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Boreades


In: finity and beyond
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Mick Harper wrote:
Borry, the Scottish news seems important but the Times won't let you read it without a subscription and nobody else seems to be reporting this, if true, fairly astounding development. Can you post it up in full?

(Other one most amusing ... and depressing)


I wish I could post it up in full. As you say, it's behind a paywall, and I don't have a subscription to any of ye olde-fashioned printed media.

BBC Scotland seems to be silent on this topic.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-51880666

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/scotland
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Boreades


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We live in strange times. To start the ball rolling the OUSU did what it is prone to doing.

The Oxford University Student Union voted for a policy that transgender, working-class and female students needed more protection and urged the university to give faculties guidance and make more use of trigger warnings.

You might wonder, why do our priviliged snowflakes need yet more protection?

The motion, proposed by Alex Illsley, co-chairman of Oxford’s LGBTQ+ campaign, stated that there were multiple examples of “ableist, transphobic, classist and misogynistic content” on reading lists.

Like what?

He cited an article advocating that it should be a moral duty not to have disabled children, which was included on a medical law and ethics reading list, and one “advocating for the murder of disabled children after they have been born”.

I'm shocked, shocked, that these students might be able to read things, all by themselves. But not so shocked as I am by the University's response. The university issued a statement saying there would be no changes as a result of the motion.

“[There are] no plans to censor reading materials assigned by our academics,” it said. It referred to its policy on free speech, adding: “Free speech is the lifeblood of a university. It enables the pursuit of knowledge. It helps us approach truth. Recognising the vital importance of free expression for the life of the mind, a university may make rules concerning the conduct of debate but should never prevent speech that is lawful. Inevitably, this will mean that members of the university are confronted with views that some find unsettling, extreme or offensive.”

Goodness gracious me! Perhaps I should send my offensive & revolting children to Oxford after all?
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Mick Harper
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The Oxford University Student Union voted for a policy that transgender, working-class and female students needed more protection

It should be pointed out that
1) there are no transgender students at Oxford University
2) 'working class' students at Oxford University are mainly concerned not to be perceived as 'working class'
3) female students ... yeah, OK, but why hide behind the skirts of others?
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Hatty
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In: Berkshire
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Mick Harper wrote:
The Oxford University Student Union voted for a policy that transgender, working-class and female students needed more protection

It should be pointed out that
1) there are no transgender students at Oxford University

The Oxford SU TRANS report of 2018 did find transgender students but possibly fewer than they'd anticipated. The reasons given are various.

1) It was kept deliberately low-key (to avoid abusive messaging)

The survey was advertised in a closed Facebook group for transgender students at the University of Oxford, as well as in emails sent out to LGBTQ+ students. Our Facebook page regularly receives homophobic and transphobic abuse. Therefore, we chose not to advertise the survey publicly to avoid potential sabotage of our results.

2) The percentage is in line with the country as a whole

We received a total of 52 responses. It is very hard to estimate the number of transgender students at the University of Oxford. The best estimate we have for the proportion of transgender people in the UK is 0.4%, a statistic provided by the Gender Identity Research and Education Society (GIRES). Both the Office of National Statistics and the Equality and Human Rights Commission use this figure. Accordingly, there would be around 96 transgender students at the University

and 3) the average age for transgendering is 42.

It is also important to note that the median age at which trans people present for treatment, and thus ‘come out’ as transgender, is 42.

I was surprised as transgendering is usually talked about in association with teenagers. This last statistic is taken to show Oxford's transgender student population is 'significant'

Consequently, in a student population, which is majoritarily made up of people aged between 18 and 25, the proportion of transgender people would likely be lower than 0.4%. It is therefore the opinion of the LGBTQ+ Campaign that 52 responses represents a significant portion of transgender students at the University of Oxford and the most complete representation of their experience that would be achievable given the nature of the community.

I stopped reading at this point.
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Boreades


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I'm wondering whether I should stop reading as well.

A few days ago, Michael Gove was broadcasting to the nation from his home to reassure us The Government was taking care of us and everything. And Keep Calm and Carry On.

M'Lady was watching from her favourite sofa, with her favourite pipe and slippers, with a Golden Retriever snuggled up on one side, and her favourite Chestnut Maran on the other. All was well until the camera panned out and revealed shelves full of books. Tut, he's got a library. This was instantly Guilt By Association, as she's got a very dim vew of all the books I've allowed into Château Boreades (and some of the authors I've allowed in as well). Michael Gove is now in the same "guilty" box as me.

It appears M'Lady is of a similar mindset to the activist-journalist Owen Jones, who must have been scanning the bookshelves through binoculars, as he promptly Tweeted:

Why does Michael Gove and his wife own a copy of a book by David Irving, one of the most notorious Holocaust deniers on earth.

What does this reveal about Owen Jones? Is he one of the Thought Police, or just a shit-stirring twatteratti? Presumably Michael Gove's poor wife will be rounded up in the same sweep as all the usual suspects, also guilty by association.

Just in case M'Lady ever lets our neighbours in again, post-lockdown, should I pre-emptively rearrange my library into two parts?

Part 1, in the main salon, Fit For Public Viewing: copies of Gardeners World, cook books, annuals of the Golden Retrievers Club UK, etc.

