School Should Be Out At 13

It’s more or less official then – our schools are crap.  No one will dare say this of course, though it’s long been obvious they turn out illiterate, innumerate and unemployable hordes we might once have used as factory and cannon fodder.  Teaching the ones ‘equipped’ with qualifications at university is tough enough, though we gave that up long ago and went into extended child-minding mode.

It’s time for radical reform, but as most of us are the domesticated products of this system we celebrate the fact that an increasingly tiny number do any foreign languages by taking the credit for the numbers of children speaking other languages because they learn them at home.  Current ‘answers’ include bringing in more specialist literacy teachers, and answer so barkingly obvious we should lose all faith in a system that couldn’t spark this off long ago.

It’s time to stop the rot.  Our primary schools do a fair child-minding job and we should reform them to take kids at two and keep them until thirteen (the age my father left – he became a headmaster).  Some staff from secondary schools would be redeployed in this, to get into basic literacy, numeracy and IT skilling and provide a real academic input for brighter kids and help with learning disability.  Kids would all leave these schools at the end of what is currently year 2 in our secondary schools.  These schools would remain small enough for the head and other staff to know the kids reasonably well.

At thirteen, we should stop regarding people as children in need of child-minding and instead insist on their development as adults.  They should move into a programme of supervised work – my preference is for a form of international service across the EU and any other trading blocks prepared to sign up.  Everyone should have to do this and should be paid for it on a scale reaching a living wage at 18.

The underlying idea should be to create resourceful human beings, not teenagers dependant on whatever trash, like i-Phones, that are ‘cool’ in their peer and advertising formed reference groups.  Much of current post-13 education should be reformed to provide support and learning services based in home delivery and using modern techniques.  Television and the Internet should be full of basic learning material for all interested to access.

What are now secondary schools (FE etc.) and universities should become a much greater part of the communities they are local to, including their sport and cultural functions.  The way we deliver and assess achievement would have to change and we would have to encourage de-schooling attitudes and what we judge as academic success and employability.

Employability has to take into account what real skill levels are possible and provide work for them.  We have to stop de-humanising people  who can really do little more than fill in pot holes – much as I don’t want to teach such people complex frequency distribution mathematics, I do want to value them as I value myself as far as I can manage that.

One place for good jobs for those doing well through our best and public schools and university is the Bimbo Broadcasting Corporation (pretty much all current media).  If anything demonstrates what our education system is really promoting, it’s surely these clowns and ten percent of people enslaving the rest of us through a massive accumulation of wealth.  The dress well (who should care), speak well and network well – just like any set of vile exploiters in a medieval court, and the reporting is as biased to rich toadying and the entertainment still based in the royal soap operas levelled to the Queen Vic.  This is more or less it.  Good stuff is generally at the margins.  If my own life review is anything to go by, the more education we’ve had, the worse things have become.  ‘Dad’s Army’ was hardly an Oxbridge product!

We are also schooling people to massive unfitness and who couldn’t fight their way out of a wet paper bag.  I want to see peace, but I’m not dumb enough to believe we don’t need to be prepared to defend a better way of life.  I’d want to see out military involved in international service.  Indeed, I’d like to see a ‘war footing’ to get these changes through – one directed to something other than our sad history in war itself, and to stop wars being organised by a tiny few as  part of the way they exploit the rest of us.

I would largely go for an international service scheme to help us sort out the current economic mess that has us in debt peonage.  There is no clever scheme that can do this – when economics makes sense it makes moral sense not a mathematical one relying on clown versions of human nature.  We need some new belief.

What I’m suggesting is an increase in the educational content of life achieved by de-schooling.  If we worry about welfare dependancy, I think we should worry about school dependency and the kind of ‘thinking’ that always crap bankers to think they are worth more than someone who fill in pot holes.  We need to get away from one dollar one vote and bring about a system that doesn’t work on the fear of unemployment or the  promise of great riches.

Finland has a much better school system than we have.  We aren’t even smart enough to copy that!




Why Do Our Kids Leave School So Helpless?

When I was at school kids of my grandson’s age would be leaving about this time next year and going into work of some kind.  He has at least two years to go.  I know the economy has changed under the charge of international banksterism, but when I was young kids like my grandson went into real work.  Now, with far more of them equipped with academic qualifications, vast numbers are unemployed or on schemes of some sort we know are mostly rot.

