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“We don’t need no Educashun!”

By ATWadmin On December 17th, 2006

The Betrayal of a Generation

A simple set of statistics speaks volumes about our society. One tenth of young Britishers cannot read at a standard expected of an eleven-year-old; and (perhaps a small blessing in heavy disguise), one fifth of this same company cannot read the screened words shown to sing-along to the tortured noises from a karaoke session in a pub! The education levels of our teenagers in this high-tech world of ours, where we have to either compete or perish, are stated to be truly pathetic, and are contributing to both the formation of an Underclass, and the prolongation of that same species!

As a youngster, I learnt my spelling by rote and by memory, similarly with basic grammar rules; of punctuation, of language placement and interpretation, in order to speak and to write as I needed to both complete my lessons and tasks, and (although I did not appreciate this at the time) to equip me for the world into which I would be propelled once clear of school. To send, from a class of, say, 120 pupils in an age rating, 24 of these youngsters who cannot even sing-along in a raucous pub environment is something which would have been viewed with absolute dismay by the staff of that same establishment where I slogged through five years! Coming, as we pupils all did, from a disparate set of Elementary or Primary Schools, we had been equipped for the ‘push’ towards adulthood with reading, writing and numerate skills so that we could seamlessly adapt to the new environment of accelerated learning!

The malign ‘levelling’ influence of the Socialist-beloved Comprehensive, where one level greets all; with that level being set at a ridiculously low level; combined with the slow and steady deterioration in examination standards, congealed as they are by the ludicrous ‘NuLabour’ agenda of ‘everyone wins a prize, because no-one loses under Labour’ has succeeded in a smoothing, but not a smoothing which one might rejoice in! The blank stares which rebound when any discussion with teenagers include such choice items as local or world politics, or the economies of their own native land or indeed anyone else’s, or any number of the things which people talk about make me cringe! If the topic doesn’t include ‘The X Factor’, whatever that may be, or ‘Pop Idol’, or (shudder) ‘Corrie’ or the dreaded leaden tones which portend ‘Eastenders’, they just don’t want to know, or in fact, don’t care! If I ask which book they might have read recently, or if they’ve visited a library, a look which is exactly half-way between alarm and hostility usually spreads across their faces!

The British ‘NOW’ generation has arrived, savvy with how to download the latest mobile phone jingle, or ‘ripping’ the stolen sounds of someone’s work onto a CD, so they can plug their bloody earphones in and disappear from a less-than-impressed world, but very little else! Just let them check out the statistics from India or China, and sift through to see the real numbers of competence; and then continue to exhibit the sheep-like stares which state that they just don’t bloody care!


17 Responses to ““We don’t need no Educashun!””

  1. Good article Mike.

    I’m afraid I am a bit pessimistic about this matter. As a nation we have achieved the end of genuine poverty and indeed have become lazy and decadent as happens ultimately to all succesfull societies. The baton for this century will pass to China and India and other developing countries. We no longer have the urge for improvement whch fuelled educational and career progress for much of the twentieth century. I think our decline is inevitable.

  2. We have no need to improve ourselves because Our Dear Leader will provide. We can just play on our mobile phones, dumbing ourselves down, safe in the knowledge that the moment Labour realise the gap between rich and poor (yawn) is growing they’ll take immediate action to drag the rich down a peg or two.

    It’s a bit rude to promote my own blog on somebody else’s but I hope ATW’s people won’t mind this one indulgence: in 2008 many private nurseries are going to go bust because the government plans a two-way pincer movement against them. First, they’ll reduce their incomes – dramatically. Then, they’ll raise their costs. I’ve explained it more at the url below but I do feel more people should be aware of how the government (a) wants ownership of your children’s education from as young as possible and (b) will simultaneously destroy the private sector in order to obtain it. The hole in nursery provision will be plugged by state-controlled Surestart centres. They will get away with it if we don’t oppose.


  3. Colm,

    I’m inclined to share your pessimism.


    I read your blog on the subject, and agree with your conclusions. A couple of years back the Government launched a similar attack on private language schools by throwing huge sums of money at colleges to offer EFL for free.

