving their money and their investors' money out of the country, for example:
Jacob Rees-Mogg has opened a Dublin office for Somerset Capital Management. He has also said that it could take up to fifty years for Britain to recover. I will be long dead and gone. You, dear reader, will be in your late sixties or even early seventies.
Lord Ashcroft tells his investors to move their money to Malta;
Jim Ashcroft, CEO of Ineos and one of Britain's wealthiest men, is moving his money to Monaco.
In addition, other Brexit movers and shakers have shown their loyalty to these islands by:
Lord Lawson has taken up French residency;
Nigel Farage has applied for a German passports for him and his family. What's wrong with the nice blue British one you so craved for, Nigel?
If I made the effort, I could find more such instances of utter hypocrisy.
Now we see that there is a considerable number of ordinary people who realised that they were duped by the lies of Gove and Johnson (a vainglorious man whose prime interest is what's best for Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson). Al, you may fancy yourself as Churchill, but Churchill you are not.
Of course there are those who voted out who will still vote out. Some will continue to blame the EU for their disadvantage, while in reality the blame lies entirely with the policies of the Conservative Party. Others are plain xenophobic - you see them frequenting Wetherspoon's pubs. The founder of this company named it Wetherspoon's to mock his Geography teacher who was tee-total, and has now suggested he will ban all products from the EU from his premises. How will his company manage if the goods are delivered using Mercedes vans or MAN lorries?
Others a nostalgic for a 1940s and 1950s Britain where things were so much better. I used to like Dad's Army. No longer. There was nothing funny about 1940. My father was on a ship that was sunk (yes he survived) and my mother had a grandstand view of the bombing of London by the Luftwaffe. Although many nostalgics say that everyone was so polite, kind, and thoughtful in those days, the opposite was true. As for the nineteen fifties:
There was rationing and even some years after the war ended, things were in short supply;
People were poor and struggled to survive;
Trains were awful - dirty, old, slow and late.
If one was rich enough, they could buy a car of high price but of poor quality and reliability;
Social attitudes stank - physical and sexual abuse were commonplace and regarded as acceptable;
Rivers and air were both highly polluted. Some rivers were so dirty that the water was unsafe to touch.
Nineteen fifties? No thanks.
The time I am nostalgic for is when anyone could travel anywhere in Europe without any restriction. If you used a mobile phone, you would be charged the same as you would at home. If you fell in love with another boy or girl from a European country, you could do so, bringing him/her home with you, or staying in his/her country. If on your travels, you saw a job you fancied, you could apply for it, and if you were the best candidate, you would be offered the job. You could then buy or rent for yourself some place to live. If you wanted to retire to the continent, you could buy a property on the open market, just like anyone else. Your money could be accessed from anywhere. The four freedoms benefitted Brits just as much as others.
The future I see in the Brexit Wonderland is the Brexit dividend:
Utter chaos when Britain crashes out with no deal in seven months' time.
The few wealthy people becoming exceptionally wealthy, moving their money to the better performing EU countries, while paying minimum or zero tax in the UK. Jacob Rees-Mogg may take a hit for fifty minutes. The German newspaper Die Zeit called him ein lebendes Fossil (a living fossil). However good that description is, Rees-Mogg is clever and devious enough to make a killing from Brexit.
The selling out of public services to private organisations, including the NHS. I see a fee being charged to see a doctor, just as you have to pay to go to the dentist. I see fees being charged for a stay in hospital. These might be covered by insurance, but those who have medical conditions will not be eligible.
A rise in xenophobic hate crime.
Shortages of things to buy, and those items being much more expensive to buy here than elsewhere.
Some suggest that there will be shortages of food and fuel.
Sick people not being able to access the medication they need. Frequently used radioisotopes such as technetium cannot be stockpiled.
A massive explosion in unemployment, and there being strict limits on access to benefits.
Severe austerity as we have never seen before, even after the Second World War.
High visa costs to travel to the Continent.
An almost valueless currency - we are near Pound-Euro parity already. I can see a time soon where £2 buys €1.
A return to a polluted environment from corporations that take advantage of zero regulation.
High unemployment (9 % according to the Bank of England). What work there is will be on zero hour contracts.
Zero regulation will lead to worse working conditions, with no-one to enforce unnecessary and burdensome rules on Health and Safety and the Minimum Wage.
Farmers unable to sustain their farms after the subsidies have been withdrawn and whose produce is subject to tariffs.
Cheap and unwholesome food being imported from the USA.
In case you say I am making this up, I am using what I have seen in quality newspapers and quotes from experts such the Governor of the Bank of England. What he doesn't know about economics is not worth knowing. When companies such as Airbus threaten to pull out of places like Broughton (Chester), I sit up and take notice. Airbus provides highly skilled jobs in an area that has otherwise been well left behind. The same awaits those who work for BMW, Siemens, Honda, Nissan, and Toyota. It won't happen in April next year, probably, but the year after?
A greyscale future that is summed up in this picture I have used before.
Whatever the Brexit outcome, Britain will be a vassal state. A soft Brexit means we take rules from the EU, but cannot contribute to the rule making. A hard Brexit (or no deal) will make us a vassal state of the United States of America. Trump is one of those businessmen who strips even the shirt off the businessman he ousts.
