There was a time when hard work, integrity, honesty, diligence and morality were considered as rewards in themselves for any duty, task or employment but in an age when hypocrisy and negligence are essential requirements on the job description for public office, exemption from scrutiny and responsibility are as important as financial rewards. It would seem that dismissal, either fair or unfair, is unthinkable. Resignation from any post as a result of malpractice, maladministration or malfeasance is now a half-forgotten relic of some bygone age. Corruption can expect to be ignored, incompetence attracts reward and being caught red handed on the fiddle can be explained away as a simple human error.
With an elite now in a constant state of denial regarding culpability and trust, it comes as no surprise to find a bang to rights bent England football manager offering “entrapment” as a defence against being greedy, stupid and corrupt. Mercifully, he parts company amicably with a meagre pay off of one million after one game. Similarly, we discover that the world`s best cyclist suffers from asthma (more…)
It has been merely a year since hilarity, hysteria and abject horror engulfed the British political zeitgeist with lurid tales of strange behaviour at the very pinnacle of government. With the entire world watching the sordid farce unfold; the temptation to pile in at the time with endless references to porcine quadrupeds seemed almost irresistible. However, a more mature and balanced reaction was to adopt the approach of broadcast media especially the BBC by first ignoring it, then doubting it and then playing the whole thing down with talk of “bawdy pranks”, high jinks, undergraduate mischief and “harmless initiation rituals”. After all, what goes on between a future Prime Minister and the severed head of a pig in the privacy of an Oxford dining club is none of our business. (more…)
Via Peguin Books
Imagine inventing a new word to describe something undesirable only to find that the word quickly becomes part of common language but with its original usage completely reversed. Then consider the sorry experience of minor politician and sociologist Michael Young.
Credited with drafting large chunks of Labour`s 1945 manifesto, Young played a major part in securing a landslide victory for Clement Attlee and the almost unthinkable defeat of Sir Winston Churchill at the conclusion of the Second World War. The 1944 Butler Education Act established free and universal education and set the school leaving age at 15. It also introduced the tripartite system of education featuring grammar schools, secondary technical schools and secondary modern schools. In theory, comprehensive schools would combine features of all three streams. Allocation of school places was determined by academic examination when a child reached the age of 11. The results of a maths test, a general essay and a third test on general reasoning would define the child as a member of the elite, someone who could be trusted with expensive machinery or a basic manual labourer expected to be grateful for the chance at any education at all. (more…)
The Right Honourable Keith Vaz MP
When lurid allegations begin to circulate regarding the private goings on of public figures, it is best to remember that very little is actually true unless a judge and or a jury are of the opinion that something or other might have happened. Consider the current misfortunes of one Nigel Keith Anthony Standish Vaz the Labour MP for Leicester East. Constantly described as powerful and influential, Mr Vaz seems to have run into a spot of bother involving prostitutes, drugs and unprotected sex. Given the reputation of our elected representatives, this sort of behaviour might come as no surprise but we have yet to be offered any evidence of illegality. Keith should know; Keith is a lawyer. (more…)
With a new Prime Minister, a new Home Secretary and a new if familiar front bench, it is reassuring to know that transparency, truth and justice remain at the heart of the British government. The inexplicable loss of three distinguished chairpersons resigning from the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse appears to be a devastating if coincidental run of bad luck for a government committed to protecting children from perverts. However, to lose two distinguished chairpersons may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose three looks like carelessness. (more…)