21 February 2010

Is it really the schools?

Quite a good Sunday Times article on British schools by Harriet Sergeant here. I've heard the factoid about 81 percent of 1.7 million new jobs created since 1997 going to foreign workers before, but since most of those jobs were created in a state sector operating a system of positive discrimination in favour of multiculturalism, even if true I doubt that it proves anything.

It is undeniable that British employers have been complaining for decades about the lack of work ethic in Britain, blissfully unaware that the fish rots from the head, and that the blame for chronically poor productivity must rest with their own lazy and incompetent management. The present regime's open-door immigration policy and encouragement of foreign take-overs at least partially betray a politically unconfessable belief that 'British' and 'worker' are antonyms.

It is more likely that the schools reflect rather than fashion British attitudes towards work. The culture of levelling envy and sullen under-achievement has very deep roots indeed, and it seems to me improbable that trimming the educational foliage will alter the nature of the tree.

It would be interesting to conduct a multi-generational study of, say, the upwardly mobile non-Muslim immigrants from the sub-continent. The form book says that the first generation works its ass off to boost the second generation, but by the third generation the imported momentum is attenuated and the assimilated culture comes to predominate.

My bet is that such a study would find that many members of the third, thoroughly British generation will be a great disappointment to their parents and grandparents.


  1. We've had this generational thing already in America and the state schools have gone, quite literally) to pot. One of the difficulties of the ideal of 'Equality' is that the responsible authorities (accountable?) have to produce it if it isn't forthcoming. This is one of the main Left problems. The Right problem, among many, is the massive overcompensation of financial workers.

  2. Who decides what is 'over-compensation'? Damned few people in authority were complaining about it while the financial wheeler-dealers were generating enormous profits and enormous tax revenues. What sticks in people's craw is that the wheeler-dealers have not personally shared the dire consequences of their maladministration.

    But that is practically the defining characteristic of the state bureaucracy, is it not?