Sunday, November 23, 2014

Conrad Noel the cross of St George (flag) and revolutionary England and Emily Thornberry

Conrad Noel: Vicar of Thaxted

During my wanderings through the ideological  desert that was the 1980s moving towards that promised land of dogmatic certainty, I rejected the trendy left wing socialism of the Labour party of the early 1980s and the "longest suicide note in history" that was the Labour manifesto of the 1983 election, Thatcherism for me was something that I loathed and despised as the dogma of unenlightened self interest. I rejected both the Tory party of Thatcher as well as the Labour Party of Michael Foot, Tony Benn, as well as Scargill.  

I joined the Liberal Party rather than the SDP because they appeared far more radical than the SDP who were known in the Young Liberal circles as the "Soggies" as illustrated by the the songs in the "Liberator"

The party's flag is pallid pink
And old Madeira is our drink,
Though Labour sneers and Tories plot,
We will remain a moderate lot.
Then raise our banner shoulder-height,
For to do more is impolite,
We are so middle-of-the-road,
Our guiding light's the Highway Code.

The Cardiff West Liberals were not really an active lot,or large compared to their SDP counterparts however they were a radical bunch in favour liberty, devolution, workers control (which will lead to my thoughts on Guild Socialism). The Cardiff West soggies where a snobby lot mostly from Radyr, who were quite middle class and respectable and were contemptuous of any form of devolution (some crept back into the Labour party in the 1990s where Labour had moved to the right for them, in fact even to the right of David Owen, ironically enough).That was why I did not like the SDP even though I did regard myself as a socialist of sorts.

Guild Socialism

Also in the 1980s I was very active in the church you could say a very extreme Anglo Catholic, I was big on the ritual of the Mediaeval Church and that lead me to the guild theories that were popular at the time that found its origins in William Morris "The Dream of John Ball", also in a book written by A J  Penty " Towards a Christian Sociology" (unfortunately like others began as a Guild Socialist and was seduced by the Syndicalism of Mussolini ). Their basic was the organising of industrial life into guilds which would include workers control this is where the New Liberalism of Leonard Trelawny Hobhouse and socialism met with common goals. This is the tradition that I am most attracted to but however I do not believe that we are mature enough to establish it

Conrad Noel and the Thaxted Movement

Conrad Noel I do not believe was a Guild Socialist, he was however a true radical, his Anglo Catholicism was subversive and counter culture, for example his procession of the Blessed Sacrament which he described the "Procession of the Divine Outlaw" illustrated where he placed Jesus, as amongst the poor and marginal, and his movement was a shelter for them

The battle of the Flags

Recently during the Rochester and Strood election we saw Emily Thornberry resign over her daft remarks over the St George flags that were flown and the implications of English racism. However we should get a sense of proportion. The Cross of St George is not like the Confederate Stars and Bars! Conrad Noel flew 3 flags in his church, it was the cross of St George, the Sinn Fein flag, and the Soviet flag. For him the English flag was a symbol of English liberty and more importantly a symbol of anti imperialism, just like the other 2. The Union Jack was a symbol of dastardly imperialism. Its time that the Cross of St George should be reclaimed as a symbol of the Ancient English Commonwealth,a revolutionary England  

Friday, November 21, 2014

Xmas bollocks

Let me begin with an apology for a bit of profanity!

Perhaps a bit of frustration on my part, however as I just complete the delivery of my newspapers, and head to my other job of selling unneeded goods to the masses!

One thing has occurred to me since my return to my homeland of Wales. 

It's the different ways we think about Christmas in Wales and the US. Just an aside, the reason why I chose to use the word "Xmas", comes from C S Lewis's essay "Xmas and Christmas" written Shortly before his death. 

It illustrated brilliantly the difference (interestly as I write this in the shelter of Llantwit Major station a Robin a symbol of Christmas hops round my feet) between Christmas of the birth of Jesus and God becoming human in terrible poverty, and the Xmas of getting and commercialism. 

In Denver (where I lived for 7 happy years) the lead up to Christmas (Advent in calendar of the Western Church) began with the "Parade of Lights" a splendid occasion that was well worth getting cold for.
Which began with a ceremony in front if the Denver City Hall

Now compare this with the Winter Wonderland in front of Cardiff City Hall

What a difference! Here in Colorado which has strict seperation of church and state the Christmas message is right at the heart of the celebration despite the commercialism and it was vibrant, different to Cardiff where ou have surly shoppers totally oblivious to the Christmass message, and those who think that Muslims are offended by it. Should get real, they are just as big on. Xmas as the secular crowd.

