Friday, June 04, 2010

Social mobility myth: How the British Labour party punished the middle-class for a problem that doesn't exist

Innate ability is the key factor in upward mobility but that is systematically ignored -- resulting in policies that are destructive

Middle-class families have been on the wrong end of deeply damaging Government policies designed to fix a social mobility problem which does not exist, academics warn today.

The study for the Civitas think-tank says Labour squandered billions on social engineering projects which had little or no impact on a child's chances of success in later life. In part, this is because the claim that the nation is a closed shop to less well-off youngsters when it comes to employment opportunities is a myth, the study says.

Having re-examined official data, comparing children born in 1958 with those born in 1970, it concludes that Britain is actually an open and meritocratic society in which more than half of the population are in a different class to the one in which they were born.

The overview of the report warns: 'Many politicians are badly informed about the facts of social mobility in modern Britain. And because they don't know the facts, they support policies which are at best unnecessary, and at worst deeply damaging.'

According to the report's author Peter Saunders, Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of Sussex, a prime example of this is the way 'middle-class parents are deprived of the right to choose the schools their children attend'. Such 'old-style socialist' policies - such as introducing school admissions lotteries - are dismissed as having 'little or nothing to do with increasing individual opportunities or rewarding effort and ability'.

Other policies which come under attack include A-level grade inflation, positive discrimination in favour of working-class university applicants and attempts to flatten income distribution by taxing the middle classes more to fund greater welfare spending.

Professor Saunders says a crucial factor in determining why some children from poor backgrounds perform less well than their middle-class counterparts is that they are not as bright. The overview says: 'Bright people tend to become middle class, and they often have bright kids who themselves also become middle class. Our overall social mobility rates are roughly what they should be in a meritocracy.'

But Professor Saunders says this is considered unpalatable by MPs so not properly discussed. Instead, both Labour and the Tories choose to perpetuate a myth that social mobility is falling.

The academic says: 'Politicians have a vested interest in perpetuating the myth that Britain is a closed society. 'Labour radicals want to deny social fluidity exists because this allows them to attack the supposed unfairness of the British class system.

'Conservatives want to deny it, because they can attack the previous government's record in promoting opportunity.'

Movement between classes in Britain is roughly the same as elsewhere in the Western world, the report says.


Insane political correctness in Canadian sport

Excellence punished -- allegedly based on the false gospel of "self esteem" but more likely another instance of the futile Leftist "equality" dream

In yet another nod to the protection of fledgling self-esteem, an Ottawa children’s soccer league has introduced a rule that says any team that wins a game by more than five points will lose by default.

The Gloucester Dragons Recreational Soccer league’s newly implemented edict is intended to dissuade a runaway game in favour of sportsmanship. The rule replaces its five-point mercy regulation, whereby any points scored beyond a five-point differential would not be registered.

Kevin Cappon said he first heard about the rule on May 20 — right after he had scored his team’s last allowable goal. His team then tossed the ball around for fear of losing the game.

He said if anything, the league’s new rule will coddle sore losers. “They should be saying anything is possible. If we can get five goals really fast, well, so can the other team,” said Kevin, 17, who has played in the league for five years. “People grow in adversity, they don’t really get worse…. I think you’ll see more leadership skills being used if a losing team tries to recuperate than if they never got into that situation at all.”

Kevin’s father, Bruce Cappon, called the rule ludicrous. “I couldn’t find anywhere in the world, even in a communist country, where that rule is enforced,” he said.

Mr. Cappon said the organization is trying to “reinvent the wheel” by fostering a non-competitive environment. The league has 3,000 children enrolled ranging in age from four to 18 years old.

“Everybody wants a close game, nobody wants blowouts, but we don’t want to go by those farcical rules that they come up with,” he said. “Heaven forbid when these kids get into the real world. They won’t be prepared to deal with the competition out there.”

Paul Cholmsky, whose four- and six-year-old boys play in the league, said the intended goal of a default-lose rule might backfire in teaching life skills. “If there’s one team that’s consistenly dominant and one team that’s not, well, that’s life,” he said.

Mr. Cholmsky said he would be in favour of temporarily handicapping a team, for example reducing the number of players on the field, over ensuring a team loss for a high score differential.