My lad has some disability and though he isn’t thick, struggles with work around the house – from hoovering to wiring a plug.  We’re getting him a new computer table tomorrow and he will struggle to put the flat-pack together – indeed he will try and avoid the task completely.  He is, in fact, work-shy, though the disability is connected with this.  All this makes him like his mates rather than unlike  them.

If dealing with unemployment was genuinely about giving people the right training we would surely have identified the skills and be producing people with them.  The identification of training needs and training evaluation is one of my skills.  I’d say we have made a complete mess of it.  The essential mistake is assuming that most people can learn work skills other than through doing the work.  Indeed, I believe education barely works at all except as child-minding and this has expanded into the universities.

The answer is to stop all the scheme nonsense and pretending education can or should produce the skills employers want.  We need instead to guarantee and provide jobs.  We are failed in this entirely by the employers and our economic thinking.  We need to fit the jobs to the unemployed not try the silk purses from sows’ ears approach.  And we need to admit all we’ve been doing is importing better workers from abroad.

I’d go for an international service programme for all our kids from 14 – 21 and all unemployed across the EU (as far across the developed world as possible).  This would include time-release to colleges and all concerned would be affiliated to a university from 16 whether they attended as students or not.  I’d like to see this programme be a safety beyond which no one could fall without making that a choice, and welfare would not be a standard alternative.

Our economies can’t recover without doing something about flat-lined and decreasing wages – we have made the bottom half of our societies so illiquid we have begun to destroy our markets in the real economy.  We need to make our employers compete for the workers they want – they always claim to be smart, innovative and the rest afterall.  Currently, the discrimination against our dafter and less skilled is worse than anything we managed on race and colour.


White, working-class and excluded in Britain

I still think of myself as working-class.  I’ve been more middle-class in terms of salary, housing and work than most of my fellow Britons most of my life – but I know I’m not middle-class because so few people really are.  To be really middle-class you need some element of financial independence and I’m a mortgage-serf.  Most people are deluded into believing they are middle-class.

No political group represents my interests and these really amount (in political terms) to wanting an ample supply of jobs, wages that allow basic living (house, utilities, eating, not being cold, transport, education) without personal debt and being able to borrow reasonable amounts I can repay.  The rest would be about establishing world peace and sustainable ways of living in such.  I believe such matters require democratic military and policing, so these are important to me too, along with freedom under reasonable, non-religious law.  Government, such as I accept it, must be genuinely free of corruption and under the wide control of all people.

I was a grammar school lad, so most of my mates went off to other schools when I was eleven.  They were nearly all in employment when I continued in 6th form, where I was in another minority doing science subjects.  I went to university, the biggest educational disappointment of my life, until doctoral study (which was worse).

Nearly all my peers at primary school were white and English by birth.  They were nearly all working in their late teenage years or in further and higher education.  I’m 60 and have seen the situation decline for 40 years – which is more or less (as economist) the point at which the economy went from ‘real’ to ‘financial-fictitious’.  I’m not particularly concerned that our population has become substantially foreign, other than in the extent this has destroyed full employment for our own, and in the ugly re-appearance of religion.

My grandson is now 14 and his peer group, in much the same part of the country I grew up in is very different.  Unemployment and the likelihood of it is prevalent and the chances of long-term jobs other than in professions like teaching are very poor.  The Joseph Rowntree Foundation have produced a report revealing some of this today.  I haven’t found the report itself yet, but media reporting suggests it takes the form of a polite statement of the bleedin’ obvious that middle-class researchers can’t avoid.

We were able to employ nearly all my childhood peer group – most of those who went off to secondary moderns were able to do quite well jobwise.  This has not been the case for nearly thirty years and is a disgrace.  What’s been on offer to them is more and more useless education – an education not worthy of the name.  Many kids are getting six years more “education” than was generally available in my day – and much of the really productive job-based training has gone.

Not a single political party is interested in any of this and its why I don’t vote.  In the meantime the ‘Bell-curve’ remains much the same yet “educational attainment” forever rises and employers complain ever more strongly that our people lack job skills and basic educational standards.  These are flat contradictions and the underlying truth is that our education system is lying in concert with our politicians – much as police statistics are gamed.

