Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Fix Is In

Ever suspected that the fix is in? It is. The rich get richer. The private school boys look out for themselves. While you and me have to run really hard just to stay in the same place.



73 comments:

John McFetridge said...

It didn't used to bother me that they got all the best jobs, back when there was some level of dignity and comfort in working-class jobs. So, I just don't understand this insistence the 1% have on turning the whole world into the ird world.

And, frankly, why the rest of us have played along. I look at the fiction being written today and there's precious little that isn't about the striving and the panic of not getting enough.

seana graham said...

I look forward to watching the documentary, although I think it is a little bit different here. I've been noticing that a lot of the kids of the people I know, who are middle class, though largely making more money that I ever did at the bookstore (the kind of job that was really a paradigm of working hard to stop going backward),are not exactly what you would call rich. Their kids seem to be wired into opportunities and scholarships, etc. And it has just really struck me because there's this whole other huge segment of the population who don't seem to have any opportunities at all. I happened to hear Diane Ravitch speak recently on her new book on the education system here, Reign of Error, and it seemed to speak to the issue. In fact her blog has a very apt post up just now, which cites a NYT article saying that the U.S. has one of the worst systems in the world when it comes to the disparity between funding rich areas schools and poor areas schools. Talk about not having a chance.

adrian mckinty said...

John

Did you ever read that book Whats The Matter With Kansas? I dont really understand why so many poor people think that they and the top 1% share a common interest when in fact they are being taken for a ride.

adrian mckinty said...

Seana

I think it is different because I think the % of kids going to private school is smaller. Although thats just a guess cos I dont know the US stats.

In the UK its about 6% of the population who go to private school and only 1% of the population who go to boarding school yet the extent to which they dominate the professions, parliament, the current government, the newspapers, the BBC etc. is extraordinary. Even apparently acting and pop music.

adrian mckinty said...

incidentally, harking back to the writing advice post from a month or so back, here's PD James's advice and I think its pretty sensible:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-24867584

seana graham said...

It does seem sensible advice, but I don't think you should tell people they are or not writers, because many people who write books aren't writers in fhe way she means and many people who are blocked from trying in some way are. You really can't evaluate yourself, I don't think.

It's a little to easy to say from where she's sitting is all I'm saying, and as you're talking about education and privilege here in England in particular, you can see a lot of people there might get put off from the start because they don't have the right credentials.

seana graham said...

I will say that Chiwetel Ejiofor was pretty great in the London immigrant movie Dirty Pretty Things, so I might see it for that. He does seem to pick challenging and interesting roles.

seana graham said...

Sorry, I posted that last on the completely wrong blog. A case of too many windows open. Just so you know I haven't lost my mind in the last half hour...

Liam Hassan said...

Being a pinko-liberal leftie, this sort of stuff gets written about a lot in the guardian and new statesman (last week ns had a good article on the tough times facing the young and the impact this will have on the social and political fabric). There's a book out, which is on my Xmas list, called the unwinding by George packer which covers it from the American angle. Living standards have been declining for most of us since the seventies - we just did nt notice until it all went pear shaped in 2008.

Peter Rozovsky said...

But in America, the young don't notice it because they're too busy buzzing around the Apple store--or at least they are in the big cities.

seana graham said...

Peter, it's funny you should say that, because at the discussion group I go to they were going on about the evils of corporations and the like and one of our leaders happened to be brave enough to mention all the technological wonders we've been showered with in recent decades, which somewhat mask the fact for a lot of us that we are not actually better off. And it is not just the young who can be fobbed off with gadgetry.

Liam Hassan said...

Seana - I agree. Young people are simply disengaged from the political process (ie, Washington and Westminster). But they re more engaged and angry than I was when I was younger. We would nt have occupy or uk uncut otherwise.

seana graham said...

And of course, the new technology doesn't hurt any in making things happen, Liam.

But I'm not blaming the young. It's the rest of us who have been sold a bill of goods.

Liam Hassan said...

Yeah - I have to admit I m now older and much more cynical than I was . There's been a bit of a discussion over here about exercising the right to vote, which I don t do any more.

Adrian said...

Seana

Yes I often wonder if talent in an asbolute pre requisite for becoming a successful novelist. WithA enough time and patience and practice anyone could become at least a competent story teller. And then all you need is a little bit of luck...I love that stat about Iceland that 1/10 Icelanders will publish a book in their lifetimes.

Adrian said...

