Archive for February, 2005

Gordon Brown’s strategy to balance Britain’s import-export deficit with China by the exporting of educational services such as language teaching has a fatal flaw. The British are not exactly reknowned for their language learning and therefore by association the language teaching. Modern languages in Britain have suffered enormously in recent years culminating with the baffling decision to scrap compulsory language learning in schools rather than the increasing of such learning at earlier ages. Whilst it is true that Britain as the native speakers of the default business lingua franca has an advantage in being able to offer English language teaching the Chinese, I would have thought are far more likely to be impressed by someone that can offer language teaching in English at a fluent level as well as bringing a native tongue such as Spanish, German, French or Russian to the table.

Until this country readjusts its whole perspective on languages and their usage it is going to lag behind in the global market as Europeans with identical skills but a far more cosmopolitan outlook and experience are a far more attractive proposition to pan global employers such as the larger Trans National Corporations. In the current labour market companies wish to retain fluidity of the workforce as this is instrumental in their means of control. The ability to play off one country against another has already paid huge dividends in bringing down long-established workers rights in France and Germany by virtue of the threat of moving to countries like Hungary. We have also seen the first signs of those same companies showing willing to apply the same pressure to Hungary in order to drive down conditions further as they threaten the move further East to Romania and beyond. It would appear that this exodus is somewhat inexhorable until all roads lead to China.

However TNCs have not got to where they are today by putting all their eggs in the one basket, where they achieve profit and power they seek more and they will be looking for the next step expansion long before they all end up in China, India has many advantages in terms of size of population as well as some emergence of technological infrastructure but others will have to follow and these may include countries in South and Central America, other countries in SE Asia and North, South and perhaps West Africa. The implications for the skilled workforce must therefore surely be to retain a level of flexibility that allows you to ‘go where you are required’. Of course personally I do not hold with TNCs, I do not hold with Capitalism and I do not hold with the playing off of one countries workers against another’s in order to drive down the rights and conditions of both. Yet even I can see that if you are going to play the game and make your countries new generation fit to take part in this fiscal meat market you must equip them with the tools to function at the same level as their counterparts across the world. By failing to equip English people with the ability to learn languages they are being denied a whole slice of education that will leave them poorer socially as well as economically and menas an inefficient use of the country’s best resource, that of its people.

Studies even in this country have shown that the teaching of languages in nurseries and pre-schools has resulted in one principle problem only namely that these children are too advanced at primary and secondary level for the teaching that is provided. This country’s answer? Most of these schemes have been scrapped not expanded, rather than funding the whole language-learning system throughout age groups they have chosen instead to see this as a drain on funding. Thereby denying the youth of the educational benfits of a culturally rich and diverse upbringing. Is it any wonder there is racial tension in this country? Is it any wonder the working class youngsters are the prime target of the far-right

Should foreign immigrants speak English at home, fuck no, the British government will ensure your children get force-fed ‘Britishness’ until they sweat it from every pore, you stick to your guns and keep teaching them another culture and your children will grow up the better for it and will soon end up being the ones in real power in this country. What’s more they will have every right to be so.

Song Of The Day – Doves – Black & White Town

Original Comments:

Mark Ellott made this comment,
One of my greatest regrets is dropping French when I had to make my “O” level choices. I was good at it then. I’ve since had to relearn the hard way – and I’m by no means fluent. And the older you are when you start to learn, the more difficult it is. Children should be bi-lingual at least by the time they reach secondary school. Tri-lingual would be better.
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comment added :: 26th February 2005, 10:03 GMT+01
Diogenes made this comment,
Yes, unfortunately there is this Anglophone arrogance that the rest of the world should just speak English. There are consequences of this – such as the CIA having a shortage of Arabic speakers. But that is very much their problem.
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[Redbaron responds – It isn’t just the CIA, the British Diplomatic Service have much the same problem. There are very few places offering any level of arabic teaching which under the circumstances seems a little short-sighted.]

comment added :: 27th February 2005, 23:58 GMT+01
Diogenes made this comment,
While in Aust unis are cutting back on Asian languages…
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[Redbaron responds – Seems equally nonsensical, I mean it’s not as if there are any less Asian people than before or that you’re getting any further away from there!]

comment added :: 1st March 2005, 00:04 GMT+01

One day I will kill one of those fuckers. I mean this morning major tailbacks on the motorway, took me well over half an hour to go 4 miles. And what was the cause of such sluggish movement, was there something awry in the northbound carriageway, no there was not. The reason for the tailback going north was all the fucking rubber necking bastards having a good old gawp over the central reservation to see what was going on in the southbound carriageway where there had been a serious accident. The same thing happened last week when it took me 4 hours to get home from London on account of a series of such incidents. It happened last month – 2 hours to get home part of a 25 mile tailback all because of the tossers trying to look over into the other carriageway. A lorry had jacknifed some 4 hours before so there wasn’t exactly anything still going on but nevertheless all the gits have to have a butcher’s.

