Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Corbyn and May Battle Over the 11-Plus

 I have been away from Britain for going on half a century so I am not as familiar with the politics there as some. But I do remember the 11-plus. This was an exam that they eventually abandoned. It was given to children like me at the age of 11 and if you passed it you gained entry in to a Grammar School which was a better education.

It was an extremely bad idea as it is impossible to tell exactly what a child will aspire to or what talent it is that will emerge from the individual or what their career will be at the age of 11.

I never took it I don't think but I can't remember. But imagine what it does to a child who failed it. You were told basically, at the age of 11, that you weren't smart enough to be offered a higher quality education. It was basically a means of segregation.

The Conservatives here are carrying out their austerity agenda, savaging the working class and social services as both the Wall Street parties are doing here and then complain that schools aren't functioning.  We hear Americans say that all the time about education and the health care.  They point to the British National Health system that has a waiting list or does not provide sufficient services, of course, they do this without any understanding of what it actually does. Some criticized it as communism when I first came here, it was bizarre.

The NHS as it is called is a treasure, it is a more civilized way of  providing health care which should not be a for profit enterprise, no more than education should. But the politicians of capitalism play a game; they de-fund a public service and then when it doesn't function they use their media to proclaim the benefits and efficiency of the so-called free market. Privatization is the answer. But if you  put poor quality gas in your car it won't run properly either.  Believe me, the folks in Britain or France for example do not need to emulate our market driven health system, it is a very expensive and inefficient system . People actually pay for medical services with credit cards and it is the main source of personal bankruptcies.

The argument over the 11-plu kicks in about a third or half the way through. An interesting tangle.

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