Wednesday, 11 March 2015


He's been whining recently. About how hard it is for his children, having a name like Farage, other children taking the piss. Well, I never, fancy that, the playground being the cruellest place in the world.  But things're brightening for the Poundland Fuhrer. This is the news that he is hotly tipped to take over from Jeremy Clarkson as Widow Twanky in the  pantomime-with-cars that is Top Queer.

Seems that after his recent outing in these pages, Lady Clarkson has had, in his own words, all handbags and hissing with a young producer on his popular PBC show and is now facing the axe.

Questions fly and  arguments rage about who is crap enough, who is a shitty enough individual  to replace the National Baboon. 

Well, said PBC chief, Rona Fuckhead, 

  I may be a thieving, lying, rotten  crooked bastard 
but that's just normal for the PBC.

 like Mr Clarkson, Mr Faridge is a public school thicko, is almost unbelievably stupidis a bigot, is a racist and a bully;  furthermore, like Mr Clarkson, Mr Faridge  knows fuck all about cars,

Sid at the wheel.
Sid on the town.

Sid's smart chauffeur awaits.
 driving or anything,  really, when you come to think about it; 

like Mr Clarkson,
 Mr Faridge is a heavy smoker, 
Yes, I know, quite extraordinary, isn't it? To be perfectly  frank with you, I don't know what this country is coming to, under these public school Tory merchant bankers. Me, the prime minister elect, being forced outside, simply to enjoy my God-given right to poison myself and anyone around me.  Do you know what?  I wouldn't treat a nig-nog like that.  Even if he was born and bred here I'd simply send him back to his own country;  they probably  need him there, for shaking the coconuts out of the trees.  I mean, the country's over-run with them and here we are, stopping people having a fag or two in the pub, drinking a few pints and driving carefully home.

believing that smoking in public 

What? Public drunkenness?
Make it legal? Compulsory, more like.
 For patriots.

and drunken driving are the absolute, God-given  right of white Englishmen, enshrined in the Magna Wotsaname,  Castle, is it, enshrined in the Magna Castle; he is also popular with damaged souls the world over, Sun readers, UKIP voters, queer-bashers, wog-bashers,  wimmen-haters, the kind of  armchair psycopaths who froth at the mouth about free speech, but only for themselves, that kind of person;  he is the ideal choice. Filming begins soon.


Drive, what, me? 
No, usually it's a member of the Leader's Personal Bodyguard does it, sworn to defend me, they are, smashing chaps.
Shouldn't be a problem with Top Queer, though, let's face it, me not knowing about cars or driving or anything, it's just like my current game, isn't it, what Jeremy Clarksion does, ignorant tub-thumping and rabble-rousing, should be a doddle.
And with that bombshell, 
Sieg Heil!


SG said...

The whole thing looks stage-managed to me Mr I - have the ratings been falling off I wonder? I am much more worried by the state of academia. Trawling through the TeeVee channels this evening, a sea of desolation (no - desolation would be good - the usual drivel and shite more like), I happened upon 'Treasures of the Anglo-Saxons' - my kind of thing I thought - presented by Art Historian Dr Janina Ramirez. She made me feel young again! Err, about five or six years old. The subject matter is fascinating and the treasures indeed treasures but the delivery?... I am sure that this Oxford educated young woman is bright and learned, as her command of Old English would suggest, but who the fuck does she think she is talking to? Somehow she managed to weave in what I presume was one of her children (an infant in a push chair) to unnecessarily illustrate some point or other. Also I wonder if that faux Estuarine English, so favoured by New Labour Politicians, really is her natural speaking voice? Dunno if you've seen it Mr I and you deal with this sort of thing much better than I - God I'd rather watch Brian, bloody, Sewell!

call me ishmael said...

Yes, Tubby Ramirez, I did see that, an early one of hers. I turned it off when the kid came into view but I was already weary of the floor-level shots of her spike heels. Nothing wrong with fetishism but there're places in cyberspace that she and her producers can do that stuff.

One of the first Wotsontelly slots, here, reviews a show about the Sutton Hoo hoard, that was proper telly. And not a hint of chubby soft-porn.

call me ishmael said...

And if the Clarkson ratings haven't been falling-off it is a grim miracle of sorts. Whether it started off being stage managed I don't know but it certainly will be, now. No business like show business. I expect that Clarkson will have as many fervent supporters as did that old village bicycle in Coronation Street, Deirdre Boring, the shagbag. Fancy, and Ken being such a nice man. Dead now, Deirdre, God and His marriage vows are not lightly mocked. As both Sid and Jezza may yet learn. No actuary, me, but both of the Mr Blokes in question remind one of Mr Zevon's phrase - (his) face looked like something Death brought with him in his suitcase.

I am not against the rise of the Bloke, just public schoolboys pretending to be blokes. Cunts is what they are. I mean, Hitler had his faults, but at least he didn't crack-on in Farage's Man Down The pub style, did he?

lilith said...

So you only admire a working class bigot bloke? I don't understand why you or anyone else would write off a person because of choices his or her parents made. We were all working class 60 to 100 years ago. There are I am sure many reasons to have contempt for these two, but their schooling? That was a while ago.

A mirage made in heaven said...

Brian Sewell stands testimony to the preposterous heights the working class may aspire to.

My lifelong no-TV policy keeps people like Clarkson at a safe distance, though I must say he does have a face like a freshly slapped plate of raw tripe.

Funnily enough, my next door neighbour is an implausibly denying Jeremy Clarkson relative (the shame, the shame...).

Didn't the family make their money from the Paddington Bear franchise? I seem to remember they did; I could check it out but don't like to encourage Google in any way.

Nothing wrong with vulgar trade of course, look where selling shedloads of party bunting can get you!

Anonymous said...

Yes he did. Man Down The Bier Kellar?

call me ishmael said...

I don't admire bigots of any origin, ms lilith but I especially detest those from a lineage which encouraged their sense of specialness, as you know.

If someone, especially educated by especial parents, is an insufferable prick, as they usually are, then it is their responsibilty to repudiate their parents' smug cuntishness. No retreat, baby, no surrender. Montessori, Eton, Steiner -warts on the same Toby Young arse. Special schools for special needs, not for specially pushy parents.

It may not figure in the world of smug elitism but we can all be held accountable for our parents' choices, that is what life and growing are about. My late mother was an Orangewoman, as was her mother but I am not an Orangeman.

Clarkson and Farage are lazy bullies and bigots, maybe initially it was their parents' fault but they are now adults and both are a thoroughly bad example to young people and to the feeble minded. They don't need you making excuses for them, out of loyalty to the spurious choices of others.

call me ishmael said...

She was a doting Mum, apparently, Old Mother Clarkson, sending the chimp to Repton and journalism college, while she flogged the bears.

Nothing at all wrong with trade, I love it. I used to love making money, where, an hour before, there had been no money. Add value to something, sell it, spend the money, start again and keep people in work, keep the wheels turning, pay taxes, build schools, improve the world, simple. Until along come some ruinous apes like the Clarkson family.

One reads that the surviving Cameron children adore Clarkson. But then he will be an uncle to them, down there in New Cotswoldia. Uncle Jerry, Auntie Rebekka. Fuck me, Jesus, surely that's child neglect..

call me ishmael said...

Don't understand, mr richard, the Bier Kellar.....

lilith said...

I could see you might be ultra sensitive to bigotry in those circumstances. Like you, my great grandfather fled the prejudice, and what's more he married a girl from Limerick so avoid any further dialogue with his family. He was sent my great, great grandfather's orange sash when died.

As I was packed off to Cheltenham Ladies College at 11 I expect that I too am beyond your pale. Irredeemable!

lilith said...

I'm afraid I'm one of those people who thinks all schools should be like Eton, turning out kids who know what they might be good at, and the confidence to have a go, rather than feeling useless inspite of their A* at GCSE.

mongoose said...

Everybody works one way or another. Even Queen Brenda works. I guess that the difference is that those with advantages are expected to know better. Unfortunately pretty much the same proportion of the advantaged and the disadvantaged alike are knobheads, or are not.

Top Gear is the knobhead of knobhead television but that's Ok. Everyone knows it's daft and horrible. And even Clarkson knows that he's an arse.

mongoose said...

Mrs mongoose was packed off at 8/9 to somewhere and then later to Malvern, miss lilith, and she forbade that the idea even be contemplated for her own children (which is just as well given that we have to eat). Your right though, every school should be as good as it can be, and plenty of local authority schools are excellent. If some can be excellent, so could they all.

Part of the problem, I now think is the sheer weight of bollocks and rules and stuff, and the erosion of respect so get in the way that eventually teachers get worn down. That and their teenage stupidity is allowed to obstruct their acess to their own education. We were just as idiotic but were not allowed to waste our opportunity. You had to work harder screw up and miss what they were trying to help you achieve.

But, hey, half of kids go to Yewny.

call me ishmael said...

