19 January 2006

Why Won't God Heal Amputees?

This is an excellent site.


  1. oh, probably 'cause God hates amputees and all creatures that slither on their bellies!

    When you ask whether your religion questions are offensive, whom do they need to be offensive to? Would you want to see them outside places of worship, attributed to your weblog, during a local election campaign?

  2. The Blue Foxxx20/1/06 12:59 pm

    Neil - any thoughts on the proposal to turn Falmer into an academy school? Or Brighton's proposed council house transfer?

  3. Falmer is a struggling school in a deprived area and anything that can improve it should be welcomed. I oppose faith schools though.

    As for the transfer, if rents are capped and maintenance improved I have no objection.

  4. anon: I'm sure my party would abhor a lot of my views. I don't speak for my party, I am just a supporter and member of the party.
    Considering the strong influence of the christian socialist movement within the Labour movement and Tony Blair himself, they would probably tell me where to go.

    Saying that I am thinking of handing out flyers outside of the most abhorent baptist churchs.

  5. The Blue Foxxx21/1/06 5:19 pm

    Any thoughts on implications of ownership transfer in relation to the proposal to turn Falmer into an academy school, or Brighton's proposed council house transfer?

    Is ownership politically neutral and only efficiency at the point of delivery relevant?

  6. At the end of the day, if people get better accomodation and cheaper rents, I don't care who owns it.

  7. The Blue Foxxx23/1/06 2:39 pm

    Surely the owner determines what rents/quality is offered. Even if housing is transferred to a not for profit trust or charity, their aims are not necessarily those of the council. The council and its policies are directly democratically accountable. Those of private bodies are not. Perhaps you should care...

  8. Yeah but the owner can be controlled through regulations (which are democratically accountable). This might work out better because we all know that in some cases the private sector is just more efficient at providing the service than the public sector.

  9. The Blue Foxxx23/1/06 8:55 pm

    Where does this 'efficiency' come from. Once the additional cost of profit has been removed... It is from worker's compensation. Witness the CBI insisting on the demolition of public pension policies, in line with the tatters left of private pensions, as otherwise it would somhow be 'unfair'.

    I have worked in a public private partnership. I arrived after the transfer and got significantly worse treatment in terms of pay, hours and benfits than those protected by TUPE.

    What benefit does privatisation give to the public? Have you seen the report on academy schools's failing?

  10. The Blue Foxxx23/1/06 8:56 pm

    By regulations you are referring to contract law. No private body will enter into a mutable contract, thus once signed the contract is binding - often for 25 years or longer. Please explain how this is democratically accountable.

  11. "Where does this 'efficiency' come from"

    from better organisation of resources and better use of staff. We all know about the inefficiencies of the public sector. I know a council worker whose 'job' is to lick fifty stamps a day, which he takes his time over inbetween boredom that drives him insane. Now I know this happens in private firms as well, but the cut and thrust of competition makes it less likely.

    Working more efficiently can be beneficial to the workers as well, it doesn't necessarily mean cuts in pay and conditions.

    I would oppose 25 year contracts. If that is the case you may have a point but I don't know the specifics of what is going to happen in this case.

    As far as I could see, the report on academy schools showed there had been improvement but that the schools were still worse than others. This is still an improvement.

    For example one of the worst cases singled out by Ofsted of a failing academy school - Bexley, had still seen improvements in the percentage getting A-C at GCSE from 7% in 2002 to 29% in 2005. A significant improvement. Still low in terms of national averages, but it would be unfair to not take into account the difficult intake.

  12. The Blue Foxxx27/1/06 2:00 pm

    "from better organisation of resources and better use of staff."
    Simply good management - private or public.

    "We all know about the inefficiencies of the public sector."
    We have certainly been told they exist so often it becomes orthodoxy. It depends on what you are trying to measure for one thing. Also adding another layer of accountability, with its own interests, leads to duplication and inefficiencies of its own. Which leaves...

    "Now I know this happens in private firms as well, but the cut and thrust of competition makes it less likely."
    Precisely why workers pay and benefits are at risk.. most private companies coming in to fulfil public sector roles have found the efficiency savings minimal and that the only way to produce profit (ie. privatise public wealth) is through cutting levels of service andstaff conditions.

  13. The Blue Foxxx27/1/06 2:04 pm

    As far as I can see, academy schools involve goiving a private individual or organisation free reign in setting the 'ethos' of a school and control over the implimentation of the curriculum.

    You say you are against faith schools but this is the mechanism under which one could (if of course wealthy enough - no equality of opportunity here - or local control) set up creationist schools - as has indeed been done.

    As stated earlier, loss of ownership results in loss of control and public accountability.

  14. The Blue Foxxx27/1/06 2:08 pm

    "Yeah but the owner can be controlled through regulations (which are democratically accountable)."

    Please see www.defendcouncilhousing.org.uk
    for how this works out in practice. It does (necessarily) result in a loss of publicly accountable control.