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Casting False Pearls Before Real Swine

Ian just made a most excellent (a bit Bill & Ted I know) post about education and social mobility.

“Social Mobility” is the the great (bone) idol of NeuArbeit. It’s the whole the daughter of the local grocer can become Prime Minister schtick.

Oh wait… that happened. But onward socialist soldiers! For they will not allow such a simple thing as reality to stop them in their tracks.

It’s bollocks. Coming from a government that imposed university tuition fees (imagine the howls from the Labour benches if the Tories had done that) and has gleefully presided over UK manufacturing turning into two blokes in a shed with no apprenticeships available it is beyond conception. It is acutally beyond contraception and if only a condom had been used I wouldn’t have had to hear that true working class hero Lord Mandleson wittering on about it at considerable length yesterday. Yeah, Lord Mandelson who’s grandad was Sec State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Yeah, him lecturing the rest of us on social mobility.

But what is social mobility? For me it is the idea that the daughter of the dustman could end up dating the Duke or that someone from a back-to-back terrace could become the next Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge. Or that the grocer’s daughter could become leader of the Conservative Party and win three general elections (I done that one already, sorry). I used to be quite leftist (really) but a few things shifted me. The first came from actually living in rough areas and the realization that at least some of the underclass deserved gassing like TB ridden badgers. The second was what made the prole class and it was a rampant welfare state. At some level I can’t help but connect thinking great Marxist thoughts with the creation of a permanently dependent prole class drinking White Lightning and watching Virgin CATV. It’s the same fucking thing only one lot are on cheeky Merlots and the other are on wrecking juice.

Even gubbermint research shows that by whatever demented metric they use social mobility and access to the professions has declined over the last decade. This despite because of NeuArbeit’s pissing about.  The remedy of course is more of the same.

It always is.


  1. Carter Magna says:

    But why the hell is it the elephant in the room?

    I come from a working class family, actually believed that “things can only get better” *shudder*, have lived in some proper shitholes and like yourself have had the scales fall from my eyes as the difference between my gross and nett widened. So why can’t the wankers up there who’ve never actually been down here, or there, or even near that crackhouse over there, insist that taking money with menaces from those that work and lavishing same on those that don’t will help anyone?

    Self licking lolly.

  2. Paddy says:

    The Labour party are utterly pathetic and have split the country into two halves.

    The first is the group of people that make an effort to survive for themselves and the second is the group of state dependents. It is so easy to be dragged down into the second category.

    It is perfectly normal that those who went to good schools with enforced disciplinary procedures end up disproportionately represented at the top of every profession.

    What is plainly foolish is the fact that the majority who do not go to the good schools are wasted talent. If they are put into a good environment, there are so many people that could really achieve something beyond their wildest imaginings.

    What is not normal is the way of dealing with this obvious problem – attack the good schools in an effort to help up those from the bad schools.

    In any other country, the large number of private schools would be viewed as strategic assets – they attract a large number of people from inside the UK and all over the world and deliver a certain influence to the country because of this.

    One solution would be a bulk-buy of private school places by the state via scholarship – say 10 or 25%. These places would actually deliver BETTER value than the cash spend on comprehensive places. The entrance criterion should be left to the individual schools.

    Even better would be to reestablish a proper grammar school system, where the best of talent would be able to go regardless of their backgrounds, while a decent school system exists for those less academic.

    However our current policy is one of state subsidised mediocrity, not just in education but in every aspect of British life. Ideology it is not. Rather, it is endless reams of reactive and poorly drafted legilation designed to show different minority interests in the coalition of Labour-voter-categories that their particular interests are safe with Labour, so they should stick around. (In reality, the Labour “core” is a grouping of interests that have been at each other’s throats for centuries – Muslims, Homosexuals, Catholics, Communist-leaning Trade Unions, Anglican-Liberals, London Jews etc…)

    The best performing students at university are statistically comprehensive-educated boys, because those that make it there in the first place have had to fight so damned hard against the system and peer pressure to get there in the first place. But God the system now makes it hard to break free!

    Until we hear these serious issues addressed properly, this will continue for ever – the utter nonsense such as “all crossing the line together” symbolically at sports days and the whole rotten lot.

    Labour definitely has no interest in breaking up the client state.

  3. CountingCats says:

    at least some of the underclass deserved gassing like TB ridden badgers.

