The sub-optimal education that I referred to at the end of the previous piece seems to include the former Brexit MEP Annunziata Rees-Mogg, sister of the Leader of the House and equally self-entitled, who has been opining on the price of potatoes and the poor.
She has received a powerful reply from none other than my favourite food writer, Jack Monroe in ‘The Price Of Potatoes And The Value Of Compassion’. This is cogent writing with wonderfully incisive verve, wit and entirely necessary bad language. I urge anyone with three or four spare minutes to read it all. And the writer herself declares no more than four and a half GCSEs.
Annunziata Rees-Mogg was the lady that declared she had been a Conservative since the age of five. In doing so she divulged that it was not deep thinking, but deep indoctrination that got her there. Indeed she seems to prove that her private education did not ever challenge her thoughts from age five.
We have a government who for the most part are highly educated – Johnson, for example, got a second from Oxford but Sunak got a first, admittedly studying our favourite subject on Progressive Pulse, PPE.
Nonetheless it has always seemed a great mystery to me how these highly educated people can be so either cruel or ignorant or stupid – or indeed all three. Then I read someone who said education is about the past – intelligence is about the future. I suggest this certainly contains an element of truth, but more importantly it suggests that our best educational institutions do not appear, in large part, to encourage or even engender critical thinking.
Maybe this is unsurprising when they are treated by government as businesses and measured, critically, by how many (typically overpaid and abstractive) jobs their graduates get.
Jobs might well be a measure for apprenticeship success.
But I suggest ‘education’ is more abstract and additional to that – and usually about ideas.
And surely those ideas make the moments of unemployment much more enjoyable.
If only to consider our banana monarchy…