Monthly Archives: March 2014

Jo-La V Nippy

The twittersphere and blogosphere have been very, very busy following the debate, which took place on Tuesday night between Johan Lamont and Nicola Sturgeon on STV.

I’m not sure if it was a complete setup or not. It was certainly a catfight, undignified and in keeping with a “stairheid rammy”. The feeble attempts to request that the two “ladies” should debate properly didn’t really help at all. If it achieved anything, it showed how much the decorum of such debates and more wider debating in both the Scottish and Westminster Parliaments have been allowed to reach the level of bun fights. Where has the respect for the institutions, which the parliaments are?

It has to stop I tell you!

The debate wasn’t really a debate. Too much talking over each other. Way too aggressive. It was just a “rammy” or fight as the less Scottish might have described it.

I’m sure that Jo-La is a nice and caring person but she highlights the problems, which the Labour party in Scotland are struggling with. They have joined forces with the Tories, who are paying for it all and the LibDems who can’t even manage into the top three in elections in Scotland now.

They are also very restricted in what they can say and do. If Jo-La made a speech which criticised Scotland the Labour Party would be damaged. They can’t actually say what benefits the “Bitter the gither” Yes side would provide for Scotland to remain in the Union. They have managed to create a vacuum, which renders any message they may have as useless to their cause.

All they can do is parrot what their bosses and their foes in Westminster say. Where is the clarity of thought? Where is the loyalty to the Scottish people? It’s all lost because they are Westminster centric and Scotland is just a part of the rest of the UK. If the Labour Party in Scotland cared they would have fought for much greater benefits for the Scottish people when they were in power.

In truth they did very little. Those people who voted Labour for generations ended up voting for a party which sat to the right of the Tories. They didn’t make a stand on illegal and costly wars and worst of all they turned their backs on the principles on which the Labour party was based.

Not that the SNP are much better since they are statist and centrist which will cost them dear following the first general election in an Independent Scotland.

There are factions within the Labour Party who are pro-Independence. They don’t seem to say much or what they say isn’t reported.

Independence will require the current parties to reshape or more likely to re-invent themselves. We will no longer tolerate Westminster political parties operating in Scotland. Politicians who are Labour members and supporters will need to form a new party which has no ties with or influence from Westminster.

I suggest that a new Labour movement in Scotland move a bit more to the left but recognise the value of a thriving economy, which ensures all the nice stuff can be afforded. The basic principle should be that each generation has a better standard of living from the previous generation.

Too simplistic?





Tags: , , , ,

Education, education, education…

I’ve written many times about education as it is close to my heart and also because our country requires the education system to deliver the skills and knowledge which will drive it in the future.

There is a major disconnect within education and of course a general dumbing down of curriculums. Apparently primary school children arrive at secondary schools without achieving the correct level of attainment required to begin the secondary curriculum. When students arrive at Universities they also have not achieved the correct level of attainment required to begin their chosen subject. When students arrive at their new employers they also have not achieved the correct level of attainment required to begin their chosen job. Ho hum…

Then we have the “universities” which used to be “colleges”. I’m not altogether sure what they actually achieve although they must? How easy is it now to gain a degree from these establishments?

Our “learners”, up to the end of secondary, are incredibly negative about their education. Their education gets in the way of their lives and the things they want to pursue. I’d imagine a part of this is down to maturity or the lack of it.

The system lets everyone in education down and that includes teachers. That is a great pity. Some learners manage just fine and go on to wonderful careers, the middle of the group manage despite educational hurdles and the bottom scrape by and mark time until they are “released”.

My own definition of the success of education goes like this – if driving past a school at 7.00 am there would be a queue at the gates by pupils and some teachers who were desperate to get into school to get access to learn as much as they could. The same would be the case if driving past a school in the early evening. Again pupils would be still there working on their own initiative to gain as much knowledge etc. as they possibly could.

Not like the Korean system and also not like Mr Goves vision which is based on an independent model obviously.

That’s fine as far as it goes but what next? The learners are required to select a career, which they feel suitably enthused about and which will maintain their chosen lifestyle as they see fit. Here lies probably the biggest disconnect.

If someone decides they want to become a surveyor for example they take the course at university, which will give them the qualifications they need. Then they will then apply for surveyor type jobs. That makes perfect sense does it not? Well no actually it doesn’t.

The universities and colleges might churn out hundreds of surveyors who end up chasing much fewer jobs. There is no current system, which matches supply, to demand and the tragedy of this is that we are dealing with human beings not goods and services.

Presently we end up with people having degrees and expecting to be employed in a discipline that they have been trained in. This is a further problem because the universities and colleges suggest to their students that they are more than capable of carrying out the work and they will be given jobs because they have the right qualifications. Again the real world demonstrates that this is much less the case.

Sorting out education is a major task and it goes well beyond just the education system as it presently stands now.

There is much more that could and should be done.

The question is what can we do about it?




Tags: , , , ,