The BigMacization of Education.

What is going on in our world, what kind of madmen are running things and how stupid do they think we are? In house training courses run by MacDonalds and other global corporations being recognised as official qualifications? Its bollocks. I can only suggest the thinking behind it is leading to the taxpayer being asked to pick up the tab for funding MacDonald College of Burgerology.
This latest idiocy is another effect of the failure of progressive education policies. There is nothing wrong with “vocational qualifications” as we must now call them, in fact until Margaret Thatcher, The Gorgon of Grantham set about destroying everything good in society and turning the nation into a vast pawnshop, vocational qualifications, education related to the chosen job, were the mainstay of further education. Not everyone flourishes in an academic environment and as Aristotle put it, “what we have to do we learn by doing.”
Thus catering trainees, engineering workers, plumbers, electricians, construction trades, office staff, hairdressers and people learning every other trade and skill could take advantage of day release courses to further their formal education while learning “on the job” simultaneously. What they got from their courses, apart from a good skive one day a week, was a formal qualification that opened up career opportunities within their industry and showed a level of achievement should they wish to change course later. I knew many people who, having served an apprenticeship and obtained a Higher National Diploma, went on to University education and benefited from having acquired practical skills that enabled them to distinguish between useful information and bullshit when considering theory. Others simply made use of their Diploma, a worthwhile qualification in itself.

But an A level in Burger flipping? It’s hard to see that leading anywhere.

Hainged by the neck

The political obituaries are coming in for Peter Hain and pundits on television and other media are saying he is deader than Mandleson

Read The Rebel Who Tried Too Hard For a catalogue of Hain’s shifting principles as he went from student agitator to old Labour radical to New Labour opportunist and fan of Free Market Mania.

The fact remains of course, he has still not accounted for the £100 grand. Surely he cannot have spent it all on fake tan.

The Death of Free Enterprise

I hope the current turmoil in the world’s financial markets is not the death of free enterprise system, but Capitalists seem to have had a deathwish for twenty five years now.

Here are a couple of good srticles on related topics.

Davos 08: The poacher turned gamekeeper Uber-capitalist George Soros tells why he thinks the current financial crisis may be the start of the worst recession in living memory.

The free-marketeers abhor the crutch of the state – until they start limping
The Northern Rock meltdown is a lesson to the free market maniacs. Bubble economics are fine but what goes upo must come down

Free Market Thinking: Privatise the Profit, Nationalise the Losses.

Free Market Thinking: Privatise the Profit, Nationalise the Losses

Do you feel poorer today? You should because each an every one of us is poorer to the tune of £25,000. That is how much it will cost the taxpayer to bail out the financial train wreck that is Northern Rock. Don’t panic, because nobody is going to come knocking on your door asking you to stump up or Lefty and the boys might have to get rough. Think of it this way though, £25,000,000 taken out of the community chest (well it’s only monopoly money isn’t it) is a big chunk out of the funds that should be available to pay for your kids education, your health needs, dental care or you Dear Old Mum’s hip replacement is ten new Private Finance Initiative hospitals (or a hundred new hospitals paid for directly out of public funds.

Put in that perspective, it makes all this talk of free markets, trickle down theories and entrepreneurial skills look rather wan. Free market economics is for idiots, even Bozo the effing Clown could see the flaw in the logic. The pie is only so big and if the most powerful people demand bigger slices it means a lot of people will be left to fight over the crumbs.

This in itself would be fair enough if the Free Enterprise people were prepared to stand or fall by their own efforts. But they never have been and never will be. They want freedom to get rich while remaining attached to the umbilical cord of the state so they are fed by a bottomless stream of taxpayers money. And so long as we have governments led by weak, self serving politicians the Free-Marketeers will never have to face the consequences of their short sightedness, greed and incompetence.

The current crisis is part of a pattern repeated since the South Sea Bubble which occurred in the first burst of Free Market Mania after the totalitarian rule of the Stewart monarchy was overthrown. Then as now people had invested heavily in largely imaginary financial vehicles. Then it was stocks in the South Sea Trading Company, now it is dotcom startups and house prices inflated beyond reason by the greed of the finance system.

This time we might learn the lesson, but I doubt it. The next time some shyster comes along promising that we can all get rich buying and selling things that do not exist, enough greedy little people will fall for it to kick off the whole process again.

Little Nicky Machiavelli does have a solution to the problem though. The next time somebody tells you that capitalism works, that Free Markets are the only way out of our problems or that “what this country needs is someone like Margaret Thatcher”…..KILL THEM.

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UPDATED 13 Feb 2009:
Labour are consistent at least, they are extending their Privatise The Profit, Nationalise The Loss policy from finance to other areas. In Transport the new super trains will be funded by private finance but built by Japanese firms, with appropriate government guarantees handed out all round. Read Fast Train To Failure and Real British Enginerring, Real Japanese Jobs to find out more about this pernicious scheme.

A Society in Decay

We have commented many times on the breakdown of society and the very visible symptoms in the streets of our towns and suburbs. The astounding revelations this week as the murderers of Gary Newlove were sentenced prove another example.

For all this the Government keeps trotting out its fraudulent statistics showing that crime is actually falling and certain bossy, meddlesome middle class harridans (yes I do mean you Polly Toynbee, get over your schoolgirl crush on Tony Blair and open your eyes to reality.)

