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Wednesday, February 07, 2007


Blame the Lawyers, Politicians and Voters

Having read this mornings Telegraph, I feel the need to stand up and be counted on a particular issue which isn’t to do with parking enforcement. The remarks of the ex – CBI Chief, Sir Digby Jones placed the blame for underachievement in schools squarely on the Teachers. Read the article text here.

Now I’m not a Teacher, nor ever have been; but it seems unfair to blame them for all societies ills when the odds are stacked against them. Over the years, various organisations have stripped them of every protection they ever had. Petty little pressure groups have robbed them of effective sanction. Incidentally – I got caned when I was at school – mainly for behaving stupidly. Not only that but my Dad informed me that if I did wrong and got caned, he’d give me a clip round the ear himself to remind me of my folly.

The lure of easy money from vexatious litigation has also played its part. Schools, and Education departments (Now ‘Child services’) seem to have about as much backbone as a Sea Slug, allowing the compensation chasers an almost unfettered ride. No wonder some Head teachers will refuse to stump up for the extortionate insurance costs for School trips.

My information was gleaned in a long conversation with one of my neighbours, who is about to ‘retire’ from teaching after only six years work post qualification. From all accounts he’s very good at his job, but heartily sick and tired of being shunted from pillar to post by all the nitpicking and never ending inspections and policy changes from on high. After listening to him talk for almost a solid half hour as we walked our respective dogs I genuinely felt sorry for the guy. He has an hour or so a day per class to instil discipline, teach a subject and generally do the parents job for them.

Whose job is this ‘parenting’ lark anyway? Er, excuse me for being a thickie jobsworth, but isn’t it the parents of the children themselves? I personally came late to this parenting game and have had a steep learning curve to negotiate. Nevertheless, our two seem to be turning out okay. I could probably write a book on the subject, but I’m not going to; on the grounds that I’m writing two at the moment and prefer not to spread myself too thinly. Put it this way; Mrs S and I have the ‘Good cop, bad cop’ routine down pat. We work as a team and try to keep our two very feisty charges from going off the rails. It’s difficult, but a lot of effort went into their upbringing and we understand that a couple of good kids with their heads screwed on will do well in the world. Hell, they’re not even mine biologically, but I love them anyway. All we can do is get them ready for the world and leave them with a mental toolkit to do the best they can.

That nails my colours to the mast. Parenting is best done by parents – so long as they can be bothered. Teachers are there to pass on knowledge and technical skills – the social and emotional aspects should not be their concern. Just look at the kids who have good, ‘hands on’ parents. They are motivated, they achieve and they succeed in what they choose to do. These are the families with ‘traditional’ values of hard graft and good behaviour. Their children may well be ‘repressed’ according to some left leaners, but a little repression is good for society as a whole, especially if these poor ‘repressed’ kids go on to be productive and successful people in later life.

The alternative is the ‘loser’ mindset so prevalent, where the kids grow up thinking that adults are their servants and they just don’t have to do anything. Not being motivated to improve themselves except perhaps by winning the lottery, all they have is self gratification via alcohol, drugs, lowest common denominator peer group and meaningless sex. Hollow, empty people with no desire to improve their lot. Of such is a growing section of the electorate built.

Politicians are at fault for pandering to the minority groups who campaigned to strip Teachers sanctions from them. Labour and leftist Politicians of whatever party are at fault for using Education as a tool in their ‘Class War’. Leftist Teachers who tried to use their job to ‘reform’ the ‘system’ from within. Ambulance chaser lawyers who have pandered to the greed of their clients who believe that money can buy them happiness. For all of the aforementioned, education has been the soft target; the source of easy money and votes. Finally, I’d like to lay the blame very firmly on the doorstep of the voters. Yes, the silly sods who got conned into voting each successive bunch of bumbling fools into office.

Perhaps we need to take a good hard look at democracy. Maybe the idea of the universal franchise isn’t such a good one after all. Here’s my thoughts on the matter; if you want to have a say, have a vote; then the right to vote should not be automatic upon attaining majority as at the moment. Excuse me for mooting this, but I’m coming to believe that if you don’t have to work for something – maybe it has no real value.

Here’s a suggestion; maybe there should be some form of public service you have to perform for a couple of years, nothing too easy, to gain the right to vote. Not the army, but something like charity work; community activity; something like that, followed up by a standardised test to see if you have the intelligence to understand the issues put in front of you as a voter. Those with the will and nous to do this get the vote. Those who are content not to have a say don’t have to do it, there should be no compulsion; no coercion. If you can prove you want a say, you should be allowed to, but you have to jump through a few hoops first. Even convicted felons should be allowed to prove themselves this way after their release. My experience tells me that if you want something badly enough, you will change for the better. Perhaps knowing that you have to earn your right to have a say might just be the saving of England.

