timscience: (fuckit)
I have a tendency to listen to Radio 4 on my way to work on the days when I don't feel like listening to music. It's relatively soothing and often quite interesting. Unfortunately my regular schedule gets me Thought for the Fucking Day about the time I go over Tesco flyover.

Usually it just induces eye-rolling scorn over its sixth-form platitudes and idiotic evidence-free assertions ("insight comes from the soul's remembrance of its own spiritual origin" WHAT THE FUCK DOES THAT EVEN MEAN???) but on occasion it leads me to such paroxysms of rage that even the company of Chris Moyles seems preferable. Today was a weird one though and lulled me into a false state of security before delivering its punchline. I'm sure Anne Atkins thinks of herself as a lovely person and maybe even a liberal but this morning's idiocy seemed to drift into highly politicised right wing dogwhistle territory.

Check this shit out, with my interpretation:

Preamble lovely village blah blah some sexist shit about map reading blah blah Jesus, who, apparently, was all for female equality in spite of never having been recorded as mentioning the subject. Then:
"The most important job most of us ever do is raising the next generation." - well that's reassuring to those of my friends who don't wish to, or can't, have children. You may be a writer, a scientist, a teacher, an artist but unless you've spawned your life is esentially worthless.

" A privilege which vitally embraces the commitment of two people, essentially different, equally involved, each incapable of creating a child alone." - "Child rearing is for a man and a woman committed in matrimony....."

"What interested me most about the navigational findings is that those who perform best are, what a surprise, not men alone or women alone but a mixed team of both" - ".....and all you gays and single parents can fuck right off. Especially those gays who might want to get married and maybe raise children."

Now maybe it's just me. But, given the prominence of the gay marriage issue and Anne Atkins' status as a "practising Anglican" I don't think so. Does somebody clear the scripts for what these fuckwits are going to say? Because I'm certainly not up for a bunch of Tea Party horseshit being beamed into my car before my coffee has even kicked in, however delicately coded it is.

Thought for the Day. Can you all just fuck off now please?
timscience: (ironhand)
We had our staff training on Friday. I had my first encounter with the outside consultant for equality and diversity, who on other staff training days apparently offended half the staff by beng shouty. I do not think he is shouty. I think he is passionate and a bit frustrated because of the sheer number of staff who do not get it.

Anyway. The elephant in the room when we talk about E+D (that's equality and diversity in teacherspeak) is class, or, more precisely, parental income. Kids on higher incomes do better pretty much as soon as their progress becomes measurable, sometimes as early as two. Kids on lower incomes with high IQs at an early age see those IQs go down as they get older, and by the time they are in secondary school have often been overtaken by their richer contemporaries. Nobody seems to be quite sure why, maybe income is a marker for number of books in the house, or a better diet, or parents having more leisure time to read to their kids, or any number of things or most likely a bit of all of them. The biggest single predictor of academic success is social class, and any attempt to address E+D that doesn't address this is just a figleaf.

Early intervention, incidentally, works best, but when Labour flagged it up they were accused of interfering in family life, ZaNuLiarBore pantechnicon society etc etc. You know the drill.

I mentioned all this to the shouty man and learned an interesting thing.

Just before the end of the last parliament, the Labour government passed a number of measures in washup. Washup is the bit at the end of a parliament where any outstanding legislation that everyone agrees on is rushed through. One of the measures was an equality bill that would unify and extend previous legislation and, among other things, "require government departments, local authorities and key health bodies to consider, in all the strategic decisions they make, how they will tackle the disadvantage some people face because of socio-economic disadvantage". In other words, class discrimination is to be addressed. I should emphasise that this was passed by ALL the parties prior to the dissolution of parliament. It is on the statute books.

That is not the interesting thing.

This is the interesting thing.

The implementation date for the equality bill was quietly dropped from the website in mid June. So, although it is law, it is not law yet and can presumably continue to be not law yet for, well, ever. The Conservatives oppose the socio economic duty and have said they would not implement it. Shouty man thinks it is because that nice Mr Gove's plans for "free" schools will be incompatible with the legislation. Which has, I remind you, been passed into law.

In unrelated news, according to the Guardian someone put the Lib Dems' principles up for sale on eBay. Estimated price £1.20. I tried to find them but they were nowhere to be seen.