    Know you were tongue in cheek when you wrote this, but this is the sort of thing that that idiot Richard Murphy was railing about. Are you sure you want to give him, and his ilk, ammunition for their attacks?

  4. NickM says:

    I couldn’t give a stuff Cats. They will attack regardless. If anyone can’t see that that was a Nick-is-going-off-on-one kinda comment then they are thick. The gassing of TB stricken badgers is a live issue in this country and that is why I made the allusion. More generally. They made the underclass and we all reap what we sow. I’ve signed on that kep[t the wolf from the door but I was never a pro. I have met the pros and the shit they can claim for will make your eyes water. Things like laptop computers. And this was back when a laptop was a big-deal.

  5. Ian B says:

    Well, pitching in here, I think personally the matter of presentation is relevant. On the one hand blogs are a personal space where people can vent; on the other hand I worry about giving the Enemy ammunition against us. In a sense- this reminds me of that silly thing at school where they’d say “when you are in uniform you should act properly outside school because you are ambassadors for the school” which we would treat with derision, but in the end every libertarian-aligned blog is an “ambassador for libertarianism” and if non-libertarians look at them to see what libertarians think and find intemperate language, that’s the impression they come away with- and if our political opponents what grist for their mill, this is where they’ll get it. I’ve a few opinions on “moral” matters I frankly would never air here because it would be too easy for somebody to twist them.

    We’re a form of journalism, publishing for a general readership, under the watchful eye of opponents we’d like to beat in debate. It’s worth not giving them easy wins. Maybe Richard Murphy would privately like to gas the aristocracy. We know that some of the Greens would do the most appalling things if they had power. But they care enough about their public image to avoid saying it directly.

    I think it’s an interesting question for bloggers, this, in general. We’re not just talking to people we can presume will give us the benefit of the doubt.

  6. CountingCats says:

    Is this really what you want to be seen to advocate? That human beings should be gassed as animals? Because that is how it will be read, and not just by the nutters.

    Do you really think this is valid liberal/libertarian thought?

    Substitute the word Jew for underclass and read it again.

    I don’t care how unpleasant an individual may or may not be, Zyklon B is not a solution.

  7. Ian B says:

    Cats, I don’t think Nick was advocating gassing people as a serious policy. It was a hyperbolic turn of phrase. I dunno whether it’s common in the Antipodes, but a routine turn of phrase here in Britain is “he ought to be shot!” as a description of annoyance with somebody. I think you’re pushing what Nick wrote into a realm it doesn’t deserve.

    Phrases like this could be used by The Enemy as I said, and that’s the problem. But the claim that Nick was seriously advocating Zyklon B is itself hyperbolic and out of order.

  8. Ian B says:

    And come to that, if you’ve got specific problems with what we’re writing on your blog, maybe you could email us privately?

  9. CountingCats says:

    Ian, I know that, which is why I said “want to be seen to advocate” not “want to advocate”.

    BTW, check your email……..


  10. CountingCats says:

    PS, not my blog, our blog.

  11. RAB says:

    Calm down lads, anyone would think it was on the front page of the Sun or something.

    I thought it was a funny line myself.

    If people cant see that it was just Nick using his well honed lyrical invective again, then fuck ‘em!

    It’s like when someone like Jeremy Clarkson makes an off the cuff remark that Gurnin Gordon is a one eyed Scots twat and you get the Legion of the Po faced and politically correct crawling out of the woodwook, chanting ,

    I’m shocked! Shocked I tell you!

    You want to be shocked you miserable little turds?
    come over here to this light socket….

  12. RAB says:

    And if anyone wants to be shocked, let’s save it for the real deal, shall we?

    Holy fuckin God!!!!

  13. NickM says:

    When I was a kid I went to Dachau. When I was a slightly older kid I went to Auschwitz. As a slightly older kid I went to Nottingham University which for some reason celebrated it’s most famous Alum – DH Lawrence. Now I have read his infamous work, Lady Chatterly’s Lover (or at least flicked through) and it is dreadfully bad. I also once happened upon an essay by that noted socialist which suggested setting up a circus tent and putting on a band and gassing the lower orders. Whilst Lady Chatterly was risible that was nauseating but very, very instructive. Deep socialists couldn’t give a flying one for the lower orders. Lenin was the same. He hated trade unions because they wanted things like sick-pay and a rise in wages and better terms and conditions. He viewed them as scum because they wanted an amelioration of the system rather than the full Marxist shakedown.

