Tuesday, 30 May 2017

DD306 - Living Political Lives : Course Review

Well that is the end of my PPE, and almost 7 years of association with the Open University, but I suppose a reflection on the entire course should come later, this post will concentrate on DD306.

DD306, completed over 2 years due to a deferral after TMA04 in favour of an alternative project.

Looking back on what has been an amazing two years in terms of UK and international politics, DD306 really had little to offer in terms of adding to the debate or understanding of real politics.

The course broke down into.....

The Entry Room looked at the Cold War
Room 1 was Representing the people
Room 2 was Political Animals
Room 3 was Religion in Politics
Room 4 was Body in Politics
Room 5 was Violence in Politics

Can'r remember learning anything new from the Entry Room.
Can't remember anything from Room 1.
Political Animals was at best a philosophical discussion - a bit too abstract to be useful.
Religion in Politics, far too narrow a discussion - probably for fear of offending religious folk.
Body in Politics, more of a history lesson on how discriminated against sections of our community got rights.
Violence in Politics - lessons from history.

This course was not nearly as enjoyable as the Economics module, but preferable to another Philosophy module. I have received very good marks on all TMAs, which makes me question the rigour of the subject, but I can't really point to anything that I can take away from this course as a real eye opener or incredible learning experience.

It has just been about churning the TMAs out and getting the marks I require for the level of degree I wish, but even that seems a bit lacking of luster.

We its over now - just the EMA score to come, then the award of the degree.

DD306 - Living Political,Lives : Well that's that then.

Well, that's that then.

Nearly seven years association with the OU is complete, I have submitted the final EMA.

I am not sure if I am ready for this. OU Student has been part of my identity for so long that I don't want to let go...... But I have no choice the journey has ended.

In the end th EMA was very stress free. 5 evenings writing, after a lot of preparation set up the basic EMA essay. I have then had two weeks relative stress free reflection to refine the essay.

I have to say, IF, and I emphasise, IF I have met the examiners question requirements I think I have nailed this.

I would like a distinction on this module, I was mark short on TMAs - but grade boundaries can shift, and I think this essay should certainly meet the absolute 70% requirement, but hopefully a lot more.

Well, I can do no more, except wait and hope I've done enough.

I believe will know by 19th July.......

Saturday, 13 May 2017

DD306 - Living Political Ideas : TMA06 Marked and Returned

Tantalisingly close to a Pass 1, which makes my overall OCAS equally tantalisingly close to a Pass 1, but alas not.

Unfortunetly, no idea what the comments are as I can't open them on my mobile device.

I suspect that the overall course grade boundaries are a bit flexible so not the end of the world.

So, just the EMA to get marked.

Friday, 12 May 2017

DD306 - Living Political Lives : Disappointed? Just a bit.

TMA06 deadline is just 3 weeks before the EMA deadline.

I submitted TMA06 over a week early.

Tutor knows I am going on holiday.

But here we are a couple of hours before I head to the airport and still no TMA06 returned marked.

Its not that I expect, or want, special treatment, but you'd think that by submitting extremely early you'd both get nearer to the front of the marking queue and give the tutor extra time to mark. Some students already have their TMA06 back which gives them a huge advantage towards finishing the EMA over folk that get it back with only a week to go.

As I have never found a way to download, and then open and display, the feedback zip file to my ipad, I may know the mark some time in the next week or so, but reading the feedback will have to wait until the 29th May.

The phrases 'cutting it fine' and 'taking it to the wire' spring to mind.

Thursday, 11 May 2017

DD306 - Living Political Ideas : The Final Leg

So, I have submitted an EMA.

I now have to prioritise my time...... And to be honest unless the mark for TMA06 is a disaster, I will probably prioritise my time canvassing for Labour over any adjustments to the EMA.

The leaked Labour manifesto is superb. Corbyn is taking us towards a country I want to live in where we look after those who are vunerable, the better off pay a bit more and we give everyone an equal chance and most importantly of all..... Hope.

Targeting loneliness in the elderly is so important, what other party has looked at that.

I think JC is going to peak at the right time, Mrs May and her auto-bot responses may have a fight on her hands.

Let our politics drift towards Scandinavia, not Trump's USA.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

DD306 - Living Political Lives : The Last Leg (5)

F I N I S H E D ! ! ! !

OK, maybe not exactly, but very close.

4,420 words - so some slight editing to do.

My main worry now is have I answered the question they asked or a question I wanted to answer.

"The state as a solution to violence as a living political idea".

I have a good intro, definitions and living ideas.

I have a good set up / theoretical section on the state and violence.

I have examples of the state and violence and legitimacy.

I have a section using the case studies.

I have a conclusion

Why am I doubting myself.

I am going to edit 21 words out, call it submission v1 and send it.

Revisions to come after a period of reflection, the return of my TMA, some thinking time whe on holiday and a panicked 48 hours when I return.

If I submit now and get hit by a bus tomorrow - it will do.

But I think there is some twists ad turns to come - still the wife will be happy.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

DD306 - Living Political Ideas : The Last Leg (4)

It could be writers block, but I wasn't really 'feeling it' tonight.

Still, moved the word count in the right direction by 500 words or so, sorted out both Nexis sources, the extra reading and the reference list - so not an entirely fruitless evening.

The problem is that its all been a bit full on lately and boredom is setting in.....

Hopefully, things will seem better tomorrow.

Monday, 8 May 2017

DD306 - Living Political Ideas : The Last Leg (3)

3,000 words.

.......... and most of them make sense.

Summary, Conclusion and tidy up to go in 1400 words.

The end is almost in sight.

