Well, Would You Believe It?

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Ever since First Citizen Antoine RobespiBlaire and his social engineers turned every bus shelter in Britain into a u2018University’ and destroyed all pretence that school exams were actually about testing people’s academic abilities, rather than awarding them a touch-feely certificate of attendance, the number of graduates has risen sharply.

The fact that the intellectual standard of most of these wannabes is so poor, as a result, that even Oxford and Cambridge are having to teach remedial English and Maths — while being excoriated for their supposedly class-driven ‘exclusivity’ — might have told you something was going very awry in this mindless pursuit of yet another ludicrous Stalinist u2018target’, namely, that of having half the relevant age group study for a degree.

So, are we surprised to learn that the legions of semi-literate, largely innumerate, Media Studies graduates from the University of Portaloo are having to take – Shock! Horror! – jobs which require NO DEGREE AT ALL?

So says a report by the ‘think tank’ (of which there are also no obvious shortages!), the Higher Education Policy Institute, which, the BBC relates, is simply amazed that “the benefits of making further education available to more young people are not as clear cut as it was first thought” and which adds the staggering revelation that there is no shortage of degree level skills in the UK, but rather what the nation achingly calls out for is youngsters with something useful to offer in the workplace, such as a the kind of know-how which would enable them to wire a house, or to upholster an armchair, not those required to perform a post-modernist deconstruction of the textual gender bias implicit in department store lift music!

The HEPI goes on to bleat that graduates are already having to settle for what it jarringly calls “lower level jobs” which “require fewer degree level skills and pay a lower salary premium than the more traditional graduate occupations.”

Oh! The Shame!

Making this worse, reported the BBC, was news that the average level of graduate debt has risen by nearly a half over the past year, jumping from 8,125 (around 6 pints of beer and a packet of smokes per day of term, at student union prices, over a three-year course), an increase of 44%, over the past 12 months — though most graduates, when questioned, couldn’t even name the last album by Forteeforpussent.

Never mind!

We have no doubt that RobespiBlaire will soon appoint another member of his fawning court intelligentsia to an unelected junior ministry, by the usual route of conferring a peerage upon them, and the newly ennobled Baroness Aqua-Minerale will fix the problem instantly – by setting a “target” that all employers must henceforth include among their workforces not only the requisite quotas from all races, religions, sexual preferences, physical abilities, shoe sizes and choice of Pop Idol winners, but that 50% of all jobs will have to be upgraded by the Human Resources department to incorporate a title of sufficient status as to be commensurate with the prickly dignity of the penurious, soft-option, liberal arts graduate they will also be forced to hire!

Actually, it seems that at least a few of these graduates have already found an outlet for their dubious accomplishments, if we turn to the pages of the Guardian, where full weight is given to the portentous pronouncements of another feel-good quango being run at taxpayers’ expense — the government’s u2018sustainable development commission’.

The worthies on that fatuous committee, chaired by that egregious ecotyrant and Chief Friend of the Earth, Jonathan Porritt, reckon that buying consumer goods, or “retail therapy”, as they term it, u2018is driven by deep evolutionary forces such as sexual competition and the need to show off and increase social status, but does nothing to make people content.’

Phew! We’ll obviously have to be careful, when next, in search of a tin of baked beans and a loaf of bread, we venture down that steamy jungle of repressed sensuality and seething lusts, the supermarket aisle!

True, the report did set out the valid, but also – to the shrinking band of us not of a Keynesian persuasion – blindingly obvious conclusions that u2018simply getting consumers to spend more was no way to keep the economy afloat’ and that u2018the government can no longer be complacent about personal debt and the misery of the consumer trap.’

But, unfortunately, this was just an excuse for some more anal-retentive, State-imposed Puritanism.

Porritt — never himself seen on TV wearing a suit rescued from the rack at Oxfam, or sporting a self-administered, eco-friendly haircut – warned primly that SOMETHING HAD TO BE DONE, saying, u2018We feel it is cowardly of policymakers not to confront this central question.’

The report itself said that the government u2018should change its policy’ from u2018pretending that it has no influence on consumption, and saying that shopping is down to freedom of choice, to actively teaching people that it could be bad for them.’

Clearly we must fight this dangerous subversion. Imagine! The very idea that what you buy and where you buy it is UP TO YOU!! No wonder society is crumbling about us!

We can feel a new peerage coming on already. But where should Baron Hairshirt make his influence felt after he settles in to his new ermine?

Indoctrinating the minds of the young, of course, like all Statists seek to do.

Schoolchildren should be u2018taught the dangers of consumerism for their own wellbeing and for Britain’ said the report and Porritt added that it would be u2018interesting’ when the government began teaching u2018citizenship’ (another useful job skill!) to see whether they included u2018responsibility towards the environment and society, which includes consumption.’

He said: “They might dismiss such ideas as ideology, but it is vital for the next generation to come to terms with these issues.”

Perhaps they should offer a degree in it, too!

Before they do, maybe they could try hard money, the abolition of the welfare state, and the practice of government thrift, as policies more conducive to changing people’s outlook for the better.

But then there’s about as much chance of that as of a newly qualified non-competitive sports psychologist being able to spell her profession correctly on her resumay…. rezoomay…. res…. CV!

Sean Corrigan [send him mail] writes from London on the financial markets, and edits the daily Capital Letter and the Website Capital Insight. He is co-manager of the Bermuda-based Edelweiss Fund.

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