Thursday, March 11, 2010

Cargo Cult


It's interesting to observe how, in the run-up to the General Election, Labour is making valiant efforts to distract attention away from national issues and working hard on a 'localism' programme of their own.

It goes rather like this for anyone who hasn't spotted it already. "We, the local Labour Party, may operate under the same flag as the gang in government but really we're different and can offer friendly local solutions that government can't.' Of course, any occasional scraps of comfort or finance that fall locally will, rather like some strange and primitive 'Cargo Cult', will be the divine gift of 'a Labour Government' and just to remind you what this is:

'A cargo cult is a type of religious practice that may appear in traditional tribal societies in the wake of interaction with technologically advanced cultures. The cults are focused on obtaining the material wealth (the "cargo") of the advanced culture through magic and religious rituals and practices, believing that the wealth was intended for them by their deities and ancestors. Cargo cults developed primarily in remote societies in the southwest Pacific Ocean, beginning with the first significant arrivals of Westerners in the 19th century. Similar behaviours have, however, also appeared elsewhere in the world.'

No doubt, some reader have observed such politically-inspired cargo cult behaviour taking place around Thanet, with mysterious markings appearing on the beaches and an endless stream of press releases warning of the apocalyptic consequences of any change in government.

Back in the real world however, there's bad news for Ed Balls in today's paper's, revealing an Ofsted report showing that the proportion of secondary schools failing to provide a good education has soared to nearly 60 per cent. The percentage of 'inadequate' or merely satisfactory schools has jumped from 37 per cent last academic year to 58 per cent in 2009/10.

Ofsted introduced new inspection criteria in September and the sudden rise in failing schools sparked fears it has been exaggerating their effectiveness for years. Apparently, the new test looks more closely at teaching standards and exam results, doubling the time inspectors spend in classrooms.

The Chief Inspector of Constabulary has also criticized police for failing to visit 23% of families whose lives are made a misery by anti-social behaviour and we heard last week, that violent crime has now jumped by 40% through the simple expedient of the police now having to record it, rather than ignore it or call it something else, such as 'nasty accident with carving knife while arguing with neighbour'.

If I'm rambling this morning, it's because it's hard to find a good place to start. The whole country appears to be in such a mess and so completely broke, that I rather wonder if believing, like the Pacific islanders and members of the Labour Party, in some fantasy cargo-cult picture of the economy might not be such a bad idea after all, if at least to shut out the reality of what takes place when a 'boom' economy drops from a great height and bounces around quite helplessly 'bust'.

14 comments:

Richard Eastcliff said...

'We, the local Labour Party, may operate under the same flag as the gang in government but really we're different and can offer friendly local solutions that government can't.'

For 'Labour' substitute 'Tory', for 'government' substitute 'opposition' and for 'friendly' substitute 'ridiculous'. Et voila!

Sorry Simes. Couldn't resist that one!

Peter Checksfield said...

Would you call foxhunting a national or local issue?

DrM. said...

Best ask the fox that lives under the hedge opposite. He or she has far more to fear from marauding local pt bull terriers than the local hunt I suspect!

Peter Checksfield said...

So does this mean you support foxhunting?

DrM. said...

No, it means that I haven't given the matter much thought! I have other things to occupy me such as tonight's cabinet meeting, the regeneration of Margate, benefits etc etc.

Peter Checksfield said...

Well maybe you should think about it a bit more with the run up to the election. Like it or not it could be the deciding factor for many (including myself).

DrM. said...

Do we have any foxhunting in Westgate or even Thanet, come to that? Me, I do my best to protect wildlife of all kinds, although I presently, I have a problem with an over-population of savage Pit Bull Terriers on the island!

Anonymous said...

As usual, you will not answer a straight question will you!

Do you support fox hunting or not? Not a hugely difficult concept, just requires a YES or NO answer!

DrM. said...

Let's just say I'm an animal lover who remains agnostic on the issue of foxes but worries greatly over dangerous dogs!

Anonymous said...

"I have other things to occupy me such as tonight's cabinet meeting, the regeneration of Margate, benefits etc etc."

If you can't answer a simple question yes or no, like 5.51 says; then how can you make big decisions like how to fix Margate etc.

More obfuscation eh Doc!

DrM. said...

Some questions deserve rather more thought than a "yes" or a "no" and occasionally have an answer that lies somewhere in between.

I'll direct you to the problem of 'Schroedinger's Cat', an equally simple question perhaps.

Is the cat alive or dead or both?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schr%C3%B6dinger's_cat

Anonymous said...

There's no in between answer Simon. Either it's wrong for foxes to be ripped to pieces by dogs that are encouraged to do so in the name of "sport" - or it's OK. They might wear nice clean uniforms & speak with a posh accent, but these people are surely no better than the irresponsible pitbull owners that you're campaigning against.

Anonymous said...

anon again!
Fox Hunt supporters will NOT get my vote, nor will supporters of the Pitbull regime.
I'm glad there is virtually no more hunting, and I hate having to dodge these killer dog monsters, unleashed, whilst doing my shopping in the High Street, let alone a quiet walk on the Beach.
Foxes are superb little hunters, and this side of nature should be left well alone.
Dogs, on the other hand, should be under control at all times, especially they are Pitbull, Staffy, Mastif, Rotweiller, Dobermann breeds.
Any dog can turn in a second, from being a friendly placid pet, to a raging biting menace. Nobody knows why.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if going over to china and offering land and planning permission to entice Chinese investors to thanet counts as a cargo cult, i would have thought it was bang on!!!!!!!!!!!!!