2481 days ago
This is not the most important election ever. It matters little who wins. None of the parties are going to do anything about the big issues of slashing spending on welfare, the pensions ponzi, education or the NHS. All will continue the UK's slide to insolvency. None understand who creates wealth. That is the subject of today's podcast.
2859 days ago
My weekly video postcard this week is born out of conversations with deluded lefty pals of the Mrs this weekend – why is it that the Left wants the State to take more control over our lives?
The issue is the failure of secondary education & our ludicrous, unfunded and unsustainable higher education system. One deluded lefty reckons that the answer is to bring back some form of National Service.
This says everything about the left. A problem that is fixable is to be addressed by the State spending more money and restricting more liberties and still won’t fix the problem.
I also cover two walls - one in Berlin and one in Israel and what both say about the mendacity and failings of the liberal left elite in the West.
My weekly financial postcard covers the red flags of Gulf Keystone, the failings of analysts and why they fail and I issue a direct challenge to Gulf boss Todd Kozel – is he man enough to face an interview from me? You can watch that video HERE
2954 days ago
Electric Word (ELE) has updated on “good progress in 2013 in what has been a year of significant change, including at board level”. The company’s year to 30th November 2013 saw a new Chairman and Finance Director appointed, with it now updating that “trading is in line with the board's expectations, with profit growth in the Sport & Gaming division complemented by increased investment in Education”.
3098 days ago
Call Me Dave this week boasted that he wanted “to export gay marriage” around the world. I support the idea that gay men and women should be allowed to get married and divorced just like straight couples. Why should the misery of this institution be the preserve of heterosexuals? Spread the pain. But at every level David Cameron MP just shows himself up as a member of a metropolitan Elite with a particular world view which makes me despise ever more.
My starting point is that as a libertarian I believe that you have every right to do whatever you want with your own body. As such there should be no differentiation in law between gay folk and straight folk. Homosexuality, like playing Hockey, watching Golf or going to Ibiza has never appealed to me personally but whatever floats your boat. So
3125 days ago
And so this week George Osborne laid out his plans for how the Government will spend money it does not have over the next few years. The reactions were sadly predictable and the truth is, my friends, that they are all lying.
On the right there was praise for canny George who so cleverly snookered New Labour with populist pledges about tackling welfare scroungers and who is clearly a safe pair of hands to act as custodian of the nation’s finances. Middle England and the Bond markets are meant to be reassured.
On the left the BBC, its sister paper The Guardian and other associated loons continued the post 2010 narrative of wicked Tory cuts, back to the 1930s, blah, blah, blah.
Both sides are lying although it seems that the BBC/Guardian agenda has won as most folks do actually think that Government spending is being cut. It is not.
3149 days ago
Teachers earn way over the national average wage. They have cushy pensions (paid for by grateful taxpayers). They get 75 days holiday a year while we all struggle by on 20-25. And in absolute terms standards of educational achievement have never been lower. Being deluded lefties they bleat on about bankers being rewarded for failure but are teachers ever punished for failure?
It seems that it is impossible to sack a teacher. I read with interest about Geoffrey Bettley a teacher of Religious Education who was done by the Old Bill for possessing kiddy porn. His school in West Yorkshire fired him but a professional conduct panel has now ruled the teacher does not "represent a risk to children or young people".
The National College of Teaching and Leadership panel said the images viewed by Mr Bettley were "not at the most serious end" of the scale used to categorise the severity of images of child sex abuse. His behaviour did not show a "deep-seated attitude which leads to harmful behaviour", it ruled.
The nonce is now on the Sex Offenders Register but the school, it appears, was wrong to sack him. Jeepers. So it is now okay to be so stupid that you have to get your end of term reports rewritten by outside consultants, it is okay to demand lessons to be in walking not maths or basic English, and it is now okay to be a pervert and carry on teaching.
Now then , now then, now then, you want to earn £45, 000 a year, have 75 days holiday a year, not be judged on end results and get to gawp at young boys and girls in short trousers and skirts? You don't need to ask Uncle Jim just go become an RE teacher in Yorkshire. Have a cigar.
Just what exactly do you have to be found guilty of to actually get fired as a teacher? Voting UKIP? Telling the kids that it is okay to work in a bank when you grow up? Get caught with online images from the Daily Mail website? I despair.
3167 days ago
So much news to choose from but what to pick. Naturally if this was Fleet Street I would focus on the two events of the week of global importance: Denmark winning Eurovision and Bonnie Tyler bombing or the retirement of Mr David Beckham, national icon and member of the alternative Royal Family - the posh one.
