Wednesday, 3 November 2010



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You see, the thing about a Pledge is that it's not a sincere and binding declaration, or anything like that, of course it's not, it's just bollocks, spin and lies, for the voters, and I can give a solemn  undertaking that I don't mean any of mine. It's like, you know how I said I would never join the Tories and now I have, simple really, we politicians have to do what's in the best interests of our careers,  I mean, I was never gonna be a minister as a Liberal Democrat, was I? Now, slow-slow, quick-quick-slow.......


Am I saying that all my MPs promised to do one thing and now I want them to do the very opposite thing?  Yes, of course I am. Is it  hard being a worthless piece of shit?  No, not really.   But am I making a good job of it? Of course I am. Look, I simply have to do what the IMF tells me. And  my good friend Mr CallHimDave, which I do. And he calls me fag, which is as it should be, at any decent school.

LibDem MPs are said to be angry - now, there would be a sight, angry, bisexual, untrustworthy sandal-weavers, wouldn't it - at  Cable and Clegg reneging on a promise that they woild resist rises in student tuition fees.  Quite how angry they are, we shall see, the LibDems' morality being as  elastic as Straight Simon Hughes's warty bottom.  This is the way of old NewLabour, always going to be a Govament-defeating rebellion on the back benches, Bob Marshall-Andrews, Jeremy Corbyn, all the conscience-peddlars and then, at the last minute, a compromise is reached, concessions, they claim, are wrung from the the govament, which allows honourable members to live with their dishonour. Such creatures are these, crawling and squirming in the daylight, munching on the corpse of the body politic, stroked and tickled by  giggling Martha Kearney, brash Jeremy Paxman and  hysterical Adam Lard,  all rowing together. 

Next week:  The LibDem policy on The Iraq Invasion. Well, we thought it wrong at the time but now, given the mess that Labour's left you all in - but not us, obviously, we're great - we think it was absolutely the right thing to do.


Dick the Prick said...

The decimation of subjects deemed uneconomic is quite a daunting prospect. Whole departments evaporating in the coalition sunshine. It is a fucking mortgage, there's no 2 ways about it. £20k minimum before digs, booze, books, fags & birds. Perhaps this is just the natural extension of making GCSEs and A levels a piece of piss and I guess it adds a bit of incentive for the kids to study hard but for crying out loud. Would like to have a look at the detail for supporting poor kids.

jgm2 said...

The decimation of subjects deemed uneconomic is quite a daunting prospect.

About time. If these kids want to study English or History or Geography or Latin or some other hobby at university then they can fucking well pay for it. The tax-payer has no more business paying to hide them from the dole queue than it does paying me for three years to brush up on my darts or my snooker. Or go train-spotting.

All the more so because, as you rightly point out, the bar has been set so low that what these deluded jackasses no doubt believe is a degree certificate attesting to their Historical, Geographical or English Language genius is no more, in 90% of cases than the standard that would have been deemed acceptable at 'A' level 30 years ago.

Not that you can tell 'em that of course. Their inflated head convinced you're just jealous of their academic brilliance.


lilith said...

I don't think an undergraduate degree in the Arts is harder than A levels 30 years ago. You can get a 1st with appalling spelling, grammar and no sense of irony whatsoever these days.

As nurses and paramedics are required to obtain "Degrees" these days it is only a matter of time before it is required of kitchen porters. Force everyone to mortgage themselves at 19! Fantastic idea.

Dick the Prick said...

Dear Mr jgm2

English language - fine, fuck it. But English Clit, Geography, Latin? Man, what side of the bed do you get up from this morning? If you've got daughters and you chuck 'em a book and that's them for 4 hours = kerfuckingching with bells on!! Hurray!

Don't dis the subject, dis the student is alls i'm saying. I think this may make a few more chaps drop out. Loads dropped out of my fake degree and I couldn't get my head round it - where the fuck are you going where you can learn better shit than this? There are some defo fake Poly's out there but i'd much rather talk to someone with a Latin degree than Business Mgt or Information Studies or whatever the fuck they teach these days.