We need radical change and are currently not even able to get this talked about.  Descriptions on Gadget and other blogs need to be taken seriously and without the usual blame game on welfare scroungers and the plentiful availability of jobs they could get,


A moral economics?

When given a budget as a chief constable or a department head across all services we know that is pretty much what we have to manage – sure we may be able to press for our own corner over exigencies or make cases that other departments should cough up if they can be shown to be using ‘our’ resources.  We might even float a body across a river to leave those on the other side with the expenses of the enquiry,  We sometimes end up in dumb situations like keeping old people in hospital to ‘save’ the care budget.

We understand in doing the above that we are controlling costs and we know the system isn’t perfect.  We generally know that the money left in the month before year end needs spending or we’ll lose it – or else some central authority will steal it twice – the money itself and by reduction of next year’s allocation.  We know the dodges.

Economics is really not much more than the stuff we do routinely in work places, yet it’s largely a disaster,  What we’re being told is that our policing, hospitals and education systems all rely on very clever people with amazing skills making the money that allow us to enjoy such expenses,  I no longer believe a word of this.  We have the priorities wrong.  All we need is to be free (something structured under law and as much to do with decent police and army people as anything else) to organise work and make sure it gets done.  We are good, if imperfect, at this, it ain’t rocket science and can be done with reasonably equitable rewards,  The rest is pathological fiction and white collar crime.

What’s gone wrong is broadly moral in form.  The moralities we’ve learned are ancient in form and don’t suit a modern world.  This is obvious when we look at religious stuff that allows discrimination against women and non/other believers – indeed encourages the rot. What we need is some basic dialogue on what our own morality should now be and how we can get that embedded in our economic practices.  With modern levels of technology and productivity, the first place to look is our attitudes towards work.

In short, I would not want to be the sort of prat motivated so much by money that I spent my time developing a career portfolio or spinning the invisible cloth of financial mega-riches for me.  And I don’t want to live in a world dominated by such sick people.  I’m sure we can do without their ‘creativity’ and make a better fist of things with our own.

What we have to realise is not a ‘general relativity of economics’ but the value of the work we all do in a new way,  Our pensions aren’t disappearing because we didn’t put the work in or because there is a need to do so much more work.  The ‘cake’ is vastly bigger than it was and there is a planet of plenty – what’s wrong is our organisation of it.  This is a moral issue, held back by economics and a lack of faith in our abilities to live decently and police this.

New Deal Money

There is a crisis in capitalism.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that slogan from some Marxist posturing with no clue why.  We can be pretty sure we know what the problem is now.  It’s about debt rising about 4% faster than GDP since the 1960’s and a service burden of debt in our economies of above 12% – this is all worse than in previous depressions.  This has been happening whatever shade of government we’ve had, across all OECD nations.  France may be an exception, but I’m looking into that.

What we have been resisting is letting crooked banks and speculators take the hits and forming a democratic alternative to casino capitalism.  Strangely, the very system we once thought could save us from the road to serfdom is trying to force us down it now.  The rich have accumulated nearly all the money and now want to buy up our public sectors on the cheap in fire-sales as economies crash. In trying to do this, they have replaced the Politburo as public enemy number one, though we are too dumb to see this yet.

What we should do is let the banks fail and start over with a new system of economics and a new world currency replacing the USD.  This would be a big change and bring about the end of American military supremacy, so it would require some thinking through.  The most obvious thing we need is to promote a more innovative economy and stop believing that is all about vast riches and super-brains.  It’s really much more ordinary.

My own belief is the crisis is ideological in the sense we can cure it if we change our thinking.  We can grow food, find new energy sources, find ways to stop bandits and mad, religious people doing terrorism, build decent housing and get on with fairly idle lives and stop ourselves breeding too much.  Only ignorance prevents us now.  So how can we get round to believing this?  You don’t need much brainpower to work it out.

What many of us have not worked out has little to do with advanced economics theories.  It’s to do with how little work has to be done to provide the things many of us struggled to “achieve” – a roof over our head, food, clean water and a family.  I’m guessing, but I’m pretty convinced 10 -20% of the work we do between 20 and 50 is needed to provide that for all in the absence of corruption. It’s amazing we don’t know this, assuming it is true.

