Call them what they are….they are war crimes

The downing of MH17 and the Israeli bombing of Gaza.

Why will no-one in power call them what they are.

Yes, they were disproportionate actions. Yes, they are disgraceful, disgusting, outrageous and unjustified.

But, they are more than this.

They are war crimes and someone must pay for them.

Charging people with war crimes is not just for developing or middle income countries. The same laws apply when you are a superpower or you are best buds with the US.

War crimes. It’s about time someone in power started calling them that.


Clive Myrie…Fuck you!

Dear Clive Myrie

A quick note from Scotland.

We Scots find it offensive when you state that Scotland only has a few days of summer each year, which were last week, and now it is Autumn. This is just the typical type of parochial thinking that we’ve come to expect from twats like you from London. Fuck off back there before the Glasgwegians get you outside the stadium.

Of course, because of your parochial thinking, which is shared by the rest of the London knobs at the BBC, you are blind to the fact that everyone outside the UK thinks that it rains constantly in England/London too. Why do you think that 300 miles means that London and Glasgow have such drastically different weather.

Fuck you.

And good luck getting home tonight.

PS, your incessant drivelling on about bugger all is seriously annoying. Go back to reading the auto-cue.

Douwe Egberts…tut tut!

I’ve blogged here before about how some products are becoming exceedingly difficult to open. Vitamin tablets are a prime one. I’ve been known to take a hammer to the tops of some of them.

Today I managed to break a jar of Douwe Egberts coffee! It required a knife to get it open and then the lid wouldn’t go back on. A bit of bruit force and the jar smashed spilling glass fragments into the coffee.

And, apparently, DE know about this problem and have “redesigned” the jars to make them easier to open although they look identical to how they have always been. They even have a “how to open the jar” guide on their website.

Here is a hint DE: If you require a how-to guide to open your product then it is badly designed.

Another hint: you shouldn’t require a strapping 18 year old guy to be on hand to open anything.

All of these products are in violation of the Equal Opps laws which state that something shouldn’t be a serious impediment to anyone with a disability in accessing something.

DE: get it sorted!

Out of stock/discontinued

I had the pleasure today of leaving a trolley full of goods in an aisle and walking out of Tesco in protest.

Having been to several Tesco’s throughout Scotland this past week looking for certain products and finding them either out of stock or discontinued, today I had had enough.

Among the numerous “selective” products I couldn’t get were magnesium tablets, Milk of Magnesium and loratadine anti histamines. The “take the biscuit” moment was when I found that magnesium tablets have been replaced on the shelf with pregnancy vitamins and my anti histamines have been replaced with pregnancy tests.

I’m sure you, like me, are seeing the link between these products……..

I was actually quite offended that basic products have been removed to make room for yet more pregnancy related stuff. Apparently 6 shelves isn’t sufficient. There are actually people out there, dear Tesco, who do not want kids, and think that the world would be a better place if there was either (1) less of them, or (2) they were all put in Borg maturation chambers until they were 25.

The anti histamine one is particularly dangerous. All Tesco’s had were about 8 different brands of cetrizine hydrochloride. In case you don’t know, hydrochlorides cause tardive dyskinesia, tremors and jerks, and are chemically similar to old style anti-psychotics (in fact, in urine samples, some of them read positive for chlorpromazine because they are so chemically similar). These tablets give me akithesia which is why I can’t take them.

Of course, to add insult to injury, you know why everything is out of stock at the moment? Because the Ma’s and Pa’s of the UK have taken the bairns on holiday……

MH17: Appalling act, even more appalling media response

The downing of the MH17 flight in Ukraine is APPALLING!

Downing passenger flights should be made akin to a war crime.

More than that, however, I am appalled by the media response. Do we really need to see pictures of the explosion, wreckage and even passengers’ luggage sprawled over the landscape? Do we need to see pictures of grieving relatives?

When will the media learn that this is completely unethical? How about treating the families, and the viewer, with some respect and dignity? Showing these pictures must be distressing for the families who will be wondering and imagining what happened. Harassing families to get their pictures or interviews in completely inappropriate! How would they feel is someone shoved a camera and mic in their face after one of their family was murdered?

Appalling act, and disgraceful actions by the media!

MSc Research Methods in Psychology….a swiz for some students

In the last couple of years I’ve known some students who’ve been turned down for a place on MSc Research Methods in Psychology courses because they have a 2:2.

