Monday, 12 September 2016

The race is back on

Meritocracy? You can almost hear the spitting from here. Those dirty, nasty Tories want a country where working harder, applying yourself and gaining qualification and expertise gets you more than sitting on your fat, entitled, uneducated arse and squeezing out dole-spawn as fast as you can fill in the benefit forms. How awful to suggest a society where your success depends on your efforts rather than lucking out on the lottery. Score cards, not scratch cards; elitist bastards! I think this was the gist of Labour’s education secretary, Angela Rayner's response to Theresa May’s grammar school announcement.

The purpose of opposition is to oppose. But not to blindly gainsay every single thing the government does or wants to do, or to threaten to reverse any changes made in a never-ending circle of spite; tit-for-tat revenge legislation where the only losers are the losers... the same old losers. The legacy of past Labour policy is a culturally deprived and cast-aside underclass created as an unintended by-product of social legislation over the last century or so. Not an underclass of dirt-poor, malnourished urchins who struggle daily to survive, but an overstuffed rabble of idle malcontents who struggle each day to imbibe sufficient intoxicants to maintain their torpor.

Oh sure they learn the mantras “I wanna gerra job but there’s nowt out there.” and “I gave ‘undred-an’-ten-per-cent but that’s not good enough for them an’ they sacked me and took on a Pole.” or “Fatcher ruined this country...” without qualification and as if events of 30 years ago give you a lifetime pass to feel aggrieved. Instead of pulling oneself up by one’s bootstraps a simmering rage of righteous entitlement seems motivation enough... until the next case of Stella arrives and oblivion quells the rage for another day.

Maybe we should have the government oversee job selection processes and ensure that companies take on their fair share of the feeble, the dim and the downright slothful? How about making a percentage of places in medical school available to the educationally challenged; heaven forfend we only allow the gifted to become heart surgeons. The Paralympics is an excellent example of the equality agenda to us all. but wait, no it isn’t. These people are nothing other than elite athletes and do you know, the bastards practice all the time? These games will never truly represent equality until there are events which favour potato-shaped people fuelled by KFC, or skunk-addled skanks with the intellect of amoeba.

The biggest problem will be in persuading those labelled ‘disadvantaged’ that putting in a bit of effort will give them any more advantage than sitting around on their fat arses, waiting for the chip van. And it starts all the way back in childhood. Poor parenting limits the life chances of their offspring before they ever set foot in a school, but good schools, with the freedom to offer better to those who work for it can do a lot to counter the rot. We did well in the Olympics and are doing well in the Paralympics not because we supported the also-rans but because the funding went to the winners.

Symbols of evil, or something to celebrate?

Call them grammar schools, call them super-comprehensives, call them what you like, but instead of going into paroxysms of rage at the very thought of diverting funding from the squeaky wheel dullards and mounting demonstrations with poorly spelled placards (or the hilariously ironic #grammerschools hashtag) why not get on board with the idea? The idea is, of course, to rescue our dire education system from the murky lower rungs of the world ratings ladder. Face it; throwing money at under-achievers simply hasn’t worked. Is it so bad to want to nurture talent, or is your ideology so warped that you would condemn all to mediocrity rather than countenance the thought of anybody getting ahead? Just what is it that the left have against excellence? 

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