Hearts and Minds: what education debate redux?

Right, I’m on the move for most of the rest of the afternoon, so here’s a heads up on tonight’s Hearts and Minds. As grammar schools throw down the gauntlet on selection, the Education Minister answers claims that she’s responsible for privatising the 11 plus. And Sinn Fein is at odds with the other parties over a chair for the victims commission. But is the delay in putting the commission on a legal footing more about changing the definition of a victim? Hmmm… round two from last week, only this time with the Minister herself fielding the questions.

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  • As my previous post has now probably ended up on the wrong thread:

    Catriona was warned that if she persisted in trying to pull a solo run she would end up with the Prod grammars declaring UDI and a system which is less socially inclusive than the present one. And so it has proven. It’s high time Adams and McGuinness replaced this embarrassing failure with someone up to the job.

    I love the patronising little snippet that the 30PGs are going to let children from poor families sit their entry test for free. Bless. Are they going to provide free after-school tutoring to give the same poor children something of a break when they try to compete for places with privately tutored kids? I doubt it, as this list consists in large measure of schools which have spent decades using punitive capitation fees and expensive uniforms to keep the poor out; unless of course, their parents show how deserving they are by getting into debt to pay for fees that schools shouldn’t be allowed to charge in the first place.

    As for the effect this will have on integration, I would guess in my neck of the woods, this will mean, firstly, massive middle-class flight from St. Malachy’s and Fortwilliam. Actually there already is, not only to BRA, but cross-town to Rathmore and especially Aquinas, and this trend will be exacerbated. BRA’s Catholic intake will shoot up from 45% to something more like 70-80%. And some Catholic parents in the Antrim Road and Glengormley will suddenly discover where Belfast High and even Ballyclare are. But will that mean that St. Malachy’s and Fortwilliam turn into sink schools? Well, unless you think that working class kids are inherently thick, no, why should it? It might mean that Ballysillan closes and Glengormley High and the Model Schools get a sudden surge in numbers, though.

    As someone who is instinctively suspicious of the comprehensive lobby, but has been sickened over the past year or two by the unconcealed snobbery and depth of denial among AQE and their supporters, I’d like the pro-grammar crowd here to riddle me a few things:

    Firstly, grammar schools were intended to be academic hothouses. Grade As, originally intended to be awarded to the top 25% of entrants, however, were awarded to 38% of entrants in 2006 and Grade As and Bs to a whopping 55% of pupils. That’s right, a majority of 11-plus entrants now get at least a Grade B, and many grammar schools, especially around Belfast, are now accepting pupils with Cs. Indeed, very few of the 30PGs are accepting As and Bs only any more. Clearly, grammar schools aren’t academic hothouses anymore. So what are they? And if they are already open to children with below-average ability, why test by ability at all?

    Secondly, there are huge, and universally acknowledged social disparities in educational attainment based on social class. Admittedly, many emerge in our (comprehensive) primary system, but they continue to widen through the post-primary period. Do you agree that grammar schools exacerbate this problem? With the ability barrier now so low for grammar schools, do you feel there is a danger that grammars are effectively selecting by class? If so, is this a problem or is it really none of the business of grammar schools to fix society’s problems? Do you think these schools have a responsibility to examine their uniform and fee policies to see if they are de facto exclusionary?

    Finally, as our school age population is in steep decline, what do you see as the long term future as grammar schools? Would you be prepared to see some of them close to maintain academic standards? Or would you be comfortable with a situation where they were educating 80% of children instead of just 60%? In which case, what is the point in having a different system for a minority of mostly poor children?

    For the fact book, as far as I can work out, the following traditionally Protestant Grammars are not on the list:

    Ballymena Academy
    Campbell College (may be a prelude to going completely independent)
    Coleraine High
    Lurgan College (Dixon Plan school)
    Portadown College (Dixon Plan school)
    Portora
    Rainey Endowed

    Oh, and for all of you playing for the slow team, there are only a handful of State Grammars (all of which are among the 30 schools); most of what are colloquially referred to as Protestant Grammars are, er…, Protestant. As in BRA is Presbyterian, Campbell C of I, and Methody is, well, you know, Methodist.

    By the way, I laughed when Beano said you needed a tutor to pass the 11-plus. If you need a tutor to pass an exam that a majority of children pass, aren’t you unsuited to an academic education, almost by definition.

