Friday, 11 March 2011

Boiling blood

Pardon the blogging silence this week, I've been frantically hunting down work - which I suppose means that now I'm doing the opposite of ringing in sick. 

Meanwhile, I've found just enough time to see red about a couple of things: one, of course, connected with ESOL, and the other to do with the amazing vital fluid pumping round our veins and arteries that provides oxygen and nutrients to our cells - and so much vivid symbolism. I've also drunk a lot of fancy tea, and signed some petitions, of course.

Many ESOL teachers recently have been sending letters from their students to John Hayes MP, who is Minister for Business, Innovation, and Skills (which, just in case it isn't obvious, includes ESOL at Further Education colleges). In these letters students ask pertinent questions about the funding of the English classes they need to live and work here. Basically, the Hon Member is not answering their questions, and everyone is getting the same copy-and-paste blah about those not in receipt of Jobseekers Allowance paying 50% of the cost of their courses (which most can't afford). If you can stand the blue radiance all around him, you can see the smirk on his face at

From there, should you wish to, you can email him to ask him to actually engage with ESOL students' actual letters, rather than get his PA just to print the non-answer someone thought of for him at the beginning of the week. After all, ESOL students are taking the trouble to learn his language (funding permitting) and communicate directly with him. He should have the courtesy to respond meaningfully.

The other thing is blood. Mine is boiling. What could be more Big Society than going to a local hall courtesy of the Scouts, Territorial Army, or a church, then lying down on a curious stretcher thing (after some careful questions about sex, drugs and diseases) and having about a pint of your blood sucked out through a tube into a thick plastic bag. Afterwards, they give you a nice sit down with a cup of tea and a biscuit. It's quiet and like the 1950s only with better equipment. After twenty goes you get a badge. That's it. You do it for nothing. Because you are part of society, like the NHS. It's yours. It's ours. It's not David Cameron's to privatise. In fact they privatised the blood service in New Zealand, and donations dropped by 50%. So, if Big Society Vampire Holdings come anywhere near our National Blood Service, I'm off, probably in tears. Idiots. If the public don't want you to privatise woodlands, they certainly don't want you to privatise the glad giving of the blood in their veins. So far 32680 people agree with me to the extent that they've signed a petition at

Other news is that here at Fruitcake Miniature College, the Head of Animal Care has had to take our esteemed Principal to the Nice Lady to have his thyroid gland out (the other one - we have two). This should prevent the poor old bugger boiling over, as he's tended to do lately, but it's left a gap where the fur round his throat was. To make up for it he's getting anonymous no-frills white fish poached in milk.

Also I've been eavesdropping on worms, which is to do with the cups of fancy tea. I'll try to apply for fewer jobs and come back sooner next time to let you know all about it.

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