We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

Guardian readers, union officials and other blobby types would have conniptions. Why should our wonderful ‘world class’ education system be turned into a supermarket, where people pick and choose what schools they want for their children?

Well, it wasn’t the supermarkets that let us down in this crisis, was it? They never closed, while their poorly-paid staff ran ostensibly much greater risks of infection than those in the classroom.

If our teachers don’t like the marginal risks which a return to school might bring, they should perhaps consider another career. Sadly, there are going to be plenty of young and not-so-young graduates who will be looking for such secure and reasonably well-paid employment in the near future. They might make a better fist of it than many current teachers.

Len Shackleton

9 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • MadRocketSci

    In the US, at least, what is driving this is an attempt to disrupt the general election by shuttering the majority of the polling places. None of this is in good faith – it’s coldly disingenuous kabuki theater to force mail-only voting, so that leftist front groups can clog the system with fraudulent votes. These supergeniuses plan this treason on twitter for all the internet to see.

  • Paul Marks

    “Our wonderful, world class, education system”

    Yes the left are that delusional – they really do think like that.

    And, from their point of view, the left are CORRECT. The education system may not teach traditional subjects as well as they were taught 60 years ago – but it teaches Frankfurt School attitudes very well indeed, and that is what the left want taught.

    In the last couple of days the government of Poland has been denounced for pulling out of an international treaty – supposedly (according to the “mainstream media”) this means that the the Polish government want to beat up women – but that was NOT what this was about.

    The treaty de facto mandated the teaching of Gender Theory in schools – and this sort of “Gender Theory” comes from (yes you guessed it) the Frankfurt School of Marxism.

    Having been under the boot of one school of Marxism for 50 years the Polish people object to having their culture and society destroyed by another school of Marxism.

    Western nations, such as the United States (but also Britain – although perhaps less obviously) are teaching children to hate and despise the very foundations of Western Civilisation.

    If the schools and universities are going to teach “Critical Gender Theory”, “Critical Race Theory” “Diversity and Inclusion” and all the rest of the Frankfurt School of Marxism agenda, then to Hell with them.

  • The educational establishment’s current antics increase the government’s political opportunity for a turn towards sanity. On the plus side, the current government contains someone who knows something about UK education. On the minus side – well, in his own words:

    For the first few months, all sorts of things spewed from the Department [of Education] causing chaos. The organisation was in meltdown. Everything that could go wrong went wrong. It was often impossible to distinguish between institutionalised incompetence and hostile action. Things were reported as ‘Gove announces…’ that he did not even know about, never mind agree with. …

    From that day for over a year, about every 2 hours, officials would knock at our door bearing news of the latest cockup, disaster, leak, and shambles, all compounded with intermittent ‘ideas for announcements’ from Downing Street. The last one would be at about 9ish on Friday evening – thump, thump, thump down the corridor, the door opens, ‘Dominic, bad news I’m afraid…’ One measure of ‘success’ was that the frequency of episodes fell from hourly towards a few per day, then daily, then, by the last quarter of 2012, a few days with nothing important obviously blowing up.

    For all of these problems, Gove was held ‘responsible’. With all of them, regardless of how incompetently they had been handled – nobody was ever fired.

    “by the last quarter of 2012” – i.e. it was some two and a half years after Dominic’s boss became the minister in charge of the DoE in May 2010 (which was equally only some two and a half years till he and his party would face the next election) before a more-determined-and-less-stupid-than-most minister and his SpAd gained enough spare time from fire-fighting to do anything.

    People who read all my comments with that careful attention I feel they deserve 🙂 already know my solution. Don’t fire nobody. Retain nobody and fire everybody. (OK, you wimps, maybe fire some, make many redundant and redeploy others to non-decision-making tasks unrelated to education.)

    Shut down the entire DoS and tell anyone in it who wants to be in education that they are as free as anyone else to become a teacher. Assign the Treasury the job of administering school vouchers, with remit (which will better align with their inclinations) to check fraud, not absence of political correctness. Put the parents in charge.

    What will actually happen is anyone’s guess. At least someone who knows there’s a problem is close to government, so I don’t rate the odds as quite the snowball/hell norm. We’ll see.

