Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Promises, elitism and moral standards

I have to admit that I did laugh out loud when I heard that David Cameron was promising to make the teaching profession "blatantly elitist". As promises go, it is one of the easier ones to keep as the teaching profession has been blatantly elitist for decades - so he can tick off that promise as kept the minute he walks through the door of Number 10. It's a bit like promising to make the NHS blatantly bureaucratic.

The reality is that anyone entering the teaching profession will find their options extremely limited if they don't hold the correct "right on" world view on various subjects. The teaching wing has been the elite wing of cultural marxism since the 1960's and is quite probably the most elitist profession in existence today - even the SAS is less discriminating about who it accepts into its ranks.

On the subject of David Cameron, I noticed a couple of TV news reports over the weekend described his marriage tax proposals (which aren't proposals - just vague generalisations) reminded us of John Major's "disastrous" Back to Basics campaign. I think it was rather odd to focus on that for two reasons. First of all, Major's Back to Basics campaign as I understood it at the time was primarily about his government concentrating on the basics of government. It was turned into a moral campaign by the media more than the government.

More importantly, as a moral campaign it may have proved popular with voters if it had been tried - but what made it "disastrous" wasn't the electorate not liking the idea of good moral standards, but the fact that so many Tory MPs were indulging in immoral behaviour such as cavorting with call-girls in Chelsea shirts and taking back handers from dodgy foreign businessmen.

One of the main reasons New Labour won the election in 1997 was Tony Blair's (broken) promise that his government would end all the sleaze and be "whiter than white". As this seemed to strike a chord with voters - and following the recent furore over MPs expenses - it is apparent to me that the electorate would welcome a return to good old fashioned morality standards.

It is unfortunate that successive Tory and Labour administrations have proven to be so amoral and so self-serving that the electorate is now as cynical as the media - but for different reasons. The media were cynical because the industry is a breeding ground for amoral behaviour which it promotes incessantly, whereas the public are cynical because they no longer believe there is such a thing as high standards in public office.


Letters From A Tory said...

"the public are cynical because they no longer believe there is such a thing as high standards in public office."

I think the expenses scandal, or more accurately the response of many MPs to the expenses scandal, put this one beyond doubt.

Stan said...

I think you're right that the response of many MPs who seemed to think they had done nothing wrong has seriously damaged the credibility of parliament - and I think that David Cameron is one of those MPs. He is, after all, personally very wealthy and lives a short commute from London, but still found it necessary to claim for an additional residence!

SpiteK said...

You've got to be kidding. You should see some of the dross that appears as trainee teachers at my place. Some of them are functionally illiterate.

Stan said...

I never said they were clever, SpiteK - just that they are elitist.