Archive | February, 2009

Bill Hicks :: Rush Limbaugh is a scat-muncher

27 Feb

Seriously, NSFW.

Time to raise our voices?

27 Feb

(via. email)

So, who does the Mail think is British?

26 Feb

Sunder has published an open letter to Paul Dacre, the fabulously remunerated editor of The Daily Mail.

Reproduced in full.

Dear Mr Dacre,

I was disappointed to read reported in today’s Daily Mail that the newspaper regards it as a mistake to consider that the children or grandchildren of immigrants are British, but rather would classify us as “second or third generation immigrants”.

although the figures from the Government’s Office for National Statistics show an increase in numbers of foreign born people they still fail to record the true impact of immigration because they record their children as British rather than second or third generation immigrants.

I hope that your proposed reclassification of Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince Harry as not British, as second and third generation immigrants descended from the foreign-born Phillip, will not distress them too much.

But it does seem most ungrateful, when Winston Churchill was voted ‘greatest Briton’, to now strip him of that status because he had an American mother. (However strongly your newspaper disagreed with Churchill’s criticisms of appeasement in the 1930s, isn’t it now time to let bygones be bygones?)

Perhaps you could let us know who the Daily Mail thinks is truly British. I can see you probably think it is too late for my children – as “third generation immigrants”, currently aged under 3 – but perhaps there might be a tip or two they could pass on to their descendants.

So, given our shared interests in integration and citizenship, it would be terribly kind if you might let us know whether there is anything that those of us who were born here as British citizens could ever do so as to become British in your eyes.

Yours sincerely,

Sunder Katwala

Well, I always presumed my kids were British. Oooops!

Sorry, my bad.

I’ll turn in their passports in the morning. Now, Mr. Dacre, are they also required to wear some kind of identifying clothing? An armband maybe?

the irregular photo of the day

25 Feb

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Cheeky, originally uploaded by tygerland.net.

Another one of mine. Seeing as Vitaliya starred yesterday.

Managed to catch the little bugger looking cheeky, but there was some noise due to light (poor ISO selection and flash). Decided to run with it, and cool the colours and make it look a bit Holga’ish.

Our managers must look beyond America…

25 Feb

Stefan Stern at the FT ::

“[The American Business Model] remains the working hypothesis of most business people and consultants,” [John] Kay writes. But, he argues, it is mistaken in its core belief that greed can be a benign and sustainable force. He cites the economists Ken Arrow and Frank Hahn, who asked in 1971: “What will an economy motivated by greed and controlled by a very large number of different agents look like?” The economists answered their own question: “There will be chaos.”

Read on…

The good times are over. Glutton is gone. Lean is back in vogue.

If there is one thing that will be our ultimate undoing, it will be our ignorance and our arrogance. Our business leaders love nothing more than criticising our governments, yet in reality, many of them are unaware of their own inadequacies and shortcomings (even if they do work incredibly hard).

We do have professional bodies that work to propagate best-practice, but they also enforce age-old Anglo-Saxon business techniques that in many cases have become outdated. If we are to return to a level of effectiveness that will equip us to compete in a tight global market, we have to open our eyes to techniques from other cultures.

The top-down, greed is always good ethos has been vanquished. Markets have not failed, we have failed them. And the fallout – the toxicity of American economic calamity – is poisoning global industry. We need to become more than what we have been.

It’s time for British managers to visit the world. Not as travelling titans, but as humble students. To share and learn.

We have some excellent companies and some brilliant managers, no doubt. But in the main, we suffer institutional stagnation in many of our businesses, a culture of unjustified remuneration for executives, and a chronic lack of appreciation for investing in training.

I have worked in industry for over a decade, within the much-derided manufacturing sector in fact. Contemporary management theory, in many cases, is non-existant and formal training is viewed as a waste of time and money (not only by senior managers, but by the junior-level managers themselves).

In a new post-crash global economy, skills and education will become more and more necessary as fat is trimmed – only the smartest businesses will survive. We need to start with our children, but we must not forget education when people leave formal education.

Blair once made a commitment to “Education. Education. Education.” Yet, despite over a decade in power, and “improving” exam results, our economy is still strangled by a lack of basic numeracy, literacy and the capacity of our young people to adapt to industry.

The reinvention of Labour – if it is to reinvent itself in this parliament – must be a commitment to lead the country in a national project to reform education and skills. We need not only investment, but a leadership with the charisma to inspire change.

If not, we must be prepared to rot on the vine, and say good-bye to any ideas of global economic leadership.

Ivan Cameron

25 Feb

I cannot, for a single second, understand what David and Samantha Cameron must be going through right now.

I know people who have lost children, even one whose child lived with illness all his young life, only to succumb to leukaemia at around the same age as poor Ivan – nothing can compare to the helpless devastation Ivan’s parents must be experiencing.

I’m not going to go on. Enough will be written. But needless to say, we all send our condolences and thoughts to the Cameron family.

the irregular photo of the day

24 Feb

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Vitaliya, originally uploaded by tygerland.net.

One of mine today. My daughter Vitaliya