English literature is proper hard as our host here demonstrates and books are life scribblings - all life exists in books and if 1 kiddy deviates from it, well - it'd be a shame.

However, I had a mate who did media studies whose fucking homework was fuck off home and watch the Godfather Trilogy. Yeah, alright! Cunt. I've watched that about 50 times now and, well, he should've fucked off and got a job, cunt.

P.T. Barnum said...

Ms Lilith wrote:
"I don't think an undergraduate degree in the Arts is harder than A levels 30 years ago. You can get a 1st with appalling spelling, grammar and no sense of irony whatsoever these days."

I would beg to differ, most emphatically. Having done A Levels in 1981 and having taught Arts and Humanities at degree level for nigh on two decades, yes, A Level standards have dropped, horribly, while degree standards have actually increased. Between those two points, university staff do the remedial work with first year undergraduates to get them up to speed. If they survive that (and they're not stupid, just ignorant) the standards they are required to meet for a First exceed what I was asked to do, since they have to sustain a high standard for 2 years, rather than taking final exams in everything at the end.

And wherever I've worked, every misspelling or incident of poor grammar came with a tariff of deductions from the awarded mark, as did poor referencing and inadequate academic apparatus.

But maybe my experience is aberrant and/or everything has changed in the last four years since I was retired.

P.T. Barnum said...

The £6000 figure is interesting because it still represents a £1500 subsidy to the non-lab subjects and a massive subsidy to lab subjects. £9000 for engineering subjects or medicine goes nowhere near meeting what the individual student costs the university to teach.

The problem is, that when someone has paid for something, they feel entitled to receive it. Students already feel they have bought their degree and call in the lawyers if they fail. That will only increase as the fees increase. They need to be made to understand they are not buying a degree, only the education to get one.

The provision for poor students, as it has always been since fees were introduced, will be inadequate, patchy, late and end up costing the taxpayer pointlessly.

I pity friends and former colleagues who are still in the academy as the tsunami of legal challenges and angry parents and violent students engulfs them.

mongoose said...

I got one of they engineering degrees, Mr PTB. It was, I admit, some time ago now but we spent university money like water. "May I crank-up the wind-tunnel, please, Doc?" "I'd like this made, please. In steel - use the good stuff, I think." Jesus, in my final year, I had a whole (wee) lab all to myself. Lasers and shit laid out and not to be messed with by numpties. And all for free. And I have earned rather more, I imagine, than the average bear, and consequently have paid rather more in taxes. Although these days I have learned how to play that game too.

But this is our answer. If we are to preserve learning for learning's sake, we have to preserve the English departments and the Geographers and even the freakin' Drama nutters gadding about in their white jumpsuits. And those for whom this education delivers enhanced earnings will pay enhanced taxes. And that be that. What we are doing by charging fees is stopping poor people going to college. It is a sin and it is stupid. The argument that a lot of courses are crap and a waste of three years may well be true. So stop doing that. Don't let them make education more difficult for everyone because they are afraid to bite that bullet.

Dick the Prick said...

There are no Gods in this one and few heroes. My Tory chap told me they'd shut down the option of kids claiming bankruptcy as soon as they'd finished. Funny how the cunts let prisoners vote but fuck kids up the arse. How very sporting.

Anonymous said...

That is it, Mr Mongoose, learning for learning's sake is being or has been abolished. And as you say, for the expenditure of a few grand in their early years, many will go on to pay large amounts in personal and business taxes, more than repaying their cost.

There are silly degree courses out there, but they are less numerous and less obvious than the DailyWhatever would have us believe. One example from a while back was the BA in Golf Studies. Oh, how terrible, students spending three years playing golf! Actually, no. The degree was established in response to the golfing industry in all its elements (equipment manufacture, course design, golf training etc) because of a shortage of suitably trained people from this country to service a huge industry. Don't just judge a course by its name, look inside and you may be surprised, Mr jmg.

