More guns more shootings by Susan Grimsdell

Recently, after yet another mass shooting in the USA, I heard a commentator say that people are “struggling to understand” how these things can happen again and again. Well, hello, it’s not that hard. Guns are made to kill Defining a mass shooting as someone killing at least 4 victims at the same time and location, excluding the perpetrator, there have been 2,128 such events since 2013, about one a day.  The rate at which public shootings occur has tripled since 2011.  One third of the world’s mass shootings between 1966 and… Read More

Passing Thoughts by Trevor Plumbly

And the trumpets sounded on the other side The art of shuffling off has lost a bit of glitz in recent times and I reckon we’re all poorer for it. Years ago, there was a bit of glory involved; there wasn’t much of a future in it even then, but it seemed more interesting. Domestically, it was mainly plunging daggers; overseas, knights rode into battle, yelling inspirational stuff like, ‘Once more unto the breach dear friends, once more!’ as an open invitation to get done in, which apparently lots accepted. Leaders had… Read More

Look on my works ye mighty and despair by Angela Caldin

A corpulent man with an orange face stood on the Truman balcony at the White House wheezing after a slow ascent of the steps. He pulled his shoulders back and puffed out his chest, telling the world not to let the virus dominate their lives. Little comfort for the families and friends of the two million who have died. He peeled off his mask in a gesture that might have been rehearsed several times in front of a mirror, before going inside to let droplets of infection fall freely on members of… Read More

Goodbye cruel world! By Trevor Plumbly

Lead kindly light! It’s worrying when governments decide to hold a referendum. It usually means the issue could turn stale and they’re looking to shift it away from the cabinet table before it starts to smell. Most of the iffy stuff gets handled by way of a conscience vote; this theoretically allows them to express their beliefs independently of party lines without pressure from on high (yeah right!). Sometimes though the cross-party chummy stuff wears a bit thin and their safest escape from confusion is a referendum; the old chestnut, ‘the people… Read More

Education, creativity, life and death by Angela Caldin

I was sad to see that Sir Ken Robinson, educationalist, author and speaker, had died on 21 August 2020. One of his core beliefs was that education should encourage creativity rather than stifle it and his career was focussed on unlocking the creative energy of both people and organisations. I remember a few years ago watching his TED talk ‘Do Schools Kill Creativity?’ and finding it both inspirational and funny. Apparently, Sir Ken was the most watched speaker in TED’s history and this talk was viewed online over 60 million times and… Read More