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…)
Regardless of the selection process or the suitability of the candidate or even a cursory nod in the general direction of decency and honesty, only the most cynical of observers would be so mean-spirited to condemn anyone starting a new job especially if that job happens to be the Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Everyone should be given a chance and as our new PM has already stated, each of us should be judged by how “smart” we are and how hard we are prepared to work.
Apart from making a complete mess of controlled immigration targets and being made to look ridiculous by various extreme clerics and all that unpleasant and unfortunately illegal racism brought about by poster vans inviting foreigners to go home, Theresa May was a marvellous Home Secretary. She took the chance to scrap protection for victims of domestic violence and introduce a snoopers` charter to prove that any critic of government is, in fact, supporting and encouraging terrorism. Police numbers have reduced but the number of deaths in police custody has increased. (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…)
If we accept the old Spanish proverb that suggests a wise man is capable of changing his mind but a fool never will, I hereby tender my wisdom credentials by conceding that for a number of years I have been completely wrong about Iain Duncan Smith.
This damascene moment of realisation coincides with other glaring errors now mercifully reversed and corrected. I can only offer heartfelt apologies for years of snide invective, defamation, grubby insults and ignorant left-wing dogma based on the politics of envy. (more…)
Even going as far back as the Book of Genesis, it is still pretty obvious that you can choose your friends but you can`t choose your relatives. Being born into what can only be described as an “unusual” family, the story of Cain and Abel is not a story that ends well. A certain degree of sibling rivalry is inevitable in any family group regardless of incestuous necessity but Cain managing to invent murder, treachery and a curse on the entire human race across three major religions is impressive to say the least. According to the established patriarchy, this should not come as a surprise given the sort of woman his mother was. (more…)