My contention is first that we don’t know.  I’ve asked a lot of people and no one can tell me just how much work would provide a good basic standard for all. On reflection most people can tell me that much of the time they have spent at work has not been very productive.  We do not develop facts on these matters, let alone teach them.  Agriculture, which is basically what we live on is 4% of world GDP.  What we soak up is ideology.

We are told hard work leads to rewards and somewhere down the line this turns to justification of sports star wages and bankster bonuses as an inevitable part of meritocracy.  It’s more likely they are part of the widespread prevention of democracies that can turn capital on where it is needed.

We have been lied to wholesale.  Much of the rhetoric continues – the need to get highly skilled as a worker in the new knowledge economy sounds convincing, but we have poured money into education only for students not to do science and maths and “qualify” in equine management.  The education industry burgeoned yet employers sound the same now as they did 30 years ago when moaning about the skills kids leaving schools and universities don’t have.

I would still recruit for management on the basis of fairly simple maths and English tests rather than on ‘graduate status’ and the size of that pool has not increased because intelligence hasn’t.  Many people need to be in work to learn, not classrooms – and in education we gave up on non-bookish teaching because it was too expensive in our business model and many teachers and lecturers couldn’t hack other methods.  People we teach after work experience are way ahead of most leaving school – because work and growing up has taught them.  They may well find people teaching them from books that make no sense after work experience, full of drivel written 60 years ago on personal development, excellence, kwality and human resource management that all failed in practice.  They have all been written in new colours, but smell exactly the same.  These lecturers completely discount mature students’ experience and often don’t know the ‘excellence’ they teach was discounted 30 years ago, within 6 months of the publication of ‘In Search of Excellence’.

Courses are now organised to provide as little class contact as possible and assessments are entirely dubious.  An HNC from 20 years back is probably worth more than a degree now.  We have a serious problem because so many of our organisations are now run by hierarchies that learned to lie about what was going on.  The model is widespread and based on false-accounting that gives CEOs fat salaries and bonuses throughout the system.  Often the false-accounting provides well-paid work for armies of bureaucrats from the ratings agencies grading junk at AAA+, through the performance management teams creating beacon councils, drops in crime, increases in schooling excellence, favourable audits of Enrons and banks hiding massive losses and the rest.

All this is the ‘reason’ we have no money to create the jobs that people need to grow as far as they can as workers.  It’s so endemic I doubt we can get to a cure unless there is public disorder.  The people who need to listen to the real arguments are the ones with the interests in not admitting what has been going on.  These are the ‘Screwtape bureaucrats’ in an England gone to the Devil.

The answer is political and therefore impossible in England.  It’s to go ‘New Deal’ on money by cancelling debt, returning to primitive banking and bringing in modern National-International Service across the EU funded by a transaction tax and new taxes across society with an understanding we are building a new social contract.

This won’t happen, so my guess is this is a good time to re-brand yourself if you are a cop or invest in protective gear if your force won’t and prepare for overtime and more riots.  The good news is that European peasantry has more often been quiescent than revolutionary, but the bad is that it is more aware on the Continent of what has been happening to it than here – this news may start to spread.

We grew up not wanting to be consumed by the Sino-Soviet experiments and it’s weird that capitalism is what has sold us down a river not far from that.  The Chinese have been very astute in the deals that took our money into its enterprise zones, gave it manufacturing capacity and techniques, and leaves us with austerity and an underclass.  The debt is not of money we took and pissed up the wall, but of a speculative system that allowed big time looting.  That we have not set our criminal justice system into punishing these looters may seep through to our ‘lower orders’ and make them restless again.  Would that they march on Parliament instead of JD Sports!

Leftbanker’s alternative to the current economic clowning is:

A collective agreement by global governments on a debt default programme that minimises the damage done to the financial and economic system; Rather than own the banks but not control them and give them vast amounts of money to cover losses and lend to speculators (quantitative easing), take control of them and make direct investment through them to finance huge social projects that would benefit the public and private sectors creating jobs;Taxing the world’s wealthy who have seen a huge transfer of wealth to them over the last 30 years from the bottom 50% of society; and Collectively as society provide for people’s retirement instated of letting public pension funds and individuals bear the risk and cost of failing stock markets. This is the rationale alternative to the boom, bust, crash and burn that currently lies in store for all of us.