What the fuck are they trying to see? I mean if you were really looking what are you wanting to see -the full gory monty? Perhaps they should lay out any corpses for you all to see eh would that make it easier? Or why not convert the outside lane of the motorway into a viewing gallery so you can all get out of your car, you macabre cvnts! Then at least the rest of us who do not wish to spend first thing Monday morning looking at gore, Kensington or otherwise, can be on our way. If I want to look at gory shit there’s the internet. So if you’re a rubber-necking bastard stay at home and use your fucking computer or buy a David Cronenberg film, whatever you do stay off the fucking roads because it’s you dickheads that cause the attitude in the first place, oh and if you drive a 4×4 especially if it’s a BMW X5 I am going to kill you, I mean it!

Song Of The Day – The Primitives – Crash

Original Comments:

A visitor made this comment,
Go get ’em tiger. Driving up to Phoenix from Tucson one day, we came upon an accident on the other side of the interstate. I happened to see a foot sticking out from under a tarp. It was horrifying, and haunted me for some time thereafter.

comment added :: 22nd February 2005, 15:56 GMT+01
A visitor made this comment,
Now, now Red Baron…raod-rage never did any body any good. Only place it will get you is a free ticket to Statesville…. 🙂
But I agree with you…I think it’s everywhere you go. The gorrier the better….makes me sick to my stomach too.

Have a good day.



comment added :: 22nd February 2005, 19:49 GMT+01
A visitor made this comment,
Guten abend Red Baron,
Ich muss wieder sagen, dass mein Schreiben und lesen auf Deutsch nicht das beste ist. Meine Eltern sind zu den Staaten gekommen, alles ich 5 war, und das einzige Ding das sie haben gemacht mit mir war immer Deutsch spricht zu hause. Auch nur zwischen Ihnen und mir, habe ich auch noch eine grüne Karte…lol ..Darum ist mein blogAmerikan Alien. Unser Geheimnis.. zustimmt. Erklären Sie jetzt, dass dieses trennt. ..sorry… 😛 “Ich hoffe du wurdest einverstanden wenn ich dir in der Deutscher-Links Teil meines Blogs einstellen wurde.

That means You hope I would agree with you if in the German Link on your blog you would install/.hire me…like be on the friends list?…

Help me?…lol Bitte lachen Sie nicht über meine viele schriftlich Fehlers. 🙂



comment added :: 23rd February 2005, 05:34 GMT+01
A visitor made this comment,
London traffic used to come to a stop when there was a public hanging at Tyburn. Same thing !

comment added :: 23rd February 2005, 16:55 GMT+01
Pimme made this comment,
The longest traffic jam that I ever sat through culminated in everyone slowing down to watch a horse repeatedly mounting a tree stump. ;^)
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comment added :: 25th February 2005, 04:00 GMT+01
Bob Red made this comment,
well said mate, in a way, rubberneckers are like moths flying into a flame. they excitedly queue up all eager to have a gawp, then are disturbed by what the see that they end up going to various help groups to stop the nightmares.
A friend of mine told me about a really bad accident he witnessed involving a busload of kids(he wasnt rubbernecking, just at the wrong place at the wrong time) that still gives him nightmares years on
To think that some actively people hold motorways up for this privellege?
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comment added :: 27th February 2005, 21:55 GMT+01


Note to putative parents – have your children’s parties somewhere, anywhere where you don’t have to clear up! Trust me, you’ll only make the mistake once!

Thanks to Lynne for alerting me to this rather ego-boosting little statistic!

I am worth $74,258,059.26 for one night of wild lovin’! How much are you worth?
Go see for yourself

Takers? Call it $50 million for cash!

Song Of The Day – Stereophonics – Dakota

Original Comments:

protagonist made this comment,
Hi RB – I signed up to get your emails via blog. Duffster
[Redbaron responds – Mate I’m touched, good to have you with us.]

comment added :: 19th February 2005, 14:53 GMT+01
Lynne made this comment,
Look, I’ve done the sums, and even if I sell the cats, the kids and the house that doesn’t even belong to me anyway, I’m still going to be short. Can I have a discount? Pweaaaaaaaase?
Go on, you know I love you 😉


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comment added :: 19th February 2005, 20:19 GMT+01
A visitor made this comment,
i am worth $89,303,225.28!! I am more expensive than Brad Pitt ($83,201,235.53) and Angelina Jolie ($82,448,977.23)!!!
Thanks for making me feel SO much better about myself!! This made my day!

p.s: and you, by the way, are more expensive than Britney Spears, darling twin!

sarah []

[Redbaron responds – Sigh, always the bridesmaid…!]

