Of all the animals of prey, man is the only sociable one.
Every one of us preys upon his neighbour, and yet we herd together.
The Beggar's Opera: John Gay

Wednesday 5 May 2010

Get Gordon Brown out of my sitting room!

There he was on the screen, grimacing away in front of a field of waving corn (prosperity? a subliminal fertility symbol?) while the adoring multitudes howled with delight at every opportunity.

He was pronouncing what you might call New Labour's Beatitudes, listing the achievements of the past thirteen years, claiming credit for anything that could possibly be construed as positive - Olympics, black women peers, the number of teachers... the list went on and on, while the crowd prostrated themselves to touch the hem of his garment.

I see from the news that I must have been watching Brown addressing 'a morale-boosting rally of 300 activists in Manchester' - which raises the question of exactly whose morale was being boosted. By the time I switched on, Brown was grinning manically, which is not a sight you want to be greeted with after a hard day at work.

The reason for this particular self-satisfied smile? 'Under Labour, there are more students at university than ever before and I'm happy to say the majority of them are women'. Cue: whoops and squeals of delight at a level suggesting the entire audience had just won the lottery.

Exactly why is this a cause for rejoicing? I'm all for equality in educational opportunity, but why is this inequality a source of jubilation? the only reason I can think of is a sort of double negative; women lacking education is BAD, so more women than men in university must be GOOD.

So where does this leave my son? Finding a university place is hard enough already: he'll be set impossible targets because his school is above average for GCSE's - and it's not comprehensive and we don't live in a deprived area, so there are quotas operating against him as well. With application forms now asking about parents' qualifications, he'd be better off being adopted by wolves - or possibly urban foxes.

The slogan 'A Future Fair for All' has a distinctly hollow ring to it, in this household at least.


  1. Of all those persons at University, how many of them will actually work in a job that really needs a degree? Many of the females will find employment in such jobs. In the 1960's when Government's encouraged large numbers of females to go into teacher training (non-graduate then but they would earn degrees now) after not too many many years very few were still teaching. Sir Edward Boyle, I recall, called it "The economics of Passchendaele". Perhaps the same can be said of much of higher eductation today.


    Tormented electorate : time to take revenge,
    tomorrow’s the day we can finally avenge
    many years of wrong-doing and being ignored.
    What’s at stake ? Dracula can be fatally gored,
    slowly to sink to his knees, keel over at last,
    his time of vampire-like blood-sucking now passed.
    Dismiss dour thoughts, our lives are about to un-bend,
    carry on with life, Count’s power is at an end.
    He’ll be defeated, by the power of the count
    as we the people with new courage will surmount
    thirteen years of – bad luck ? – no, deliberate aim,
    while we, with a true stake in our great home won’t claim
    “moral compass”, his myopic vision of truth,
    but an eye for an eye AND a tooth for a tooth !

    Alan McAlpine Douglas

    WV : popebred. Eh ? Thought they only liked pubescent boys ....

  3. Demetrius, the rot set in with the onslaught on 'elitism' that sent educational standards plummeting. Social engineering and academia make very poor bedfellows.

    The logical extrapolation of this female domination is a vast population of graduate working mothers - who will then demand the services of an army of unqualified, underpaid other women to take on their domestic work.

    Alan, thank you - I've been admiring your work over at Anna Raccoon - particularly liked your Ozymandias!


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