Education, education, education!

Learning the hard way?

Is university employment really that secure? Is university employment really that secure?
Naturally the Spectator finds it hard to say anything good about Gordon Brown, funny yes, good no! An article by David Blackburn was especially funny as it homed in on the attempt, or so it would seem, by Brown to get himself into the record books. When in government many people accused Brown of lying, well even in opposition (or should that be exile?) fantasy and the ex-PM are together. Brown is writing his memoirs and it's the size of the thing that's suspicious. Let Blackburn explain -

If you think your life’s an unremitting tragedy, pity the proof reader at Gordon Brown’s publisher. The late and unlamented Prime Minister has been out of office for 58 days, typing 10,000 words a day. That’s 580,000 words already. Tolstoy took 4 years and 460,000 words to write War and Peace, Cervantes needed 10 years and nearly 500,000 words to write Don Quixote, and the Bible is 783,000 words. 580,000 words typed by a partially sighted man with maybe 30 years to live.

The reference to other authors is apt as Brown's efforts are, on past trends, never going to be so popular. Well not with the general public. It's true that the BBC might feel sorry for Brown; this happened when David Blunkett was forced to resign. They had him on doing all sorts of errands as part of a rehabilitation scheme. It failed, we were soon totally bored as well as unsympathetic to this chancer, last heard of working for a US company. Something to do with ID cards, which was one of his obsessions when he was a Minister.

Then there was Chris Mullin. He made a career out of being unhappy with his party, both old Labour and the new fangled version and likewise disenchanted with opposition and government. "Never afraid to speak his mind", so said the Westminster village inhabitants who reviewed his book - 'A View From the Foothills'. Gosh! How did the man put up with all that misery, could it have been the salary and the gold plated pension? Mullin's book is just a little bit humorous, was trailed on BBC radio, but still only manages to be selling at less than half its recommended retail selling price. It's also only about 144,000 words long; if Brown is already up to 580,000 that's over 1,800 pages. I wonder if there is a section on deforestation? Some people have suggested it's going to be all tractor production statistics so you will need something with a diesel engine to haul it home with!

But the really interesting thing was the link in the Spectator post to the story about Brown being offered a job at a university or even, a truly surreal suggestion, that he could head the IMF.

You do wonder about universities, see HERE, HEREand HERE. They're a bit like banks. In the months before the recession the mindset of the banks was suggesting they were too big to fail; how could we doubt their skills? It's the same with the universities, they do nothing wrong, or so they think! But like the banks, under Nulabour they have prospered. What is in doubt is the quality of what they offer, put simply it's now a numbers game. More graduates is not the a guarantee of a better society. How typical that under Nulabour student numbers went up but now employment prospects go down.

Unless that is, you're Gordon Brown. Mind you Professor Phil Jones will go back to the University of East Anglia Climate Research Unit (CRU) soon, see HERE, HERE and HERE. It's as if the question of climate science has been resolved and we can all carry on as before, well we can't. It's about as daft as employing Brown to run the IMF.