Sunday, May 20, 2007

Class Struggle

One expression I heard used, for the first time in many years, at last week's full council meeting, was "Comrades". Surprised to hear it again after so long, for some strange reason, it stimulated a mental flashback to the scene below, from Monty Python & The Holy Grail, which illustrates the atmosphere of the seventies and the concept of a "class struggle" that I thought was long dead and buried in mainstream British politics but still survives with faint echoes here in Thanet


Anonymous said...

Nothing to do with the argument over scrutiny then?!

Anonymous said...

They'll be singing next "we'll keep the red flag flying here" even though 'New Labour' moved on from that a long time ago! Nice to know that some of the 'brothers' are still around; OVIT on Thanetonian will be delighted!

Anonymous said...

There will be Trade Union marches down Ramsgate High Street next....takes me back.

tony flaig bignews said...

I think whether stated or not their will always be a class struggle and to be honest it is not really about class but more about wealth.

The fact is wealthy people will always look for ways to protect their position as will poor people seek to better themselves.

Part of that struggle is shown this weekend with local tories seeking to protect their wealth by maintaining the grammer schools system at the expense of the poorest.

The class struggle will always exist its just that when the economy is good we can all afford to be polite.

DrMoores said...

But you and I went to the same Secondary school and in the same year Tony and I couldn't say that my own life turned-out any worse because I didn't get to Chatham House. Many of us of us were late developers or more to the point, the 11+ in those days was little more than an IQ test and nobody really understood what IQ was at the time.

Today, the testing is different and as a society we have a dilemma. Do we recognise that some of us will learn faster than others and as a consequence, will have a greater opportunity to succeed or do we create an environment where the lowest common denonimator standard of education is more likely to prevail?

Both China and India are producing smarter and cheaper graduates than us and both societies are streamlining their smartest kids because they know that the "knowledge economy" is critical to their future prosperity. The UK is agonising over equality of opportunity and it's analogous to a 100 metre relay race where we are toying with the idea of entering our athletes as a three-legged team against the best sprinters of other nations.

While I would agree that everyone deserves the same opportunities in life, we need to be rather more pragmatic over the future of our economy and at present, we are living in a dangerous state of denial over our education system.

Anonymous said...

More and more of my friends want to send their kids to private school, all of us went to 'bog standard' schools and now in our 30's we see the benifits of a proper education, shocking but sad you can pay your way out of the bog standard system. None us passed our 11+ so we know what rubbish schools are like, and we dont want that for our kids...

Anonymous said...

8.53pm, New Labour has kept the tune but the lyrics adopted after 10 years of noses in the trough are reminiscent; " The working class can kiss my a**e, we've got the top jobs at last".

tony flaig bignews said...

Admittedly we both went to the same school, Simon but you strike me as someone with more than your fair share of ambition, I on the other hand take what's given. However since you have hopefully achieved a lot of your goals, maybe you are one of the few exceptions to survive, Kents rather simplistic and educational apartheid system.

I have not one shred of doubt, that you and I were denied a normal competitive educational challenge.

I'll go further and suggest, that the current grammar-school system is corrupt for this simple reason, many parents either send their children to private schools, or alternatively pay for coaching to enable them to pass the Kent Test.

This is not meant to be a slur on the majority of children, who obtain their place in grammar-school based solely on ability, but is directed on those parents and politicians who bend the system.

I can honestly say, that in my time at secondary-school, I learnt very little, and consider myself to be a self-taught idiot. I'd like to say happy days, but they never were.

chris wells said...

Tony, as a conservative, I believe the key element in education is to provide choice. Given a range of choices, generally parents will pick the best school for their child. It is my job, therefore to ensure that the range of choices give the very best schools we can at all levels to ensure the best parental choice. Those choices could and must include good high schools, grammars and academies where appropriate, rather than forcing parents and children down one particular forced choice range. Whenever one discusses this topic everyone is an expert because everyone has been to a school! But not only schools make children what they are and become, parents and their expectations and ambitions for their children do to.

tony flaig bignews said...

Chris I have great respect for your opinions but on this one you are wrong

Hobsons choice, good Schools or crap ones just what possible reason is there to separate 20% of the school population and send the other 80% to poor schools.

Dont forget the Ramsgate School was a product of your Tory education system in Maidstone.

Part of choice, the choice for many Thanet kids a no hope school, which I cannot remember any tory getting upset about.

Conservatives are about competition when it suits not in education (in Kent)

Choice actually means having a choice, Explain what real choice there is other than to accept Kents second rate education.