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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?

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10 Responses to “What Chance Do I Have?”

  1. hrhdaf said

    Bonjourno Philleepo!

    I fear if I share my thoughts on this I would come across as some kinda motivational speaker but I cant help it. Cos I do believe in seeing what you want and doing your damndest to make it happen, and I believe that contentment comes with achieving everything you personally can regardless of the knock backs life throws at you. I think youll get an awful lot out of this just cos you do it.

    Wish you the best of luck with it bud seriously!!!!
    Big hugs Daf xxx

    PS Has noone religous had a go at you about your Jesus pic yet?? Cos Im waiting for battle to commence ;O)

    • Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaf! Hello mah mate! 🙂

      I know what you’re like when it comes to stuff like this, so it’s OK! haha Besides, Pete, Ian and a few other people beat you to it! lol I’m still going to do it, not doing it wasn’t even an option, as I’ve said before it’s a great opportunity for me and I’m not going to turn it down. Health permiting I’ll do my best!

      I was thinking more of the huge task of making it to the top, or somewhere near enough to the top to try and instigate change to some degree. I’ve been told by a few people that if you want something hard enough then you can achieve it, I agree with that, even with unequal chances brought about by Public and State schooling. But if you think about it, for someone like me, who wont take part in the regular system anyway and being an outsider with strong views, well… gonna go down like a led balloon!

      But still, thanks for the support Mate! It means a lot, I just hope I can pull it off and the UC and other shit doesn’t get in the way.

      And no, no Xtians have been to the Rep Jebus pic… yet! LOL! Not sure they will on WP, they seem to be a timid lot on here, not that I was trying to provoke them! hahaha

      Off to your blog now! See thee there! 😀 Hugssssssssssssssss x

  2. penelopephoebe said

    As ever, your post makes interesting reading, Phil. Give it a chance , though; you never know what the future holds. Good luck!

    • Hiya Pen! 🙂

      I will be giving it a chance, don’t you worry, just because it’s almost impossible to get to the top, isn’t going to make pack in this great opportunity! I will persist! 🙂

      Thank you for your support, Pen! 🙂

  3. Pete Judge said

    Remember in days gone by when you said more than once I should find a platform for what I had to say, this is why I never bothered. Not when local born politicians fail to win the vote to represent their people on the issues that affect them in their community. It’s the same where I live. LOcal man Tom Pendry was labour MP for 20 years. Trusted, loved and worked hard for the community but when he retired, the next one was parachuted in – public school boy, toffee nosed, never seen, never heard.
    It’s a self serving, nepotist society of which you or I have no chance of ever succeeding in because we would have the interests of who we serve at heart – something that modern day democracy doesn’t care for it appears. The links can be found. Two of the governments contractors SERCO and CAPITA – I guarantee board members, founders will have gone to the same school as the the likes of blair, brown and mandelson… as ever it is more a case of who you know and ho you fagged for a school.
    But don’t fear mate – there is still plenty more you can do with this degree. Journalism, you write very well after all, research, teaching, local government, public administration and if all else fails, you could always practice saying – would you like fries with that sir!!
    Nah. Do the degree. Learn, enjoy the challenge, become disciplined and channel your mind. I think this could help you in so many ways you haven’t even considered and don’t forget that you will meet people along the way – even if you are doing this at home.
    Do it mate and best of luck
    Pete

    • I know you said it many times, but my point was, we still have to try, it only takes one person to spark a change. If there’s more than one it can be even better. It’s better to try, than to not try at all, even if the odds are against us. Like you, the situation leaves me feeling powerless and useless, in more ways than one. For a start voting wont change sod all anymore, and now we can’t even change things from the inside because we’re priced out of the running as well a snot being connected. But I just can’t let it go, I have to try and do something, even if I’m banging my head against a brick wall.

      I knew we were going backwards regarding social mobility, but I never knew it was at such a level it’s at! What’s even more annoying is the dickheads at the top don’t even aknowledge there’s a problem! If they did they wouldn’t be putting up tuition fees and they’d shake up the current education system in to a workable tripartate between the brightest, vocational and those in the middle. It’s isn’t wrong to help a child/person along to whichever profession they want to do. We’re not all the same, we’re different, and thus will need an indivudual system tailored to each person’s needs.

      I know there’s a few more things I can do with the degree, but my aim isn’t to just get by in life, I want to change things. Working in the local Coucil, even if it was missing the Party political games, I wouldn’t be happy because I’m not making a big enough change. I know it sounds like “All Or Nothing!” – but things HAVE to change, and they’re not going to be brought about the same groups and parties who currently infest the Political spectrum who’s only real interest is themselves!

      You know what, I wouldn’t mind working in Mc’Donalds if it was my cup of tea. I’d work in the kitchens and move my way up the ladder, but that’s not what I’m about. That doesn’t hold any reward for me, nor does it benefit Humanity or the country.

      Don’t worry, I will be doing this course. I’m very greatfull for the Open University and the British people who are paying this for me! It’s a great opportunity, and one that I wont pass up and wil do my upmost to achieve the best I can! And, in time, I will pay them back for it… with interest!

      Thanks for the support mate, it’s always welcomed! Cheers! 🙂 Now, have a good weekend, you deserve it budski! See yee on the other side! 🙂

  4. prenin said

    I’ve been thinking the same thing for a long time.

    I was offered a place at University for a Masters in Chemistry, but had to go to work because my dad wanted a return on his investment as he put it.

    Had I gone I’d have made it to BSC standard in Organic Chemistry in six years, but my father had a low opinion of me and, in his divorce deposition put me down as ‘Mentally Retarded’ and so likely to need his care and support for some time.

    Last IQ test I took I rated 162 out of a possible 200 with an aptitude for logic – ideal as my job was as a programmer.

    Mentally Retarded?

    I rest my case…

    Now I look at University as an unreachable prize.

    When Emily went she had the full support of her family and I mentored her through her English degree, so she got a 2/2 and went on to become a Primary School Teacher, though now she’s a mum and housewife who is expecting another child.

    Today she would not be able to afford to go and her life would have been markedly different.

    By making University places only affordable by the Elite, they are making it the home of The Powers That Be and not the rest of the population.

    Looks like we’re on our way to a new class system…

    God Bless!

    Prenin.

    • I wouldn’t put much stock on what your fucked up Dad says, Ian. It’s obvious he’s the mental one with all the issues, he just forced them on you. In the likleyhood that Hell does exist he belongs at the very fucking bottom with the rest of the scum bags!

      It’s such a damn shame you couldn’t have gone to Uni! It may not have guranteed you a job high up, but it’s still an advantage. Why don’t you try the Open University? If I had my fees paid then they’d surely do it for you. Not the same as normal Uni but the degree is. They take account of your mental and physical health issues so you can do the course at pace that suits you.

      Your last two sentances are true! I mean, I knew we were going backwards, but I didn’t know we were this far back! May as well be 1911 than 2011!

      Thanks for your thoughts, Ian1 Have a good weekend! 🙂

      • prenin said

        Thank Phil!

        I’ve considered going on an Open University course, but being three parts brain fried means I am not as I was and most likely will fail.

        Dad now plays the injured party and goes around saying he can’t understand why everyone hates him as he’s never hurt anyone in his life.

        None of the family, apart from youngest brother Keith, will talk to him because he stole our grandmother’s legacy.

        Scum indeed…

        God Bless!

        Prenin.

        • Brain fried? lol If this is you three parts brain fried you must’ve been a genius before! It’s up to you, you know what you’re capable, but from what I’ve seen so far I think you’d do well! 🙂

          I know, you told me about your Dad before, lest said about him the better.

          Have a good day! 🙂

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