However I go with news that the Teachers Union has passed a motion of no confidence in Michael Gove. Teacher's salaries have skyrocketed in the past decade ( heck the State does own a money tree after all). Grade inflation masks the fact that School Leavers today have RRR skills that are not a patch on those of 20, let alone 50 years ago. This is a wholesale reward for failure.
Mr Gove wants to make changes. The Teachers want no changes and are also planning strikes over pay. They are greedy and immoral bastards. As such I am rather warming to Mr Gove. And so while all must have prizes in today's schools I will merely award five nominal A*s for the best entry to the caption below
For what it is worth my entry is:
3188 days ago
On our last night we stayed in a hotel in a village near the airport on Zakynthos. Also staying in the hotel was a group of two teachers and 11 students who were studying for a Btec in Tourism and Leisure. I shall not name where they study as they were a really nice bunch and are, as it happens on the same plan as us heading back to the UK and as I am writing this I’d rather not cross them. Anyway a Btec is a vocational equivalent of an A-level. And as part of this course the students have to arrange, plan and book a holiday. And they go on it with their teachers. And everyone goes out and gets pissed for four nights and then goes home. And then you get a credit for having achieved this daunting feat.
It strikes me that this is not a terribly good use of taxpayer’s money. And that the group of eleven students might just be better of going straight into the jobs market. This course seems to me to be merely delaying hard work, having to do a real course to get A-levels so you can go to University or unemployment. Because I actually liked the teachers I asked if they track what their students go on to do. If 50% go on to have meaningful careers in tourism and leisure (and that does not been trolley dolly or working in a bar at Lagunas Beach) then I was prepared to eat my words.
But no, there is no tracking. And so the grateful taxpayer continues to fund courses where being able to get on the right aeroplane earns you a credit with zero evidence that it delivers any economic gain at all. Another “I give up” moment.
3235 days ago
The grades achieved in GCSE’s have been rising steadily ever since these Mickey Mouse exams were introduced. If anyone says that is because they have got easier they are attacked by the usual bunch of deluded lefties for being brutal and unfair to hard working teachers and students alike. On the grounds that most teachers are probably ardent cyclists here goes – today comes evidence that your exams are a total joke and do not stack up as academic yardsticks of anything.
The pass rate for GCSE maths is c60%. It is one of the, ahem, harder GCSEs to pass.
A survey conducted for Bae today showed that 35% of our fellow citizens need to use a calculator when doing a piece of basic addition where the answer is more than 100. The survey found that 19% of adults could not complete the eleven times table. One despairs.
The really interesting statistic was that of the over 55s (most of whom will not have passed even CSE maths) only one in ten struggled with these rather basic questions. Guess which age group did the worst? Yup it is the 18-35s, the GCSE generation whose hard work and talented teachers has led them to all get such cracking grades.
Now a bit of maths from me. 35% of all respondents cannot, for instance, tell you that 61 + 72 = 133. But in the over 55s (a bigger age group than that 18-35s) that number falls to 10%. Yet only 40% of the 18-35s have failed GSCE Maths (for 1 in 3 of the UK population I reach that number by subtracting 60 from 100). And that means that it is perfectly possible to pass GCSE Maths without being able to add 84 to 27 (111). Words almost fail me.
The war criminal Blair blathered on about education, education, education. The amount spent on teaching our kids has soared in real terms, teachers are paid ever more and the result is this. Something does not add up.
3262 days ago
According to my deluded lefty step mother Michael Gove is a wicked and useless man for trying (and failing) to change the exam system. The lefty belief is that there has been enough tampering and teachers and schoolchildren should just be left with some stability and to get on with it. Underpinning this is the assumption that ever improving A level and GSCE grades reflect the efforts of hard working teachers and students. If grades do not improve in any year it is a scandal, the exam boards must be investigated and it is remarks all round. It is hard to know where to start with this grade bubble.
3265 days ago
Education secretary Michael Gove is introducing cooking lessons at school so that by the time they hit sixteen all kids can cook at least 20 meals. Whatever. I hope it works. But he is now considering implementing a proposal to ban kids from bringing packed lunches or leaving the school at lunchtime so forcing them to eat healthy school meals. Gove you are becoming a health fascist. And moreover it will not work.
The average packed lunch contains – we are told – one sandwich, a chocolate bar, a packet of crisps and an apple which is usually put back in the box again after going back home uneaten. Gove wishes to force patents to spend the cash they spend on junk lunch boxes on school meals instead.
Let’s start with economics. A school meal costs £175-£2.25 depending on where you live.