Well, you may be egalitarian but I am meta-egalitarian and the sooner we burn down Eton and CLC and King Edward's Grammar Schools the sooner we shall extend the opportunity which you say is your goal and wish, ms lilith. The monarchy, the aristocracy, the public school and private health care form a vast network of parasitism which piggybacks on the state sector to the detriment of all, whilst evading taxes it should properly pay. It wouldn't be quite so bad if Eton turned out wise and well-rounded individuals but it doesn't - bullies, liars, cheats, cowards and degenerates, that's quite bad enough but when you add to those educational achievements the breathtaking ignorance, the philistinism and the downright, unpardonable stupidity of people like David America Won The Battle Of Britain Cameron, you have to wonder, don't you? Do you really want ordinary kids to be as poorly educated as is the unelected prime minister? The Top Hatters are morons, Tatler people are morons; Clarkson is a moron, Farage is a moron and as long as people insist on believing that a private education produces better citizens the morons will flourish, while our children suffer the paucity of ambition which you deplore. If you let he pigs decide it, they will put you in the sty...
Our pale, here, encloses a large territory of discourse argument and disagreement, you have some way to travel to find yourself outwith.

call me ishmael said...

Kind of, mr mongoose, kind of, regarding your first thought, that Clarkson is in on the joke, as it were, and so it's not so bad. But it is bad, it's very bad.

One of the themes, here, has been the rise of Cruelty TeeVee, starting, I believe, with that dreadful old dipso baggage, Robinson and the Weakest Link and maybe by the vicious chavvery of Big Brother. It is now the predominant genre, panel shows, quiz shows and activity shows having rudicule and rejection as their key component. That cunt, Sugar; those two cunts off Masterchef, that cunt, wotsername, Mel Perkins; that hulking, beardy Scouse fairy; Jimmy Carr, Rob Bryden these people are utterly, ruinously repulsive and Clarkson, with his hateful, accidental racism, his lazy insult and his unfunny bullying is a major offender. If, as you say, he does know what he is, why doesn't he stop his hateful, witless nastiness and substitute it with wit and grace and erudition?

The answer is that he, like his mates, is Murdoch's man, hollowing-out what remains of Decency, leaving cancer and putrefaction in her place, because he can. I hope his intestines fall out through his arse and that he trips on them and strangles his rotten self, slowly.

jgm2 said...

Mr I,

The first cruelty TV I can remember was 'Game for a Laugh' where they'd set up some poor unsuspecting member of the public. Then there was that cunt Dom Jolly who'd pretend to be an Albanian tourist trying to find his way to Madam Tussauds or something, mocking the efforts of well-meaning passers by, wasting their fucking time, making them look like cunts.

Fucker wants hanging. I fucking hated it.

At least with Anne Robinson and Big Brother you know you're going to be made a cunt of. But taking the piss out of random strangers? Beadle and Jolly should have been punched in the mouth whenever they appeared in public. Ha! Stick that on your fucking show.

Cunt TV. Made by cunts. Watched by cunts.

As to bulldozing Eton and Camp Hill Mr I - you can, but it won't achieve what you wish. Folk like me will still 'cheat'. While Wayne and Waynettta will have to get by on the slim gruel of the state system, middle-class cunts such as myself will sit down with our kids, read to them, encourage them to play an instrument and teach them maths/physics/chemistry if they're struggling or buy in some after school lessons in French or Latin or any other shit we can't do ourselves.

Then of course they'll be travelling all over the world and they'll be mixing with the other rich kids and their expectations will be so much greater than the kids whose parents are actively working to dumb their kids down because they're secretly terrified that their kids will fucking well show them up by actually making something of their lives and giving the fucking lie to 'It's not what you know...'

Am I breeding the next generation of smug, middle-class entitleistas? Perhaps. Probably. What would you have me do? Send them to the local comp? Pretend I don't know fuck all about maths/physics/chemistry and that they should listen to their teachers or figure it out for themselves like my parents had to do with me? Level the playing field so that they find their 'natural' level. The level they would be at if they were born to some average family in some average town with some average jobs?

Nah. I'm going to 'cheat' aren't I?

call me ishmael said...

Your argument leads, mr jgm2, ultimately, to your kids inhabiting gated communities, frightened; it is also a demonstration of ingratitude, you and I went to the same, highly selective state school, we were from the top- or most blessed - five per cent of those Birmingham children who had passed the 11plus in our respective years, there was no cheating involved in your case or mine alhough other entrants had received private primary education and had pushier parents; our education was, nevertheless, taxpayer-funded. It is a bit rich, now, for the recipients of a free grammar school education to despise those less fortunate in the comprehensive system and insulate our children from it with money. Better by far that we bung the local school a few quid, help-out, volunteer, make things better.

I know, probably better than you, that teaching abilities and standards are not what they were - Bournville Comp is not the same school as was Bournville Tech, Moseley Comp isn't the same as Moseley Grammar, their teachers are neither war veterans nor classicists nor grammarians; many of our teachers were Oxbridge graduates, there are few of them teaching in Yardley Wood and Ofsted and the rest, Gove the Fool, Blind Boy Blunkett have, I am sure, micromanaged all the joy and inspiration out of teaching. We, who know that hopefully is an adverb, we should help, not abscond.

I never did see that Beadle fellow's show but I did susoect him of the crimes you list, same with Joly, whom I vaguely recognise. No wonder the teachers find it hard, trying to improve children force-fed such Clarksonian filth. Hanging, yes, we would only need to do a couple of them, the swifter to re-orientate the rest.

Bungalow Bill said...

I defend my thesis that Dame Esther was the only begetter of Horror TV in this country, the 'celebrity' trick of being ingratiating while simultaneously, and as an essential component, barely troubling to conceal contempt for "ordinary'' people. Clarkson and his idiot followers, and all of their kind, owe a great debt to the Dame.

Can't see what can be right about private schooling. It must throttle and deprive the majority. No excuse of course for the abject mess of much state education, born of that sentimental and snobbish perversion of socialism which holds that excellence is no business of the masses.

Get rid, as we should in so many other areas, of the suffocating philistines of management consultancy with their wretched targets and gradings and recover teaching as a prestigious vocation rewarded commensurately. Ensure that children are taught as early as possible that true power and fulfilment reside in the skilful use of their hands and brains. Recover, too, a proper awareness of public and civic respect, not in some limp Blairite-Cameroonian way way but because these things are our best hope of salvation.

I'm not involved in any way with the world of education but the Blair Monster was right at least as to its vital importance.

call me ishmael said...

Just a question of nuance, mr bungalow bill, not a quibble but we are all, as exemplars, active in he world of education, you, in your case, by the elegance and precision of your prose, mr mongoose by his artless whimsy, mr jgm2 by his oppositional default setting, these to name but a few who comment here - enquiry, debate, humour and contradiction, I am sure the Greeks had a word for it, auto-didactism doesn't quite serve, although it is close, perhaps it is simply the return -the blog- of the public forum, in which the serious participant must mind his Ps and Qs, whatever is the word for it, I find this discourse hugely educational.

Yes, I forgot Esther Rantzen's contribution to Ruin; hard to carry it all in one's head, the horror, Cyril Fletcher, Giles Brandreth and Kieran Prenderville, I feel my body squirming and cringing as I recall them.

SG said...

'That's Life!' Mr I. It was fucking revolting. At the time, the 'Not The Nine O'Clock News' team did a rather excellent and savage piss take of it - available on YouTube. I'll pen something on the 'educayshun' issue further down the road but in the meantime Mr BB's words are wise in this matter...

jgm2 said...

Mr I

'It is a bit rich, now, for the recipients of a free grammar school education to despise those less fortunate in the comprehensive system and insulate our children from it with money. '

That's my point though. Even if St Cakes was burned to the ground I would still, by virtue of the fact that I am better educated myself, be in a position to ensure my kids prevailed were they now forced to go to a local comp. And of course it's not just education. It's ambition. Belief that it's worth learning this shit if only so that you get a piece of paper that qualifies you to get the next piece of paper which, hopefully, after you've turned the handle enough means, that you get a job that isn't shelf-stacking.

There are plenty of thick cunts at St Cakes whose rich parents don't give a shit whether their kids learn anything. Just flash gobshites who made good somehow. Just sending the kids there because, well, that's what you do, innit. Their kids lazy, disruptive indolent fuckers every bit the same as I encountered at state primary school. Knowing they'll be okay. Mummy and daddy will provide a parachute of cash as and when required.

Which is also what I'm driving at. Levelling the 'quality' of education available will not result in a level playing field. The pushy (middle class), or ambitious (working class)parent will make sure their kids learn. They'll be impressing the value of an education on their kids. They'll 'cheat'. They'll tutor them at home. They'll pay for tutoring. They'll be buying in a piano teacher. They'll be taking them to rugby practice on Sunday mornings. And the lackadaisical parents won't. 'Ah, don't worry about school, I never paid any attention at school and look at me now, largest chain of car dealers in the South East...' or whatever.

As to 'putting something back', volunteering at a local school or whatever. I've given a few maths lectures (practical applications of..) to the sixth form at St Cakes in my time. As has my missus in her field. To be honest I'm too fucking lazy to do it full time although I do occasionally toy with volunteering at the local state primary in a possible after school maths clinic role or something.

I don't know would the local state school would even want me. They might not want folk doing their job for free. Although I s'pose I'll never know if I don't ask.

And then it all sounds a bit Lord and Lady Muck. Giving something back to the 'poor' people. Might get it thrown in my face. Or have it misinterpreted as trying to assuage my middle class guilt. Or something.

So many excuses to do nothing. Perm any one you like.

Bungalow Bill said...

That's a very pleasing idea Mr I, the public forum; we're all held to account here and are the better for it.

call me ishmael said...