Get a Grip!
In this serious time, we have the most inept government I have ever known from when I first took an interest in current affairs as a teen. There have been many governments that were inept in one way or another, but all had the national interest at heart. Not this one. In Theresa May's Conservative Party, the motivation is one of utter self-interest. Brexit was moved and supported by a small number of very wealthy men, who have a vague notion of themselves getting very rich, while the ordinary people get left further and further behind. It's nothing to do with the "will of the people", the Lumpenprolitariat, which they utterly despise.
We had a foreign secretary who rubbed up almost every nation up the wrong way. Mercifully he is now back to his old haunts with the Daily Telegraph, although his unfunny and disrespectful comments a couple of weeks ago caused dismay to a whole ethnic minority. We had a minister in charge of Brexit who has spent four hours in negotiations over the last two years. His preparation has been abysmal, like the child that forgets its homework, and says the dog ate it.
If your school or college had a management team like we see in the present government, it would soon be inspected by OFSTED, and would be rated inadequate. It would be put into special measures. While our country is facing an unprecedented crisis, the government packs up on its happy hols.
The Conservative Party is meant to be the party of Law and Order. Violent crime is rising, burglary is rising. The number of stabbings in London is horrific. In my part of the world, farmers are having their expensive machinery stolen. The police give a crime number. Some victims of crime have been told to investigate it themselves. When you need the coppers, you need them quick. Half an hour's drive on blue lights is not good enough; the villains would have legged it and will be anywhere. Our neighbour, an electrician, had a van for his business. One evening two morons were racing in their cars. One of the drivers lost control and piled into David's van. She immediately reversed and drove off (how the car was drivable, I don't know) with her horn blaring, leaving a pile of bits from the front of her car. The van was seriously damaged. The police did not come until the next day; we thought that they had stopped off at the pub on the way. OK, the idiot came forward, and David's van was repaired. After a previous accident in which the side of the parked van was slit open by a glazier's lorry, not much of the van is original.
This is because of police cutbacks, due to Conservative Party policy. Those officers left are overworked and demoralised, hardly able to cope. If you are beaten up, have your mobile nicked, or whatever, you want the crime taken seriously, and the perpetrator put in the slammer.
It is a fundamental principle that a government has a bounden duty to protect the people it serves. Perhaps some of the money spent on defence should be directed to the police. After all, defence is about keeping the people safe, and if recruiting a very large number of coppers, along with the tools to do their job properly is not defence, I don't know what is. I suspect that the demands by President Trump for all NATO nations to spend more on the military is nothing to do with protecting them, but buying expensive American weapons systems. I would prefer coppers to be there to tackle crime
Our present Prime-Minister once described her party as "the nasty party". Under her watch, it has become worse. When she was Home Secretary, she ordered the hostile environment for immigrants, and we have the Windrush Scandal which is still going on. With her as Prime Minister, Brexit has taken up so much time that all other pressing issues like crime have just fallen by the wayside. Not mentioning the vast sums of public money that have been wasted. Why on Earth is Parliament not sitting?
There are many decent MPs in the Conservative Party. However it has been hijacked by a small coalition of self-interest and prejudice united by a lust for power that feels that it has a god-given right to rule. It contains a collection of charlatans, fraudsters, spivs, wideboys, and scammers that would normally be found in one of Her Majesty's Prisons. They are propped up by a party that was described on Any Questions? as the "Ulster Taliban".
The Labour Party should be wiping the floor in the polls with this shower. Instead it has Corbyn, who alone is worth 40 seats to the Conservative Party, and 1500 activists. I have not know the Labour Party be in such as state since the days of Michael Foote. He was, though, an academic with a gentle good humour, a stunning intellect and a good orator. None of which qualities are shared by Corbyn. Instead Corbyn comes over as smug, ego-centric, devoid of any charm or humour, gormless, and clueless.
What about a third party? I remember the time of the Social Democratic Party, which I was taken in by. I hated the Thatcher years. I remember the leader's comments at a Party Conference, "...go back to your constituencies and prepare for government." I looked forward to that election, but the opposition vote was split and Thatcher won with a landslide. Where are the Liberal Democrats?
I will never vote for the Conservative Party that stole my European identity and hobbled the prospect of many young people today. I have often said, though, that in our constituency a sheep standing for the Conservative Party would be elected. I will vote Labour, as I have for many years, but with little enthusiasm.
I have spent twice as much time on this drivel as the Right Honourable A B de P Johnson does on his weekly column for the Daily Telegraph. Sometimes I actually agree with what he says, like the house builder whose highly expensive constructions are falling down, yet whose Chief Executive is the highest paid CEO at over £40 million. (Perhaps they should spend it on quality control.) However, you get twice as much in this rant and it is about the same quality. This one, dear reader, costs nothing, not £275 k a year; "chicken feed" to him, but the salary of 10 college lecturers.
If you are reading this in Europe, I would ask you to apologise on behalf the 48 % of the voters who voted to Remain. I feel so ashamed to be a Brit. We are not all xenophobic island monkeys.
Until the next time I saddle up my high horse, enjoy and good luck. I hope you do well.