Sunday, 28 February 2016
Yesterday I tweeted, slightly tongue in cheek, “...in the alternative universe I inhabit on weekends, my entire class of wannabe electricians have all forgotten Ohm's Law.” This turned out not to be a joke. Later in the day one of the class asked me what a twin-and-earth cable was. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know, but it’s just about the most common form of cable used in smaller electrical installations; for somebody who has been supposedly studying the subject part-time for over a year it is a scarcely credible knowledge gap.
I guess what disappointed me most was the lack of interest on display. This particular student is a typical product of our age, from a school system which churns out lacklustre, unengaged non-scholars with an expectation that qualifications are achieved by mere attendance and that personal effort need not be applied. Twas ever thus you might protest, but here is a young man paying for a vocational course, presumably with the intention of making a career out of the wiring game; you would think he might show a smidgeon of a modicum, of a morsel of a spirit of enquiry.
But maybe this exactly meets the expectation of modern world governments? Displaced by floods of migrant labour, a pointless extended education pushed upon them, unreasonable aspiration dangled in front of their noses and rendered utterly incurious about pretty much everything. Exactly the kind of non-voter a state can rely on to not even notice the roof falling in until it is pointed out to them, whereupon such alarums can confidently be relied on to be accepted uncritically. Certainly those who issued the proclamation from the G20 summit must believe so.
The Financial Times reported three days ago that ‘Britain’ was lobbying for such a warning to be issued and now it is official; if Britain leaves the EU the sky will actually fall in. A major shock to the world’s economy? Oh, purlease! How desperate are Cameron and Osborne for a result in the referendum that they stoop this low? It was only a few days ago that the ‘Remain’ tack was to insist that if we left we would become an irrelevance; now our leaving would shake the business foundations of the planet? How stupid must they think we are? Oh, wait...
Meanwhile, back on the subject of electricity, we hear news that the EU is delaying its imposition of power restrictions on things like kettles and toasters. Delaying, mind, not cancelling. The imposition is ludicrous, by the way. Quite apart from restricting commerce and innovation it demonstrates that the EU’s finest minds don’t understand Ohm’s Law and basic physics either, because a litre of water takes the same amount of energy to boil whether it is done quickly or not; a less powerful kettle will cost just as much to boil the same amount but take longer to do so. Maybe the plan is to drive us mad by proving the adage that a watched kettle never boils?
London. The day after Brexit...
Project Fear rumbles on and with each passing day the claims for apocalyptic calamity grow more extreme. We will have all the downsides to membership without any positives, they insist. Our towns will be overrun with immigrants and our children will be out of work. Terrorists will roam the streets and occupy all the houses and the health service will collapse under the tsunami of brown babies and mental illness. Industry will disappear forever from the land that invented it and, yes, the sky will fall in. Unless, they say, we allow all of our policies for every matter to be decided by Martin Shultz and his pals. How soon before EU Thought Control takes over the information services and - like state terrorism everywhere - pulls the plug on all inconvenient news sources? If you thought ISIS was bad enough, wait for the telly-ban.