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Sunday, 10 August 2008

Yet more Ed Balls-ups

Some 30 odd years ago I met a lady who was a granddaughter of the Lion of Judah – the Emperor Haile Selassie.

She clearly inherited some of his courage, for she had survived 8 years being imprisoned and tortured by the Mengistu regime, a bunch of criminal Marxists who then ran that sad country.

(I sometimes wonder how Marx would feel if he could see the villainy and misery inflicted in his name - just as I do of Jesus Christ and Mohammed).

Anyhow this lady was living with a Dane, and was applying to stay in Denmark and become a citizen. One thing she had to do was learn Danish, which seemed reasonable to me, and is the only comment I going to make, if obliquely, on the subject of immigration here.

I was reminded of this requirement when reading that ETS, the consortium of American con-artists who caused the recent SATs marking cock-up, have been rewarded with a contract for English language tests for immigrants.

In the topsy-turvy world of "New" - strikingly like "Old" Labour - no qualification beats sheer incompetence. I can almost hear the dialogue now.

“Hello, I’m the Minister for Education, Ed Balls. I understand that besides being ace bullshitters you're fucking useless. Can you prove it? You can? Good show. I’m a fucking useless bullshitter too. We sound like perfect partners.

“How about sorting out who should be allowed to stay here under our latest set of insane regulations? Since you’re not English you should be perfect. We tried to get some Nigerians, but they’re too busy screwing their own people and sending our letters promising millions to idiots (Gordon's replied to three this week) and Mugabe’s printing banknotes night and day. Too tired, poor chap.”

An editorial in The Oldie which covered this subject, also points out that:

“Similar questions arise over the senior executives of the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, the ill-assorted body of academics and big businessmen who awarded the controversial marking contract to ETS in the first place.

The chairman of the QCA is Sir Anthony Greener, once in charge of the cigarette manufacturers Dunhill and a man knighted for his services to the drinks industry. They do not seem especially relevant for deciding what should be taught in our schools.

The QCA's chief executive is a man called Ken Boston, who is paid £328,000 a year after recently receiving a 15 per cent pay rise. Mr Boston is an Australian who, in addition to his generous salary, has the run of a nice flat in Chelsea and is allowed six business-class flights - costing between £3,000 and £7,000 - back to Australia every year.

It may be that there is no one in this country who could do the job as well as Boston. But we could save quite a lot of money in expenses if we hired a British citizen to take over.”

Ed Balls-up was the mastermind behind Gordon Brown’s management of the economy, which I see some fools among the “opinion-forming classes” still think was good.

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