It might be construed as holier-than-thouism, my suggestion of volunteering, God knows, I feel as though I have done enough, myself, and now resist the idea, good of you to take it so constructively, mr jgm2. I guess what I was really proposing was a state of mind, a move away from LuvEm2bits, me, my kids towards ILuvEmAll2Bits, me, all the kids. Even the black ones, the black ones without an aspirin or a drink of clean water. It isn't altruism, just practical; I was teaching a class twenty-five years ago, discussing immigration- You simply cannot stop it, no matter what you do, unless it is making life better in the places from which people are fleeing, if you were in BanglaDesh, wouldn't you move Heaven and Earth (cheat, in your words) to bring yoir kids here? Never mind, now, Bangla Desh, what about Iraq and Syria and Libya and Somalia and what about the horse-drawn economies of all those former soviet republics? Why wouldn't they want to come here? And how on Earth do we propose stopping their arrival when Desperation will always find a way?

And so it is with education, if we suffer the poor to fail and founder we will need to live behind wire and gates and cameras. I don't accept that levelling can only be downwards, indeed, you and I, mr jgm2, are proof that it need not be. A decent education, like ours, free at the point of need, to all. Now, there's an ambition worth striving for. And if we don't we're fucked, doomed to slob about in a failed state, one which considers Jeremy Clarkson entertainment.

mongoose said...

It is solvable in a day. What is the financial benefit to a private school that it is allowed charitable status? Because that is the skew. If people want to pay for education that is their business but let them pay the full whack, please. Shall we say 20% of revenues? So to retain this status, every private school must take 15% of pupils free. A 5% skim should be enough for any bastard. All extras are not to be charged for. So no discrimination because Joe Bloggs cannot afford to pay for his lad to go skiing with the rest. And no racketeering by the abuse of the same mechanism. Fuck 'em. Destroy the skewing financial benefit and you leave only the educational benefit, if there is one. Private schools and their ethos will either prosper because they are better at education or they will die because they have just been factories for social discrimination, and that will decay without performance - back to clogs it will be.

But mr jgm2 is correct. Where are my kids now? One swim training for whatever the biathlon meet is next week or the one after; another coaching at the same pool, although he is only a child yet himself; the last revising for her GCSEs in the kitchen. (Where she is every night and the exams don't even fucking start until June! Strange child. A cuckoo, I suspect.) Where are everyone else's kids? I am afraid that regardless of whether we mean it to be that is going to be Charlie Darwin's problem.

call me ishmael said...

We have lost some contributors, over the years, mr bungalow bill, who were more keenly aware of a forum's purpose than I then was. mr pt barnum, mr mothers ruin, mr young anglo-irish catholic, there are others, some recently, I could probably name a couple of dozen, if I just thought for a few minutes. I hope they are all OK.

SG said...

Don't go all melanchony on us Mr I. Keep buggering on as someone once said...

yardarm said...

Dunno about all this academia and aspirational stuff...for me its the thrill of obtaining a library book on a particular subject or scanning a website: William Beebe and his bathysphere; Jefferson Davies`s career, Lockerbie...the paedo cover ups....anything.

Cameron, silly cunt; didn't he know the US only declared war on Japan on Dec 7 1941: we had to wait until 10 December for Germany and Italy to declare war on the US; which, under the terms of the Tripartite Pact of 1940 they were not obliged to do.

And he`s an Etonian, Oxford graduate and I`m a warehouseman.

call me ishmael said...

Yes, that's what I was saying to ms lilith, mr yardarm. If Eton was about scholarship that would be one thing but it is about networking snd corruption.

It is true, never been a better time for the auto-didact but there is something precious about teaching, for the teacher and the taught. Although, you know how I always query the idea of the rescue dog - who is actually doing the rescuing, we or the dog? - I feel the same way about teaching, is it the pupil or the teacher, being taught the most?

call me ishmael said...

Exactly so, mr mongoose, no wonder the City is the home of tax evasion and money laundering, when its dignitaries come from tax-dodging and educationally inferior public schools.

Those little mongeese, time they had a paper round, or were, preferably, riding a grocery bike for the Co-op, as I did.

call me ishmael said...

Not melancholy, mr sg, Christ, if I went there I'd never return - if you cried, you know you'd fill a lake with tears - not melancholy, just curious.

Mike said...

I went to a public school (thanks to a scholarship). The education was first class; but so it was with my mates at grammar schools and secondary moderns in those days. I don't feel a bit guilty, and my mates don't think I'm a cunt (well only occaisionally).

Its the teachers that inspired - as was said earlier, many who faught in WW2 or at least went through it.

I don't get the same impression with schools today.

And lets not start on "universities" - 50% going to uni, when most of them can hardly read & write - I'm not joking, my mate is a professor of mathematics in the UK and his department spends the first year teaching the basics.

lilith said...

OK like Eton only scholarly then. I don't think Dave is a typical Etonian (but they have obviously admitted thickos for some time QED) and a rather poor advertisement.

When we came to England my parents were fairly horrified to discover that state schools were a total lottery and private schools were where it was at unless you were near a Grammar. In New Zealand the boarding schools were for "troubled kids". It is certainly possible for state education to be better than private!
One of the things public schools do very well is polish turds. I know I wouldn't have any o levels had I not been locked up with my prep night after night for years...I was far too interested in boys and music.

lilith said...

And my spelling would be even worse than it is.

call me ishmael said...

The universitising of the polytechnics by Blair, mr mike, was a dreadful blunder, belittling both. That we now scurry about, inflating work experience courses into apprenticeships is just further legerdemain, your university mate and real tradesmem, alike, regret the cynical blurring of disciplines and lowering of standards. Educayshun, educayshun, educayshun.

call me ishmael said...

My battery dies, ms lilith, I will return.

yardarm said...

Mrs Yardarm is a teacher, Mr Ishmael, primary school and I get the impression they have to sneak the teaching in between dealing with the bureaucracy and managerial bollocks spewed out by the likes of the Ministry and OFFSTED.

How many times, Mr Ishmael have you said this country is run: politics, civil service, the law, military, diplomacy, finance, business, media by people who went to the ' best ' schools and universities and they are all good for fuck all ?

Christ knows what shit they`ll drop in next. Another Great Tits Up, a war with Bad Vlad ? The ' best ' brains in the country are working hard on it right now.

call me ishmael said...

The person to whom I was first married, mr yardarm, was also a primary schoolteacher, her first position arising from the long-term sick leave of another, made ill by the bad behaviour of her pupils and their parents. It is not new, the deployment of educationists as social workers, mopping-up governmental failure and societal indifference. As mr bungalow bill said, mrs yardarm should be paid a proper salary, and shown proper respect, just for starters. If Jeremy Clarkson doesn't respect public sector employees, the worthless cunt, then it is little wonder that his fans are similarly blind to reality. He needs a good hard beating, bruises and stitches and fractures, that sort of thing, nothing like a punch in tne gob and a kick in the nuts to redress the excesses of the bully. Sorry, the great talent. Cameron, eh, you couldn't invent him.

A mirage made in heaven said...

From day one of my sixties' Grammar School education I felt, for the first time in my life, fear and shame. Fear, because I was expected to write with my right hand in fountain pen. I couldn't: hence the stammer. Shame, because my uniform was from the Co-op and of a visibly lower quality. More shame, because each of us were asked in class to tell out loud what our fathers did for a living; a doctor? - no, a docker. More fear, because I daily had to make it back through our council estate, running the gauntlet of hostile ubiquitous Secondary Moderners.

Then there was the sexually sadistic Latin master, the violent and explosive maths master, and the vile procession of mafia-like prefects. There was the extortion mob to avoid, the gang hunting rampagers, the petrol lighter pyromaniacs, to name but a few. Kids lost eyes, were left naked in the quadrangle, were mugged by the bike shed. It was a scary place; and I still vaguely know some of the people who were even more abused than me; they carry the deeper scars and have led emotionally dysfunctional lives; we have discussed the horror of it all.
This was the best school in the area and has been since its Tudor inception. It must have had some bearing on me becoming the anarchic cynic that I am today. Yes, from the age of eleven, I realised that my world was one where mere survival was going to be an achievement. The fact that I can still go: amabo, amabis, amabit etc. is testament only to the terror with which it was forcibly inculcated. All I ever really learned was the protection provided by alienation. I hated every fucking day of it; only flourished at a (very) liberal College of Further Ed.

My brother went to the local Secondary Modern; loved it, and became a very successful engineer working all over the world. I'm broke, but he's OK... but can he go: amabimus, amabitis amabunt...?

call me ishmael said...

ASide from those here, ms lilith, who are all both charming and capable, I know no public school people; my criticism,therefore, is of the perpetual cycle of corrupt entitlement and mind-numbing stupidity of the Charmed Circle, personified, in these times, although not exclusively, by people like BoJo and Osborne and Cameron.

And if you look at, say, twentieth century history, the hideous wars, the Depression, the unemployment, the hunger, the planning failures, the shitty infrastructure, the war crimes, the banditry, these are all led by, engineered by, overseen by, orchestrated by the brightest and best, from the public schools and Oxbridge. How couild things have been any worse had we bulldozed these places in the nineteenth century, as we should have. What was it, sixty thousand working class people died at Waaterloo, what sort of victory was that, won on the playing fields of the English public school? Why didn't all these clever people stop Hitler, fuck me, it was the easiest thing in the world, buy him off or kill the bastard, like he was a coalminer or a Suffragette. By any sane evaluation, the supremacy of a public school education is a myth; of course it may work for individuals, such as mr mike and I daresay many others; for society, though, the TopHatters have been an unmitigated catastrophe, one which we should remedy immediately by closing down these bastions of privilege and stupidity, nationalising the buildings without compensation and diverting any funds raised to a reconfigured Department for Education, Compassion and Wisdom. Haven't these people already taken enough from us? And if they are rendered unhappy, the Tatler people, well, that'll be a jolly good show.

call me ishmael said...