Liam

But thats part of the problem. They want you to become disillusioned and cynical about the process so that they can continue to rule. The boarding school types I suspect consider themselves to be Spartans born to rule and all the rest of us are unthinking Helots only fit to serve.

Adrian said...

Peter

Its a bit like what Marcuse talked about. Advertising and distractions like technology keep us all buzy and hence enslaved.

Me writing this on this blog and you reading it is doing the opposite of what I think its doing, according to Marcuse: whereas I think its getting people to think about these issues, Marcuse says no, its just another distraction on a high tech platform, and of course all the content, your thoughts and my thoughts are all owned by Google.

Liam Hassan said...

Adrian - I think that voting does nt present an alternative. We would nt be any better off with a lab-lib coalition than what we have know. Groups like occupy and uk uncut have brought things to the fore better than the politicians have - not talking about disengagement, just a different way of engaging.

Peter Rozovsky said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Peter Rozovsky said...

Part of the problem is that those of us whose sensibilities were formed to a greater or lesser degree by the Sixties can’t tear ourselves away from this idea that young people are supposed to be rebellious. Instead, they may be bigger slaves to corporations than the rest of us. Alan Glynn articulates this chillingly and well in Graveland, in the downsized protagonist’s thoughts about two of the kids with whom he works at a suburban computer store:

"They're nice guys, friendly, reliable. and a lot more savvy about all the tech stuff here than he is, but at the same time there's something about them that he doesn't get. It's a sort of dumb, uninquiring compliance..."

And that's one more reason for you to read Alan Glynn.
=================================
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"
http://detectivesbeyondborders.blogspot.com

adrian mckinty said...

Liam

The thing that makes them rub their hands with glee is when people say that they are not going to vote at all.

I remember in 2000 when Ralph Nader etc. were saying that Gore and Bush were exactly the same and you might as well not vote or vote for him.

If 200 people in Florida hadnt fallen for that line we'd be living in a much better world right now.

adrian mckinty said...

Peter

Did the sixties generation achieve anything?

The greatest generation won the war, built the world economy of the 1950's, discovered DNA, cured polio and put man on the fucking moon. Generation X invented home computers & the internet. But the boomers? What the fuck did the boomers ever do for anyone but themselves?

Peter Rozovsky said...

Oh, I'm not trying to create a big sensation. I'm not even trying to get you to dig what I-all s-s-say. In fact, I made no claim for Baby Boomers. I merely offered up a truism about their attitude about corporations. The Baby Boomers probably did contribute a generational self-consciousness that gave birth to the generational self-sonsciousness that was such a big thing until very recently.

adrian mckinty said...

Peter

I'm just not completely ready to buy into Alan's idea that the boomers were any less narcissistic or distracted or motivated than kids today. And I wonder too how many people actually did man the barricades back then when probably less than 10% of the population actually went to university and a smaller % still were out on the streets...

I remember reading Tony Judt's excellent Post War and he was particularly damning on this point and he had a great quote too from Pasolini railing against the middle class students sympathizing instead with the working-class police whom they were attacking.

Peter Rozovsky said...

Adrian, I don't know Glynn's thoughts about the boomers, but the man is a novelist of paranoia, and the character in question is an economic victim. So I take the thoughts (call them paranoia, if you'd like) as his rather than Glynn's.

John McFetridge said...

Sometimes I think we underestimate the pushback against the 60s - the assasinations (say what you will about JFK, he's still on the list with RFK, Martin Luther King, Medgar Evers, Malcom X and a whole bunch more) were just the tip of the iceberg, really.

But also maybe a generation ages the same way an individual does and passes through stages. So just as the 'greatest generation' was getting ready to think about retirement, the 60s kids were starting families and moving from big, outward concerns to more personal concerns - going from we to me as it were.

But really, what's happened is we didn't play the long game and the old money establishment did. We made little gains and thought they were permananet changes to the social contract because we thought they benefitted "everyone." Or at least they benefitted some of us and we thought those benefits could be extended to more and more people and that woukd strengthen the whole.

We never really considered that the aristocracy likes the third world model.

seana graham said...

I was watching Chris Hayes after the recent small election day and learned that Virginia proved once again something he thinks progressives haven't really understood yet. The progressive agenda really rests on the shoulders of some small demographic. Black women voters. Apparently more than any other leftie category they both tend to vote left on civil issues and they actually bother to turn out and vote.

And I do think that however jaded you might be feeling about Washington right now, a lot of the social agenda is being set in the states, for better and for worse.

adrian mckinty said...

Peter

Point taken.

adrian mckinty said...

