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Derek McMillan's blog
Monday, 16 October 2006


My blog (everybody should have a blog)

My union (everybody should have a union)

Socialist Teachers (...)

STOPP messing about with teachers' pay!


Posted by derekmcmillan at 7:48 PM BST
Saturday, 14 October 2006
Still blogging
The adverts are less intrusive.


There are also:

and of course

Posted by derekmcmillan at 9:58 PM BST
Saturday, 7 May 2005
Provisional New Blog
I am experimenting with
to see if the adverts are less intrusive.

Posted by derekmcmillan at 2:55 PM BST
Friday, 6 May 2005
George Galloway - an opportunity lost?
All those opposed to the Iraq war will have celebrated the defeat of the pro-war Oona King and the victory of George Galloway.

Tony Banks (usually called "Blood Banks" for his support of war and torture) made a fool of himself insisting to the BBC that Galloway only won because he was a white Tony Banks!

Galloway's immediate response was broadcast around the world. "Mr Blair. This is for Iraq: all the people you killed, all the lies you told, have come back to haunt you. The best thing the Labour Party could do is sack you tomorrow morning,"

What a golden opportunity George Galloway had to call for the unions to break from New Labour and fight for a new workers' party. Instead his remarks look like an appeal for Labour to ditch Blair - and replace him with Brown?

Respect has the opportunity to participate in the creation of a new workers' party not to act as constructive critics of New Labour advising them about their leadership.

Posted by derekmcmillan at 11:00 PM BST
Blog directory

It seems there is a directory of blogs.

Blog Directory / Add Your Blog

The Google / Yahoo alternative Probably several!

Posted by derekmcmillan at 12:01 AM BST

Sunday, 1 May 2005
Mayday and Omar Deghayes
Mayday obviously always makes me feel confident. It is the sense of history as well as the sunshine and th feeling that I have survived another winter. So today I am confident that public outcry can get something done about Omar Deghayes.

If you go to Democracy Now! and type in "Omar Deghayes" you get the following:

UK Resident Reports Widespread Torture At Guantanamo
Meanwhile another detainee being held at Guantanamo Bay has come forward to reveal that he has been systematically tortured while in U.S. custody. A Libyan-born, British resident named Omar Deghayes said that during his time in detention he has been sodomized by U.S. guards, given electrical shocks, was nearly drowned and was treated so brutally that he was left blind in one eye. Deghayes also accuses US and Pakistani interrogators of beating him, smearing his face with human excrement, starving him of food, and withdrawing light and clothing. On his detention in Afghanistan he said, "The camp looked like the Nazi camps that I saw in films ... Lying on the floor of the compound, all night I would hear the screams of others in the rooms above us, as they were tortured and interrogated." He went on to say, "My number would be called out, and I would have to go to the gate. They chained me, and put a bag over my head, dragging me off for my own turn. They would force me to my knees for questioning. They would threaten me with more torture." Deghayes was seized in Pakistan in April 2002 by armed local intelligence officers but his lawyer says he was detained as a result of mistaken identity. Attorney Clive Stafford Smith said of his client, "He has been treated worse in Guantanamo than any other person I have come across."

Posted by derekmcmillan at 6:54 AM BST
Saturday, 30 April 2005

Omar Deghayes is a 35 year old married man and father, originally from Libya, but a resident of Saltdean since 1987, who was arrested in Pakistan and has been held in solitary confinement in Camp Delta, Cuba since 2002.

He has not been charged with any offence and the only evidence produced against him is a video tape,which the Americans claim links Mr Deghayes with terrorists but which experts have dismissed as a case of mistaken identity.

His lawyer Clive Stafford Smith claims his client has been tortured by American soldiers, leaving him blind in one eye.

The British Government, which had previously claimed it could not help, as he is a British resident, not a British national, has bowed to public pressure, and agreed to present the family's concerns about his treatment to US officials.

We his supporters believe he should be charged and tried or released back to the U.K., and not to Libya from whence his family fled persecution and where he would certainly be in mortal danger. We do not claim his innocence or guilt but his human rights and entitlement to due process.

What you can do
1. Write a letter of support to Omar, in as many languages as you can, and e-mail it to who will send it on to his lawyer, and copy it to Charles Clarke and Jack Straw if you wish.
2. Send gifts of eye-patches, shampoo, toothpaste, books, particularly poetry, music, boxer shorts, and anything else you can think of to Omar Deghayes,c/o Brighton Peace and Environment Centre, 39-41 Surrey St, Brighton BN1 3PB. His lawyer will despatch these things to Camp Delta.

Posted by derekmcmillan at 9:06 PM BST
"What can you do for my son?"
I went to a meeting - well I couldn't last a whole
election without at least one! - for all the
candidates in Brighton. The Tories contemptuously
refused to turn up. The Labour guy looked embarrassed, and so he should be. Actually he also looked a bit past his sell-by, not because he was old but he just seemed politically exhausted apologising and justifying all the time rather than offering any hope.

The Socialist candidate Phil Clarke was excellent
(well it was him I went to see really) and the poor
libdem seemed very nice but tied herself in knots (no
not literally though that would have been fun). There
was also a Green Party candidate who seemed very nice
in a vague sort of way.

The meeting came alive when a woman got up to ask them what they could do for her son. His name is Omar
Deghayes and he has been held in the American torture
camp at Guantanamo Bay for three years and with
incredible bravery got his story - which is a horror
story of torture and sodomy by our allies- out to the
British press. I don't want to imagine how the guards
will treat him now. .

Well the libdem lady was impassioned but confused,
admitting she had done nothing about this but saying
she would like to, Phil Clarke has been involved in
the campaign to publicise Omar's case in Brighton and
he spoke with passion about it. And the Labour guy,
I'm afraid "useless" is the politest thing I can say
about his performance.

And that is the end of this party political broadcast.

Posted by derekmcmillan at 7:31 AM BST
Thursday, 28 April 2005
The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy
I took the family to see the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy preview screening last night (free tickets!) and it works very well. The opening sequence with the dolphins is stunning.

It includes a lot of the best ideas from the original and adapts the story enough to make it interesting to a group of people who know it by heart. Steven Fry (the book) and Alan Rickman (Marvin)are inspired pieces of casting.

My daughter was disappointed that Hollywood insisted
on a love story between Trillian and Arthur, she
thought a love story between Arthur and Ford would
have been more fun :)

Marvin is a revelation, a sort of antidote to Darth V

Posted by derekmcmillan at 4:12 AM BST
Sunday, 24 April 2005
Film of disruptive pupils on Channel 5
If I put a camera in my class on a good day and filmed them working away for an hour that would not be good television. It would be an accurate reflection of what goes on in a lot of schools a lot of the time. It would not help Michael Howard's moral panic over school discipline being "out of control"

I would of course get the parents' written consent before selling it to any really bored TV company interested in buying it, and I would never film pupils without *their* consent either.

Sensationalising this issue is wrong. Filming pupils who want attention and putting it on national television is wrong.

If anyone thinks that means I tolerate disruption in my lessons I suggest you spend five minutes in my classroom before making any such rash assertion!

Posted by derekmcmillan at 6:21 PM BST

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