The is winter wonderland is nothing to do with the real message of Christmas, which is giving and celebrating Jesus who cared for those who had nothing, the homeless and the marginalised.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Wales needs to change its policy on teaching in Wales

A teacher of my acquaintance will be winging her way back to America this week. She was hired for a teaching job there. Here she was not able to teach, not even long term, supply jobs which she had in Wales before. And why? Because she did not have QTS in Wales, and was told at the General Teaching Council Cymru that she could only cover for a day or work as an aid, yet in England she gained QTS in England in a couple of weeks. The only way that you can gain QTS in Wales is by taking an year long course at UKIP. Essentially Wales operates a closed system in Wales when it comes to teaching. I would like to ask Huw lewis how can you claim to want to recruit the best teachers in the World, when it's impossible for them to teach here. Whilst I realize that each country must have its own standards, perhaps there is a way in Wales to evaluate their qualifications than by the costly way they do. I would suggest that they could move the courses online so that teachers could take them from over there? What do you say Carwyn Jones? Does Wales want the best teachers to teach? -- Sent from Fast notepad

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Horror Express

A good day at work yesterday was spoiled by the nightmare journey home, courtesy of Arriva trains who decided to stop the trains earlier than announced, so a journey that should had only taken 40 minutes took almost 3 hours. We had to wait 45 minutes for a bus which only took us to Barry. Then we had to wait at that nasty station an hour for another bus. At the Barry station were 2 poor kids who had been waiting 2 hours for a bus, absolutely disgusted that 2 youngsters had to wait on their own. Shame on you Arriva trains for allowing this ridiculous situation and not putting your passengers well being first. Shame on you the Labour Party when you were in power for 13 years not to put this ridiculous situation with the trains right, how can we trust you. -- Sent from Fast notepad

Friday, June 27, 2014

Make the Glamorgan Heritage Coast a national park

Reading some of the stuff about the upcoming LDPs in both Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan where I live. For example where I live, we have some of the most spectacular countryside in Wales, with the gorgeous Glamorgan Heritage coast and our beautiful colourful villages I ask myself where is the balance between conservation and adequate and affordable housing for our people. There are small communities like Ystradowen just near Cowbridge which has been told that they need a large number of new houses. The locals are up in arms that their communities are going to be spoiled. Then are others more cynical that accuse these same people of being NIMBYS who are more interested in the effects on their house prices. That I believe is a little unfair. I. Personally believe that the Western Vale's with its heritage coast should be a national park, and that house building should be done employing local builders and local labour with affordability being a crucial point. -- Sent from Fast notepad

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

A Empty Church

I walked into the new glass doors of St John's Church in Cardiff town, walked into the church, and to be honest it's never been one of my favorites too small and gloomy for my liking. The Church is open for private prayer, which is quite a contradiction in terms, the highest for of prayer is public in fact, and these churches have so little, no daily offices, or daily Eucharists, just a big empty place which feels dead. No life, certainly would not have been the case in the Middle Ages, where the church would have been a wash with colour and noise of people praying together. We have lost much. -- Sent from Fast notepad

Sunday, June 8, 2014

The letter wot i wrote to the Echo about teaching

Dear Viewpoints.

Reading some of the sad stories about the state of education in Wales truly brings a tear to my eye. We moved back here from the US because this is where we wanted to be, back home. I would get a job, and my wife would teach. She had taught in Wales before, quite successfully, and was highly regarded by the special needs school that she had worked on longterm supply with. However we were in for a shock, after placing our daughter in Llantwit Major Comp, (where she has completed a successful year), we went into Cardiff where my wife was going register with the agency that she had worked with before, we were shocked to discover that she could not because she did not have QTS for Wales (incidently I had corresponded with the agency prior to our arrival and they failed to mention this). We went to the GTCE in Newport Road, who just told us that there was nothing that they could do, and consequently placed the blame with the Welsh government, tying their hands. In the meantime my wife applied for QTS in England which she got after 3 weeks of waiting.Then I contacted the office of Andrew RT Davies (one of our AMs) who offered help, whose office subsequently did not follow up and would not reply to emails, then I contacted Leanne Wood's office with the same lack of response, and finally I contacted Jane Hutt our Vale of Glamorgan AM, and her office in the end was equally as useless, no contact. The only way  teacher from outside can gain QTS in Wales is taking a year long course at UWIC or working for free in a Welsh school, a program that is highly limited and is going to be phased out, and for a highly qualified teacher like NY wife with 2 graduate degrees at  61 that is ridiculous. However what angers me is the lack of responses from our AMs and that is outrageous.And now its too late, my wife was hired (with a phone interview) to teach in a catholic school school in Kansas, and our family is going to be ripped apart  and my daughter is going to be  moved out of her happy school where she has been sucessful,away from her friends and family to a place she hardly knows.I have applied for 300+ jobs with luck, and I will be staying here.All I can say its  shame and could have been otherwise.Michael Alan Cridland.Cert. Biblical Studies: Catholic Biblical School.32 Blackbird RoadSt AthanVale of GlamorganCF62 4NL"Gwir Yr Erbyn Y Byd" /I\ (Truth Against the World) Iolo Morganwg