  • BonarLaw

    “Oh, and for all of you playing for the slow team”

    So not everyone is up to the pace of the “fast team”?

    Perhaps they failed to get selected.

  • Pancho’s Horse

    Mick. cad é rud é ‘heads up’? Is this an americanism? Does it mean advance notice or what? It presumably comes from American football, the world of animals or rapping or all three.

  • Reader

    Sammy Morse: Grade As, originally intended to be awarded to the top 25% of entrants, however, were awarded to 38% of entrants in 2006 and Grade As and Bs to a whopping 55% of pupils.
    Are you pulling the old electorate vs. voters bait and switch? Surely it was meant to be 25% of the intake, not 25% of entrants? And these days, there are many children who aren’t entered for the 11+. In the old days, it was pretty much everyone.
    The other thing is, since Blair did his education, education, education speech, we are meant to be preparing 50% of the population for university. So if there hadn’t been a shift in Grammar school intake, you would still have complained, wouldn’t you?
    And finally, for a cynic, you have surprisingly missed the obvious cynical observation. In an era of falling school rolls, the Grammar schools have the luxury of being able to keep their numbers up. Cynical? Yes. The end of selective education? No.

  • Jen Erik

    Sammy, as far as I know, my daughters’ school (on your list) hasn’t decided one way or the other yet – so the fact that a school is not on the list may not mean they’ve decided against that version of the transfer test.

  • foreign correspondent

    I passed the eleven-plus and went to a grammar school but I am still a bit puzzled by the constant use of the word ´redux´ in post headings. What is a redux, is it a summary or something?
    (Hangs head and goes to the back of the class)

  • willis

    Foreign Correspondent

    You are very brave, no-one ever admits ignorance here. We just cut and paste the word into Wikipedia thus:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Redux

  • willis

    Great post Sammy.

    Is there a great Sinn Fein gameplan?

    Who are the likely winners? The State/Prod Grammars. Losers? The prod kids who will get squeezed out of the Grammars by the influx of middle-class aspirational catholics. Other winners will be the catholic kids who suddenly find there are more places available at Fortwilliam etc.

    So which set of kids end up better off?

  • Driftwood

    Sammy talks about “prod grammars”. I went to a “controlled grammar”-Down High. lots of Roman Catholics, Chinese etc. As an atheist, I don’t remember my declaration of this being a problem to teachers, principal, board of governors etc. there was a Buddhist and a Hindu in my class.
    We were not subject to any indoctrination.
    Sammy, why is Down High School a “protestant” school? when it is clearly defined as a state school open to all religions or none? Same applies to many others, including BRA with 45% RC Intake. Dominican College-Portstewart. excellent school to compare with Down High, lots of prods/heathen atheists.
    Why do I suspect envy of ability and SWP style hatred of those who seek to better themselves?
    Bigotry is not confined to religion or national identity.

  • I’m bringing forward proposals…..

    I’m bringing forward proposals…..

    I will bring forward proposals….

    The Grammar schools know what i’m proposing…

    I’m bringing forward proposals….

  • Perhaps they failed to get selected.

    Or perhaps they were tutored through, taking the place of a more able pupil from a less advantaged background…

    Are you pulling the old electorate vs. voters bait and switch? Surely it was meant to be 25% of the intake, not 25% of entrants?

    It’s a fair point, but doesn’t explain the sheer degree of grade inflation. 14,944 children took the 11+ in 2006; I think the total size of that age cohort is 21-22k, but as the NISRA website is down at the moment I can’t check.

    So if there hadn’t been a shift in Grammar school intake, you would still have complained, wouldn’t you?

    No. I am not a die hard comprehensivist and am deeply suspicious of a lot of the comprehensive lobby; I quite like the idea of grammar schools as academic hothouses. But that is not what we have in Northern Ireland. We have grammar schools (with some exceptions, mostly in the Catholic sector) as means for the middle-classes to avoid sending their children to school with poor people.

    I think the comprehensive lobby have missed some of the most important issues around delivering excellent education for all – particularly the disparities which exist when children enter the (comprehensive) primary system and widen throughout those seven years.

    I’m also not convinced that sending 50% of young people to university is remotely sensible; a large proportion of the people who went to QUB with me had no real interest in being there and left after a three year Arts degree with weak written English and an inability to engage critically with arguments.