    Lenin or Lawrence would have gassed the lower orders who didn’t get their brand of socialism and just wanted a bigger slice of the pie. I never would.

    I do though think we have folks who have been fucked-up beyond recognition by the tender ministarations of the state. In my more charitable moments I think of this as unintended consequences. In my more charitable moments.

    It is not the underclass (however one defines that) that I hate. It is the fuckers who created it. It is the fuckers who destroyed the working class (however one defined that). It is the bastards who…

    Well, look at it this way. My Grandad went to school sometimes shoeless. His daughter did A-levels and became a teacher and it was just assumed that me and my brother would go to good universities. Which we did.

    What is happening is a pervesification of that process. Lord Mandleson is trying to twist the arm of the Russell Group (very roughly the UK equiv of the Ivy league) to allow the kids from the council estates in. It is thoroughly fucked-up. It is complete arse over tit. If they want kids from Gas Road Comp to compete with kids from Eton then deploy the resources there.

    I have taught the tragic results of this scheme. I have taught kids not much younger than me who were about to start a maths degree at a top uni and they couldn’t do partial integration. They got in because of “equality criteria”.

    And that is what is fucked-up. There is no fucking point to saying all can have prizes. I’m not a great teacher. I know this because my mother is a great teacher (English) but I was doing it essentially for beer money and I didn’t think too much at the time about how fucked the system had become because I was on 18 quid an hour which seemed like a bloody fortune at the time.

    The whole NeuArbeit approach is completely wrong. It’s saying some folks have a completely fucked-up education and therefore can’t compete so they they should be given a bye. Wrong. The problem lies with the education system and not the uni admissions procedure.

    My Mum again. She teaches at a CTC which is fundamentalist Christian. It gets good results. Guess why? The governors would say because of Christ. It is much simpler than that. You don’t get your kid into that school without an interview and a selection process (not on the basis of ability) which means that de facto the entire family cares about education. And therefore they get good kids. Furthermore they get good teachers because they get good kids* and it’s a virtous spiral.

    Education is everything. My family cared enormously about it. I hated the film “Billy Elliot” because the whole premise that Billy’s dad didn’t want him to become a ballet dancer is so out of kilter with my experience (which is copious) of the North East mining communities in that any fucking thing which meant not having to to go down the pit for a living was good.

    Christ almighty… My cousin, a daughter of a miner went to ballet school and no one said she’d sold out her roots and become “posh”**. That was what everyone hoped for… But now. I dunno. The political elite have fucked over the working class and some of us managed to bail upstairs but the poor buggers left behind are now eternally caught within the welfare state.

    *My Mum has worked at some pretty shitty schools. In one case quite literally because they had the phantom desk crapper. She once had to remonstate a pupil for having a wank in front of her and the reast of the class. She gave him a look and said he ought to put it away because no one was impressed. Words can be weapons and coming from that mouth they are laser guided.
    **She didn’t make the grade due to stress fractures in her thigh but very few do. It’s a hell of a punt but it is a punt worth trying.

  14. RAB says:

    There is a so called “Comedy” that has done quite a few seasons over here in Britain, called Shameless.
    Here’s a clip

    Now fair enough, there is some funny stuff in here, but the very idea of it bugs me , in that we are supposed to be amused by these wacky Underclass folk, who have never had a job and have no intention of getting one, even if you offered them a free lift to work every morning.
    They live on benefits and the proceeds of crime.
    Have sex like baboons and have an attitude to violence, drugs and just plain boorishness that would make Attila the Hun blush.

    The Welfare state is so entrenched that this is seen as a comfortable norm in this kind of sitcom.
    The Welfare state as originally envisaged, was a safety net that should just tide you over till you could get back on your feet again. Now it is a semi comfortable and untouchable lifestyle that they top up by illegal activities, and seem to get away with scott free, apart from the odd spot of imprisonment as an occupational hazzard.

    But then Britain has form for this sort of stuff.
    Nowhere near as upfront, but just as bad, Britains most popular comic strip has been Andy Capp. A bloke who has been off work with a bad back, if he ever had any, since 1936.
    Yet he still manages to play football, snooker, cheat on his long suffering wife Florrie, who is the only employed (skivvie cleaner) person in the whole affair.
    What message is this kind of stuff sending out folks?

    If some Govt decided to really get tough with the Welfare State, what would we do with these people?

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