Just don’t blame the Teachers – okay?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bit off topic but your solution to voters 'earning' their vote is remarkably similar to Robert Hielman's theory of citizenship that he devised in his book "Starship Troopers".

Although the film was funny, it wasn't the same...

Wednesday, February 07, 2007 10:50:00 pm  
Anonymous Kyle said...

It is scary to see what is happening in our schools today, by my own accounts, hearing from school staff, seeing what goes on in a local education authority, from reports, from the media and from blogs such as 'Frank Chalk'. It's easy to blame the teacher because they represent the public face of the school system to many people. Unruly kids, by far, are largely down to bad parenting, made worse by lack of disicipline and support for teachers in British schools caused by pie-in-the-sky Government policies over decades.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007 11:17:00 pm  
Blogger Worrals said...

Well said.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007 11:22:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cracking post as always Mr Sticker. However, you may wish to refer to 'England and Wales' when discussing legal matters. This will also avoid alienating some of your (non-visibly) ethnic minority readers such as myself.

Cod (Welshman)

Thursday, February 08, 2007 2:33:00 am  
Blogger Bill Sticker said...


There has already been a campaign to 'save Wales' and look where it got them (Leftist Welsh assembly, supine administrations). Seriously though, the Welsh name for England; Loegyr (Lost lands) could not I think be more appropriate at this point in history.



Thursday, February 08, 2007 6:56:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

moot means discuss not suggest

Thursday, February 08, 2007 10:28:00 am  
Blogger Dogbait said...

TP (a teacher), read this over my shoulder and said, "Good on him".

Friday, February 09, 2007 10:10:00 am  
Anonymous Das_EEjit said...

And maybe, once the right to vote has been earned, the rulers of the day could be taken from their ranks, rather than having to vote for a bunch of idiots who couldn't organise the proverbial booze up, and are only intent on what "public service" can do for them and their bank balances.

Friday, February 09, 2007 1:27:00 pm  
Anonymous Chris Jakeman said...

Nevil Shute also wrote a novel "In The Wet" which featured multiple votes. You gained extra votes for education, travel, employing others etc.. Seemed an advance on one man one vote.

Friday, February 09, 2007 5:01:00 pm  
Anonymous motorcycle oil said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Monday, February 12, 2007 9:14:00 pm  
Anonymous Allan Him said...

Or maybe we could restrict the vote to property owners only. If we did that, then, you know, the people with a solid tangible stake in the country would be the people who would have a say about how the place was run.
And being a property owner demonstrates some sort of suitability in itself. Sure, it's not infallible- nothing is, after all- but actually having the drive, the concern for the future, the work ethic, to hold down a job, earn steady money, buy a house, and commit to living in a place- doesn't that demonstrate the sort of qualities which voters ought to have?

Tuesday, February 13, 2007 12:37:00 pm  
Anonymous Das_EEjit said...

So allan would disenfranchise whole swathes of the residents becasue they rent and don;t own. SO that lets me out then. I have a job, pay my taxes, don't get in trouble with plod, but due to a marraige breakup late in life, I'm stuck with renting my home and I'm to old to get another mortgage. Think again Allan

Friday, February 16, 2007 9:38:00 pm  
Blogger Bill Sticker said...

Chaps, we ditched the property owner qualification back in the 1800's I believe. Having thought about it, my proposal is that you would work for the community, half serving on committees, the other half getting your hands dirty. That way you get to see how things work and put a little emotional capital in your own area. It would kill the old 'I vote for thingy cos my dad did' mindless approach to voting, and also go some way to removing the 'block' voting as practiced in some closed communities.



Friday, February 16, 2007 10:18:00 pm  
Anonymous Larry finnegan said...

Guys, I too have read the book Starship Troopers and was going to comment so but was beaten to the mark by 'anonymous' Suggest you read it - its thought provoking (unlike the film)

Friday, March 02, 2007 3:20:00 pm  
Blogger Bill Sticker said...

Chapter eight of 'Starship Troopers' I found the most cogent when discussing politics. The films were real no brainer type 'blockbusters'.

As for my future - anyone out there read 'Glory road'? The last lines at the end of the book have particular resonance for me right now.



Sunday, March 04, 2007 8:13:00 am  

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Exasperated expatriate expostulations all the way from British Columbia, Canada. As if anyone really cared. Oh, I also watch Icelandic Volcanoes and seismic activity. Don't ask me why.

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