    So, don’t assume I’m a die hard leftist comprehensive supporter. I’m not. But everything I’ve heard from AQE and their parent fan club convinces me that their primary goal is to keep people like me, or at least me as I was 20 years ago, out of their children’s schools. If AQE are failing to convince old standards- and discipline-obsessed reactionaries like me, then there are big holes in their argument.

    In an era of falling school rolls, the Grammar schools have the luxury of being able to keep their numbers up. Cynical?

    I thought that was pretty explicit in what I said. That’s why a majority of children are now going to grammar schools. That trend is not going to reverse. So grammar schools now are something very different from what they were; the academic potential of their intake is ever weaker; so why do we support a system that is clearly no longer fit for purpose.

    I really wish someone would answer my questions…

    so the fact that a school is not on the list may not mean they’ve decided against that version of the transfer test.

    Indeed. I’ve heard that from at least one other school on the list. So it may well end up with all the Prod grammars bar Lurgan and Portadown Colleges.

    Is there a great Sinn Fein gameplan?

    I doubt it. Do you see any sign of it? Catriona Ruane is not Klemens von Metternich.

  • Driftwood

    Sammy
    What is a “protestant” grammar school?
    A school that makes you being a member of a protestant church crucial for enrolment?

  • As an atheist, I don’t remember my declaration of this being a problem to teachers, principal, board of governors etc. there was a Buddhist and a Hindu in my class.

    There are plenty of Muslim and Hindu kids at the Catholic Grammar I went to and quite a number of Protestants on the teaching staff. These things aren’t as much of a problem as we sometimes make them out to be, thanks be to God. Prod grammar is just a short-cut. What do you want me to say – “grammar schools with their origins in Protestant churches and/or whose pupils have traditionally came mainly from Protestant backgrounds”. But of a mouthful. The shorthand will do me fine.

    Why do I suspect envy of ability and SWP style hatred of those who seek to better themselves?

    Absolutely. I envy your ability. I never did anything to better myself and I resent that you clearly have a happy and fulfilled life while I wallow in resentment and self-pity.

    Let’s get serious and leave the amateur shrinking aside.

    You seem unconcerned by the social inequalities our education system produces. That’s your right in a democratic society, but equally in a democratic society the taxpayer through his or her representatives have a duty to ensure that public money is spent well. If our education system is producing unfair outcomes then I think we have a duty to improve it. I’m no fan of Catriona Ruane, no socialist let alone SWPer, and I’m apalled by the Crosland-esque “rise with their class, not out of it” nonsense that motivates some of the comprehensive lobby.

    But at the end of the day, grammar schools are changing dramatically though the invisible hand of the declining birth rate. So far, they seem to wish to cling to the comfort blanket of a selection procedure conceived over six decades ago which no longer produces remotely fair outcomes. Easily coachable tests see whole classes in middle-class areas go to grammar schools while the Greater Shankill produces an annual grammar school entry you can count with your fingers.

    The complacency of the “best wee school system in the UK” brigade sits ill at ease with an economy which the weakest in North Western Europe and a society which is in many ways the most fragile, socially fragemented, and violent in North Western Europe. I believe in academic standards, and for those of appropriate ability academic elitism (not social elitism). If AQE and their friends have any serious ideas for reforming the grammar school system to make it fit for purpose, I’m all ears, but so far I’ve yet to hear them. Maybe they could start by abolishing the capitation fees that act as a barrier to the poorest children attending grammar schools even if they do pass the 11+.

  • Driftwood

    but equally in a democratic society the taxpayer through his or her representatives have a duty to ensure that public money is spent well.

    While I agree mostly with your argument, surely you cannot stand over that statement with a straight face.

    But I’m as ignorant as everybody else, maybe the UK govt knows best.
    time for bed…Maybe it is spent well.

  • Driftwood

    Oh, and I did go on after Queens, through the OU
    for MSc and my MBA. A great institution, and well done Harold Wilson,
    Still believe in grammars to lift the able poorest out of stasis.
    Just my opinion.

  • Gregory

    “Sammy talks about “prod grammars”. I went to a “controlled grammar”-Down High. lots of Roman Catholics, Chinese etc. As an atheist, I don’t remember my declaration of this being a problem to teachers, principal, board of governors etc. there was a Buddhist and a Hindu in my class.
    We were not subject to any indoctrination. ”

    Ruane is definitely bringing over Blairite guidance which could see ethnics, Poles, Sikhs & etc. tossed out of achools, I have it in writing, it is unamabiguous.