comment added :: 20th February 2005, 12:51 GMT+01
Pimme made this comment,
That site would be more fun with an itemized breakdown of costs.
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comment added :: 21st February 2005, 20:57 GMT+01

I had a quite disturbing dream at 5.33am – it was about alligators, very large and very hungry and for some reason I was trying to get across a rapids river and there were 2 groups of alligators and we were trying to get across in the middle. I don’t recall exactly what happened it was goingfine at first but then ssomething went wrong and things were going badly, I remember I was trying to pull someone up the bank of the river and I couldn’t hold onto them. Shortly after that I woke up. It was rather harrowing really, I have no idea what it came from, I haven’t seen anything on the idiot box that would account for it so I’m puzzled. Unless it’s one of the 2 soft toy crocodiles I still have from when I was young that are languishing somewhere in the attic. Anyway it wasn’t very nice and I object at waking up at Stupid AM in a fright at my age. I won’t have it you know do you have any idea who I am?!

Song Of The Day – Bill Haley & The Comets – Rock Around The Croc

Original Comments:

Lynne made this comment,
Steady! D’you want me to get all Jungian and analyse it for you?

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comment added :: 17th February 2005, 02:22 GMT+01
A visitor made this comment,
Bill Haley. Ah ! Those were the days. See you later alligator !

comment added :: 17th February 2005, 12:54 GMT+01
Pimme made this comment,
Dreams usually translate from real life situations, rather than shows that we saw on TV.
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comment added :: 17th February 2005, 21:20 GMT+01

Now when it comes to love poetry it’s tough to beat old Johnny Donne, he was the master.

The Dream

Dear love, for nothing less than thee
Would I have broke this happy dream,
It was a theme
For reason, much too strong for fantasy.
Therefore thou waked’st me wisely; yet
My dream thou brok’st not, but continued’st it.
Thou art so true that thoughts of thee suffice
To make dreams truths and fables histories;
Enter these arms, for since thou thought’st it best
Not to dream all my dream, let’s act the rest.
As lightning, or a taper’s light,
Thine eyes, and not thy noise, waked me;
Yet I thought thee–
For thou lov’st truth–an angel, at first sight;
But when I saw thou saw’st my heart,
And knew’st my thoughts beyond an angel’s art,
When thou knew’st what I dreamt, when thou knew’st when
Excess of joy would wake me, and cam’st then,
I must confess it could not choose but be
Profane to think thee anything but thee.
Coming and staying show’d thee thee,
But rising makes me doubt that now
Thou art not thou.
That Love is weak where Fear’s as strong as he;
‘Tis not all spirit pure and brave
If mixture it of Fear, Shame, Honour have.
Perchance as torches, which must ready be,
Men light and put out, so thou deal’st with me.
Thou cam’st to kindle, go’st to come: then I
Will dream that hope again, but else would die.

John Donne (1573 – 1631)

Song Of The Day – Furniture – Brilliant Minds

Original Comments:

Jen Tate made this comment,
it’s beautiful.
happy valentine’s day, baron! ❤
comment added :: 15th February 2005, 22:21 GMT+01

itf085021.jpg My Breakfast

Cooked By Me

  —   Priceless   —   Other


Pork and apple sausages (grilled), smoked rindless back bacon (grilled), creamed mashed potato and yam mix lightly fried in olive oil, slice of haggis (fried), basted lightly fried egg, baked beans. Ah breakfast, coupled with an Ireland victory in the rugby.

Fecking marvellous!

Oh and if you think this wasn’t enough veg well for dinner I made a Shepherds pie with potatos, onions, carrots, peas, green beans, sweetcorn garlic and green chillis. Veg enough for you?

Song Of The Day – Wonder Stuff & Kirsty MacColl – Welcome To The Cheap Seats

Original Comments:

A visitor made this comment,
breakfast made by the baron. looks delicious to me. where can we order?!
*not to mention tha the sunny side up looks absolutely perfect! yum yum


comment added :: 7th February 2005, 05:44 GMT+01
A visitor made this comment,
Brilliant AND you cook???


comment added :: 7th February 2005, 18:47 GMT+01
moog made this comment,
i love the wonder stuff!!! i havent thought about them for ages… if off to dig out my tapes!! 🙂
glad you liked your food yesterday!!
comment added :: 7th February 2005, 19:42 GMT+01
Bob Red made this comment,
All that veg…
…and a 50 mile exculsion radius incase you feel the need to fart!
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comment added :: 7th February 2005, 23:26 GMT+01
Pimme made this comment,
Is that available on ;^)
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comment added :: 8th February 2005, 00:13 GMT+01
Lizard Breath made this comment,
looks fantastic!!

