Saturday, 29 October 2011

Poverty of Theory, Neglect by Government

According to this (see (which will now have reached the ‘proper’ local press) the Children’s Centre are putting on a conference, chaired by the Pretzel of Tynwald and a government ‘consultant’ on children, to determine if there is poverty and neglect in the Isle of Man.
If these overpaid parasites have to ask they are more useless than we already knew, and we really need to ask in return why they have claimed so much public money for decades.
They really should know how much poverty and neglect there is. Most of the Children’s Centre committee are married into the business and political dynasties which caused the island to become two distinct nations in the first place, and from talking to some of their kids I also know how dysfunctional some upper middle class Manx families are compared to, say, the average sink estate family doomed to a second generation of lifetime unemployment.
Then there is the odd selection of speakers.
We are told, for example that: “Mr McCann is a motivational speaker who encourages people to look at life differently, helping them to take a leap that will change their lives for good and make a real difference in the world.”
So he will be talking to ......who exactly at this pseudo-conference, and encouraging them to...... do what? The permanently excluded perhaps, suggesting that as local business interests have no use for them, and also have no intention of taking (even as individuals) their fair share of the local tax burden, they might as well get used to it?
But of course not. He’s just another stooge brought in, like the canting priests who harangue us from another direction, to parrot the lie that we are equally and individually responsible for our plight, and that social or economic forces have absolutely no bearing on the matter.
I hope they’re paying this pathetic, two-faced twerp good money to push that lie: I also hope it isn’t public money.
And if you really must legitimate political inability to tackle poverty and social problems with an ‘academic’ overview, why would you pick a lecturer from an establishment about which the Daily Telegraph once asked: "Is this the worst university in Britain?"
That question was asked in 2004, when Luton had an unusually high course drop-out rate, and was additionally proposing to relax consequences of students failing second year exams. Luton answered back that as it existed specifically to give chances to the kind of folk who cannot normally consider higher education the drop-out rate was be expected and extra attempts to keep students studying needed, which is fair enough in my book. But then I read elsewhere that: “The QAA conducted a thorough institutional audit of the University as a whole in 2005 (prior to the merger of the University), which resulted in the audit team’s questioning of the academic standards of its awards and its lack of confidence in the university's quality standards.”
It seems that after the audit was taken the QAA got further information showing some appropriate action in response, but it was only in July 2007 that the audit was finally signed off. Again, to be fair, University of Bedfordshire constantly polls somewhere around 70th in most ‘league tables’ of British academic excellence, which puts it just above the lowest third, but potential employers wouldn’t dismiss a 'Beds' degree nearly as quickly as, say, an MBA from the Isle of Man Business School.
Then there is the strange link with an outfit called the Institute for Optimum Nutrition. The ION is regarded by more scientifically-based nutritionists as a “controversial” organisation, and that would be putting it mildly. For example, founder Patrick Holford's apparent advocacy of vitamin C as better than conventional drugs to treat AIDS was once described as “very scary” by the British Dietetic Association.
This has not stopped the ION offering a Home Study Course and a three-year Diploma in Nutritional Therapy (DipION). Another perturbing thing is that the University of Bedfordshire previously validated the DipION as a foundation degree, and only withdrew this validation in 2010.
So, with a wealth of British academic knowledge in the social sciences to choose from – much of it cutting edge – those responsible in Manx government chose a minor academic with no peer reviewed work from a university with no teaching pedigree in the field (and who just happens to have a book to flog) to kick off a major important social debate?
Yeah, that would be about par for the course.

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