John

Going against my argument somewhat (that elections matter) consider 2004 when two Yale educated members of the Skull and Bones Society were up against one another...

Still I think the UK would be in a different place now if Brown had somehow hung on and there was a Lib Lab pact. I think the cut in the top rate of tax wouldnt have happened and I think university tuition fees would have been reduced. 2 small marginal things that make a big difference.

Also we wouldnt have had the embarrassment of yet another Old Etonian as Prime Minister.

adrian mckinty said...

Seana

I was watching Home Alone yesterday with the the kids and I just couldnt fucking believe the size of that house. Thats the paradigm of the ordinary middle class family for most of the country.

Macca said...

Adrian - here in Victoria, prior to the last election, we had the situation whereby not only did the premier of the state and the leader of the opposition go to the same exclusive private school (Melbourne Grammar), they were in the same year and were members of the same school politics club.

Mark English said...

"They want you to become disillusioned and cynical about the process so that they can continue to rule. The boarding school types I suspect consider themselves to be Spartans born to rule and all the rest of us are unthinking Helots only fit to serve."

Mmm. There's a bit of that, I suppose, but I think this analysis leaves quite a lot out!

Thanks for putting up the video, Adrian. I watched most of it. Some of those statistical claims (comparing Britain to elsewhere) were so vague as to be almost meaningless.

What struck me were those kids all wanting to be actors. Crazy. The culture is crazy. But nobody is to blame. (Technology maybe).

The other thought I had is that Britain is mired in sovereign debt, and playing money-printing games. The good times are nearly over (in my opinion).

seana graham said...

I have the same experience watching some of those Nanny shows. The kids are running wild, sure, but they sure have nice big tract homes to run wild in and lack of money never seems to be the issue. It isn't really the paradigm in Santa Cruz, I don't think, but that's probably because there isn't a lot of room for new development.

adrian mckinty said...

Macca

And the Premier was deposed in a back room coup that I still dont understand...

adrian mckinty said...

Mark

About 10 years ago my wife and I were backpacking around India. At one city - I think it might have been Lucknow - we got some bicycles and biked way out into the country and got lost and came upon this school. All the kids spoke English and were very friendly and eager to practice their language so we got to talking to them and inevitably asked what they wanted to do when they grew up. It was amazing. Yes there were a few boys who wanted to be cricketers but again and again we heard: engineer, engineer, computer programmer, engineer, software developer, engineer etc.

adrian mckinty said...

Seana

Strange that no one ever called John Hughes on that. These are not ordinary folks. They are very very very rich folks.

Anne said...

The best chance of social mobility for bright working class kids in Britain was passing the 11 plus entrance exam to a Grammar School education, which was the nearest equivalent to a private education. OK, so this was another exclusion factor for many other children, but at least a small window of opportunity tipped the balance some way towards a meritocracy. It couldn't last, of course!

Richard L. Pangburn said...

The 1% are psychopaths, as Jon Ronson pointed out in THE PSYCHOPATH TEST. That's one part of the problem.

The other part of the problem is that the majority of the other 99% are either juveniles or adults whose pre-frontal cortex has not yet developed to where it can feel genuine love and compassion.

What can we do about it? Nothing. All we can do is to maintain a separate peace with the world. Try to put in a good word for love and compassion when we can, and meanwhile be grateful for this day as if it were only a temporary gift to us.

Which it is.

verymessi said...

Well if you assume there is no hope and there is nothing you can do, then you pretty mch guarantee nothing will change. Someone above mentioned the occupy movement. Maybe not too successful in ultimate goals, but very successful in raising consciousness and perhaps the populations greatest working class mass movement of the past 40 or so years.

I also think the the sixties generation gave us quite a lot. The emphasis on the narcissism misses the big picture in my mind. Sixties gave us the civil rights movement, the anti war movement, the beginnings of woman's movement, and the third world solidarity movements of the 70/80 grew out of the activism of the 60's as did the environmental movement.

So the 60's gave us quite a lot the effects of which are still with us.

John McFetridge said...

I think if we look, the 60s shows us how the 'other side' operates as well. There is social contract negotiation. Civil rights is a good example.

But we also see the adjustments in things like the anti-war movement. There were really two things going on - the draft and the creep of undeclared war.

So, the draft was eliminated and the idea of war bonds or any kind of special taxation for war isn't even discussed anymore. The military expense is just part of the annual budget and there's almost no criticism or discussion.

That's kind of what I mean by the long game. It looked for a minute like the miltarism might be questioned, but they adjusted.

verymessi said...