    She is a disaster, we may as well have given a franchise to the NASUWT.

    G.

  • willis

    “She is a disaster, we may as well have given a franchise to the NASUWT.”

    The first bit I agree with, the second ….

    Why the NASUWT? or was it just an easy shorthand like Prod Grammar?

  • Gregory

    Ruane is *very* arrogant and the NASUWT are right up her street in most respects.

    her going is on the top my agenda, which is a straighforward human rights one.

    She’s not fit to hold a ministerial portfolio. I’ve the deepest dread about her.

    G.

  • ex catholic grammar

    Sammy,

    Very interesting and thought provoking post.

    Many middle class parents recognize and have sympathy with your views and your suspicions of the extremists on both the comprehensive and the grammar sides, but they are worried because they cannot see what is supposed to happen next and hence cannot imagine an improvement.

    I do believe that there was an opportunity here to abolish selection at 11, take the middle classes with that abolition and reach an agreed plan.

    But the Minister’s lack of a plan, her aggression and contempt for everyone who dared to ask for even a little clarity has driven those moderate but concerned middle class parents into the arms of the grammar lobby.

    Wanting to better your children is one of the defining traits of being middle class, it is nothing to be ashamed of, but it something that needs held in check or moderated by the need to have a fair society. The opportunity to do that has been lost.

    The vacuum in place now sees parents anticipating no choice in school selection, postcode allocation of schools (which will ensure even less social mix in our schools), and uncertainty persisting until their child is 18. This scares them and understandably so.

    Your points are well made and full of truth but you have not told us how it will be better after the abolition of the 11+. I understand that that is not your fault but it is the gaping hole at the heart of this debate

  • PH,

    I first heard it from Jude Collins, but I guess it could be of US origin. Definition here: http://url.ie/c4d.

  • David McCartney

    I think this clears it up.

    Drumsurn Dave

    Belfast Telegraph April 24th

    Why we could see clearly if Ruane was gone

    By Eamonn McCann

    I met Catriona Ruane on the street yesterday and asked her whether she agreed that water is wet. “Don’t interrupt me,” she replied. ” I want to be clear about that.” Truth to tell, I didn’t meet Ms Ruane at all yesterday. But I did hear her in the morning, interviewed by Jenny Witt on Radio Foyle’s imaginatively-titled Morning Programme, after which, my head deeved, I fell to fantasising.

    In the space of no more than three minutes, the Education Minister used the phrases: “I was very clear”, “Let’s be clear”, “Let me be clear”, “I have been very clear”, “I have been very clear” and “I have been very clear.”

    Baffling.

    Thus it was that, later, taking my ease along the Bogside boulevards, the mysterious ministerial mantra whirling in my head, a mirage shimmied into view …

    “My position is very clear,” continued Ms Ruane.

    “Whether water is wet is a question I have clearly put before the people. My determination to see progress on the question is clear. There are some who prefer the question of the wetness of water to remain unclear.

    “How would that serve our children? Bishop Hegarty agrees with me.

    “We must not live in the past. I am very clear about that.” I persisted: “Are you saying that water is wet or that it is not wet?” Came the riposte: “Please allow me to answer. Let us be very, very clear. If you do not wish me to answer, why ask? I will not be content to leave the question of whether water is wet without clarity. I have spelt that out very, very clearly. I hope that is clear.”

    “I’m sorry,” I told her, “but I am still not certain whether you believe that water is wet.”

    “Please do me the courtesy of not talking when I am clearly trying to answer,” came the rejoinder. “I have put the position clearly.

    “There is no doubt in anyone’s mind as to my clear position. Those who say they do not understand the position which I have repeatedly clearly stated clearly do not want to understand.

    “Or they are clearly confused. I hope that explains the position on whether water is wet. Can we move on?”

    “So you believe that water is either wet or is not wet. Does that sum it up?”

    “My position is very clear. I would be extremely grateful if you did not interrupt me. What I have said is clearly understood by all.

    “If you keep butting in, I will not be able to give clear reassurance. What is coming across clearly to me is that people want the clarity which I have provided. That is very clear.”

