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Friday, August 26, 2005


Digby Jones, and more

Digby Jones is leader of the bosses’ organisation the CBI. I find him an utterly odious man, and I have written about him before. Yesterday he was a guest on BBC One’s Breakfast programme. He was there to talk about exam results. But, like so many commentators on education, he only proved himself to be a fool. Discussing the rise in the pass rate, he said (and I paraphrase but I do not misrepresent):

“Employers are not concerned with the grade on a piece of paper. They want to know, ‘does this person have the necessary skills?’”

Almost without a breath he then said:

“In light of these exam results, employers are very concerned.”

So which is it? Are employers interested in the grades on pieces of paper? Or aren’t they? I know what he is trying to argue, but this is not a great argument for his position. And bad arguments corrupt thinking. Corrupt thinking leads to corrupted democracy. I say deport Digby Jones – he is a danger to our society. He obviously hates ‘the West’, why else would he mock the virtues of the Enlightenment so?

It reminds me of the anti-piracy advert currently running in cinemas. One of the reasons given for why it is better to watch a film in a cinema rather on a pirate copy is that, when watching a pirate copy you have the screen blocked by anyone who needs the toilet. Well, d’uh! That is because the pirate copy was filmed in a cinema. There are arguments against watching films on pirate copies, and there are arguments in favour of ‘the cinema experience’. But when a bunch of millionaires ask us to protect their profits, using stupid, damaging arguments to persuade us, I have to say I have little sympathy when Fantastic Four loses its makers money.

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