Immigrants and Attitudes

The attitude of the indigenous population of the United Kingdom towards immigrants is changing. In April, an Ipsos Mori survey found immigration was a concern for 11% of people – the lowest level since 2001. Concern reached its highest level in 2016 when the Brexit referendum was being held. Why the change? Continue reading

Radicalisation, Extremism and Propaganda

Schools, colleges and universities are now supposed to have policies in place to prevent “radicalisation” of students and prevent students from being subjected to extremist ideas. It is an unfortunate use of language. A radical is simply someone who believes something that is not  a generally held belief. An extremist is someone who simply wants to take his or her belief to the ultimate logical step.  Continue reading

Education Does Not Make you Smart

Education, as a wise woman told me, does not make you smart and many of the ill-educated are very smart. Education is likely to make the smart smarter and the less smart wiser. This is not guaranteed as education can easily make the smart more stupid and the less smart even less smart. You do not need to be well educated but you do need to be smart.

Education and Educators

It is a truth universally acknowledged that the most important resource of any nation is not what grows on the ground or lies buried beneath it or fills its surrounding seas, but its people. People are not resources to be traded or bartered but they are resources intrinsically valuable for what they can do for the common weal. Eventually if we were to live for enough years we would accumulate wisdom from our experience and knowledge from our mistakes. These processes inevitably happen but there is a process which can accelerate the individual accumulation of knowledge and wisdom and that process is called education. Continue reading

Educating Mr Miliband and Mr Di Canio

Education is the formation, by means of instruction, of mental habits and an outlook on life. It is unsurprising then, when people who have the same type of education, such as those who went to public schools or those who were educated in trades and trade unions, tend to have very similar outlooks. They may, as a group, differ in the detail, but the thrust of what they have as their weltanschauung occupies reasonably well defined parameters. I can illustrate this by two examples in the news. Continue reading

Professor Robert Watson and Cassandra

Targets are a hit and miss affair and governmental and international targets more than most. The problem is that once a target is set the underlying reason for the target is forgotten and the target becomes a means in itself. Continue reading

Transforming democracies into Soviets

In 1980 I visited the Soviet Union, as it then was, or more particularly Moscow. The Soviets had just invaded Afghanistan and for this crime the United States decided to boycott the Moscow Olympic Games. In those days the United Kingdom, under Mrs Thatcher’s leadership, was equally opposed to the soviet invasion of Afghanistan and discouraged competitors from participating in the Olympics, but competitors took no notice of her and the United Kingdom competed in the games and won medals which the Americans would have probably won, had they competed. Continue reading