So, the draft was eliminated and the idea of war bonds or any kind of special taxation for war isn't even discussed anymore. The military expense is just part of the annual budget and there's almost no criticism or discussion.

Yes...Its all part of budget. we dont really vote on how the money is used. If the USA was a functioning democracy-it is not-the population would at least have some kind of meaningful say on how public funds are spent. By and large we dont.


Military spending is basically public funding of private industry, although this is not how it is presented or sold to the public. Computers, the internet, fiber optics, high tech in general, all has a very large aspect of public funding. People just dont realize it because it simply is not discussed or part of public understanding. Better to tell fairy tales of invisible hands.

I also agree with you regarding the social contract. These are forced concessions-not gifts from above-do to popular struggle and activism.

Most traditional history books gives you a very false image of how change and progress takes place. Its the great men-who are usually white!- doing great things story, or its the democrats etc and so on. In fact, its power reacting to social movements who have to give and make concessions to such movements in order to protect their own power and position of privilege. And of course the gains won through struggle and activism come under attack and will be generally rolled back if given the chance by the rich and powerful. The current "austerity" wave is a prime example. its basically nonsense. The USA has never been so rich. Its just concentrated in the hands of the few and they dont want anyone else to have it. we are living a new gilded age.

Never seems to be a lack of funds to invade or bomb another country or bail out the rich when need be.

The crime writer Charlie Stella is very good on these topics in his blog. He is also laugh out loud funny when discussing all of this.



Lester Carthan said...

Human beings are the Gods of this planet in control over everything except the weather and health and even that falls within our purview if global warming and diet are factored in. Since the world is the way we have shaped it then what has been shaped is a result of our collective desires otherwise we would have shaped the planet and the way things work into something else. All this is a nice way of saying that people are sheep wanting to be told what to do but sense we are self-ware animals we need to pretend that we are the masters of our fate, so we will only offer our subservience to someone we perceive to be better than us which is where the good breeding of the one percent comes in and private schools featured in this blog post is part of the process of separating the Shepherds from the sheep.

For the record I am not being condescending when I say people are sheep as is most often the case when people bandy that phrase. I am a 35 year old male whose 2014 gross income is projected to be 22,000 thousand dollars, so if people are really sheep than I know full well where my location is in the flock.

The nice thing about living in America is that we have a class rather than caste system. If one is willing to be ruthless enough and has no qualms about exploiting the people in their sphere of influence they can force their way into becoming a part of the power elite and gain the connections so that their heirs can enjoy the same privilege without all the backstabbing needed for them to get their spot.

John McFetridge said...

"These are forced concessions-not gifts from above-do to popular struggle and activism."

Yes, exactly. In the immediate post-war years there was a lot of demand for concessions. The most strikes ever in America were from 1946 to 1952. And then, as we've been saying the civil rights movement, women's movement, etc., of the 60s also forced some concessions.

But now, even with equity gaps returning to pre-war levels, concentrated ownership and a stifling of social mobility (the level of ruthlessnes Lester is talking about is pretty extreme, it's back to robber-baron days) anynsuggestion of e kind of efforts used to force those concessions - unionization, for example - are a very difficult sell.

I don't think anyone in Hollywood would make "Norma Rae" today. Which is too bad, because that material could make a great HBO/AMC style show.

Lester Carthan said...

I think all inequality springs from the unequal division of surplus resources that has only occurred recently in human history when mankind stopped being nomadic hunter and gathers and starting living in one place a process called Sedentism. Killian, the main character from Falling Class argued that the genesis of mankind’s collective unhappiness occurred when we as a species evolved or as Killian would argue descended into Sedentism. I think what Killian saying is that everyone was much happier in our nomadic hunter and gatherer days and I agree to a point. In order to support the invention of civilization most of us have to work jobs that we hate, jobs that are ultimately spurious to the survival of the human race and thus everything we hate to do from birth to death in order to earn money and more importantly our place in civilization from an evolutionary point of view can be summed up as busy work. Killian argued that since most of us are unhappy with Sedentism than we need to decide to move forward older paradigm of existence. I think that’s bullshit given the fact that most of us wouldn’t be able to survive as nomadic hunter and gatherers, or be just as miserable if not more so, but it is interesting to think about especially as it relates to the causes of inequality and the creation of the one percent and what that ultimately means for the rest of us.

seana graham said...

Someone read us this Abraham Lincoln quote in the above mentioned discussion group last week, and it struck us all as a little too prescient:

“I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. . . . corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.”
—U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, Nov. 21, 1864
(letter to Col. William F. Elkins)

adrian mckinty said...