  • Pat

    I have a variation in Niall’s proposal. Give the money to the parents. Schools charge the parents, who of course choose what schooling their kids get. Set education authorities up as consultants, paid by schools for advice as and when the schools think they need it.
    Maybe parents are happy with the schooling their children receive, many are- but if not they have the means to find an alternative.
    Maybe schools value the advice they get from the education authorities, but if not they can get advice from sources they trust, or maybe put the money to more or better teachers.
    The government doesn’t sack anybody, and if everybody’s worth their pay nobody gets sacked at all. In fact if those in education are underpaid as they claim everyone would get a pay rise.
    If course the education establishment knows it is overpaid, else they would be asking for something like this.

  • MAny parents don’t see the value of schools as anything other than convenient places to park their two-legged benefit entitlements though…

  • Al from Chgo

    As of 28 July 2020

    Stop and think about that for a min. In Chicago 179 MORE people died from homicide YTD than Covid-19. (Great city there)
    That’s right, we can be certain more people under the age of 55 are will die from homicides than Covid-19 in Chicago. This of course is something we will NEVER hear from the media.

    Also from our stats guy:
    •fourteen kids under 18 have died in Chicago shootings this year;
    •four of the dead were under age 10;

    •COVID deaths for those under 18? Two, as in one, two. That’s it.

    Get these kids back in school Groot.

  • Fraser Orr

    I think this is a good opportunity. Here in the US the President is talking about redirecting federal funds for unopened schools to the parents control. I think he will get utterly overwhelmed by the massive resistance to it, but it is a good instinct.

    All those teachers demanding that schools stay closed, my simple question is, that is fine but why do you still expect to be paid if you are not doing the job you are paid for? You know, like everyone else whose job has been hindered by Covid.

    In the next few weeks here in the USA schools are supposed to open. When parents don’t have somewhere to send their kids I wonder how supportive of they will be of the people who are to blame for that? I think the whole “send them to school two days a week” is probably, from a parents point of view, even worse than “don’t send them to school at all”.

    Those of you who have read anything I have written will know that I think that the root cause of nearly all bad in western societies comes from the dreadful public schools some kids have to go to. For all those poor urban black kids their school may be the only hope they have of escaping the cycle of poverty. But, to satisfy the teachers’ union they are trapped in places where they learn more about sex and crime than about science and algebra. And the thing about it is, from my point of view, it is a real weak spot for the left. There are few things people care about more than their kids, and the damage these terrible schools do to them is apparent to the parents every single day. It is a prime point for getting traditional “the government will fix things” type attitudes onto the side of competition, alternatives, escape from the government trap. The left’s only defense is “more money”. But if a libertarian or conservative politician were wise they would exploit this weakness, and appeal to parents’ desire for a better life for their kids. And use that desire as a tool to break the strangle hold of the unions and return education to the control of the parents.

    I don’t see it happening, but it is an amazing opportunity, and one that is ripe during this forthcoming school opening. It is, for me, one of the few bright spots on the current political landscape.

    What few people will say is fairly obvious to me. The idea that the police are destroying black communities is just wrong. The true villains are the teachers’ unions. Their self serving attitude has been about the most destructive thing that could happen to these communities. I should say of course that there are many, many, many great people who are teachers trying their very best to help their students. But the problem is higher up the hierarchy than individual teachers. It is also worth saying that some school districts, like the one I live in, really do a very good job.

  • Paul Marks

    Niall – you make an excellent point.

    Trying to get rid of this or that person misses the point- it is the SYSTEM that is rotten. So one needs to CLOSE DOWN the administrative machine.”We are not sacking you – we are starting again, so you are all redundant”.

    The problem is that the Civil Service, created by that Sr Charles Trevelyan – who destroyed Ireland in the late 1840, is considered sacred in the United Kingdom.

    Failure is blamed on ministers “ministerial accountability”, even though ministers do NOT hire and fire their own staff.

    I remember the hushed silence in the House of Commons when it was suggested that HORROR OF HORRORS a minster might be criticising ….. (smell of burning incense) the Civil Service.

    No failure, no matter how extreme, ever seems to dent the fanatical (religious cult) faith the British have in “the system”.

    The farcical response to COVID 19 which will, for example, lead to deaths of over 200 hundred thousand people from pointlessly delayed medical treatment (for cancer, heart disease and so on) will lead to NO REFORM.

    The economy smashed (destroying millions of lives – including mine), hundreds of thousands of people KILLED by panic delayed medical treatment.

    And “the system” will just carry on as if nothing happened.

  • Itellyounothing

    Yeah those of us watching it approaching powerless to stop it, had the joy of Casandra.

    I don’t see why 200 thousands deaths by government action doesn’t mean Nuremberg trials……