What Chance Do I Have?
Posted by DeadAnarchistPhil on January 28, 2011
I received a letter from the Open University this week, about the course I applied for. I decided to expand my horizons a little and gain some solid foundations in which to maybe build a future career out of. The course I chose is Politics, Philosophy and Economics, known in academic circles as PPE. It seems the right choice as I have an interest in Politics and the world that surrounds it. Notable people with the degree include the current Prime Minister, David Cameron, Ed Balls, Ed Miliband and a significant others in Parliament and outside of it.
They Open University has agreed to pay my fees for me, and all I have to do now is sign the papers and send them back and I start my study in May. It’s a three-year course, just like for anyone else who’d be studying it, except I’m doing it from home, in an extended form as I was late getting my application in for the January start date. I am going to do it, health permitting, and get to the end of it.
What’s bothering me though is the same thing that’s bothered me before, what chance do I really have of changing things for the better with this Degree behind me? I’ve always known trying to gain a foot on the Political ladder would be almost impossible, especially seeing the back ground I come from, the fickle nature of the electorate and utter corruption and Party Political games in local and national Government.
I don’t have the luxury of connections like the PPE degree holders from Oxford and Cambridge do, to get myself a job. The electorate is so blinded by hollow fake promises, image, outright lies, unwillingness to accept reality and such ideological adherence that I have little chance of even being voted in to local Government. Corruption in Politics is so wide-spread, fostered and allowed to happen, that it’s seen as normal and “The way it is”. When I say that, I don’t mean your traditional idea of corruption, this corruption is sanctioned and accepted as part and parcel of the system. The expenses system was only the tip of the Iceberg of that legal corruption, it goes on beyond that and still continues now, you just don’t see it, and politicians don’t mention it because they don’t want to draw even more attention to themselves and their dealings. In fact they probably think there’s nothing wrong with it, just like they did with the expenses system. There’s also the fact I couldn’t work with any of the established Parties at any end of the Political spectrum, especially the main three, I can not operate under those conditions, I can’t, no!… I wont willingly support bills and amendments I don’t believe in or that are not in the interests of my constituents or the population as a whole, just because the Party Whip and Cabinet say so. I wont sit in interviews on TV or in an MP surgery and defend actions by Party, Government or individual MP’s within that Party who’ve proposed, done or said something I disagree with.
If that wasn’t enough to put me off even trying to enter the world of Politics, I was watching a TV programme today presented by Andrew Neil. It was called: Posh and Posher: Why Do Public School Boys Run Britain. The previous link takes you to the BBC website where you can watch it. This link takes you to the written run down of the show.
It was this little piece, which I have to say made my heart sink:
That man is just like me, and he’s been excluded from the internal Labour ballot, in favour for someone else, who lives outside the area he’s supposed to represent.
Now, how often do we see and hear about that? How many Politicians in recent years have come from privileged backgrounds? MP’s who don’t know what it’s actually like to scrape by on the bottom, or near the middle? They don’t have a clue, Cameron doesn’t have a clue, his whole front bench don’t have a clue, most of the people in Parliament don’t have a clue. And if they don’t have a clue… how can they represent the people?
In the programme I linked to above, Andrew Neil makes a very valid point, State Schools can’t compete with Public/Private schools (They’re the same thing). Since the removal of Grammar Schools and the Eleven Plus, social mobility is suffering, the many gifted and intelligent undeveloped poor and Working class people in this country, not just in the Political sphere, but in the Economic, business and any other high paying areas of the job market, are missing out on good jobs because of their background.
I know the eleven plus was unfair, I know of a few people who were bright but passed over because they failed their eleven plus. However, that still doesn’t mean selecting the brightest children and sending them to a Grammar school or something similar is wrong. With a less strict system, and more room for variation, we could have a similar scheme set up again and try to bring about a better Meritocracy than the old system fostered. Look at private schooling anyway, you only get what you pay for, not everyone comes out of there with top marks, I’m sure the tutors mark a few papers with extra ticks. Not everyone from public/private school are as intelligent as British society and the public schools themselves would make them out to be. While on the subject of education I see no reason why people who aren’t as bright as others can not go to a Vocational High School where they continue to learn about the three R’s and also learn numerous skilled trades, after all, that is what the UK is currently missing. The State has focused entirely on getting as a many people in to a one size fits all education system which then wants to push them on to University, thus leaving us with a skilled worker shortage. This, in my opinion, was what was missing from the Tripartite System in the past. We had Grammar schools for the brightest and a bog standard secondary school for everyone else, where was the vocational training? Of course it was left to the employers, or the Unions, which was an area where they had some power, I think that may be why the Secondary Technical Schools never came about fully. All the above flies in the face of a Egalitarian system, but this isn’t an issue of fairness and equality, people have different abilities, and they need to be harnessed to their full potential. We’re just not doing that with bog standard state schools and then pushing as many of them off to University as possible.
I digress, but the above is important to my post. With such an exclusive system, how am I or anyone else from my background going to get ahead? It’s the year 2011 and our country is being governed by privileged public school boys, the Politicians can say all they like it’s not about where you’re from but about what you do, it still doesn’t change the fact a minority of wealthy people in this country have the top places in Government, Economics and the Judiciary. So with University tuitions fees going to rise, a state education system that’s lacking as regards to producing and elevating the best and brightest to the top, it looks like the future of British Political leadership, as well as other areas, will remain in the hands and be the profession of the rich and privileged. And leaves me, and many others asking the question: What Chance Do I have?
This entry was posted on January 28, 2011 at 4:23 am and is filed under Go Fuck Yourself!, Religious, Political and Social Hypocrisy. Tagged: Cambridge, Economics, Education, Eleven Plus, Elitism, Grammar School, Meritocracy, Open University, Oxbridge, Oxford, Philosophy, Politics, Posh, postaweek2011, State School, Tripartite System, UK, University. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.