Sunday, November 25, 2007


So, who else listens to music when doing the shopping? Yes, that slightly crazed, animated person with the mp3player making his way round Formby Waitrose is me (yes, Waitrose, yes, I know I am a champagne socialist...)
Which brings me on to the fact that the last two times I have been shopping, the two albums on my Mp3player were both anti-Tory political pop albums. The Housemartins' biting satires set to pretty little popsongs - can you listen to 'Five get Over-Excited' without thinking of Cameron's arrogant, oleageanous face just waiting for someone to thump it. Sorry, but he makes me want to vomit. Wankers like him are the very reason every public school in the country should be firebombed (No, not literally..there I go, back on the MI5 security risk list).
But on Friday, pride of place went to the Style Council's excellent 'Our Favourite Shop'. A superb expose of everything wrong with Thatcherism and the Conservative party. But, listening to it again, my thoughts were....some of this could equally apply to this lot.

Now, I don't think that the two parties are exactly the same. But there comes a time in every government's life where it simply runs out of steam. In this case, it coincides with Brown's ascension. I think that's something of a coincidence. In many ways we have simply returned to the tiredness of late-Blair. What appears to be the case is that the Government has little direction and is still beholden to the mistakes of the Blair years. Listening to the Style Council album brought back memories of how much I detested the Thatcher regime, and I certainly don't feel the same about the current government. But I do feel a sense of...boredom? Lack of any real enthusiasm or feeling that they know where they are going and why? And positively no enthusiasm for what they have to offer....not that the alternatives offer anything more. Clegg has the same effect on me as Cameron. I just don't like public-school wankers trying to be trendy. Piss off to the Tory party where you belong, Nicky-boy.

So, how about a few radical ideas.
1. tell the old gits whining on about defence that they should, firstly, keep their mouths shut, and secondly, that we quite agree that the current money doesn't cover current commitments. There's a simple answer to that. Pull out of Iraq, with one months notice, and halve the commitment to Afghanistan. There we go. Easy, wasn't it? Plenty of money, to be reduced each year and spent on something worthwhile, not propping up the military-industrial complex
2. stop sucking up to religious bigots of all colours, disestablish the church, and remove religion from public life. Keep it where it belongs. In private life, personal faith to follow, not interfering in the State's workings.
3. abandon PFI and nationalise all current hospital buildings without a penny of compensation to those who wanted to make money out of 'investing' in the NHS
4. get rid of the plastic coppers and spend money on proper police. And get rid of the ridiculous amounts of paperwork. That may require getting the Germans in to show us how to run IT schemes successfully
5. start taking reparative community sentencing seriously. Imprison people who are a danger to others only, and deal with the others in a constructive way, not in universities of crime

There's five for starters....


Chris said...

You mean you were actually taken off the MI5 list!

I have been researching schools recently partly because I we will be sending our boy to school in the next few years and also I have been a governor in a Community school recently. As a Vicar I have to consider things like schools when I move to a new parish and know of some clergy who send their children to private schools as the state schools are appalling. (How they they afford it is a mystery!). I went to a private school, and most of us are reasonably well rounded individuals, though there are a few clones. I do wonder if the move from selective schools to comprehensives has actually had the opposite effect ie good education is only guarenteed to those who can afford it, whereas selection gave children in very deprived areas the opportunity to go to Oxbridge. Does education work better when there is selection (selection being an inevitable part of life) and would it result in the closure of private schools?

Merseymike said...

Yes, some state schools are not the best, and clearly that isn't acceptable. But many are very good. When one considers the intake to grammar schools - creaming off the best - many do not do as well as they should. But the real casualties are those who remain in the secondary modern schools.
Perhaps the question we should ask is: if we stopped treating education as a commodity to be bought and sold, and abolished private schools, would the positive influence of those who currently go to private schools improve the State system? I'm not necessarily saying I would advocate that, but I am sure that the existence of private schools has far more impact than whether schools are selective or comprehensive!

I went to a selective school, and loathed it, and think I would have been much happier in a comprehensive, or anywhere less hidebound to tradition! I'm certainly not in favour of selection.