Sunday, 24 June 2012

15. Tax, Teaching and Timbre

It has been far too long, I apologise.

    I have been preoccupied with getting my life in order; starting work, looking to move forward on my chosen career path and other distractions. That is not to say I've not had a moment to spare, far from it. There has been many a time in the past month where I've had nothing constructive to do and instead of finding purpose, I've whittled away these hours of opportunity playing Minecraft, Call of Duty or Fifa.
   I am currently in one of those frames of time. Sitting at my desk with nothing especially constructive to do. So I thought I'd pick up where I left off and forge ahead with my blog and other hobbies.

We shall start with something briefly contentious.
    Recently in the news Jimmy Carr has been outed by the Prime Minster, David Cameron, as a 'tax dodger' for being part of the k2 tax scheme. If you are unfamiliar with these events Google it, or alternatively watch this video on the bbc news website.
Essentially the PM has said that taking part in such scheme is morally wrong, and I tend to agree with him. Yet here begins the hypocrisy. While being slightly sensationalist in nature, the daily mirror stumbles upon the core problem with the PM's 'moral' argument. While chastising Jimmy Carr for is 'moral failings,' the PM has not publicly criticised those considered his allies, friends, family and colleagues, whom a large majority are using similar tax avoidance techniques such as paying oneself dividends instead of a fixed, and thus taxable, salary. (To see more details read here -
Whether or not you agree with the 'moral' argument in this case is irrelevant. The simple truth is that you cannot in this case have a rule or law set down and then not apply it to all who operate under it. It is hard to avoid sounding partisan/anti conservative when I say this is classic Conservative-in-government behaviour. If we want to strive for fairness, honesty, transparency and equality, then these exemptions simply cannot be tolerated.

  Moving away from politics and back to the informal ramblings and recordings of my life, I have started to steam ahead with my plans to become a teacher. I have finally finished my Degree and got my results (a 2:1 overall! :D) and now it is time for me to begin the next step. This essentially involves me applying for positions as volunteer teaching assistant/ observing lessons. Not only will I gain invaluable experience by doing so, but also an insight into teaching strategies.
  This is all well and good, but I cannot stress enough how strange it feels talking to people, asking for these positions, when the last time I spoke to them was when I was like 8 years old or something. It is pretty weird to say the least :P

Finally we come to the end of this post... well, near the end.
I wanted to write a review of a gig I went to a while back, yet I held back. I mentioned this in my last blog post; personal reasons, not wanting to sound like a pretentious dick and so on...
Anyway, that's all passed now and yet there is a new problem.
It has been a fair while since then, so I'm going to put it quite bluntly.
They were good. Well worth going to see.
It is pretty hard to describe what Sunrise Over Europe are like; this isn't exactly helped by the somewhat confusing description prior to the gig being 'Balkan folk' amongst other odd genre's. The easiest way for me to convey what the gig was like, and how I felt, is for you to just go and see them. They curate an event at the Flapper and Firkin in Birmingham every month called Watchifres. Basically they gather good local bands and showcase them to a guaranteed audience, before rounding off the evening with their own set. S'pretty good. Follow the embedded links to find out more, or check out my blog roll list in the top right corner of the blog.

  Another 'gig' I went to was a show by the Dead Poets. The show is a story explaining how a Grime MC and a Professional poet came together to try to mix genre's; fusing rap with poetry, and their subsequent '___' (Success? Failure? Your choice I guess). The show was funny and exceptionally clever, it is definitely worth checking out one of their shows if you can make it, or alternatively you can order some their merchandise from their website. The best way to get a taste for what it is like is to check them out on YouTube. I'd be surprised if you haven't already seen this;
It is a rap battle between Blizzard and Mark Grist; a former teacher and the former poet laureate of Peterborough. It is a quality vid, and I cannot stress enough how much you need this in your life.

  That is it for now. I've updated my Bolter and Chainsword blog with a little snippet about my Sisters of Battle, but my war gaming has been put temporarily on hold until the release of the 6th edition of Warhammer 40,000. So stay tuned.