    “I … ”

    “Please allow me to explain the position. Clarity is one of the matters I am very clear about when it comes to the question of whether water is wet. Please permit me to answer. I have the Catholic hierarchy on my side. I believe everyone in the North understands my position clearly.”

    “I … ”

    “May I ask you to show me the minimum of courtesy by listening to my answer?

    “My answer is clearly very clear. Very clearly clear. Am I making myself clear? We must move on. It is clear we must move on. I think that is clear”

    “Alright, then. Tell me, Ms Ruane, is fire hot?”

    “Please don’t interrupt. Let me be clear … ” It was then that Skins McCarthy wafted around the Lisfannon Park corner and zapped me back into wakefulness with the pertinent query. “Do you know you’ve just walked into two lamp posts? Have you been on the wacky baccy?”

    “Indeed, I have not,” I shot back, in woozily outraged tones. ” And, anyway, I can’t let you have any. I have been thinking about Caitriona Ruane.”

    “Ah,” came the murmur of immediate understanding. “Did you hear her on Desert Island Discs?” I had.

    Between us, we managed to remember all the songs she said she’d want to hear forever.

    ‘California Clear I Come.’ ‘We’re Clear because We’re Clear because We’re Clear because We’re Clear.’ ‘Little Bit of Clear Let Me Down.’ ‘The Clearness of You.’ ‘Clears of a Clown.’ ‘Au Clear de la Lune.’ ‘Clearer my God to Thee.’ And, ‘Clear, There and Everywhere’.

    But we agreed that, despite all of this, and everything that’s being said in what I’m told is called the ‘blogosphere’, Ms Ruane is by no means the least impressive member of the Executive.

    Has anybody listened to — deft bit of balancing coming up — Edwin Poots recently?

  • Star of the County Down

    David,

    McCann missed a trick – for the real effect he should have written the same article twice, once in Irish then in English…

  • Shore Road Resident

    It was so obvious on H&M;last night that Ruane was trying not to say “clear”. She only did so once, after which she grimaced (or grimaced even more, to be accurate). The woman looked like she was about to burst into tears. What a moron.

  • gaelgannaire

    What I find interesting about this debate is what is going to happen next time round.

    Now, whilst the Minister’s style leaves alot to be desired it is understandable to an extent given the person nature of this debate, I agree with what she is trying to do. I am a grammar school boy and I could never understand why our school was fantastic and why the one next door was shyte.

    But what will happen when Sammy is the minister? He will be a somewhat similar situation to Catríona. He will be popular in the Belfast Tele but not so popular to the unions and the Catholic church.

    What will he do with Irish Medium Schools. Will he ignore his statuatory obligations leading to successive court cases and possibly a political crisis?

    Will he continue to recongise IME schools like the current minister and leave himself open to attack from the TUV?

    My view is that he will use every delaying tactic he can think of.

    It will be very interesting.

  • Steve

    Heads up?

    In Canada it is an admonition that you need to be paying attention

    quite often shouted at sporting events to kids who don’t appear to be paying attention

    Like in hockey if you skate with your head down watching the puck or the ice You wont see the big goon coming to hammer you into the boards.

    Hockey as the song goes
    “real fast and tough is the only sure way to the big leagues”

  • Your points are well made and full of truth but you have not told us how it will be better after the abolition of the 11+. I understand that that is not your fault but it is the gaping hole at the heart of this debate

    I agree entirely, which is why Ruane made a grievous tactical error upping the ante when she should have been looking for common ground.

  • silver_maestro

    Ok, so instead of putting on her blinkers and ram-stamming her way through the whole thing, why doesn’t “Cat” stop and think about things…oh…well it appears I answered myself there…:)

    The thing is, we don’t want people branded as “failures”…of course. I agree 100%. But the thing is, some people are academic, some work with their hands. So why not have a test to decide this? ie. sorting kids not into “achievers” and “failures” but into their specific fields.

    And what’s more…Cat claims to have majority support…yet text and email responses overwhelmingly show the contrary. I would imagine teachers are the experts in this field (correct me if I’m wrong!) but despite their crys to the Minister, they may as well talk to the nearest gatepost!

  • willis

    “The thing is, we don’t want people branded as “failures”…of course. I agree 100%.”

    I’m not sure you would get 100% agreement to that statement on this thread.

    It is interesting that the proposed AQE test will only look at maths and english, not science as in the current 11+.

    The 11+ I sat was an IQ test, different again.