Anne

I wish had accurate statistics on this. Some people say that Kent which still has grammar school proves your point and other people say it doesn't. I really have no idea. I know that grammar schools worked for me. I passed my 11+ (which they still have in Northern Ireland although they call it something else) and although Carrick Grammar wasnt the best school in the world at least I had a chance of going to university from there...

adrian mckinty said...

Rich

You're right. They are sociopaths. A friend of mine had to spend a day with Donald Trump once. Lets just leave it there....

adrian mckinty said...

Very

Well the Civil Rights Act was the child of LBJ and as far as I can see the anti war demonstrators didnt do anything at all. Gay activism in the 90s was the product of Generation X. The 60s gen couldnt even get a woman elected President when they had the chance.

Off topic: I think Suarez has been giving Messi and Ronaldo a run for their money as best player in the world the last month or so...

adrian mckinty said...

John

The draft is very much a double edged sword isnt it? I mean now it means that only people who actually volunteered have to go but the burden now falls squarely on those who are in the lowest income brackets. Occasionally progressive Dems in the house will try to reintroduce the draft to make this point...

adrian mckinty said...

Lesther

Farming did alter human beings forever and there aint no going back. I wouldnt even want to be an Irish Traveller or a Pavee or a Roma, not in today's Europe: sure you learn other skills, lost from our generation but you also have to deal with the mind numbing tedious endemic poverty and of course racism.

Until we terraform Mars and Venus and start to build starships I think we're stuck being all crammed together in circumstances that are less than ideal.

adrian mckinty said...

Seana

At least we've always had death as the great leveller. Whats going to happen when the 1% start finding ways to "Transcend" and cheat death by getting clone and android replacement parts and thus hanging around forever while the rest of us shove off the mortal coil.

seana graham said...

We can always hope that with their excess wealth they will just bugger off to Mars and leave the rest of us alone. Although my nephew wants to go Mars, so I guess I shouldn't wish for that, as it won't be a very fun place.

I was just at dinner last night with my friends' dad, who will be a hundred in February. His kids are all concerned to honor him without overdoing it, but when he was asked he said, well, people say its a big number, but my tablemate's already passed it. To him it obviously wasn't such a big deal.

He also said his tablemate was rereading My Antonia, though I don't know if it was the same tablemate. It would be nice to think so.

adrian mckinty said...

Seana

Something must be in the air.

Former Prime Minister John Major savages boarding school elite who run Britain

seana graham said...

You as a flack for John Cameron--who knew?

I do think it's different in America. Here, it's all about the fact that education is not paid for out of some general fund, but out of property taxes, which give different school districts different amounts of money to work with. But instead of cluing into that, there is just more and more testing. I'm seeing on Diane Ravitch's blog that kids in NYC are getting freaked out by this thing called Common Core and that the high achievers are increasingly resorting to cutting themselves out of stress. Something is wrong with this ideology.

John McFetridge said...

Seana, something is only wrong with the ideology depending on what you see as the goal. I would say plenty of people have clued into what's going on and they're not upset about it.

No matter what the slogans say, for some people to be at the "top" a lot of people need to be below them. While there's a lot of talk in America about equality it's kind of vague and drowned out by the constant calling for people to be "the best" they can be. Well, we know there can only be one winner. And any system can be gamed.

The UK seem pretty up front about it with the private schools but it seems the US is getting closer to that model, not further away from it.



seana graham said...

John, they are not clued in until they agree with me.

I agree that the private school model is in full force in its covert way. People are all about equality until it comes to their own kids.

Macca said...

One of the great sports at this time of year is listening to the rationalisations from avowed "passionate supporters of public education" as to why they will be sending their kids to a private secondary school next year.

"Well, we are strong supporters of public education and we would really love to send Allegra/Ollie to the local high school but ............................"

adrian mckinty said...

Seana

But I did like that bit in the Jonathan Lethem book were the kids in the shitty part of Brooklyn knew that if they could test into Bed Sty or Bronx Science they would have hope of getting somewhere...

adrian mckinty said...

John

You think accents play a part? I mean I'm sure there's a posh Canadian accent but I think in Canada people aren't so labelled by accent class.

adrian mckinty said...

Macca

I dont understand how anyone can afford it. The average salary in Australia is what 50 grand a year? Caulfield Grammar, Wesley, St Michaels, etc. (the schools I know about in St Kilda, not the very top schools)cost 35 grand a year. 35 grand a year for 6 years. How can anyone afford that?