I think we have to do more on the behavioural side too and find ways to be more transparent in our organisational dealings.  Our Screwtapes are as bad as the nomenclatura in the Warsaw Pact countries and we need to do something to undo the damage they have caused and will continue to inflict.  We somehow need to leave them behind.  It’s not for nothing that Bratton insisted on getting rid of the whole NYPD hierarchy when he took over.

We hear much on Greece, Ireland, Spain and Portugal – but in terms of overall debt Japan and the UK are first and second at more than 460% of GDP.  Russia is very low in comparison at 71%.  Sleep tight!

The Country Needs New Management

We have repeatedly been told that educational standards have been rising in this country.  Anyone daring to contradict this has been accused of deriding the hard work of pupils “achieving”  5 GCSEs and the ever increasing number of A levels. The usual array of statistics was in place to “prove” the “improvement” in standards. Those familiar with police recorded statistics and the odd BCS material that show consistent lowering of certain aspects of crime, year on year, will note the similarities.

Management has been held to be one of the UK’s failings ever since I can remember.  Various reports came up with the obvious and stupid conclusion that we needed business schools.  We have over 50 now, teaching utter crap in the main.  These were boot polishing schools for piss poor bureaucrats long before we copied the Americans.

The Mail publishes some tired crap from employers that I’ve seen all my career too.  Schools and universities don’t produce the candidates they need.

This is usually not put down to thew young people themselves, but the educators.  I don’t agree.  The fault lies in the kids in part, in the governments that have all lied to us and the collapse of standards amongst educators and the creeps who manage in education.

The problem starts in thinking we can teach anything complicated to most people.  Most people can’t even learn basic science, and maths at GCSE is trivial.  School leavers are usually utterly unsuited to university education and unable to learn independently – they have been schooled into this incompetence.

We need to change our attitudes towards education.  It isn’t good for everyone and is a lot to do with child minding at Primary levels – so much so some kids cannot make the transfer even to Secondary and yet remain in ‘school’ until 18 in FE colleges and do a further three useless years at university before becoming secretaries who can’t spell.

The essential problem is management getting into everything and pretending a good job is being done as standards drop to the floor.  I can’t think of a single industry we have ‘saved’, ‘created’ and all the rest through management.  There’s more evidence we “managed” the conditions that created the riots than that we are properly managing the country, education or crime.

We might define management as something that is ‘against democracy’ – OK in the individual firm but bad when we reach the point where we can’t democratically direct policy because the rich will run away with ‘their’ money.

Anything new in politics?

Nothing turns out to be simple (even nothing itself in physics).  People still lust after simplicity because they can’t cope with the ambiguity of what goes on around them.  Our public debates play on this , whether in courtrooms or what pass as current affairs programmes.  Whodunits are usually very simple matters, aimed at what we might categorise as the unbright 12 year old mind set.

It is more or less impossible to find intelligent dialogue.  For me, even science programmes are usually annoying re-hashes of O level – and it’s 45 years since I did mine.

What I’ve been looking fir recently is sign that we are governed at this semi-literate-hardly-numerate level and my guess is we are.  I’d just ask this question – ‘when did you last catch even a glimmer of anything new in politics’?  My answer is I can’t spot anything other than the emphasis on television politics.  This is strange, set against all the change I can otherwise see around me, or in the labs I used to work in against those around now.

Anyone else bemused by this?

I’m listening to the clown Robert Peston (who should be a villain in Wallace and Grommet) and his voice reeks patronisation.  He’s using glib phrases one after the other with a very strange intonation.  He’s even suggesting it would be a good idea to borrow a few bob from the Chinese.

What we need to do has nothing to do with any of our current politics.  It is now part of some dire bureaucracy we don’t know how to control.  I now believe the answer lies in ridding ourselves of this bureaucracy and the people in it.  We have to do this by ignoring it.  In the same way that I would like to finish my time in a small village by the sea in ex-patriot style, I believe we should be making this form of shunning ADMASS a reality for all.

The shunning is only stage one, but we need to find ways to do this first.  I see this as a replacement for voting and space in which we might develop viable business models that are very different from today’s.