Part 2, in the darkest part of the remotest attic, Unfit for Public Viewing: with Ian Allan trainspotting books, books on mathematics, science, megaliths, history, THOBR, etc.
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Mick Harper
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A coupla stories in the Guardian which could have gone in either the Sport or the Flu section but which I think are more political in nature. Here's the first one

For every athlete across every sport there will be a level of anxiety right now regarding a return to action post-lockdown. When will it be? What will it look like? Why, exactly, will it be taking place? But among those from black and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds the sense of unease is likely to be especially acute given the way in which Covid-19 is ravaging their communities

In the first place Covid-19 is not ravaging any community. The chance of catching it and not making a full recovery are less than one in a thousand for any community. But among sports people it must be more like one in a million.
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Mick Harper
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Police advice that Premier League clubs must play at neutral venues if they resume the season has “no rationale” and risks demonising supporters by assuming they will gather unsafely outside grounds, a former football policing commander has said. “That tone demonises fans who have been very mature during this crisis, complying with the lockdown and also contributing admirably, to food banks and community aid.”

In the first place, that's complete bollocks. Football fans are absolutely the sort of people who will do just that. After they've stocked up at the food bank.

However, in the second place, the police view is complete bollocks as well since it would only take one bobby standing in one street between the station and the ground saying, "Sorry, lads, this far and no further" and the problem would be solved. What are they gonna do, stand there like lemons listening to the roar from the empty stands?
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Mick Harper
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Owen Jones wrote:
Why does Michael Gove and his wife own a copy of a book by David Irving, one of the most notorious Holocaust deniers on earth

Tell Owen that David Irving is not, technically, a Holocaust denier and tell him also the book in question was written in 1979 when David Irving was considered by all historians to be the leading British authority on the Nazi Party. But, as someone on Newsnight pointed out, it's still a political statement to keep it there in full public view. I concur. Well done, Mr & Mrs Vine.
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Boreades


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The Guardian is worried on behalf of Mick and other London Underground travellers.

What would happen if Londoners tried to go back to normal on a socially-distanced Underground?

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/may/13/what-would-happen-if-londoners-tried-to-go-back-to-normal-on-a-socially-distanced-underground?CMP=share_btn_tw

I can't see any mention of my preference. Stay above ground and walk or run. That was my preference back in the days when I worked for various government agencies and departments in Central London, and had to get from Paddington to Victoria and back again. The route across Hyde Park was quite pleasant with relatively few people. Only 4Km, and much nicer than being stuck on the Circle Line with your face pushed into someone's armpit.

I can't see any mention of M'Lady's preference either. Introduce a First Class section on the tube trains, with better wider seating, and keep the plebs out.
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Mick Harper
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Your cross-country scheme is creating huge levels of interest here at HQ, Borrie, but the big question that has emerged is, "What about those of us who don't keep a pair of wellingtons at the office?"
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Boreades


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Wellingtons? You are in luck.

Château Boreades is thinking of starting a Donate Your Trainers scheme. We expect to get plenty of donations. All of the many elite athletes that live, train and race round here go through running shoes like Formula 1 cars through tyres.

We would put them through the washing machine (that's the shoes not the cars or athletes), glue on a new base sole, spray them with something that smells nice, and post them on to deprived* people who live in Inner City London.

*deprived of large open green spaces where you can see more than five miles in any direction.

How does that sound?

You can save your Wellingtons for the Château Boreades Annual Wellie Wanging Competition. Our Golden Retrievers delight in proving they are retrievers by bringing the wanged wellie back to The Thrower (usually known as "the Percy"). Such larks!
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Mick Harper
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...when you think the worst might happen and then we all end up in a cataclysmic pandemic Emily Maitlis, Newsnight

Am I reading the national mood all wrong? I get the impression people are, if not enjoying it exactly, certainly treating it all as some kind of mild penance for something we don't really deserve. On a par with, say, a very bad winter. It doesn't affect me so it's hard to tell. Nor you lot either, but what are your kids telling you?
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Boreades


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From where we are, we can't read the national mood, but we can read the mood of our village. Most are quietly saying (in a "don't quote me, but" tone of voice) that, actually, they are quite enjoying the lockdown.

It's quieter, families are getting time together, all kinds of DIY is getting done, people are being nicer to each other, topping up their Vitamin D while enjoying their gardening, and the pub is still selling food & drink as takeaways. What's not to like?

Round here, "the worst that might happen" seems to be the idea of going back to office life or day jobs before the end of Autumn. The ones that are teachers are even more adamant. No way they want to go back to classrooms of ungrateful snotty kids while they are getting at least 80% for staying at home. Even the primary school teachers, even though the number of cases of coronavirus in under-10 children is incredibly close to zero.

In "The Times", they say that the teaching unions are advising their members not to return to work if primary schools reopen in June. Too right, it's only a month to the Summer Holidays anyway.
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Chad


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...what are your kids telling you?

My two daughters seem to be rather enjoying being furloughed (on full pay).

It’s the owner of the establishment they work for, that I feel sorry for... He’s wondering how the hell he can turn any sort of profit, from a reduced number of tables.

(Please deposit suggestions in the box by the door.)
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Boreades


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More on The Strange Case of No Cases of Coronavirus in Under-10 Children over in the Health Flu topic.
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