Thank you, mr mirage made in heaven, thank you. I will dry my eye and come back to that, after my own anarchic and cynical fashion.

Doug Shoulders said...

State school was born of the necessity for people to know their place in society. Religion, since the church was the politic of the day, was used, as it was for imperialism, to teach the workers not to get ideas above their station. The riches of this world are not yours…you’ll get yours later…when your dead.
If you’re faithful to God and country you’ll know your fucking place…now get back in line…
Now we have another religion and it’s government.
In school now kids are taught to accept everything and question nothing.
I’m with Bungalow Bill on this… true power and fulfilment reside in the skilful use of their hands and brains.
The single biggest regret of my life (So far) was when I wasn’t savvy enough when my kids were learning to get them to learn the stuff they don’t teach at school.

call me ishmael said...

I had quite forgotten the pyromania, mr mirage made in heaven. Mike Burlyn was my friend and at 12 he said he would be an Air Traffic Controller and he did, becoming chair of the ATC guild, But as a child he was a walking firestorm, relishing particularly the igniting of harmless GPO pillar boxes and the burning of their contents, just dropping a lighted match, in through the slot and lurking until smoke and flames came pouring out. He did it when I was with him in Gooch Street, Balsall Heath and I ran a fucking mile. But he did it on other occasions, too. I remember an item about it on the BBC Home Service. I wonder if, older, he did any more serious arsoning, people, maybe, homes. Dead now, anyway,Mike, so I'll never know.

The uniform thing, as mr jgm2 was saying, the affluent will always find ways to distinguish their spawn from the rest, I remember those well-cut flannel blazers and my own, shabby one, from Kenneth Hirsts. People say that school uniform is a great leveller, Aye, right, they know fuck all, the people who say that.

My Dad was a coach driver, always working during Saturday rugby fixtures, others' braying Mums and Dads, often Old Edwardians, themselves, turned-up in the family Rover. I was, by a country mile, the hardest working player, always turned-up, played even when injured, consistently scored more tries than the rest of the team put together but I was Irish, bolshie and smoked the odd fag, and so it was the Rover kids who got the captaincy and the school colours for rugby. Shoulda been me.

I was tall and people left me alone, I wasn't physically bullied by other kids but all that other shit, teacher perversion and casual sadism encouraged by prefects - the Rover kids - and the extortion of dinner monies, I saw all that. Cruellest place I ever knew in this world, King Edwards Camp Hill Grammar School. I left in the third year and went tol an equally horrid grammar school in Northern Ireland, it was like Camp Hill but with sectarianism thrown-in. Shortly after my mother had died young, the headmaster, a smug, sadistic orange pig called Randall Clarke wanted to cane me. I looked him in the eye and said You try and I'll fucking kill you, you bastard, cold, like ice, I was. My Dad never struck me, I was not going to tolerate this bastard beating me with a fucking stick. Fourteen, I didn't return to education until my early twenties.

Despite all this I can see that there were huge advantages to grammar school, the facilities were great, the labs, the playing fields; some of the teachers were outstanding, there was music and sport, I loved playing Fives and I loved the sharing of illicit books, Catcher in the Rye and Catch 22 and Lady C. Overall, though, unlike mr jgm2, I wish I had never seen the place, more to the point, I wish my father had not seen my passing the 11-plus at the entrance grade for King Edwards as such an honour to himself; it was not as though he didn't understand how things worked, he really should have known better. Ambition, ever since, has always been one of my personal Seven Deadly Sins. These days my aim is only to live privately and modestly on my quiet shore, with mrs ishmael and my little warm brown friend, Harris. And bring down the government.

call me ishmael said...

I bought the females each a Swiss Army Knife, mr doug shoulders, and said to them There's two kinds of potential husbands in this life, those with one of these and those without one of these. The one who still has her knife is with a builder; the one who hasn't is with a useless, unpleasnat prat whose mother has a bit of money.

Both, however, can strip wires, change plugs, build and hang shelves, change a tyre, paint a wall, hammer a nail and wield a spanner. Whether they eventually understand the Zen of work or not, change and distance have put that beyond my ken.

jgm2 said...

Mr I,

I was shit at fives. I was shit at rugby too. And cricket.

I was good in gym though. Could get up the rope to the gym roof and back down before most of 'em could even get their weight off the floor.

Looking back I was utterly oblivious to the class divide at Camp Hill. I hung out with the kids who turned out to be mainly the kids of Irish immigrants but I got no shit from anybody. My blazer was the cheap flammable one that you sewed a school crest to and I must have looked a proper fucking pikey but I dodn't give a shit. Only one kid took the piss and, looking back he was probably over-compensating for his own pikey-ness which, again, I was oblivious to at the time.

Nobody ever demanded my dinner money and if they had I'd have got stuck into them as I was wont to do with kids in the years above if they tried it on.

I don't know how many years there are between us Mr I but while, looking back, I can see it was tough for a couple of kids who were unfairly picked upon I don't remember it as being the dog-eat-dog world you recall for everybody. Primary school, on the other hand. Fuck me, there wouldn't be hardly a day go by that I wouldn't be involved in a fight. Either on my own behalf or on behalf of my brothers.

Might have got a bit out of hand had I gone to the local comp though. And there was a kid stabbed to death in my brother's year at grammar school in Handsworth. In the fucking school.

These days, like you, while I extol the virtues of ambition in my kids, I am more than content to live well below the radar, live in a reasonably modest home considering how much cash is in the bank, drive 15 year old cars with the bumpers held on with duct tape and generally look like a fucking pikey at large.

I find it puts people at ease to let them think that you're a thick fucker, struggling to make ends meet and pay the school fees. I'm the guy they get to look down on when I pick the kids up. Fuck me. Look at the state of him. Look at the state of his car.


mongoose said...

Bring 'em down one pillar box at a time, Mr I.

inmate said...

Whilst we are reminiscing of schooldays past Mr I.
I attended a large primary school in a poor working-class part of town. My parents were assured that their son would pass the eleven plus, much to the delight of my Father; a semi-skilled metal worker, due to his not finishing an apprenticeship, signing up to the Royal Navy, to do his part in the downfall of Mr Hitler. His hopes however were dashed when the 11+ was abandoned.
I then went to a state secondary modern, or High School, as did all whose parents were un-skilled, labourers or semi-skilled, regardless of talent shown throughout the final year of primary. Incidentally any child whose parents were skilled tradesmen or secretarial office workers found themselves at the local Technical or Grammar school, again regardless of talent.
I hated the secondary school, every minute of every day; fear of physical punishment was the basis for learning. No foriegn languages, certainly no Latin, no Shakespeare, no Dickens, not even Religious studies after the first year. Sports were more of how much you could be embarrassed by the teacher rather than enjoyment of participating. On one occasion after receiving a caning, I was given detention because I couldn’t write in the following English lesson, due to bruised and swollen digits.
Bullying by teachers and pupils was common, although due to my size I guess I was lucky not to suffer much myself.
I remember skipping and singing on my way out the door on the final day at that God forsaken place.
My Father insisted I become an apprentice of whatever trade I fancied taking up, “learn to use your hands son, get a trade, you’ll always have something to fall back on” were his words of wisdom. Nowadays I repair everything from the dishwasher, lawnmower, motorbikes and cars, even portable phones, until these smart ithings came along; never buy new if I can help it.
Mrs inmate is a teacher at an Independent school, and her account of respect for teachers by pupils contrasts with my experience of the state school our children attended.
As I have mentioned earlier up the road, I now get my education here.

call me ishmael said...

Quite the opposite in my case, mr jgm2, truly the happiest days of my early life, at Grendon Road County Primary School, where I was always top- once second- of the class, the kids were mostly nice and the teachers, for whom I write many's the line here, wonderful. Going to Camp Hill was like suddenly falling into a pool of icy water from which I have never quite crawled. There was other stuff, family stuff, which unsettled me but nothing which a good, modern school would not sense, identify and address. I treat Harris with more patience and consideration than I received from the Foundation, as they call themselves.

The atrocities I relate to you and which mr mirage experienced at his grammar school were as real as pain and I am glad that you were either impervious to them or that they had diminished by your time, I was there in the 'sixties, my big brother at Handsworth Grammar, in the 'fifties; he didn't flourish there, either; he and I had actually attended schools in Ulster and were not, as I think you and mr mongoose were, born in England of Irish parents.

I heard that ghastly old redfaced tart, Simon Heffer, a few weeks ago, hymning the very bricks and mortar of his King Edward's Grammar School, how it had advantaged the ordinary kid, sent him - yes and some girls, too - to the very finest universities, and now, just look at him, here he was, on the PBC and writing lies and poison for the Daily Mail. Simon Heffer, reason enough to, burn down the grammar schools.

SG said...

