Archive for January 31st, 2005

Whatever the doubts

Yes, we were all either anti the Bush/Blair team, or pro the Bush/Blair team, and had doubts about the war in Iraq. The “anti” brigade had extremely strong doubts and weren’t backward in comeing forwards to tell us about them. But even some of us who thought it was the right thing to do did have nagging doubts.

“No return to Dictatorship”

But, for me, those doubts have disappeared when I saw thousands of Iraquis defying death in coming along to vote. Figures of 70% were bandied around, but I think, although still terrific, the turnout may be nearer to 60% when all figures are known. Even a sizable chunk of the Sunni Muslims eventually turned out to vote which many of us found surprising.

The one thing I am annoyed about is that Blair didn’t ensure the Americans had a good exit strategy for after the fighting had ended. I don’t agree that it was criminal to go in, but what I really do feel strongly about is that there was no strategy to protect our brave troops after the war ended. And of the short-sightedness of the “advisers” (I use this word scathingly) not knowing how things might develop immediately afterwards.

Surely they knew how Arabs are loyal and will always stick together, whether right or wrong?


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Today’s education

I have a lot of contact with company executives in most fields as a journalist and I have noticed that so many of them have a public school education.

I began to wonder why this was as, when I was much younger, more working class people from Grammar Schools and even comprehensives tended to do well on the executive ladder.

Looking through the papers this morning I notice that one comprehensive girl got – was it 54% or 56%? It was one of these figures, but it doesn’t really matter. What really does matter and, to me, is disgraceful, is the fact that she managed to get a “A” grade pass.

What is going wrong with our education system that politicians want to massage the figures so much that they give awards away like confetti?

We have a Socialist government which is supposed to look out for the disadvantaged. Do they not realise that this puts these people at more of a disadvantage? Not only that, but it allows pupils from public schools – why do we call them that when they are really private – to do so much better in the Corporate environment?

Harold Wilson with JH (and a Bobby of course)

It reminds me of Wilson’s Labour Government. I am sure they had the best intentions, but when Wilson gave blanket protection for tenants he drove over 90% of rental accommodation out of London. Ordinary young people could not afford to take on long leases and many were driven out of London.

Wilson also tried to protect workers and made it impossible for employers to let them go.

Lets face it, you are a businessman, you have two factories, there is enough business for you to possibly build a third, and even a fourth factory, but if your gamble doesn’t pay off, you can’t get rid of the workers. What are you going to do? I know what I would have done, sat tight and not increase my business, therefore not increasing the number of jobs I offer.

Employment protection is very nice and admirable, but a mobile work force is healthier for the country as a whole. If everyone built extra factories and some closed, there would be enough work around to get another job quickly.

I am sure the Labour government had high ideals, but they didn’t think things through. And I am sure the Conservatives are not really any better. What was that? The Liberal what? Who are they?

The government bring out figures now and again to say comprehensive education is as good as public school education but to no avail. You see, it is a matter of perception. It matters not what the truth is, this is never of importance. What always matters is how people perceive the truth. These two are not necessarily the same, ever.


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