This seems to be recent phenomenon. Traditionally, the MSc has been a conversion course for non-psychologists and for students with 2:2’s to bring them “up to standard” for a career in research.

Not anymore, apparently. Who are on these courses now? Students with 2:1’s or 1sts who want to do PhDs.

My issue with this is that if you have a 2:1 or a 1st you don’t need to do an MSc!

I have two reasons for this statement. Firstly, if you want to do a PhD you are more than qualified to go straight onto the PhD programme. Secondly, if you want to do a PhD then you will do these courses in the first year of your PhD anyway. You are being conned! You are paying for something twice!

Now, if you aren’t sure research is your bag, or haven’t made up your mind what you would like your thesis to be on, then they are perfect for you. But, if you have the qualifications and know what you want to do then go straight into the PhD.

And, it is the ESRC we have to thank for this. They started it off about a decade ago with their 1+3 studentships whereby they would pay for the MSc and the PhD. Those wanting to apply for the +3 awards had to already have the MSc. But, back then, if you weren’t going to apply for an ESRC award (and given how few go out to psychology students especially outside the “golden triangle”) you would be very sensible to save your money and apply straight for the PhD.

And, of course, universities got in on this game, and re-jigged their programmes so that they encouraged students to chase after elusive ESRC awards that they were highly unlikely to get, and the whole admissions process for the MSc seems to have been corrupted. Even departments not part of doctoral training centres appear to have taken on this admissions model.

Who loses out? The very students that those MScs are there to benefit.

Anyone who has had a PhD student knows that academic qualifications are a terrible indicator on suitability for studying for a PhD. Some of the best students got a 2:2 but got a 1st in their undergraduate project. It is the latter which is the better yard stick.

For any of you finding yourself in this boat with a 2:2, no place on an MSc, but you know that research is what you want to do, then there is one option. It won’t be easy. But, find someone to mentor you. You’ll probably end up working voluntarily but offer your services to run some experiments. Encourage your mentor to help you with stats training, introduce you to philosophy of science, critically analyse papers, help write up data or analyse an outstanding data set (if you have a good mentor they probably have years worth of data waiting to be analysed and written up). You don’t need to be there everyday so you could work it around a part-time job (which will help pay for the holy MSc the following year).

Don’t be disheartened and don’t give up! If research is what you want to do realise that the 2:2 is no indicator of your likely success in research.

Meet your new Education Minister….well, at least she isn’t Gove

Taken from the Guardian


Name: Nicky Morgan.

Age: 41

Appearance: Untrendy and proud of it.

Who is he? She.

Sorry, who is she? She’s the new education secretary – or “sexretary”,as the BBC’s Nick Robinson initially announced it.

Oh dear. I suppose the mere mention of a woman in this government is enough to get some people overexcited. Indeed it is. Until this reshuffle, there were just three at cabinet level out of a possible 22. David Cameron is clearly determined to establish his party’s core message in time for next year’s election: that Tories are sometimes women.

And what qualifies Morgan for the job, apart from being a woman? She’s not Michael Gove.

Quite an achievement. And that’s important for the job, is it? Very. The outgoing education secretary was certainly a clever politician with a clear plan, but he fell out with fellow ministers, civil servants, educationists and pretty much the entire teaching profession.

That doesn’t sound like clever politics to me. Perhaps not.

And who hates Morgan? Hardly anyone so far. She was only elected MP for Loughborough in 2010, and has since then climbed very rapidly – from assistant whip, to economic secretary to the Treasury, to minister for women.

Still, both a woman and not Michael Gove. You can see why her star is rising. Absolutely.

Is there anything else you can tell me about this new broom who promises to unite a privileged government with its people? She’s a corporate lawyer from Surrey who was head girl at her private school, Surbiton High, before studying law at Oxford.

Right. The phrase “a breath of fresh air” isn’t springing to mind.She has a six-year-old son, was previously a school governor, and is a serious Christian who voted against gay marriage. When she was made minister for women, they had to remove “and equalities” from the title. Now Cameron has given it back to her, but put someone else in charge of the whole gay marriage thing.

Still, Morgan is not Michael Gove, remember? Good point. Although she did vote for all of his education reforms.

Oh. But let’s give her a chance, eh?

Do say: “It can’t be nice to be called a ‘sexretary’ on your first day in your new job.”

Don’t say: “The last guy got called a lot worse.”



Why is it that there is an -ism in the closet of every Tory minister?