Thursday, August 22, 2013

Home and Away

A break between flights
On another important exam results day for teenagers, I was amazed to read a Government report that some schools have been consistently trying to 'fiddle' their position in the national academic league tables by entering the same candidate for the same GCSE subject multiple times.

Government claims that such abuse of multiple entries is one of the reasons why its reforms of GCSEs are so badly needed. Schools, it argues, should not be entering children for exams early, and then for re-sits, or other exams in the same subject and sounds like a sensible argument to me.

The left-wing leaning media frequently does as much to damage our country as any foreign power. The detention of David Miranda, the partner of a Guardian journalist and a Brazilian national, at Heathrow, is, for me, an example of the liberal agenda going a step too far.

Whatever you may think of Edward Snowden, releasing US and UK intelligence secrets into the ether, we still need to consider the national security implications for our country. If Mr Miranda was indeed, acting as a courier for encrypted information, passing through Heathrow, to Brazil, from Germany, in an effort to circumvent US and UK efforts to prevent the publishing of classified data, which might prove useful to a foreign power, such as China or Russia, then personally I don't have a problem with his detention for interview at Heathrow. I suspect many readers may share that opinion.

We are presently in the middle of a fast-moving Jason Bourne movie, an undeclared cyber war. GCHQ has now put 160 of our leading companies into a kind of 'Special Measures' in order to extend their security umbrella to better protect them from attacks.

Principally, the source is China but also with organised criminal elements from the former Soviet Union, who may or may not be acting as a proxy for state intelligence services. I'm in Ukraine next month, talking about this very subject and I've already had a chat with the British Embassy over what may or may not be appropriate topics for discussion in such a very sensitive subject area.

Meanwhile, the August Bank Holiday weekend is almost upon us and once again, I'm rushed off my feet with 'The flying job,' starting tomorrow with a banner for Samsung. Unusually for a British August, the weekend looks very promising and let's hope our beaches are packed.

Here in Westgate, I've been having the seaweed cleared from the beach this morning. This year, at least, it's been late in arriving and we haven't had to put-up with the awful smell of it rotting slowly on our seafront.


1 o'clock Rob said...

I do find the whole Miranda detainment kind of stupid on the part of the British Intelligence Services. The data he may have been carrying is in the hands of numerous people in multiple countries to protect it, taking what he was carrying is pointless, the same sort of pointless that had two GCHQ staff stood in the basement of the Guardian watching someone take a hammer and angle grinder to a Macbook!

Simon Moores said...

That said
I have 4 hard drives sitting in bucket of sea water outside waiting for the sledge hammer treatment!

1 o'clock Rob said...

Yes Simon, smashing a hard drive to bits to protect your data when the drive is the only thing that contains it I understand, smashing up a hard drive that contains the same data as that on hard drives in probably 4 or more countries to "protect national security" is stupid! It makes our Security Services seem like idiots who haven't grasped that we've reached the 21st century.

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John Holyer said...

The probable pupose of the destruction was to teach the Guardian a lesson, and to make them look silly.

Anonymous said...

That REALLY showed 'em who's boss John!

Bemused of Birchington said...

Who reads the Grauniad these days?

John Holyer said...

The Guardian sales are down to just 100,000 a day. Most of those I suspect are in the BBC.

Anonymous said...

The UK's best selling "newspaper" is The Sun JH, so large readership isn't always a good thing!

John Holyer said...

And the second biggest seller is the Daily Mail. Both the Sun and the Mail sell in excess of one million. Whereas the Guardian sells just 100,000 and falling.

In the light of this why do you say that a large readership isn't always a good thing? For one could argue that the political stance of the Sun and the Mail is 10 times more appealing than that of the Guardian.

Anonymous said...

The Guardian actually publishes journalism based on does have opinion creep which some of the posters on here aren't short of. Also very sadly lacking in their understanding of quality journalism.

John Holyer said...

Anon 1:16 am,

I do not understand your term "opinion Creep" presumably it is pejorative.

Guardianistas tend to have a high self regard. In your remarks you have set yourself up as the arbiter of "quality journalism". I leave you to it, anon, whoever you are.