It seems to me that fee inflation has put most public schools beyond the reach of even the well heeled types (doctors, solicitors, bank managers and the like) that would have patronised them in the past. Where they can they have migrated to the few remaining grammar schools turning them into middle class colonies even further reducing their residual capacity to improve the social mobility and opportunities for poorer folks. Public schools are an irrelevance for the vast majority of the population, being mainly patronised by the offspring of rich foreigners (Russian oligarchs and the like) and our own super-rich (the CEO set, footballers, celebs et al) and I agree with the other posters that the tax status of these enterprises needs looking at (though I would not shut them down as they will simply migrate overseas taking the jobs and potential tax revenues with them). No doubt there are some state 'non grammar' schools that do a good job and approach grammar levels of performance but these are, I suspect, exceptional for the reasons that Mr BB articulates above - it seems to me that the teaching unions / profession have as much to answer for as successive generations of politicians who between them have 'progressively' fucked up our education system over the last forty years or so. This is a real problem for us in terms of growing our future leaders be they in politics, business or public service as they will be drawn from a increasingly weak and narrow gene pool (this has already manifested itself in the composition of the current leadership cadres of the big three political parties - how similar they all are). It is probably neither feasible nor desirable to return to the old binary system of grammars and secondary moderns but I think that some baby went out with the bathwater with the mass culling of the grammars back in the sixties and seventies (probably the biggest act of vandalism since Henry viii sacked the monasteries) and we need to work out how to inject some rigour back into the system as Mr BB implies.

I totally agree with you about the ruination of the old polytechnic sector Mr I (though this happened in 1992 so not one of Blair's 'crimes'). Many of these were fine institutions with international reputations. They were also far more accessible to local communities than the universities and supported the needs of local businesses etc. with their extensive, low cost, part time course offerings (the old HNCs and the like) and offered valuable stepping stones into professions and / or 'proper' universities for students let down by the comprehensive schooling system (I am one of those folks having attended a Poly for first degree then what is now a 'Russell Group' University for masters). At Poly one of our law lecturers would always start by asking us if we had heard any good jokes - any served up by us were never a patch on the ones related to him by his 'builders' (the same, imho, excellent senior lecturer that taught us undergraduates Consitutional & Administrative Law taught contract and construction law to builders on a part-time HNC course). The same sorts of folks have now, like as not, been hoodwinked into doing Media Studies at the 'University of the Staines Reservoir' in exchange for a £40k millstone around their necks. We have absurdly expanded our university sector to the point where much of it is a liability rather than an asset more likely to impoverish rather than enrich the lives of its students and, as with the grammar schools, thrown away perfectly good, cost effective institutions   geared to serving a wide range of educational needs.

call me ishmael said...

It is, now, an almost archaic distinction, mr inmate, between skilled and semi-skilled, all are now professionals, in careers, not jobs, even in McDonalds, it is a career. In the army, soldiers are colleagues, not comrades, no wonder they cry PTSD if they so much as stub their toes. What do these people think is going to happen to them if they join the army and invade other countries? Is it gonna be like I'm a celebrity, get me outa here? Me'n'my colleagues.

Workmates and comrades, those were properly descriptive terms, accurate and respectful. Now they let you describe yourselves as colleauges while paying you less than a living wage. The nerve of some people.

I didn't know about that selection on the basis of parental occupation which you describe, must've been a blow to your family, being on the cusp of that change from selection/rejection to comprehensivisation, missing-out at the last minute.

I only speculate about this but I do feel that my parents' generation were wedded to deferred gratification, to mr doug shoulders' jam to-morrow, even to the extent that it be deferred for a generation. My father was a time-served motor engineer and my getting to King Edward's was hugely important to him, moreso than to me, like ms lilith, more interested in sex and drugs and rock'n'roll.

Recently, I had a lomg correspondence with the girl who sat next to me in primary school and who once beat me to top place. Heather, like mr jgm2, was unaware of any oppression or class conflict at her grammar school, although had felt a little troubled by the, well, almost the apartheid which arose between herself and former schoolmates, on the 'bus, walking home.

Were the decision on our selective education mine to make then from your family's point of view and from mine - you didn't go and I did - I would abolish it instantly, leaving absolutely no avenue via which money masquerading as informed choice could advantage one child over another, ease one life, whilst crushing another. LuvEm2BitsMe, all the kids, not just mine.

If we don't start believing that then everything since the swamp will have been in vain. We crawled, evolutioning, up the shores of the sea, from the sea to the trees and the caves, into the huts, onto the plains, back down to the sea in boats, building the towns and the cities, spanning the Earth, reaching for the stars, just so's one kid's parents can buy him a better chance than another's. Oh, mr mongoose, mr jgm2, ms lilith, Oh, freunde, nicht dieser tone; tarrying here there is no way, this my kid deserves better stuff, this always was and remains the rocky Road to Ruin.

SG said...

I don't agree with you about burning down the remaining grammars Mr I. My own offspring goes to one. From what I can see it is nothing like the kind of institution you describe. It is well led and has created an environment that turns out articulate, well educated and well adjusted young adults. The teachers are highly professional, able and dedicated and there is no sign of the sort of mal-adjusted psychopaths and abusers that you encountered all those years ago (there were a few of that sort in my own 1970s Comprehensive School experience though). Whilst the school's 'software' is excellent (its GCSE and A Level results would put many of the more elite public schools into the shade) its 'hardware' in the form of buildings and facilities is tired and in dire need of renewal - this is being done slowly thanks to the efforts of parents and former pupils (just the sort of volunteering you mention above). Most of the capital funding is directed by the local authority to the creation of spanking new University College buildings to teach media foundation degrees, hairdressers and future 'nail bar' technicians. None of the local grammars receives even the so called minimum level of funding per pupil head and there is the constant search for economies and additional funding sources. I am pretty sure that this school is not atypical and I would happliy beat to death anyone that tried to shut it down. Many other schools are in need of improvement and investment for sure but this will not be achieved by vandalising these few precious examples of what good state schools look like.

mongoose said...

But if the building was burning down, which child would you save? If they all weighed the same, were equally near or far, and as equally endangered? And there you have it. And there is nothing wrong with that.

So in the burning house which is the real world, there is nothing wrong and everything right in trying to help your kids to a better start. Better than what? Better than some other poor bastard's? No, just better. Better than it would otherwise have been. Else why teach the little buggers even to cross the road? And it is all the same. Tying their shoelaces, crossing the road, mensa-mensam-mensae, and "here's fifty quid to buy a new pair of cricket boots, son". It's all the same. They are not lion cubs fucked out the door at 12-months-old to take their chance on the savannah.

But life isn't competitive, is it, at that level? (If it is, you are fucked for sure.) Just as it is not a matter of desert - moral or otherwise. I tell my kids - who will each, you may rest assured, march out of their exam factories with sheaves of As and A*s - I tell them that they are clever, yes, but not better. They are clever simply because they were lucky. No skill or moral credit is involved in being in receipt of a genetic advantage, even one that requires nurture. Thank your great-great-grandad for snatching Katherine off the turf-cutting gang at the roadside. Because Katherine could read, children, and so therefore in time would her sons - and fuck me if they couldn't write too! So who will blame Kitty for teaching her sons to read and giving them a better chance, a better start than some poor bog-dweller's benighted offspring? And where is the difference? And if just one school can manage not to be a hell-hole of differentiating vileness then they all can.

What is education anyway, if not a Swiss Army knife for the mind?

jgm2 said...

Mr I,

'Heather, like mr jgm2, was unaware of any oppression or class conflict at her grammar school'

I was thinking about that a bit more today. And I don't know if it was that I was too stupid or naive but I was utterly indifferent that so many of the other kids lived in Edgbaston, their fathers lawyers and doctors. It didn't trouble me at all. I was brought up to be content simply because I wasn't hungry and I wasn't cold. Unlike my parents and grandparents.

I'd talk to them (who I now know to be the rich kids) when I needed to. I detected no animosity even though (as I now know) I must have looked like a fucking tinker.

My missus is Canajun and we have friends, still, from university. Years ago we were all walking along some public footpath - and we came to this beautiful stately home - Parham House it was - 'Some day I said, I'll live in a house like that'.

My mate, my best man, looked at me and said 'You probably will'. It was said with a certain tone. A hint of something. Jealousy? But, discussing it with my wife later, we came to the conclusion that it was not jealousy in the sense that we might achieve such riches and he might not. But jealousy that we might even aspire to such riches.

He (and his missus) were constrained by their middle class upbringing to 'know their place'. That aspiring to such a thing was just not allowed. Their conditioning wouldn't allow them to think 'Why not me?' For them, it simply wasn't the done thing.

Sorry if this sounds smug or reverse snobbery or whatever but such constraints never occurred to me. Or my missus, brought up as she was in the bountiful land of opportunity that was 1970's Canada. I think they were jealous, although that's probably too strong a word, of our lack of sense of class and the freedom it gave us.

We simply don't know our place. We don't play the fucking game.

Never more so than when we both quit work to spend more time with our cash. Me in my thirties and my missus in her forties.

People at the school gate giving it 'But, but, but... you can't do that..?'

'Says who?'

'What will you do with yourself all day'

'Whatever I fucking like. Nothing probably.'

I'm back full circle to the 'good' or otherwise that burning St Cakes and Camp Hill to the ground will do. And I still think the answer is 'none'. Our kids will, I think, be as unconstrained by conventional norms of aspiration and 'success' as their parents. Classless. But in a good way, I hope.

They'll have a scientist (me) and a liberal arts mother on-site for any academic help they might need.

I've just spent an hour working with my son on his maths. At his request. My daughter is in another room hammering away on her piano.

Burning St Cakes and Camp Hill to the ground will just throw an additional 7% of kids onto the state system and cost base overnight. But it won't stop people bringing up their kids exactly how they chose. And 'cheating'. Because what the fuck else would you do? Pretend you can't do the maths? Let him figure it out for himself? Like I had to? For what? Plenty enough time for sink-or-swim when he has to sink-or-swim.

