Tag Archives: economy

Priti Patel storms into lead

18 May

So far this year, bovine Nicky Morgan grabbed the hotspot for dumbest politician of the year with her dictat that all schools must become academies. No explanation needed, just island-based comparisons: the Scots don’t do it because it is is nonsense and does not improve standards for our kids.

So, of course, she eventually had to back down.

Priti Patel was never going to be a star, but she edged Morgan because she is better looking. She also got a couple of points because she is an alumni of my daughter’s school (Priti wouldn’t even get in there these days – standards have improved).

However, the MP for Witham (aka Hamwit), Minister for Employment, today potted the black ball in the corner pocket. She launched the Save Our Curry Houses campaign, as part of her support for Brexit. Her irrational rationale is that if we exit the EU, we will no longer be forced to allow EU citizens to live and work here, so we will be able to let in more Bangladeshi and Indian citizens to work in our restaurants and stop restaurants going under. Smart, huh?

We have millions of people from the Indian subcontinent living here. I married one. How about encouraging some of them to enter the restaurant industry? A couple of universities do offer degrees in that very British cuisine, but most British Asians would not be keen to work 60 hour weeks for low wages.

Dumb and dumber? Patel gets pole position. And Cameron gets yet another grid penalty for appointing ministers with no intelligence, no skills and no place in government.

Perhaps Patel needs to get on to Just Eat and order a vindaloo tonight? Might clear her head. But then would she know that vindalhao is authentically a pork curry brought to India by Portugese colonialists?

 

 

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Experts, experts, experts!

29 Dec

Back in the day when news reached us by steamer, horse or pigeon, major news events had a lot of impact. In the global village news travels fast. We can watch wars in real time and listen live to “our correspondent” on the scene and live on cam.

Seemingly every news event is rapidly followed by “expert” comment. I can picture editors and presenters driving their researchers to find someone who knows something about this.

Perhaps, like me, you are naive enough to imagine that an ‘expert’ is someone with a comprehensive knowledge of their subject, perhaps even someone who has actually been there and done that. Pretty hard to believe when you listen to / read the unqualified, often inaccurate tosh that is printed or broadcast on any news day.

Terrorism, the Arab world, Islam, unemployment, the economy – you name it, there’s an expert in it. One could be forgiven for imagining that some learned institution is offering post-graduate courses in ‘Being an Expert’. Why are we so willing to listen to, or worse still, take seriously, these individuals? Look where it gets us: Iraq (wmd experts); global economic collapse (economists & banking experts); mass unemployment (CIPD luminaries); house prices (rising or falling – experts predict both!).

So let’s get real. Ask your granny or gaze at the tea leaves; you would have a better chance of getting a realistic assessment.