There has to be something better than dumping war criminal Bliar on the Middle East Crisis.  Something Blair says is relevant – that we can’t just go on imbued with pessimism – but the key pessimism has long been about our inability to form a decent society.  I’m just wondering if there are enough of us to create some enjoyable space that could lead to something new as politics and pay its way without the usual planet-burning or condescension to those who would even fail today’s GCSEs (really – take a look – they keep kids in school 12 years for these hapless certificates) and who are growing by modelling themselves on soap opera.  The answer isn’t high culture but a new one that might let us collapse the separation of work and entertainment, whilst making school obsolete.

Big Answers To Social Problems

Big answers are not things like Marxism that allow one to carp knowledgeably as crap continues.  If we’d had a better grasp of how humans tick we’d never have had anything like the feudal structures of today’s economics in the first place.  We need to re-address this level of the crap through what we know now through science.

In the meantime, we need big answers of another kind, and first to recognise we need them.  We shouldn’t have to work out high-level theory.

Look at cases that keep cropping up.

Do they get fixed or keep cropping up?  Victoria Climbie – Baby P sort of thing.  Do teenage toe-rags ever go away, or evil poor families.  I suggest not.  I’ve seen no sign in academic literature or official statistics that things are getting better, though we are living longer and stuff like that.  ‘Progress’ still needs scare quotations.

Once we establish problems that aren’t going away, we should try to think big on them.  This is a political act, because you come up against all kinds of vested interests and small thinking that protects them.  We should really have our politicians thinking big and public dialogue; but vested interests are so powerful we do not.

Big answers of the kind I mean may be ridiculous.  One of my favourites involves curing crime by chaining persistent offenders to senior police officers, magistrates, judges, politicians and other stuffed-shirts.  This, sadly, is not meant as a real answer, but questions the size and nature of the problem.  If we can’t afford to jail the crap forced on us Mr. Clarke, how about putting it in a trailer outside your house?

Most people can’t  really get into problem-definition of this kind, anymore than they could connect Relativity and jumping off a cliff.  Some are so stupid they take it as a serious practical suggestion.  We should perhaps let me teach them Relativity through the view from having jumped off a cliff, and let me set a practical experiment!

Teenage scumbags don’t go away because we always get one year older and they don’t.  If it was any better when we were kids, I suspect this was because some of them:

ran away to sea

joined our large armed services

did National Service

could work in factories at decent rates of pay

shaped up and got training in factories very different from skewl

got clobbered by a local “warden” or house-holder with no police action

worked on construction sites

somehow understood not thieving, fouling others’ space and so on and that angry guy’s fist-size

You may be able to add more.  What is thrown up today, by politicians who must know they are lying (if not they would be so brainless to make it statistically impossible for them to have survived crossing streets), is more skewelling and university for everyone, despite it clearly being useless to a quarter of kids in Manchester and at least a fifth in all areas of the UK.

One can see that they didn’t think this crap through because we’ve now got tuition fees, meaning “graduates” have debts of about £50K after subsistence is included, or may be £120K down from where they might be if they’d worked and lived with mum and dad.  These latter kids would also be more employable as employers value experience not skewl.  And anyway, “graduates” often cant write, spell, add up or act sensibly (universities don’t teach these, primary school should have).  So we couldn’t afford all these kids going to uni after all!

Instead of this baloney (which claims to make silk purses out of sows’ ears – yet really takes resources from the ‘worst’ kids), we should look to let those who can’t-won’t do skewl into disciplined work and a new form of National Service from 14 to 21.  Genuinely non-academic forms of learning and assessment would be encouraged in this format.  There would be no dole for drop outs, immigrant children would be opted in. {psst! amazingly enough, non-academic learning with teachers about is nearly always really academic learning without exams – they think you don’t know – keep it to yourself}

I would expect our major companies to go along with this and provide places, though just think of what your average 14 year old is like these days!  They are weedy, clumsy and indolent.  My guess is we’d have to create a lot of places in shipping and other transport and low skill areas.  Much less cruel to do this than force them to sit in classrooms where any learning that happens is so short-term it can’t be tested.  This way, they’d at least be learning to get by.

