I read in today’s paper that Riz Ahmed, an actor, had “shocked” a cinema audience by introducing the film Taxi Driver with the words, “The original film inspired the assassination attempt of Ronald Reagan. So, you never know, tonight’s screening might inspire someone to shoot David Cameron. We can only hope.” The actor, 27, apparently apologised afterwards, and said that his remark was intended as a joke – “Comedy is about taking risks and seeing the silly side to serious situations.” Continue reading “Casual denigration of the Right”
If you were required to teach twentieth century history to primary school pupils, what would you teach and why? I have a particular reason for asking this question, and will tell you why later.
I ask in all seriousness: what attributes would you expect of the ideal teacher? I have today undertaken some training, and this was one of the questions we were asked. The answers – adaptability, fairness, flexibility, empathy, sense of humour, were all as you might expect. Where my fellow educators and I parted company was over my suggestion that “passion for the subject” should be included. Likewise, they dismissed knowledge – what you needed to teach at primary level, they said, was nothing that you could not mug up the night before. Continue reading “Teachers”
Reproductive medicine seems ever more problematic, and the latest difficulty to hit the headlines is the fact that some women who have undergone IVF, sometimes on the NHS and sometimes privately, then change their mind and have an abortion. “Data obtained from the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority reveal that an average of 80 abortions are carried out in England, Wales and Scotland each year following IVF treatment.” Continue reading “Throwaway babies”
I have had cause, recently, to need to prove who I am, and more to the point, to prove who I was before I was married, and subsequently divorced. You would not have thought this would be too difficult, but I do not have a marriage certificate. I have sent off for one, at a cost of nine pounds and fifty pence, and it seems that all will be plain sailing. Continue reading “Who am I?”
I think it is a fair assumption that someone who goes round the streets shooting people at random, and then turns the gun on himself, is not in his right mind. This being the case, why is it that the BBC has seen fit to devote at least half an hour – it may have been more – to coverage of this sad event? Continue reading “Too much information”
How old is too old to have a baby? Once, such a question would hardly have needed asking: a time came when women could no longer have babies, and that was that. In these enlightened times, however, things are rather different. No-one who does not want a baby need have one (which makes you wonder why it is that there are still the number of abortions taking place – more than 189,000 in the UK last year) and many a career-minded young woman decides to put off having babies until her late thirties or forties. At present, the cut-off point for IVF is fifty, which many of us might think is well old enough, particularly if you are trying for a first baby. Continue reading “Geriatric motherhood”