But that said, if everything is to be measured according to its economic value, I'm glad I am nearer my end than my beginning. That is not a world I would enjoy or understand.

PT Barnum (since I can't apparently sign this...)

Dick the Prick said...

Education has changed when we've all got access to this internetty thing with its library type function.

call me ishmael said...

It was the easy betrayals at which I was so mad, and the sanctimonious claptrap of the I-Know-Besters, especially that revolting turd, Cable. These fucks debase everything, everything, even their publicly sworn word is not worth shit, fuck them, a pox on them and their kin, wretched and ghastly misfits, pontifacing facetiously out of their weeping arseholes.

Since, however, we talk of content I must say that the bugbear to which mr jgm2 returns is not for me problematic, on the contrary, I think it is vitally important, vitally, crucially, incontrovertibly important that people study latin and greek and english and philosophy, for the sake of it, and for the sake of the nation; I love engineers but fuck me, they are dull, imagine an after dinner conversation where all present got out their sliderules; imagine a world devoid of poetry or drama and how can we know anything if we do not know our speckled history, our old languages, our old beliefs; should we wallow in Shakespeare or Swarfega?

I would and have been happy to pay taxes that people learn the Epic of Gilgamnesh and the Bible and Milton and Chaucer. It is against such a knowledge backdrop that wars are won, nations forged, compacts agreed and, yes, engineering projects conceived and executed and enjoyed; it is not, mr jgm2, the other way around, however much the smug, gobby, illegitimate imbecile, Cameron, blusters to the contrary. Where, for instance, is the financial benefit to the nation of these exchanges, there is nothing here of merit to the shiteaters, no Growth, the IMF don't give a fuck about it, yet we discourse back and forth, equipped, each, by his or her education, they would steal, suborn. ration and invalidate even that. Up against the wall, motherfuckers.

I will return to Ms Lillith's and Mr ptb's and mr mongoose's and mr dtp's observations.

the noblest prospect said...

Didn't quite manage to attend university. Wasn't bright enough.

Certainly not as bright as some who gather here.

I don't begrudge a penny of the income tax I've paid these last forty years, spent on university education.

I really don't care if some twat or twatette wants to piss around for three or four years in youthful, wasteful pursuit of some pointless degree. I hope my wee Prospects will aspire to one day.

Like healthcare, it should be free and open to all who obtain the necessary qualifications, like what I never. Better education, better job, better wages, more tax. Doesn't take a 2:1 to work that out.

What I do have a problem with is what was detailed by our host's original post.

These shape-shifting shiteaters, Cable, Clegg, Alexander and the all the other lying, braying, guffawing 'we're all in this together' gang. Failing spectacularly to stem the haemorrhage by pointlessly slashing funding, raising fees and all the fucking rest.

For nearly 30 years we've been fleeced by an endless succession of cunts such as Iain Coucher at Network Rail, this bastard Laing at CDC and the thousands of other useless Harvard MBA shit that we've consulted, outsourced to, deregulated for, demutualised, sold off to, fellated and enriched.

Billions of pounds wasted. Lots of Arts degrees. Or clipboard jobs.

call me ishmael said...

It's not about bright or non-bright, mr tnp, more that it's one of the Rewards of Obedience, the student's or his parents' or both; some people's lives just don't roll that way, mine certainly didn't. It didn't used to matter, terribly, when we made things.

What we see, now, though, especially in Scotland, is the verminisation of those whose lives were pre-determined for them by govament policy - unemployment, a price worth paying, so said the bright Oxbridge spivs of ThatcherKrieg; live in an open prison in the sky, said the Oxbridge planners of the 'fifties and 'sixties, we'll demolish them in twenty years or so, but not before we've wrecked your dirty little communities, made you refugee in your own land and Look, here comes Terence Conran with his illusionary, worthless furniture. Unemployment, alienation and consumerism and those floundering about in it we damn as Neds, as though they leapt from their single, serial mothers' wombs, crying SeeYouJimmy? and Och, Skule, that's pish, that is.