comment added :: 8th February 2005, 05:30 GMT+01
haywood made this comment,
you cheeky monkey!
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comment added :: 8th February 2005, 19:46 GMT+01
Jamie made this comment,
Damn! Now I’m hungry! Just after cleaning the kitchen too 😦
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comment added :: 9th February 2005, 00:02 GMT+01
Diogenes made this comment,
Enjoy your breakfast, but have you heard of the case of Cornelia Rau in Australia? She a mentally ill legal resident who’s turned up after spending 10 months in immigration detention. I thought you might be interested as Britain seems to be taking the Australian road on immigration.
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comment added :: 10th February 2005, 02:46 GMT+01
Danny the Infidel made this comment,
I feel the heartburn just thinking about it. What a colosterol bomb, will instantly clog your heart.
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comment added :: 10th February 2005, 22:08 GMT+01


(Ooh I’m going to get some flack for this one! Come on bring it on Neo-Con boy let’s have your best shot!)

The Americans have long since thwarted my attempts to understand the depths that they could sink to by uncovering yet more manure that they are happy to plummet through. I was however under the impression that at least the youth may bring a degree more hope. It appears I was largely mistaken. The BBC has published details of a survey conducted of 100,000 high school students. (The article is here.) According to the survey more than 30,000 felt that the 1st Ammendment went too far in its guaranteeing of the freedoms of speech, press, worship and assembly. However 83% felt people should be allowed to express unpopular views (Of 8,000 Teachers polled 97% felt unpopular views should be allowed to be expressed) So I can only assume that at least 25,000 of that 87% believe that you should be able to express those views unless someone tells you not to.

Now this is all pretty bad but there’s more 50% of those surveyed felt that newpapers should only be allowed to publish stories that have been approved by the government, aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh! That’s like 50,000 people. I’d be fucking mad if I thought 50,000 people in the whole bloody country felt this but to think it might be a proportion akin to a calculable percentage of the total population that doesn’t involve a decimal point is just astonishing. Around the same percentage, probably the same people believed that the US government had the right to censor the internet. Do you have any idea how much centrifugal force Tom Paine is now generating in his grave?!

I have decided that it is therefore necessary to declare Martial Law. I am now El Presidente, I am unsure how to proceed and whether I should place Rachel in charge, or airlift her to safety! I have decided that the camp at Guantanamo Bay is not nearly big enough to hold the numbers of terrorists and therefore the current inmates will be released. The new camp will be located on the mainland and will be called Texas, I am led to believe that not only will it be spacious enough to accomodate all the new incumbants but that many of the terrorists and those who fund them have already been moved there. The new Home Secretary will be Ralph Nader and Secretary of State for Defence Fidel Castro. Thank you for your attention.

El Barone Rojo

Song Of The Day – The Red Army Choir – The Internationale

Original Comments:

A visitor made this comment,
I’d be honored and thrilled if you’d take over, Baron. How soon can you get here???

comment added :: 1st February 2005, 19:34 GMT+01
Mark Ellott made this comment,
It’s worrying isn’t it how blindingly stupid people can be. One of these dolts was interviewed on Farenheight 9/11 and openly stated that freedoms had to be curbed for the sake of defeating terrorists. It seems the big lie technique is alive and kicking.
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comment added :: 1st February 2005, 19:48 GMT+01
moog made this comment,
its 1984…it always has been, and it always will be.
we are just lucky that we are not that gulible!!
comment added :: 1st February 2005, 21:24 GMT+01
Pimme made this comment,
I think it’s funny how principals believe in freedom of speech more than the kids do, unless we’re talking about the student newspaper…
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comment added :: 2nd February 2005, 00:42 GMT+01
Rachel made this comment,
Alas, your Thomas Paine reference is lost on today’s youth…More proof of the “Dumbing Down” of America. I don’t remember being THAT ignorant when I was in high school…What the hell is wrong with kids today?!
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comment added :: 2nd February 2005, 02:52 GMT+01
Danny the Infidel made this comment,
I have for some years been of the opinion that what was ones New England and some of the other north eastern states chould be put under Canadian rule, that Texas, Florida, New Mexico, Arizone and Califonia chould be given back to Mexico, that Louisiana, Missuri and so on be put under French rule, Alaska be given to Russia and that the remaning American states should all be given back to the native Americans. Of course Hawai would be turned in to a English protectoret under a Hawaian Queen.
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comment added :: 2nd February 2005, 20:22 GMT+01
A visitor made this comment,

comment added :: 3rd February 2005, 15:39 GMT+01

Jen Tate made this comment,
oh man, that’s scary. pretty soon i’m gonna need my own country to be free in.
comment added :: 3rd February 2005, 16:43 GMT+01

Danny the Infidel made this comment,
Nema problema Jen Tate, we in Sweden still accept political refugies, and I think of Sweden as being rather free, as long as you make the taxman happy.
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comment added :: 5th February 2005, 17:53 GMT+01