According to the league’s new rules, coaches of stronger teams are encouraged to deter runaway games by rotating players out of their usual positions, ensuring players pass the ball around, asking players to kick with the weaker foot, taking players off the field and encouraging players to score from farther away.

Club director Sean Cale said he is disappointed a few parents are making the new soccer rule overshadow the community involvement and organizing the Gloucester club does. “The registration fee, regardless of the sport, does not give a parent the right to insult or belittle the organization,” he said. “It gives you a uniform, it gives you a team.”

Mr. Cale said the league’s 12-person board of directors is not trying to take the fun out of the game, they are simply trying to make it fair. {Fair? Is it fair for the least skilled team to win??] The new rule, suggested by “involved parents,” is a temporary measure that will be replaced by a pre-season skill assessment to make fair teams. “The board is completely volunteer-run and we do the best that we can to provide a good, clean, fun soccer experience for everyone,” he said.

Although parents are fuming, he said the commotion is coming from “about 1% of the parents.”


Whites not welcome among Georgia blacks

Because Liz Carter is white, she’s banned from debating Democrat Rep. Hank Johnson and the other black candidates running for his Georgia congressional seat at a candidate forum in Atlanta tonight.

The forum, moderated by Newsmakers Live, is solely for the black Republicans and Democrats running for Johnson’s 4th Congressional District seat, Carter took to the Internet to say.

Carter, a Republican, expressed her disappointment on Twitter Wednesday, asking, “What happened to diversity?” “We called them, we asked to participate,” said Carter’s campaign manager, Cheryl Prater. But she said Newsmaker Live’s event moderator, Maynard Eaton, told the campaign that because Carter is white, she’s only allowed to sit in the audience and not participate.

Newsmakers Live is a black media organization, which according to its website has a “global urbane perspective” and publishes a weekly journal and video show that “embodies a unique ‘infotainment’ concept that specializes in intense interviewing of prominent personalities and political figures.” Its website includes videos titled, “Are Black Babies An Endangered Species,” and “Moving African-American Businesses to the Next Level.”

Maynard, the editor-in-chief of Newsmakers Live, did not immediately respond to a request for comment by e-mail. But a flier advertising the event’s guests only shows the photos of the three black Democrats and one black Republican running for the seat: Hank Johnson,Vernon Jones and Connie Stokes, all Democrats, and Republican candidate Cory Ruth.

“By inviting this black Republican, they’ve made it racial,” said Prater. There are a couple other white candidates who were not invited to the program, Prater said. Carter, she said, has worked to garner black support in the heavily black district and was endorsed by the College Republicans at Atlanta’s predominantly black Morehouse College.

Tonight the candidate will at least make an attempt to get on stage. “We’re showing up,” Prater said.

This reliably Democratic district congressional district has been the subject of embarrassment over the years, as firebrand conspiracist Cynthia McKinney once held the seat. Among Johnson’s gaffes, he became an Internet sensation this year by suggesting, on camera during a congressional hearing, that the island of Guam could “tip over and capsize” due to overpopulation.


Australia: Father who bashed pedophile cleared

Since the pedophile was let off, any other verdict would have been grossly offensive

A JURY has taken 40 minutes to find a father not guilty of bashing a pedophile who molested his son after watching State of Origin at his home.

The man, who cannot be named, had pleaded not guilty in the Beenleigh District Court to a charge of assault causing grievous bodily harm - which carries a maximum penalty of 14 years' jail.

He was alleged to have attacked Shayne Thomas Davidson, 43, at Eagleby on June 11, 2008 after learning about the assault on his son in his bed.

Davidson pleaded guilty last year to indecently assaulting the boy but was spared a jail sentence.

He had been invited over to watch the State of Origin game with his old childhood friend with whom he had recently become re-acquainted.

The court was told that after the game, Davidson told the father and two neighbours he was going to bed on a mattress made up on the lounge-room floor.

But he instead he went into the boy's bedroom and massaged his genitals telling him he was a "pretty boy" and they would be "best pals forever".

When the upset and teary 10-year-old told his father, he is alleged to have dragged Davidson outside and bashed him almost unconscious.

But a jury today took just 40 minutes to return a not guilty verdict after magistrate Walter Tutt told them they must "consider if what the defendant did were the actions of an ordinary resonable person given the circumstances".



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.


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