Sunday, 7 May 2017

DD306 - Living Political Lives - The Last Leg (2)

2,201 words, now, and going together fairly well

As a first draft I have......

  • Intro                          : Done as much as I can, needs re-written once conclusion is finished.
  • Definitions                : Pretty much complete
  • How Ideas Live        : Pretty much complete
  • State and Violence    : Pretty much complete
  • State as a Solution     : Good start to this body of text - much to do though
  • State as a Source       : Good start to this body of text - much to do though
  • Summary                   : Not started
  • Conclusion                : Not started
I have Mon, Tues and Wed to effectively get this completed in draft version - max 4,400 words plus all the references etc. as my wife has made it very clear I will not be studying on holiday.

Then Monday 29th and Tuesday 30th to edit, polish, change and submit.

No pressure then. 

Saturday, 6 May 2017

DD306 - Living Political Lives - The Last Leg

Last every Open University tutorial today, and hopefully it will help toward the EMA.

At least it has galvanised me into action, and a reasonable start has been made, 950 words so far and some of it is pretty good.

Still, I just need to be better than 70%, and as every piece of written work has doe that so far, if I can put in the usual amount of effort this should be OK.

Friday, 5 May 2017

DD306 - Living Political Lives - EMA Last Minute Submission Rules

I have been reading the Online EMA Guidelines

Link here online-ema-guidelines.pdf

What has become clear to me (but check this for yourself) is...... we have until 23:59 on the 30th to submit the final version without penalty - and until 23:59 on the 31st but with a 10% points deduction.

MY Submission timetable:

  • 29th May - submit whatever I have, in whatever state it is.
  • 30th May - 11:30 - submit hopefully finished version of EMA.
  • 30th May - 23:00 - after re-reading, checking and if necessary changing stuff - final submission at 23:00, BUY ONLY is there is not a message that a penalty will be occurred.

Section 3.2 Says......

3.2     Penalty for late submission

Work received late but within 24 hours of the midnight grace period will be accepted 
for assessment but will be subject to a mark penalty. The penalty is a 10% points 
reduction or to a bare-pass level whichever gives the higher score (for example, 
where 40 is a bare-pass, 59 becomes 49 with the penalty, 45 becomes 40, 35 is 

If you have already made a submission before the end of the grace period, and then 
attempt another submission during the penalty period, the eTMA system will warn you 
that this later submission will attract the penalty. You will have the option of not 
continuing with the later submission if you don’t want your score to be subject to the 
penalty. If you continue with the later submission then the penalty will apply.

Right, lets get to this essay........

Thursday, 4 May 2017

DD306 - Living Political Lives - County Elections

Tomorrow, 4th May, are the County elections in much of England.

Unfortunately, this blog is unlikely to reach enough people or be persuasive enough to make a difference in these elections, and as much as I have tried to be party neural  since this blog stared, I cannot do this any longer.

I live in Buckinghamshire, the mainly Toty/UKIP County Council have made terrible errors and wasted millions of pounds on social care (a matter of public record) while driving services into the ground.

This does not effect me. I am lucky to have a well paid job, I have private medical insurance, I have a home.

And yet...... it all feels wrong.

The Tory's have an empty campaign, offering nothing but fear and personal attacks. This is a campaign orchestrated by Linton Crosby, who won the last election for Cameron on lies, a bacon bitty and xenophobic fear of the SNP.

Corbyn may not be the most polished politician, but would you trust him..... I would.

Teresa May is now complaining about the EU trying to effect the outcome of the election..... this is amazing, possibly beyond parody, she made the election about BREXIT, why wouldn't the EU respond.

As has been said by somebody cleverer than I (sorry not sure who)....

She is a rich banker, married to a rich banker, working for rich bankers, trying to convince the middle class that it is the poor who are to blame.

Lets get together, work for a better future together.

I have met members of my local Labour party. These are honest, good, reliable people going into politics because  nobody else is represeneting them and honest good folk. In comparison, the current County Council and Government seem to be full of folk with something to gain personally.

Think about it carefully, vote responsibly.


Tuesday, 2 May 2017

DD306 - Living Political Lives - A diplomatic mission

guten Abend,

Somebody had to do it...... so I am here in Germany trying to repair a 'Teresa May' size hole in diplomatic relations.

It ain't gonna be easy, as she seems to have really fucked it up this time.

But I have helped the German economy to the tune of one schnitzel and fritz washed down with 3 beers (large) and I have apologised a lot.

It is indeed a strange year to have been studying politics.......



and now the MAYHEM election........

I can't repair European relations all on my own, there simply isn't enough beer........please . people of the UK please ask yourself this simple question......

Do you want a government by the rich for the rich, with local services slashed and food banks on the increase.....


A reasonable government asking the very rich to pay a bit more towards the UK government institutions and citizens that they rely on for their mega wealth, while looking after those most vulnerable.

It really is this simple

First lets get a government with a social conscience, once we have that we can tackle the BREXIT problem by abandoning it.

DD306 - Living Political Lives - Last TMA submitted

That's that then, the last TMA has been submitted, only the EMA to go.

I have been concentrating on the TMA and its question,
"What is the relationship between politics and violence? Discuss using at least TWO theorists and TWO case studies discussed in Room 5."

Since submitting the TMA I have had a good look at the EMA question in more detail, and its blah, blah, blah, blah explore the extent to which the state as a solution to violence is a living political idea. 

To say there is quite a lot of overlap is an understatement, although for the EMA I need another 2000 words and significantly more nuanced argument.

The last TMA was sort of dashed off, but still took a load of time. Not too concerned about the mark, but would like above 75%, we shall see, the returned TMA is probably 3 weeks away, and we have to get through the last tutorial/day school first.