Jack McConnell and Alec Salmond and the rest see wasted youth not as accusation of their own caste's heartless, stupid incompetence but as a social problem which they can remedy, even though Salmond, I am sure, struggles to find the hole in his own arse. Oh, fuck me, these Neds, they're a problem, I'll set up a think tank and publish a consultation document. And we'll put more of them in prison. No Rewards of Obedience for the shat-upon, you see.

And soon, now, there'll be another fissure in Ruin's face; as well as those unsuited by dismal, feral family, to a life of glittering prizes, there will be those unsuited by lack of funds or debt-anxiety, and who can blame them? mr mongoose had the simple right of it, as do you, higher earners pay higher taxes. At least they should.

In the next post, Jackson Browne sings don't confront me with my failures, I had not forgotten them; who can imagine this wreckers crew, these strong and stable, shit-eating shapeshifters ever acknowledging even a teeny weeny failure? No, the failure is ours, for not recognising their vision, their courage. Any chance, anyone, that Cable might choke on his own hypocrisy and fucking well die, the horrible mealynouthed lickspittle.

mongoose said...

You see, Mr I, just playing the game once equips one. I can now help my kids through the minefield. My lad's mate - a nice, decent and thoroughly pleasant chap - does not have parents who have been through the game - even the once. They are workers but skint. My lad silently shares his cricket kit with him at school because they have not the money to buy cricket kit. To his credit the boy didn't tell me but I saw one day as I watched from a distant boundary. And was proud. Good lad. His mate's parents are well-meaning but don't know. I do. Off to Ireland with mine maybe, or America even if I can use their uncle's connections. Their lad though is the one who will likely not now go to college. Just as bright as mine, just as deserving, just as much potential. Just like me when education was free. This is the betrayal for which Vince must hang.

P.T. Barnum said...

The BlairBrown monstrosity have done evil to further and higher education beyond mere finance. The new two-headed behemoth have merely larded on more insult with mortgage-sized debt for all.

In 2010 there is one and only one correct way to get a degree. At 18 - having completed your state-controlled 3 A Levels - you go to University, whether you want to or not, whether or not you are ready, because your parents know it must be done for you to 'succeed'. Mature students (over 24s) and part-time students are anomolies the funding system struggles to cope with, are mere adjuncts to the jugganaut of UCAS entry. Such folk must work to squeeze themselves into a system built around 18 year olds whose parents stand behind them in every way.

And one final brick in the wall added by Brown? If, Mr Mongoose, having done an engineering degree in your younger days, you needed or decided to study something else, part-time, you would pay the same as a full-time student. Now imagine that, six part-time years at £6000 per year. Universities are not, please note, allowed to set their own fees for part-time students.

So, if you miss, by circumstance or choice, the boat at 18, every obstacle will be placed in your path. That is not education. That is National Service you pay to do.

Sorry if the minutiae of this is tedious to all, but only this detail reveals what is actually being done to education in this country.

lilith said...

Mr Barnum there is no doubt that A levels have got easier. I went to an academic public school where only the would-be medics did more than 3 A levels and most were happy with 2. Two Bs got you into a lot of universities. "A" grades got your name read out in assembly and the 3 A's with A grades achievers were a handful of chinese girls and a couple of speccy boffins. I was offered a place at Warwick if I achieved two C's! The first year at Warwick involved entirely repeating, in less depth, my A level in the same subject. The second year the professor buggered off on sabbatical for two years and he taught the stuff I was interested in. So I got stoned and went to gigs and demos and dropped out. Pay 9k a year for the privilege? Degrees would have HAD to get better.

I did pay for a three year course at a private college (more than 3k a year back in '93) to gain some useful skills that I can live by however. That was worth it. I have always thought how wrong it is that NHS trained medics can bugger off into the private sector without even a nod to the investment the state has made in their skills.

I only think degrees have got worse because I recently met some semi literate/articulate people with high class degrees. Calfy's latest stepmother, for example has a 1st in "Marketing" yet her emails are a caution and only make sense if you imagine English is not her first language.

call me ishmael said...