Anne said...

Adrian, Grammar schools worked for me, too. I consider that my two sons had an inferior education when their local Grammar school became Comprehensive, but because I had been lifted out of the lower working class by my education, this had a knock on effect. Our family progressed from barely literate forbears to sons with careers in nuclear physics and civil engineering, in two generations. This could never have happened without that original boost up the ladder and consequent raising of aspirations.

verymessi said...

Well the Civil Rights Act was the child of LBJ

Adrian,

Yes but you don't take into account the people in the streets as being a part of the process of getting it passed. Why did it happen when it did and not before.

As for the anti war demonstrations being effective or not I suggest you read the pentagon papers. Also, it was the activism of the 1960 which lead the Reagan administration underground in its efforts to fund the US gov't illegal wars in Central America. The dreaded "Vietnam syndrome" had taken hold of the majority of the population. Also, when the US was planning to attack Iraq the second time-I think, I lose count!-you had a million people march on Washington long before the actual attack took place. Something unheard of in the early 60 when the US first started bombing then outright invaded South Vietnam. The mass protest came in the late 60's. That's the effect of the activism of the 60's. Whether it actually accomplished anything at all is another question.



and as far as I can see the anti war demonstrators didnt do anything at all. Gay activism in the 90s was the product of Generation X. The 60s gen couldnt even get a woman elected President when they had the chance.

Yes but the womans movement grew out of the 60's activism in part to the discrimination woman faced not only had home and in the work force but also within the popular movements of the 60's!


Off topic: I think Suarez has been giving Messi and Ronaldo a run for their money as best player in the world the last month or so...

Suarez is a fantastic player regardless of all his baggage.

Messi unfortunately is fighting the injury bug for the last half year, He got hurt again yesterday. Its probably best he rests until after the winter break. he has played a ton of football the last 6 years and it is finally catching up to him.

Ronaldo will probably win the Balon d'or this year as the worlds best player. he is great, no doubt. The worlds second best player! he is great in open play, that's why he scores so many tap in, but he does not have the ability to crate a goal from nothing as Messi does. You never see him pick up the ball at midfield and dribble past three four defenders and score as messi does rather often. Suarez has this ability, but not Ronaldo.

verymessi said...

Well its official now. messi is out for at least 6-8 weeks. He needs to rest and get fit again, he was rushed back to soon from his other his other injuries to his leg. He needs to rest especially give the world cup is this summer.

John McFetridge said...

Today we might think of one of the most significant "forced concessions" in America, The G.I. Bill. It took a very large protest to get it passed the way veterans wanted it (removing the 'means test' and making it available to all veterans was the main change).

There's a pretty good documentary about it, but I don't know if it's on YouTube:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0325441/

adrian mckinty said...

Anne

Well my two older sisters who went to the same Grammar school were the first people in our family ever to graduate from university so in our case it certainly worked....

adrian mckinty said...

Very

Back on Suarez. I think something has changed dramatically about him in the last couple of months. I can't quite put my finger on it but he seems to have raised his game to another level...

adrian mckinty said...

John

Another piece in the Guardian today about the lack of social mobility there:

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/nov/11/john-major-public-school-tory-elite?commentpage=1

seana graham said...

Yes, Macca, liberals are liberals about education until it starts affecting their own children. At least wealthy liberals are.

I'm not arguing against testing to get less well to do kids into better schools exactly. Although why such a wide gap between schools is another question. I'm more at issue with the whole teaching to the test phenomenon that has overwhelmed American education of recent years. I think it's alienated some good teachers along the way. I know it was one reason my old housemate got out early.

John McFetridge said...

Getting back to the beginning of this thread, I do want to say I never had any sights on the "top" as it were, just a better middle.

We can't all be the top of our class or PhD physicists or whatever, so I'm not all that broken up by the fact the private school kids get all the "best" jobs - sure throw in a few scholarship kids, too (won't be me, but I get that it's important).

It's this all-or-nothing we're headed towards that concerns me (because I'm petty and that's what affects me and will affect my kids - top of the class they're not ;)).

endsleg 8

verymessi said...

Adrian,

Suarez was pretty set on leaving Liverpool and made his feelings known before the season started. He may have picked his game up to attract the giants like Madrid to make a crazy bid for him. He is a super player and I would not be shocked if his transfer went over 50 million. Liverpool would be crazy to sell him though. He is too good.

verymessi said...

Thanks for that, john. I will look for it.

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