Tag Archives: degree

Shutting down creativity is upon us | Dorset Eye

Sunak: he wants to shut down some degree courses – and it seems this is already happening.

Less than a day after I suggested that Rishi Sunak wants to shut down some degree courses because he wants to stifle critical thinking, we see evidence that some courses are already being closed:

Universities at Wolverhampton and Roehampton are ‘suspending’ performing arts courses for 2022/3.

They claim it’s through lack of demand by students.

Critics blame the government’s devaluing of arts programmes and the move to push students toward science, technology and engineering courses.

I even detect criticism in the voice of The Stage editor, Alistair Smith, that parents are responsible for believing Tory spin that performing arts courses, and by association jobs in the sector, are worthless.

Blame the government Alistair, not parents and especially not parents of working-class kids.

The truth is if your name is Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hiddlestone, Eddie Redmayne, Helena Bonham-Carter, or the odious Laurence Fox you will always be able to follow your dream because you have money and well-off parents behind you.

Working-class kids, however talented, don’t have the luxury of privilege.

But the working class has produced some top-class actors; Pete Postlewaite, Julie Walters, Maxine Peake, and Daniel Mays to randomly name just a few.

Source: Shutting down creativity is upon us – Dorset Eye

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Is this the real reason Rishi Sunak wants to stop people taking some degree courses?

Rishi Sunak: is he trying to eliminate critical thinking so we won’t have the intellectual ability to understand when he and his fellow Tories are talking nonsense?

The BBC’s Any Questions and Any Answers discussed Rishi Sunak’s plan to stop people taking degree courses that don’t increase their “earning potential” – and may have revealed an ulterior motive behind it.

Sunak has said he would assess courses through drop-out rates, numbers in graduate jobs and salary thresholds – and current figures show that students with a degree in languages, linguistics, and classics have the least employable degrees.

But one caller to Any Answers made a hugely important point about the degrees Sunak wants to eradicate: they encourage critical thinking.

Vocational courses – that lead to careers in engineering, science and the like – are all about how to achieve particular results. To a large extent, students are spoon-fed the methodologies and don’t have to employ their critical faculties (although I will be happy to be proved wrong).

So here’s the question: why would a politician like Rishi Sunak want to stop members of the UK electorate from thinking critically?

Is it because they would then be able to examine the word salad he and his fellow Tories churn out every day and correctly identify it as nonsense gibberish?

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Modern politics: Give the other fellow hell – and the country nothing at all

131214perception

Politics is perception.

It isn’t about government any more. It seems none of the main parties are interested in gaining Parliamentary dominance in order to improve British citizens’ chances of leading successful lives, serving their needs by creating the best conditions in which they can prosper.

Quite the opposite – it seems clear that the intention is to crush those very citizens beneath the heel of the State (most hypocritically in the case of the Conservatives), forcing the people to serve the interests of the elected members.

What a sad State to be in. Politics is no longer even “the art of the possible”, as Otto von Bismarck once put it – unless we are discussing possible ways to fleece the electorate.

Now, the aim of the game is to shape the way the masses perceive current events. Control of the media is vital, and a series of strong statements – supported by those media but not necessarily by the facts – is considered all that is necessary to win.

It isn’t, as we shall see. But this is why we hear Tories screaming on and on, week after week, that they are clearing up a mess (no they’re not) that was Labour’s fault (no it wasn’t); that the benefit bill is too high (no it isn’t – really, it isn’t!), and the only solution is to cut support for people who desperately need it and put them into deep poverty and destitution (no it isn’t). These are positions taken by the current Coalition government and none of them are supported by the facts.

Then there is the running-down of opposing politicians. Labour’s Jack Dromey was on the receiving end of Conservative ire yesterday, after he tweeted a message about a lad from a Royal Mail sorting office being its “Pikey”. He meant that Gareth Martin’s nickname in his place of work was “Pikey”, after the character of Private Pike, the youngest member of the platoon in Dad’s Army – but Tories including David Morris went as far as writing to the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, demanding an investigation into the use of a derogatory term for members of the Roma and Irish travelling communities and questioning whether it was an incitement to racial hatred, of all things.

Of course it wasn’t. It was an attempt to get a fairly simple idea into Twitter’s 140-character limit that failed because of a word that had a double meaning.

Meanwhile, Labour MP Sarah Champion accused Conservative MPs of making sexist gestures at female members of the Opposition, while they are speaking in the House of Commons. If this is correct (and it’s hard to tell, because televised debates concentrate mainly on whoever is speaking), then the intention cannot be as open to interpretation as Mr Dromey and his “Pikey”. Interestingly, I had to use an MSN news report as reference because the BBC News item seems to have disappeared – which tends to support my point.

Constituencies up and down the country have been going through the motions of choosing the candidates who will fight the 2015 election – and what a well-managed process it is! I wonder how many of these candidates were the preferred choice of their Party heirarchy, who then contrived to convince their members that the choice was democratic? But we were all shocked at the suggestion of corruption in Falkirk, weren’t we?

How many new candidates will be besuited youngsters, with scant work experience other than as gophers for sitting Parliamentarians, councillors or devolved Parliamentarians/Assembly members, brandishing their degrees in Politics, Philosophy and Economics as though they were magic talismans that would guarantee their entry to the highest offices in the land?

How many of these candidates will be brave enough to have a voice of their own, and how many will simply spout homogeneous party lines, carefully-worded so that they can apply to any constituency?

And if they win their seat, how many of them will stand up for the rights and livelihoods of their constituents, rather than obediently voting through every corrupt bid to drain us of power and money?

Not many, I’ll warrant.

Look at your own representatives – and the candidates who hope to replace them. What do you see?

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