3317 days ago
This article first appeared in my Tomogrraph Newsletter a couple of weeks ago but prompted my an angry response or two to my article of yesterday (Being on Welfare is NOT a Job) I am goaded into republishing the piece to a wider audience. One chap thinks I am “ bitter and twisted” and a “sad man” for arguing that taxpayers have no obligation to support a life of Sky, fags and booze on welfare. Whatever…folks need to face up to the problem.
This piece deals with those deficit deniers who cannot accept that Britain is heading for bankruptcy and offers up a 13 point plan to deal with the issue – needless to say I do not expect the cowardly Conservatives to adopt even one of my suggestions.
The Autumn statement came and went. George Osborne laughed and smiled. Ed Balls stammered. The left bleated on about wicked Tories and even more wicked cuts. The Tories claimed to be satisfied with the job being in hand. But we are as a nation kidding ourselves. We are all deficit deniers.
Two and a half years into this Parliament, Osborne has missed his forecasts again. Government spending has, in absolute terms risen year on year since the election.
3329 days ago
I tweeted out a link to an article the other day with #Doha in its title. That is where al sorts of self important NGO and political scumbags are meeting to discuss how after 16 years of global cooling they are going to spend gazillions of pounds of taxpayers cash to stop global warming. Hey presto something called #Doha immediately retweeted me to its 111 followers.
You have to be a prize global warming nutter to sign up to receive some of the 6,600 tweets emitted by this beastie. But if you want to the 111 eco-loons who do indeed follower #Doha might I suggest tweeting out #Doha global warming is a con or #Doha you can stick Michael Mann’s fraudulent hockey stick where the sun don’t shine, etc, etc.
So who are these eco-loons who want to receive these great pearls of #Doha wisdom? One grabbed my eye: @Petercoville “Philosophy teacher, climate activist, London occupier.” His twitter feed is a scream – a triumph of deluded lefty garbage.
3375 days ago
Today’s sad episode in the decline of Britain comes from Essex, a country where folks normally seem pretty sensible. But there are exceptions. In the village of Dedham (a lovely place near where Constable painted the Hay Wain) we learn what is on the curriculum at the village primary. Forget the Three R’s. Elf n’ Safey is what matters.
It seems that before the 4 and 5 year olds are allowed to engage in “outdoor activities” a small group of the toddlers are kitted out in yellow bibs and hard hats and sent outside to do a full elf n’ safey assessment.
3398 days ago
In the US the sheer horror of the Student Loan scheme is becoming apparent – it will be the next subprime crises claims Zero Hedge. In the UK we are merely starting the sleepwalk into disaster. It may take 30 years but this is how the disaster will unfold.
Universities used to be for an elite. In a stroke of madness the major parties (and it was John Major’s Tories who were most culpable) decided that 50% of 18 year olds needed to go to Uni. A stack of sub-prime Polytechnics and other colleges were then made Unis. Belatedly the Government realised that this was all jolly expensive. And so after much huffing and puffing we introduced the idea of fees. It was thought that Oxford, Cambridge, etc might charge the maximum (£9,000 a year) and that other Universities would charge less, according to their status. But in fact all Unis decided to go for £9,000. So a degree in media studies at whatever Derby Polytechnic is now called is on a par with pure maths at Oxford? Yeah right.
3401 days ago
I have been bashed as a misogynist for having only two women in my photos of my heroes at the top of this blog – Ayn Rand and Baroness Thatcher. Both of them would laugh of such criticism – as meritocrats they would not support affirmative action in a blog photo hero list. Neither would today’s addition to the list – the woman I describe as my pin up girl: Melanie Phillips.
3410 days ago
I am sure that you know my view on the overpaid poltroons who run the teachers unions in the UK. This is not an attack on teachers but on the union leaders. Their willingness to go on strike and defend grade inflation/declining standards is appalling. But today we hit a new low with a demand from the head of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) that the National curriculum be ripped up and replaced by lessons in walking. Well the ALT is half right.
Of course I’d rip up the National Curriculum and replace it with demanding standards based on RRR, our nation’s history etc. But walking? Taking a quote from the Guardian newspaper
3425 days ago
When I was at prep school the grades ( with + or minus signs afterwards) started with E for Excellent and with no E stars because the tests were tough enough that very few achieved an E and there was thus no difference to differentiate between the elite because they were just that. Then there was G (Good), S (Satisfactory) and finally NS (Not satisfactory). If you scored an S you knew that you were not going to win any prizes, that you could do better but that you were in no immediate danger of being demoted (we did have streams at my school).
I see that in assessing schools, the watchdog Ofsted employs a similar system. And that 6,000 schools have been assessed in their most recent appraisal as S for Satisfactory. Except that Ofsted now says that Satisfactory actually means not satisfactory