  4. I was alarmed when I read a message on the kitchen table from my 13 year old son and it was full of mis-spellings. I was really concerned, and he later told me it was text language, that’s another reason for our falling standards. I just wish he enjoyed reading books, that’s a cause too.

  5. Ellee,

    textspeak or Newspeak? Tell him it’s double plus ungood

  6. One upon a time, it used to be;–

    The real target for any primary school to get pupils into the local grammar school, which incidentally, was open to all on the sole basis of merit, it was an incentive for all classes of the social spectrum.

    That was until Roy Jenkins, and Shirley Williams spread their poisonous attack on the grammar schools in favour of ever more comprehensive schools.

    Their victory in that battle truly marks a watershed in the decline of British education, and the irony is that we now have more selection than we ever had before, only now it is based on an ability to pay rather than on merit, and it has managed to destroy any incentive value it may have had, for the poorest in our society.

    Ironic that the ‘evil’ of elitism over merit that socialist dogma was supposed to correct, has had exactly the opposite effect.

    One of the true ‘jewels in the Crown’ was the Victorian education system, which, in spite, of a society ridden by ‘class’ distinctions, was able to offer an opportunity for anyone to improve their standing in society.

    Strange that after so much progressive thinking and action we now have an ever larger percentage of youngsters, condemned to lives of mediocrity and criminality, with little hope of making any improvement in their lot.

    Looking at Woy’s CV on the Wiki, it seems he was instrumental in supporting so much of the legislation and changes that are now the cause of so many of today’s societal problems. – A real ‘thinker’…

    Shirley Williams is now a life peer, and has as dubious a record of achievement as Woy. She has managed to parlay an inferior intellectual capacity into, what seems to be a very remunerative lifestyle.

    Such is the way with politicians, and all without a single hard day’s work, – living proof that socialism does work, – for some!…

  7. We have moulded a society over decades and are extremely comfortable in our decadence and modern western living. Im inclined to agree with Colm.

  8. My word Alison,

    You have changed your tune a bit! – a few weeks ago you were telling me just how proud you were to be in England, now that , – the metaphorical – Spring was here!

    Mixing with that rough ATW crowd is taking it’s toll…:-)

  9. Well – you know that this is one of my big issues over here in America. I am sorry to see it happening in England as well. The leftys got control of it, both here and there. This is what happens when the leftys are in charge.

    Homeschool your kids!

  10. If they can’t rad or write how come they all get three A grade A levels.
    Surely nu Labour wouldn’t be handing out certificates like sweeties to create the illusion it was a sucess! Perish the thought

  11. If they can’t rad or write how come they all get three A grade A levels.
    Surely nu Labour wouldn’t be handing out certificates like sweeties to create the illusion it was a sucess! Perish the thought

  12. whoops: "read", not "rad". How embarrassing!

  13. >>>This is what happens when the leftys are in charge.<<<

    remind us again who has been ‘in charge’ of all three seats of US government for the last six years and, if im not mistaken, all but the presidency for nearly 1.5 decades?

  14. The trades unions have been in charge of the US education system for more than 1.5 decades, and anyway Bush is no conservative. The real problem here has been the fear of racism. Dumb it all down so everybody does equally poorly, then no-one can say that certain groups were discriminated against.

  15. On my favourite hobby horse – apparantly when classes adopt teaching styles necessary for dydlexics etc to learn, it also helps the "normal" kids

  16. Tripper – you’re showing your ignorance again, and in a very unbecoming way.

    It’s the unions, hon. Not Bush-who-is-to-be-hated. In fact, when Bush pushed his plan to hold the American public education system accountable, the unions reacted in a very odd spasmotic way. Test the children??!! Test the TEACHERS??!! They’re still spazzing. It’s a hell of a show.

  17. To highlight the attitude of the Teacher’s Union in my US neighbourhood;

    The Union was promoting strike action at the all important annual exam time, (when else?). When a reporter asked the Union Secretary if he was concerned at the effect a strike would have on the future prospects of the examinees,, he replied that it was of little consequence or concern to him, and it would remain so, as long as pupils did not pay union dues…

    Such is the face of modern ‘unionism’…