Yes, mr ptb, far be it from me to claim your expertise but empirically my experience is the same as Ms Lilith's, especially of Warwick Univesity but that's another story. Like most of us I meet people all the time who have degrees, have been to what they insist on calling Uni, yet who today, at their current age, could not pass an eleven-plus paper, cannot frame a sentence, are entirely ignorant of history and geography, incapable of mental arithmetic and are, to all meaningful intents and purposes, incoherent savages, although that is an injustice to the savage, who is blessed wuth more esoteric skills and knowledge than are we civilised fuckers.

Senior NHS professionals, lilith, used to form the bulk of my client base, as we retailers say. It is they, the surgeon, the anaesthetist who are the first to mouth: We Are All Men Of The WOrld, Can We Not Just Lose The VAT? The VAT which funds your salary, your trainiung, ypur equipment, you mean, I wouild counter engagingly, the fucking bastards, And do you know you are inviting me to go to prison to save you some money? Fortunately, I was the only person who could sell them what they wanted and could take such license with their amours propre. That these bastards are allowed to bunk off to do "private" work on equipment that I have paid for makes them, in my judgement, more favoured and as badly behaved as the bankers.

P.T. Barnum said...

I am reminded of a recent episode in which over a quarter of a fresh intake of English Lit undergraduates all believed that the correct spelling of the word was 'sentance'. And I must concede that, while corrected and penalised they may be, they may live their lives perpetuating that error.

That a 1st in Marketing (and what horror that such a thing should be a degree) does not require any form of literacy should be a matter of shame to the institution awarding it. But somehow I doubt it.

Warwick, alas, ever was and still is, along with its fellows in the Russell Group; regarding students as a necessary evil and now as a necessary cashcow.

mongoose said...

My mum lives close by Warwick University, Mr PtB, and my nephew stayed with her for an extended period. Being 20-and-not-a-lot, a graduate with a liberal arts degree from some fancy American place, he would wander off in the evening to the college bar in search of companionship. Ok, he's a sophisticated kid, ex-pat lifestyle and experiences, confident as such a lad would be but his summation of the women and blokes alike was short and savage. Know-nothings, care-nothings, eat shit, drink alco-shit, monkeys. And Warwick remember is way up the list; you have to be "good" to get into Warwick these days.

Agatha said...

My first experience of university was in the late '60s, Birmingham University Law Faculty. The University was a beautiful, campus university, with a bell tower, ivy-clad walls and a good reputation. I was a young, bright, northern, working class girl with absolutely no connections, no self-confidence and a self-image about as low as the gutter. I had three A levels, of which two were grade A and one was grade C, and a Special paper - which was then a paper ranked higher than an A level, together with the usual clutch of O levels. The first thing the first year intake was shown was the second year lecture theatre, which clearly could not seat anywhere near the first year intake. The senior lecturer giving us the tour proudly announced that they expected to fail 10% of the intake, so that they could be fitted into the second year room and to keep standards up. Maybe it was a joke. I found the lecturers to be boring, utterly devoid of teaching, or, indeed, people skills, idle and uninterested in the students. The tutors cared nothing for their tutees and utterly failed to connect with them unless they were the offspring of some prominent lawyer or judge.I did scrape into that second year lecture theatre, despite the indifference of the teaching staff, but never made it into the even smaller third year room. Fortunately, I've had considerably better university experiences since then. Even the University of Central England (ex Birmingham Poly) scored better on student care. Robert Gordon University tries really hard. But the real star, of course, is the Open University. Which is amazing, considering it is a distance learning establishment.
I have lectured, tutored and trained quite extensively during my working life. I would be ashamed to have put in a performance like those long-ago law lecturers, who are probably all dead now and good riddance, whose response to a failed paper was to offer the advice that I should go away and get married. I suppose it is unfashionable in this arena to say that things have got better - but, as a life-long learner, believe me when I say that they have.