I would expect the demand for university places to drop like a stone if there were opportunities other than dole available.  My argument in full is that skewl is responsible for many social ills.

Those who just can’t get over ejukation being a “good” should examine their self-interests.  It is a cruel imposition on the many for the benefit of a few – and most of these evade what the rest get through Public School and Russell Group University.

My system would be much cheaper and without the massive social costs of the current system of ‘real education (which means to make like a Duke) only for the rich’.  If your kid is bright enough in academic areas (which is about 5% of what you can be intelligent in), hesheorit can make it from the back-streets like me, if we stop the current nonsense, which makes it less possible (check the figures on social mobility).

When Newton popped-off to Cambridge at 18, he was older than most of his peers, many packed-off away from home to debauch at 14 (parents have always known about teenagers).  Most of us would benefit from university if we went as adults because we wanted to.  The current herding is nonsensical and it leaves behind the very children who need most help.

I must say I believe we don’t address work properly in terms of decisions we can now take rationally about our societies, and that we have it all wrong on wealth.  You can get monkeys to work for peanuts, but not when they can see other monkeys working for grapes, or for grapes when they can see others working for bananas.  It’s not for nothing that who is getting what for doing what is so hidden from our view.  Our society is actually being de-skilled in all this ejukation, which also makes us less smart than monkeys.

The slogans of our political parties should be stuff like ‘send your kid to a third-rate university while the thicker ones learn to steal with local Romanians’ – even the politicians know enough not to say this and can rely on no one really making the links.  You see, ejukation has made you think small.  Me?  They’ve had me working on ideas of how to to get monkeys used to peanuts to eat boiled grass …

Currently, employers create jobs like serving coffee (not long ago 40% of UK ‘entrepreneurs’ wanted to open a coffee shop) for graduates – though since we went into recession and drink less coffee it seems this wasn’t so creative after all.  They might have to work harder to attract staff from my scheme.

Most of the ejukation done at undergraduate level has been (OU) or should be put on television with Internet links, not gobbed out through death-by-Powerpoint harpies.  You shouldn’t be learning about Hamlet at university, but how to act and produce plays through doing it.  The idea of ejukation as an aim in itself was a fucked dead donkey long ago.  That would only apply in a sorted society which we’ll have to challenge the real rich to get.  Most of our students don’t know who Groucho was now and I have to teach some of mine what is funny in The Simpsons, let alone what ‘cun’ tends to mean in the Bard.  The worst have clearly been exhausted carrying worthless skewl qualifications about – that sound like the ones I had to work hard for.

I’m not some elitist get, sneering.  I still cry and drink myself to sleep in the vault from time to time.  My grandson has ‘discalcula’ and autism-related problems.  If I could really help 24/7 I would – just give up to help him.  He’s due what I can do in the next few months.  I’m dumb enough to do it for anyone’s kid in principle and used to run such a class with some success.  I know what I can do is limited, not like some Government-connected jerk claiming she could raise every kid to university level (this is utter lying cruelty).  I value the bloke who serves my beer, fishes the seas and myself alike (all women are now necessarily superior of course!).  The dolt and dullard the same – and I don’t avoid them all the time either.

They have us crapping on our own.  The biggest rise I’ve noticed in the last 20 years is in sneering from all sectors.  Try working for a living, not being given one extends to far more than any idle unemployed.  We’ve been ejukated out of work and into false notions of what we are.  Soylent Green?  Too expensive, if you’re interested … I’m being told to use it raw!

Education, education, education – one word, three repeated lies

I first heard ‘education, education, education’ in East Germany (DDR) at some dreadful conference.  The academic was droning on and referring to a speech by a DDR politburo minister in the 1950s.  At dinner, a long way from prying ears, she apologised and told a very different story to the one for public consumption.  I didn’t see Blair in the DDR audience, but had the same reaction hearing him bleating out the same , though thankfully shorter speech years later.  There was no dinner for him to roll his eyes at me either, though he did that to us all at the drop of a hat.  The key element in Nulabour education planning concerned bullshit performance management, something they clearly did with crime figures and everything else.  To do this you create a well-paid nomenclature and make its well-paid interests match those of government targets.  ACPO is the paradigm case, but documentaries have revealed the same in health, care, schools and pretty much all sectors.

