Trump in Goading Lawsuit

Donald Trump took to the witness stand for the first time today in his lawsuit against Kim Yong-un, claiming the North Korean leader goaded him into behaving like a complete asshole.

The North Korean leader has filed a counter-suit against the President of the United States stating that Trump’s war rhetoric was in danger of making the American sound more of an irrational despot than Kim has been for years.

Both claims are being considered at the trial.

On the third day of testimony, Trump said that his current, definitely still current Press Secretary, had witnessed the goading in a secret Skype conference the two world leaders had had recently regarding who was the bigger twat.

‘He goaded my ass,’ Trump said. ‘He goaded the bare cheek of my ass right in front of my Press Secretary and the other mindless sycophants who were in the conference room with me,’ he further asserted.

The lawyer of the North Korean leader questioned Trump about the possibility of any goading making him look a bigger asshole than he already was.

The trial was later suspended when the Judge ruled there would need to be time to reconcile differences of linguistic interpretation of the words asshole and ass as well as establish the size of such whatever the epistemological conclusions and to seek specialist advice on when exactly either Trump or Kim Yong-un could be considered to be irrational and bereft of reason and whether this had anything to do with innate assholeness or if this could be a goaded-into proclivity.


There is an interesting report in yesterday’s Schools Week here about the Standards and Testing Agency’s refusal to release details of this year’s KS2 SATs marking guidance.

Rejecting a request for this to happen [read article for full details] the STA apparently argued that to do so would cause students and teachers stress [?] and would be highly likely to be misunderstood [??!].

One could have an easy go at the cruel irony of any government agency of any testing regime being concerned about teacher/pupil stress levels, but the deeper irony is surely the observation that such guidance would likely be misunderstood.

It wouldn’t’ take a KS2 student too much trouble to extrapolate that this also means those who did the actual marking will have been stumped by the guidance. These of course will be teachers – I can understand the need, but I’ve always thought it shameful – but if teachers who administer the tests cannot follow the guidance, then…..

That was the extrapolation. Full marks. One of the few aspects of a KS2 English GPS that would so easily get a full score, especially if it was alternatively the guidance on the shape of any semi-colons used, which abject nonsense this year led to the request for publication of this guidance.

I’ve retained a trenchant and sustained objection over the years, and on this blog, to the KS2 English GPS and previously SPaG testing because its discrete focus on language elements does little to promote and then test [assess] effective writing, but also because by that very discrete nature the marking guidance becomes prescriptive – where elements of language cannot be so defined, in most real-life situations – and therefore, by extrapolation, punitive and brutal.

Whilst never having had to teach the KS2 SATs, I did teach and then consequently have to challenge on a number of occasions the English KS3 SATs before they were rightly, if belatedly, scrapped. These too had marking guidance which was fundamentally flawed because it gave definitive answers in mark schemes for markers to employ. To state the obvious: this meant that rich diversity of possible answers which evidenced that rich diversity of totally accurate alternatives could not be credited.

The fact that English teachers as markers allowed this barbed-wire enclosure of answers to restrict and contain what should be their broad professional acceptance of the infinite variety of meanings is…..


Solid Flesh For Food 1 – Jim Burns

P1010398I received this sweet chapbook today containing four poetic vignettes from poet Jim Burns.

Without being overly nostalgic for someone my age, I think this is exactly how poetry should continue to be published, circulated and read: carefully prepared and presented stapled chapbooks wherein fine poetry speaks simply and honestly.

Something like that. Any expansion and then overstatement would be anathema to the fine work of Jim Burns. The following bio, taken from this chapbook, sums it up perfectly:


The following link here will take you to Adrian Manning’s site where details of this chapbook and others can be found. There’s more about Jim Burns from me here.

King Poetry

1. Saxon Rhyming Kings

Egbert was the first Saxon King,
ahead [wait for it] of four Aethels – that’s
and red
up until the first Great,
who was Alf-

and each King had to wait
for the preceding to be pronounced led
off from their mortal bed.

Next was Ed, or Edward
as his name’s
longer word,

then it’s the fifth Athel-,
this time stan,
yet another man,
and then the symmetry of five more Eds,
or Eads – that’s
and ward;

when not quite ready as he hadn’t
read the script,
back comes a sixth Aethel-
red II,

then one more, though second time around
to make six,
Edmund II Ironside
who would divide
his kingdom with


who cleverly ordered the tide to stay away
knowing it would roll back later that day
and make him a man [rather than a god],
his crafty nod
to normality.

Harold I was the next king for a bit
[a nasty joke if you look into it]
then Harthacanute until he made toast,
or a toast to be precise,

then Edward the Confessor
is the next kingly dresser
until Harold II was the last
Saxon successor.


2. Norman Kings Haiku

Four Kings are your lot:
Williams 1 and 2, Henry
1, Stephen the Nought.