Frank Field it was, I think, who talked about a 'poverty of aspiration' and I agree 100%. While it may sound as if I despise 'the poor' what I actually despise or despair of is the inculcated mindset of 'knowing your place'. The fucking crabs in a bucket mentality of so many people of every social strata.

No. I will fucking well not know my fucking place. I will not follow that career path. I will not work 9-5. I will not flog myself to death. I will not spend 25 years slaving over a fucking mortgage. I will not send my kids to that school. I will not spend 50K on a fucking car.

I will do whatever the fuck I like.

mongoose said...

We could go all North Korean about it. Any advantage must accrue to the Big Boss or his immediates, distributed in accordance with hierarchy. Which is more or less trickle-down Reaganism. Or we can go Wild West, get in a chuck wagon and race out there for your slice of virgin, unowned prairie and then build a wall around the bugger. (Well, "unowned" - as yet by any white people. That aboriginal common land gig didn't count for much in Australia either.)

It's not so much that the inevitable favouring of one's own is wrong - because thinking it is wrong is a fruitless road, and the species is fully programmed to eventually, but ruthlessly, edit out such ideas. Which is an interesting thought in itself for a dark, Orcadian night.

The problem arises when we want fairness, or libraries, and who doesn't, eh? Well, life isn't fair and cannot be made so but a body can take its hard-earned and build a library if it wants. Trouble is, and every time you turn around, there's gonna be another bastard wanting a library but instead of "Thank-you, Sir, for building our library", it will be "Thou Shalt - on pain of legal violence - build a fucking library". Which is what charity and honour are not about, and where the likes of useless Millibrain would take us. (Bedroom Tax? A fucking Kitchen Tax is what we need.) What is left is the Eleventh Commandment, which is when you see your neighbour struggling, help him with his load. Meanwhile, you may do as you fucking please, perhaps, as long as you do no harm to anyone, their property, or their anything - including the opportunities on offer to their kids.

Fucking liberals, eh? What can you do?

call me ishmael said...

The only trouble with that, mr jgm2, is that, increasingly, others may choose to do whatever the fuck they like. And do it all over you.

You know me, I am not an obedient, either, probably much less so than you, and have fled Decency's barricades this fifteen year spell, convinced that the Barbarioans would overwhelm. Even so, I cannot and do not believe that I can do whatever the fuck I like.

As to money, well, it was collective money which paid your ticket to King Edward's, you were funded by poor Brummie tax- and ratepayers, those very people whom now, apparently, you despise.

And your father, he couldn't have paid for your education as you now do for your kids but whose is the greater achievement, his, in supporting you from a difficult starting position or yours, clever and comfortable, easing the path of your clever children?

This is not a rebuke, people do what they do and there are worse things than inverse snobbery but I sometimes think that you and, in this case, mr mongoose, are down at the Croosroads, dealing with the Devil. All the ills of which so many here complain are traceable to what the public schools represent. And here we are, joining them.

Helping kids with their homework, both of you, is no sign of nobility, unless you mean helping others' kids with theirs, always, in my own experience, much more worthwhile an activity.

call me ishmael said...

Posts crossed, mr mongoose and as you see, I, too, have been brooding about it, overnight.

I have four kitchens, five bathrooms, four, six, eight or ten bedrooms, whatever way you count them, I have outbuildings which people could live in, I have half a mile of hedging and ten thousand daffodils, hundreds of metres of drystonewall; I have eight power screwdivers, a score of hammers, twenty-dozen bottles of wine, eight thousand books, sixty bottles of malt, fuck me, got no money but there's no end to the stuff I have, Mr Miliband is a stuff-novice. I can see why the Filth-O-Graph wouldn't want me as prime minister, but two kitchens, disbarring Mr Miliband, well, that's ridiculous.

I disagree with you, about fairness, I think its delivery is incremental. It wasn't fair that wimmen didn't have the vote and now they do. It wasn't fair that Uncle Sam's niggers didn't have the vote and now they do. It wasn';t fair that gay men were beaten and blackmailed and jailed and now they're not. It wasn't fair that there were signs in windows saying No Blacks, No Dogs, No Mongeese and now there aren't. It can never be fair, therefore, is only partly correct, it can certainly be fair-er. And that's, well , that's fair enough by me. Just because things cannot be made ideal at a stroke doesn't mean that we should tolerate the intolerable, the Monarchy, the aristocracy and the public school, much less does it justify our joining them, in the guise of concerned and pragmatic pater familias.

The so-called opportunities on offer to children - some children - are these the opportunities to go to Repton, because if they are, they oppress and interfere with far more children than they assist, and no-one has any right to do that so, as Lord Tarzan used to say, when he wasn't bribing Harvey Proctor, I will interfere and object morning, noon and night, until these places are no more, until they and their believers, like Pharoah's tribe, are drownded in the tide, and like Goliath, they've been conquered.

Oh, a time will come up, mr mongoose,. when the wind will stop.

Bungalow Bill said...

Twenty-dozen bottles of wine, eight thousand books, sixty bottles of malt.

A poem in itself.

For the rest, yes the fight must be had because it is not for those in possession to decide if or when, or on what charitable terms, the dispossessed shall have their share of the kingdom. None of which means abandoning the desire for excellence which Mr SG and Mr jgm2 rightly demand.

If, though, we make excellence a matter of structural entitlement, or weigh things heavily in that direction, then we are debasing ourselves and also depriving ourselves of the gifts that were never given the chance to flourish.

Power and money do not divest themselves, they just change clothes.

call me ishmael said...

Yeah, I think I'd sit quietly in your classroom, too.

mongoose said...

Well, I haven't been talking about education per say for a couple of days, I reckon but... Your premise, Mr I, is that the so-called "great public schools" make enntitled knobheads like Clarkson and we don't want that happening. I agree. But state schools make knobheads too - just of a different kind. It is my view that knobheads of the various types are pretty much evenly distributed among the population - although this little corner of bandit country seems to have more than its fair share - but they are just best avoided and left to get on. Burning down a few private schools might make you happy but it well make the country less well educated, indeed even less civilised. (The monarchy and the aristocracy have got nothing to do with it.) If Ms Liliht can manage to escape Cheltenham without turning into a swivel-eyed loon then so can others. It ain't all bad. If you want Clarkson hanged for reasons of hygiene, OK. Or if you want to ban the ability to directly pay for education then OK too, but say so. But upon what grounds save anger could that stand. A body must be able to buy things if he wants - bottles of whisky, books, chisels, Volvos, lawn-mowers, daffodil bulbs. Or educations.

Jesus, man, if a tophatter wants to turn his Tarquin into a little tophatter, with a silver cane and every hair in place, what fucking business is it of ours? As long as they pay their way, and haven't just put the whole malarkey on their parliamentary expenses. Fairness in education has got sweet fuck all to do with the existance of private schools and everything to do with the shite and cant spouted by politicians to excuse their vileness and vote-chasing cowardice. The answer, as I have said here before, is to be found in Finland. (Youtube "Finland Phenomenon".) Teachers of commitment and ability, rewarded and respected appropriately, required and expected to perform, kids served right up to their own limits and horizons, and respected likewise regardless of ability. How fucking difficult can it be? But to start we have to stop talking Pythonesque bollocks about the past and get on with the future.

And get out there and set fire to some pillar boxes too. I reckon you could clear the island by the morning.

(And what is this cake-selecting verification bollocks? Do leave off.)

lilith said...

Well, we burnt the grammars to the ground but somehow the standards at the secondary moderns stayed crap or continued to slide until the current day when we have BBC journos explaining what everyday words mean to their radio audience thus patronising anyone over 40.

All the girls I knew at school ended up lefties (including myself) For that reason alone it would be worth burning down.

lilith said...

In fact the majority of public school types I know still think the Guardian is where it's at, that Christianity sucks, and everyone should pay more tax. The few that don't think like that are virtually related to Clarkson.

call me ishmael said...

Everyone should pay more tax.

call me ishmael said...

Falling standards are the result of many factors, the loss of deference, the collapse of the Church, skymadeupnewsandfilth; the Thatcher promotion of Greed, the atomising of society; the ease of divorce, the rise of child pregnancy, the failures of the teacher training colleges; the distractions of pornomedia and celebritymedia, the unpardonable selfishness and stupidity of the LuvEm2Bitsers who prioritise only the utter banality of their own child's consumerist needs; the fragmenting ascent of the fuckwit, gobby individual over the more measured and fruitful collective. Christ, never mind back to the 'thirties, this is back to the fucking cavemen, me, me, me, ug, ug, ug, our parents' post-war social compact trashed by grasping, arriviste morons.

Shirley Williams was and remains an insufferable imbecile but her comprehensivisation without the simultaneous dismantling of the public school is only responsible for so much. The retention of selection at 11 would not have mitigated any of these ruinous trends and developments. The grooming of the nation occurred at the behest of and is now covered-up by the seven per cent without whom mr mongoose insists we cannot do; those whom we fawningly call the brightest amd best; worse, like ragged trousered philanthropists, we are meant to admire those who have buggered and beggared us, ape their vulgarity and indulge their vice. lilith, honey, if that's moving up, then I'm moving out.

If I squint, I can see you public schoolsters, your ancestors, anyway, arguing that, No, challenging feudalism is just wrong-headed and spiteful, won't improve anything; people are entitled to own serfs if they want to...and as for fairness, well, it's never gonna happen, so what's the point? May as well eat shit, not so bad, once you get used to it.

mongoose said...