Against international standards, our schools are failing (OECD reports).  Yet we have been told they were improving.  More and more kids get qualifications, yet are really falling behind international standards on literacy and numeracy.  Crime is forever falling, yet no one really believes this.  No one really believes the educational bull either, with 8% of kids privately educated and loads more got into the right schools through house-buying and other dodges.

Finland has a much better school system than the UK.  There is no private education you can pay for there, everyone gets free school meals and education is genuinely comprehensive until 16.  Teachers are very well trained.  You can see, before we look at what they do in classrooms and getting kids out of them more often, that we have a very different culture.  This is also before we think of how much money we waste in sending so many to university.  Talk of copying the Finns is hapless unless we understand the aims of their education system and what they think society is about.

We now have people across our public sector paid to lie about its ‘success’.  The culture is one of juking statistics.  We have become stupidly millennial on leadership to the point where we will have to pay £200K for every head teacher to ensure standards across the nation.  Our responses look increasingly like the means of producing 10-fold crop yields under Mao – dumping all the fertiliser in one place for a success story whilst ignoring the general famine.  Bung a couple of million into Liverpool to do something about Cash-in-Transit robberies and cut them down to size, whilst they go up in Manchester and Cheshire.

We should be listening much more directly to teachers, cops, pupils and victims to get a proper hang on what the problems are, cutting out these ‘performance managers’ and their costs.  Instead, the only outlet is blogging.  I enjoyed my time in Finland and think their schools better than ours.  Their cops were less insular and more pleasant too.  Yet I’d also likely be dead from alcohol excess by now if I was a male Finn.  International comparisons require a lot of knowledge to be effective.  I should have asked whether many of their secondary schools were full of bullying louts from problem families that neither teachers nor police could deal with, or racial tensions.

We should be finding out what is wrong with our system before looking to Finland or Korea.  Our teachers will know most of it.  They need asking in a direct and confidential manner, not one that will expose them to an Ofsted black mark.  Our inspection culture needs to end, as it now involves one set of bureaucrats providing the ‘information’ another requires.  We see this across varieties of management by objectives systems, appraisals and other clapped-out dross that needs sweeping from our organisations.  It all started long before Nulabour and we have a generation of a hands-off, promoted class with no critical perspective and excellence attitudes that are patronising, arrogant and corrupt.

The aim should be to put our teachers back in charge of our schools, our police on our streets, people in work and recognise that we can tell whether this is all happening or not.  We need an end to fictional politics, even if the Finnish school model is attractive it is fictional to make out it can transfer here, and a distraction from the investigation needed into our own failings.

Human Resourcing Evil

Inspector Gadget

Image via Wikipedia

Most of us don’t think much on how the world works.  We know little of science, economics or human sciences.  I should know, having taught them all in universities.  Students who get into these ‘centres of excellence’ (which they both can be and are usually not) are brighter than average and most of them ‘know’ more rubbish than knowledge and have not developed high level learning skills.  We can test this, but most of the time don’t as it would expose our teaching failures.  To some extent, of course, great works and theories are not established by evidence, but through mannered acceptance.  ‘Education, education, education’, as its boring repetition and  patronising tone suggests, is built in cultural control and moralising.

To claim to know because I’ve been doing teaching and research is problematic.  Cops claim to know about policing because they do it and the barely hidden claim the rest of us can’t because we don’t.  Experience is more important than book learning.  This is both true and false.  Such matters have been discussed over thousands of years.  What one finds teaching people is that most re-invent the wheel or regurgitate small parts of the available literature (perhaps all their teachers know).  There is very little scholarship about and little Enlightenment spirit.  I won’t argue anything on this.  It’s been done.  Do you know about the work or where to find it?

Deep set in what we do are habits of human resource management.  I don’t mean the turgid dross you may experience at work or in a HRM module or reading Harvard Business Review.  It’s deeper than Inspector Gadget filling in Personal Development Reviews when he’d rather be out catching crooks who will be let off by Magistrates.  Human resource management is an evil that underscores nearly all our thinking and attempts at improving social practice.  I’ll say more later through some practical examples, but will say now that my thesis is that the vast majority of us live on ‘benefits’ that kick in because we are employed as cogs in the wheel of this evil.