Thursday, March 11, 2010
It's interesting to observe how, in the run-up to the General Election, Labour is making valiant efforts to distract attention away from national issues and working hard on a 'localism' programme of their own.
It goes rather like this for anyone who hasn't spotted it already. "We, the local Labour Party, may operate under the same flag as the gang in government but really we're different and can offer friendly local solutions that government can't.' Of course, any occasional scraps of comfort or finance that fall locally will, rather like some strange and primitive 'Cargo Cult', will be the divine gift of 'a Labour Government' and just to remind you what this is:
'A cargo cult is a type of religious practice that may appear in traditional tribal societies in the wake of interaction with technologically advanced cultures. The cults are focused on obtaining the material wealth (the "cargo") of the advanced culture through magic and religious rituals and practices, believing that the wealth was intended for them by their deities and ancestors. Cargo cults developed primarily in remote societies in the southwest Pacific Ocean, beginning with the first significant arrivals of Westerners in the 19th century. Similar behaviours have, however, also appeared elsewhere in the world.'
No doubt, some reader have observed such politically-inspired cargo cult behaviour taking place around Thanet, with mysterious markings appearing on the beaches and an endless stream of press releases warning of the apocalyptic consequences of any change in government.
Back in the real world however, there's bad news for Ed Balls in today's paper's, revealing an Ofsted report showing that the proportion of secondary schools failing to provide a good education has soared to nearly 60 per cent. The percentage of 'inadequate' or merely satisfactory schools has jumped from 37 per cent last academic year to 58 per cent in 2009/10.
Ofsted introduced new inspection criteria in September and the sudden rise in failing schools sparked fears it has been exaggerating their effectiveness for years. Apparently, the new test looks more closely at teaching standards and exam results, doubling the time inspectors spend in classrooms.
The Chief Inspector of Constabulary has also criticized police for failing to visit 23% of families whose lives are made a misery by anti-social behaviour and we heard last week, that violent crime has now jumped by 40% through the simple expedient of the police now having to record it, rather than ignore it or call it something else, such as 'nasty accident with carving knife while arguing with neighbour'.
If I'm rambling this morning, it's because it's hard to find a good place to start. The whole country appears to be in such a mess and so completely broke, that I rather wonder if believing, like the Pacific islanders and members of the Labour Party, in some fantasy cargo-cult picture of the economy might not be such a bad idea after all, if at least to shut out the reality of what takes place when a 'boom' economy drops from a great height and bounces around quite helplessly 'bust'.