No, Mr I, I did not even faintly imply, let alone "insist", that we could not get on without them - as well you should know by now. Indeed, I am sure that we could. I do say that it is none of my business if that's the way people want to educate their kids - as long as they fully pay their way.

We have enough rules and regs thanks and we can well do without any more of them banning yet more stuff which is nobody else's business. The other injustices that funnel survival tickets so that people can afford all that schooling are another matter, and if the root of your discomfort, might well find less equivocal support.

I would add to that that I know many otherwsie sensible people who slave every day, the pair of them, and still beggar themselves to buy ludicrously expensive, and some of it clearly inferior, education - often so that they do "let down" their own parents. (See above anecdotes from others for how deep that fucking idea burrows.) It is ridiculous bollocks but it is not my business to say they may not.

mongoose said...

And as I am here, leaning on the windowsill, and waiting (ludicrously) for the UAE v WI cricket to restart, the report from an anon BBC source describing the Clarkson matter as "Savilesque" is an utter fucking disgrace. I may well go and sign the Save the Cotswold One petition just to spite the bastards. If anything needs burnng down it is the BBC.

jgm2 said...

Ms Lilith

'All the girls I knew at school ended up lefties (including myself) '

Perhaps that's because you only kept in contact with the ones who turned out lefties. No sense keeping in contact with people with whom you fundamentally disagree.

I guess those who do go to St Cakes and go on to become lefties are those who assume some guilt for their parent's choices.

It's easy to be a lefty when somebody else is paying.

lilith said...

Indeed Mr Jgm2, someone else paying is the essence of leftism. I got a terrible shock on entering the world of work to find the working class supported Thatcher and despised black people.

call me ishmael said...

Not all of them, ms lilith; I certainly didn't. The Thafcher Evil, anyway, was just part of the anomalous election system, whereby you can have a landslide on a minority vote, it was not the overwhelming, mass popular support of happy legend,
As to leftism, I don't know what that means, I suspect it is a catch-all epithet for people not wedded to greed, filth, corruption and child abuse, people who believe in taxation to provide services and infrastructure and people who think that the Monarchy is an abomination; people like me.

It is not someone else paying mr jgm2 it is everyone paying. Dreadful, I know, that wonderful people with wonderful lives and even more wonderful children, the true wealth creators, dreadful that they should have to pay for anything, I know, them being so wonderful and all, talented and clever, why should they pay taxes, not as though they drive on the roads or drink the water or use the infrastructure in any way, is it? Nof as though their goods are transported anywhere, not as though they need a workforce, not as thoughthey benefited at all, as they were growing up. If only there were some equally wonderful, talented accountants who could save rich people from what they call, bless them, paying for everybody else. They could allways, of course, take their fucking brats and fuck off to some shithole where they would be properly worshipped, leave all the lefty museums and galleries and monuments and cathedrals and countryside to which they do not want to contribute, they could sit in the jungle, around a pile of their money, urging it to breed from itself, just like they do at home.

This will be one if my coalition terms, after May. Anybody found or even suspected of tax evasion, avoidance or even thinking of fiddling to be stripped of their fortunes, their citizenship, passports, birth certificates, driving licenses, educational qualifications and put on the first plane to wherever would have them. Watch the tax revenues rise overnight, all these hedgefunders and moneylaunderers and property barons, they'd be queuing all around the Treasury, volunteering to pay tax. It is only what would happen if someone acted the cunt in a lifeboat.

call me ishmael said...

My understanding, mr mongoose, is that the remark was entirely correct, it made no reference to Clarkson beasting, just to his low friends in high places, guarding his back. Didn't we see the unelected prime minister, just a few days ago, attempting to influence and subvert a normal workplace investigation? I know you despise New Cotswoldia as much as I do, I also know that you deplore mob justice at which this Clarkson petition is an attempt. I detest the PBC as much as anyone and did so long before the tales of Sir Jimmy, as you know, bug that does not mean that govament filth, royalty or anyone else -least of all you - should, in Clarkson's interest piss all over decency.

No-one has said Jezza was beasting, although it does appear that he is thoroughly beastly, has been caught out and his powerful friends, Savilesque, are trying to make it go away. Never mind the petitioning nutter-rabble, the sixty-five million who do not want Clarkson4King will be as pissed at Cameron as am I and as you should be.

lilith said...

No of course not all of them Ishmael but we are of course using sweeping generalisations in this post, are we not? I don't actually agree that leftism is about what you suggest..caring sharing stalinism? These days it seems to be all about an exclusive hold of the moral high ground, despising anyone who has made themselves some cash even though these are the people who fund the all those things the people need like windmills, the EU, carbon capture technology, pay offs for failure etc etc. Oh yes. They need much more money from the taxpayer. I'm
surprised you want Gideon or Balls
to have even more of our cash to piss away. I'm already paying out more than 40% tax on my income and
I'd be entitled to working tax credit if I was prepared to claim it. (Income tax, council tax, vat, fuel tax, registering my business with the council etc etc) I wouldn't mind but it all goes on pensions for local council bigwigs. Pensions? How does anyone afford one of those?

call me ishmael said...

Generalisations are the nature of the blogging beast, ms lilith, even so, my responses are lengthier a d more comprehensive than most and generally address multiple commenters simultaneosly, meta analyses and forensic detail would have seen me writing, still, to the furst post, six years ago. i feel, furthermore, that ohers, like yourself, know mecwell enough to read between my lines, maybe to relate them to previous lines, I cannot paint, nor more than could Mr Turner or Herr Renbrandt, a full picture everytime, some things are perforce sketched. Even so, there are nearly seventy comments here and from my share if them most readers woukdcduscern a degree of detail.

Stalin is such a weary device, isn't he, deployed whenever ethical, practical and sustainable management of available resources is suggested. Ah, you mean Stalinism, tractor production targets, Gulags, that's what you mean isn't it, tyranny?

People as you know, used to think stanislav was right wing, because he attacked a purportedly left of centre government. Now people think that Ishmael is left wing, bcause he attacks a right wing government.

All either of them want is for the black children to have a drink of water, for older people to age in comfort and for the greedy child molesters to be lifted from the Great Latrine of State from whence they shit in our faces. Neither of them want the KGB nouvelle, although, as Tiny Hazel Blears has recently demonstrated, it is already up and running.

As to state pensions and to the charge of omission-through-generalisation I would refer the honourable lady to countless previous commentaries which are available in the library.

Finally, as to the rich funding more than their share, zi never know how this vague figure is calculated, monies paid here can be reclaimed over there profits can be offset, exported, not, in many cases, taxed at all, not if you went to school with Chancellor George. The person on PAYE has no such options, is taxed at source and is taxed on nearly everything he spends an can rarely bung fifty grand fir a prime ministerial dinner at which he can further his own profit and tax situation. I would go so far, ms lilith, as to suggest that your plea for compassion towards the all-providing rich is, itself, based upon a well-orchestrated and long established campaign of woolly generalisation.

Personally, in my neck of the tax woods, M Swinney has just massively raised the stamp duty on my house; I was mad for five minutes and then we just bit the bullet, we'll have to absorb some of this, if we sell, but we have made a significant, relatively unworked-for profit, whikst taking advantage of other tax and upgrading opportunities. Can't grumble, shouldn't grumble, like mr jgm2, I owe everything to the state -my birth, my post-natal care, my schooling, my own child's birth, post-natal care and schooling, her children's , my own complex thirty-year and recent health care. I and most of us could never ever repay all this lefty money, how dare I grumble sbout a tax bill going towards some of it?,

mongoose said...

My understanding, Mr Ishmael, is that the remark was entirely knowing and vile, and a sleazy, cowardly and despicable addition. Perhaps the most powerful, certainly the most experienced, communications empire on the face of the planet, an organisation with its own agenda and objectives wholly unrelated to the general good of the populace that keeps them in taxis and lattes, anonymously briefs at the fag end of a Saturday afternoon, does it? Why would that happen? Fuck 'em.

That the object of the campaign is a dick and an ignoramus is unfortunate but there is an "anonymous source" at the BBC who richly deserves dragging out into the Spring sunshine and hanging from the nearest tree. If you are confused - and you are seldom so - go stand on the nearest street corner - if street corner you can find in Orkney - and ask the first hundred people of the import of the word "Savilesque", and you will have your answer.

call me ishmael said...

Where I have seen the remark reported, mr mongoose, it has been in the context which I have noted here - Savilesque, inasmuch as wrongdoing went unchallenged by dint of the miscreant's celebrity and well-connectedness in both the PBC and the wider establishment - Savile with Thatcher, Fuckhead with Cameron. I think the comparison both legitimate and courageous, whoever he or she is they will now be known as one unafraid of filth like Thompson, Patten and the rest. You do remember the oily Gambuccini whining that he knew, all along, about Savile but felt that the Coropration would shit on him if he went public, this is the climate meant by Savilesque. If Clarkson feels slandered or defamed he can sue but he hasn't been. If your gripe with me is that the man in the pub can't make the distinction between institutional cowardice and serial child sexual abuse well I am sorry, this is neither order-order nor The Daily Islander, to either of which such fatheads should repair. I do, however, expect you to be so able as to discern the reality of language and distinguish fair comment from lunatic hyperbole. Nobody has hinted, much less said that Clarkson is a nonce.

call me ishmael said...