The guilt tripping middle class socialists of Nu-Labour are quick to excuse the violent minority on our streets, to blame parents, political extremists, the consumer society etc. (and I have to say it is pretty rich to read comments written by a Chelsea Tractor driving media millionaire blaming consumerism for society’s ills as if the problem is nothing to do with them,) they will blame anybody but the thugs and scumbags who perpetrate such random acts of violence as we hear of every day.
The finger pointers of the right like to blame single parent families, the failure of the justice system, the nanny state, all the usual targets of the right.
Nobody ever thinks to blame the evil little shits who are responsible.

It is not the consumer society that causes these outrages, nor is it single parent families. Many single parents bring their children up well. It is not lack of male role models: it is lack of positive male role models and the failure of society to give out a clear message that everybody is free within the law, but step out of line and there will be consequences. For most people than message hardly needs to be given, the majority know instinctively where the lines are drawn. But a few, like the thugs who murdered Gary Newlove, are quick to exploit the stupidity of the guilt-tripping middle-class socialists in engineering laws that give more “rights” to the criminal than the victim. Ask them to stop trashing your car or vandalising your garden and the mantra is, “Why should we, what are you going to do about it? we know our rights.”

We need not feel guilty abot punishing these people, they do not come from poor homes, thus being victims of society, they come from uncaring homes and thus are victims of their parents. And if the thought in their heads when they murder, maim and destroy is not, “This is wrong,” but “there will be no consequences, I’ll only get an ASBO,” then they deserve to face the wrath of society.

The sooner the better.

First Thatcher the Milk Snatcher, now Brown the Body Snatcher.

The Government’s plan to solve the shortage of organs available for transplants by presuming assent and licensing the “harvesting” of organs from the newly dead is a real humdinger of a Public Relations disaster. Donation of organs is one thing, harvesting (the very word the medics choose for the business is repulsive) is another.
I have always been ambivalent about organ transplant. It sounds fine to talk of the dead being able to grant the gift of life to somebody suffering terminal or debilitating illness, but the ethical conflicts between the boy-scientist school of medicine who regard everything in terms of how big an intellectual wank it will give them, and the more caring, less selfish kind of medical professionals who understand that the feelings of the deceased’s relatives must be considered. In the light of the government’s proposal, my attitude has now hardened to “what’s attached to me stays attached when I am dead, end of story.”
Attitudes to death do not vary much from culture to culture; whether we believe we will go to meet our maker or got to make friends with the worms, throughout 5000 years of civilisation it has been understood that the bodies of the deceased should be disposed of respectfully. Now as the “science is God” fraternity led by silly Polly Toynbee are already ranting irrationally that we cannot possibly be aware of what happens to our body after death, we are not allowed to have a say, let me point out that the rituals surrounding the disposal of bodies are not developed for the benefit of the dead, but for the comfort of those who survive them.
In casually dissing the feelings of the bereaved, silly Polly who claims to be a humanist, reveals herself as an inhumanist, as despicable as those medics who cannot see any difference in the status of a human patient and a lab rat.

The other ethical issue arises from our knowledge that the Government proposing this plan is money obsessed and there is a lot of money to be made from selling healthy organs. Once a reliable source has been secured, does anybody really think it will be long before Broon the Body Snatcher will be creating a market in harvested organs. Its is easy to see a link here between this proposal and the plans, already well advanced, to marketise the National Blood Service.

What nobody is mentioning is that organ transplant is something of a lottery, well a lot of a lottery. Put together deaths while waiting for a suitable organ and the survival rate following a transplant and, as we are a society obsessed with the bottom line, transplant is not very cost effective. (see statistics availabe at Science Daily http://www.sciencedaily.com/) On top of that there is the question of how many harvested organs are suitable for transplant and whether they are compatible with patients on the waiting list. It is not a simple question of give a liver, save a life. But these ethical questions are never simple, which is why self interested politicians, boy scientists (who tend to be simple minded in the extreme) and bossy, post menopausal, middle class mad old biddys like Polly Toynbee would prefer just to sweep them aside and focus the debate on the highly emotive but misleading issue of “saving lives.”

I have a cunning plan to thwart the dark forces of inhumanism; never having feared death myself (there’s a lot to be said for stoicism) I now intend to live a life of such uinmitigated debauchery my organs will on my demise be totally fubar, useless, not worth the trouble of removing.

The boy scientists and the Polly Toynbees of this world may delude themselves that if unconstrained by ethical considerations or the need to consider people they like to describe as being “ruled by superstition and belief in magic”, one day medical science will be able to abolish death. Is it not then the boy scientists and their supporters who are ruled by belief in magic? We will never abolish death. As the philosopher David Hume said, “It is better to die at sixty five than endure a further ten years on increasing invalidity.”

We should all heed the sentiment. Organ donation must be voluntary. To even consider making it otherwise shows how far along the road to tyranny this government has travelled. But you can bet your life savings this “harvesting will only be done to NHS patients, they’re not gouing to be ripping to shreds corpses belonging to rich families.

COMMENTS on Little Nicky Machiavelli are now moderated for all except friends. If you want to tell me I am an idiot or talking through my arse and can do so wittily, fine. If you wish to challenge my opinions, fine. If you just wish to add something funny or interesting that’s fine too, but if you are a boy scientist and simply want to repeat the boy scientist mantra that because I am not a “scientist” I may not write on topics concerning science, sorry but this blog is not a platform for boring fuckers.