I am away, now, to paint one of my many unprimeministerly corridors, wax some of my 22 Downing Street-averse pine doors, having, maybe, a cup of tea from one of my four kitchens. I will be back for more insult and abuse, this evening. Please don't tell Mrs Gove or I shall never form a government.

lilith said...

I didn't say anything about the rich funding more than their share, only that they are insulted and reviled as they do it. There is no doubt the left is anti business. And the left and right both want the poor to be cold so that Sam Cam's father in law can trouser 3.5m in subsidies for bird killing follies on his land. (Aside: I have no objection to one crusty suing another crusty for a slice of his fortune when it was entirely filched from people paying for their leccy with a key mater.) The poor are paying too much tax, IMHO.
If the Gov has taxes to waste we are paying too much.

lilith said...

Oh and sorry about Stalin..

lilith said...

Savilesque = unattractive weirdo on whom no one can pin anything. Read the reports. No one saw anything, not even the man himself, in most instances. The enquiries have cost @£7m...enough to give kids in care today a better life.
Revolting hysteria about a repulsive character that has made a fortune for the papers and the lawyers. There may be a credible instance of abuse but I have yet to discover it.

Anonymous said...

Mr I - you have me at a loss. How can you feel that the State is thankable for the benefits you mention and yet hold, at the same time, the opinion that they close hospitals, burn libraries, exterminate the sick and bugger children? Tax is extracted via the threat of force and is therefore immoral. Why should anyone not avoid paying it unless they have some notion that someone else has a divine right to other people's money just because they've won a popularity contest?

call me ishmael said...

I know what you mean, ms lilith, about Savile being beyond prosecution and therefore innocent and so what is the point of all this; his alleged crimes, however, may be linked to the biggest outrage of all, the alleged murders committed by an alleged MediaMinster paedophile ring, deploying an alleged cover-up involving Downing Street and reaching into the Palace. I am happy for it to continue, the Savile trawl, in the hope that there just might be some decent coppers, not in the lodge, not in the pocket of Murdoch and there might be one or two principled lawyers, long odds, I know, given Hutton, Leveson, Chilcott and, further back, Denning and Widgery. It does all seem frightfully self-serving and rather pointless, Thatcher, Morrison, Brittain are dead, Tebbit and the Royals are untouchable, I dunno who that leaves, there's Janner and there has always been rumour about Kaufmann but these are now very old men and any minute they'll be joining Savile, at Maggie's table, down below.

One needs, incidentally, to tread carefully around credibilty and lack of proof. That is the modus operandi of the beast, cleric or celebrity or nobody, he operates clandestinely yet in full view of his audience, his parishioners and most often his family and in a manner which has historically made it hard for his victims to prove his crimes, he keeps secrets from himself, often believing he has done no wrong. We should not dismiss these people as compensation-chasers, for there is no compensation. Take it from me.

lilith said...

Indeed, abusers work that way. But the sorry tale that started the whole thing off was a demonstrable pack of lies, but nobody stopped to check, and now there would be too much to lose for the media to admit he did anything worse that squeeze a tit or bum of a teenager on top of the pops, which as any girl growing up in the 70's will tell you, happened all the time. (No doubt it still does, alas I am no longer a teenager so I couldn't say). I'll reserve judgement on the Westmonster investigations but I am less optimistic than you are about the possibility of the truth emerging (guilty or innocent).

lilith said...

I don't need to take it from you about the modus operandi of sex abusers 'cos I too know first hand. Justice? Forgeddaboutit. It is amazing how otherwise good people will call you names rather than believe the truth. It's far better to keep it between oneself and someone you can trust than go to law/authorities (that is, if you want to "get over" the experiences.) I tried, on the grounds he could do it again to someone else, and was further humiliated for my trouble. (In both instances).

lilith said...

I should also say that there was no lack of evidence in my case.

call me ishmael said...

I am consistent, mr richard, as a baby boomer I have seen the flowering of a universal welfare state and a relatively ethical market place and I have benefited from them, hugely. Since the first Thatcher government I have also seen the triumph of greed, corruption, stupidity and large scale governmental criminality, as well as the emergence of a criminal political caste, MediaMinster, operating consistently against the interests of the majority and in the interests of both personal greed and of anti-democratic cultish ideologies which simply do not bear rational scrutiny.

As to tax being extracted by force, well, there does need to be law, when large numbers of people live together and I am comfortable with their being penalties for those who wilfully avoid joining-in with the rest. I would report anyone who blatantly operated a business without paying his or her due taxes, because I fucking do.

I might have mentioned, previously, that many of my customers in the furniture business were senior health professionals, one day a neuro-surgeon wanted to buy a compactum wardrobe, a coupla grand, I think, no matter, the smarmy git launched into one of those, come now, we're all men of the world spiels. I will pay you cash as long as we lose the tax, no. need for that, is there? I led him outside the shop. You see that sign, that's my name, you think I come here every day, employ my children here, in order to defraud the taxman, who do you think I am? I am a VAT-registered business and every sale I make goes through the books. And you are asking me to risk imprisonment so's you can avoid paying the tax which pays your salary and equips your operating theatre. I don't want your business, you'd better leave my property.

He returned, sheepish, the next day and paid the full price. No need for ms lilith to tell me about public sector bigwigs pissing over small business.

If is easy to see a moral and philosophical case for tax evasion, do much of it is squandered and so many in the charmed circle pay little or none but I can sleep at night, literally and figuratively. I use the health service a lot, 'snot my fault, complications of diabetes, I am not obese, I don't drink, smoke or eat redmeat, I just have this chronic illness which will kill me, why should I not contribute to the cost of what will keep me here a little longer. The state, you see, as I see it, is you, mr richard, why would I want to cheat you?

call me ishmael said...

I wasn't terribly optimistic, about Dolphin Square. And when I said Take it from me, I was referring, also, to a different set of experiences, working with child sex offenders, rapists and murderers. I am no expert but more expert than most.

I disagree, always disagreed about casual groping, never did it, never overlooked it.

lilith said...

I don't condone casual groping either but is it worth so much tax to try and prove a dead man did it?

mongoose said...

There is indeed no compensation, Mr I, and even if the pecuniary were, it has now all gone to the lawyers. Perhaps that was part of the plan for the gig too - not the bunce because this is thin gruel for their likes but the removal of the kitty. I think the beggaring of the others is pour encouraging too.

Anonymous said...

I do remember your account of the rich man trying to buy the furniture item for cash. Where we differ is that I would have insisted on keeping legal out of fear rather than duty. The question isn't one of running a VAT-registered business, nor the avoidance attempt - it's why you should have to register with, and pay someone else, in order to receive payment for something you made (or restored). The universal health service sounds like a good reason but it isn't. Firstly, most of the contributors are paying for someone else's treatment. Secondly it (the NHS) is not as good as it was and is getting worse. The paradoxical nature of taxation is that the more money is thrown at something, the worse it gets. (My favorite example is the publicly funded R101 airship as described in "Slide Rule", with the reasons for her failure set forth by Neville Shute who worked on R100, built by a private company but which worked well)
I am not the state. There is no state. I would rather pay for a cheaper private health scheme. The price of National Insurance would get you an air ambulance to Switzerland for an ingrown toenail. No, the state is just a new God, managed by suits instead of robes, to make us pay up.
As for law, yes. Loss or harm should be remedied and the guilty punished. You don't see much evidence of remedy and punishment when the ruling class fuck up, so why trust them to.... well, you get the point. If people want something, it'll happen without the state, courts and constables included.

jgm2 said...

Mr Anon,

'Firstly, most of the contributors are paying for someone else's treatment'

The 80:20 rule suggests that, somewhat inconveniently, 20% of people are paying for the treatment of the other 80%. Just as 20% of people are paying 80% of the taxes. And 20% of the people own 80% of the land. Hard to feel sorry for the, I know.

The trick is to rig the tax system so that everybody thinks that they're paying (more than) their fair share. This is achieved by having (say) low personal allowances. So that even the lowest paying unit gets pissed off by a 5% tax rise. Even though calculations show that those on 27K a year are net recipients of benefits. Which, even more tragically, enforces the misplaced sense of self-importance amongst the state employed sector that they are net contributors to the national purse whereas any fule kno that they are a 100% overhead on the national purse.

If you want to rig a class war for electoral purposes, all you need do it set a tax rate of 50% where even the hardest of thinking who have somehow fluked a high paying job (setting aside whether you think they should be paid that kind of money in the first place) gives it 'hold on a fucking minute'..

Which is where we find ourselves.

80% of the voters claiming 20% of the other voter's money. Well, because that's fair innit. You, with your 80% of tax contributions could just make do with a shitty falling-to-bits infrastructure but me, with my 20% extra, makes it all perfect. Where's my kids' education, my hospital bed and my CT scan?

Or I'll riot.

Vote Labour.

lilith said...

I have managed to reduce my tax bill considerably by curtailing my productivity and spending more time in the garden. All I have to do is score out pages in the diary.

And all the GPs round here only work two days a week. I haven't got there yet but it's something to aim for.

Anonymous said...

Mr jgm2, I'm not exactly sure what your point is. The infrastructure is in fact shitty and falling to bits. In council estates, with their benefits, police and social workers, ie plenty of tax thrown in, It's worse. Round our way a four to eight hour wait in casualty is not unusual but a private medical policy, costing less than your N.I., gets you seen straight away. By the same doctor. But that's beside the point. The man up the road is wealthier than me - should I take some of his money? If not then I have no right to do so by proxy. That's the real point.