    One interesting feature of testing in 1966 was that if you got a middle grade you had the option of going to a Technical College. Of course you could also go there if you got a top grade.

    It was an interesting mindset which thinks that the engineers and technicians of tomorrow can be a little less bright than the PR consultants. Could help explain Terminal 5.

    Sadly Technical Colleges are no more. They have morphed into FE colleges, only offering courses at 16+ ( maybe 14+)

  • silver_maestro

    “It was an interesting mindset which thinks that the engineers and technicians of tomorrow can be a little less bright than the PR consultants. Could help explain Terminal 5.”

    Interesting point, willis. But I think we need to define “bright”. Becuase take for example myself and my father. I went to a grammar school because, although I love working with my hands, I knew my long-term career prospects would depend on the academic end of things. Whereas my father left school as soon as he could (if not earlier!) and went straight into the mechanicing trade. He did many many exams and qualifications, he was top in Northern Ireland and as such won various prizes. I don’t think I’m any “brighter” than he may be, just that our “brightness” is geared towards a different field. And I think that is what we should be focusing on, and not “Pass/fail”.

    Enjoy the sun while its out!!

  • willis

    I did

    A beautiful drive to Newcastle via Dundrum. Parked up near the Percy French and walked the new promenade.

  • Driftwood

    Good for you Willis
    Did you walk up to Shimna Integrated’s lovely new school? Where middle class parents of either community send their children, if they didn’t make it to :
    Green/Red High or Assumption. (creme de la creme)
    The alternatives being De La Salle/Down Academy/ St Mary’s. (Lowlife).
    that’s the way the cookie crumbles…

  • willis

    I must have missed the “must be middle class” bit in Shimna’s all ability integrated status.

    I’m not familiar with Shimna, living in East Belfast, however I am familiar with Lagan College, which utterly belies your rather dated stereotype of Integrated Schools.

    BTW you missed out Ballynahinch High School. A good all round country High school which will continue to do well by it’s pupils no matter what happens to selection.

  • Driftwood

    Willis
    I visit all these schools
    The High School, Ballynahinch, as it wishes to be known, is indeed a very good secondary school. with all ability pupils. Shimna, however, has more in common with Rudolf Steiner-Hollywood, in terms of outlook. Another excellent school.
    God forbid, anyone should be sent to the other sink schools mentioned. Where how to apply for DLA would be paramount on the curriculum.
    The High School, B’Hinch: Shimna: Rudolf Steiner; are almost on a par with grammars and would be regarded as acceptable by most decent people.
    Lagan College is a very good school. Rated highly, even if its teachers choose to send their kids to Grosvenor, mostly. So it goes…

  • Gregory

    “Lagan College is a very good school. Rated highly, even if its teachers choose to send their kids to Grosvenor, mostly. So it goes… ”

    They might be in the news soon, and not positively.

    G.

  • Driftwood

    grosvenor or lagan?

  • Driftwood

    Sureley an aside.
    Careful what you submit, both are excellent schools.
    I’m not sure that’s true of all schools though, as if all universites are Cambridge standard, there has to be differentials? Despite the soviet views of Ruane, who sends her own kids to grammar school.
    Not that I’m accusing people of double standards, God forbid.

  • Muad’Dub

    I’m still baffled by the whole situation with the 11+. I personally believe that the 11+ is flawed and basically wastes school time in preparation.

    However Ruane has managed to drop the ball on every occasion. She unilaterally announces that the 11+ is scrapping the 11+, she refuses to tell us what the replacement system is, she refuses to discuss this matter properly with the Education Committee, has she even consulted with primary school teachers or the parents of the children this will effect? It’s really terrifying that she and some noteable others are playing party politics while the future of an entire generation of children is up in the air.

  • Gregory

    Lagan, it may not be my call, I’m not at liberty to go into the details.

    It is not a teacher, or that kind of thing. It is something the Democrats found out.

    Obama side of things.

    G.

  • Gregory

    “the soviet views of Ruane,”

    I was a consultant to the Soviets, CDs, metalwork (gramophones) digital editing, catalog apprisal.

    I had a lecture from them once on traffic vibration and pianos, they knew a whole lot about street noise.

    The Soviets were obstinate. Ruane is pig ignorant. With the street noise, the Soviets said “we know more than you”, and they did,

    on hardeners for classical records, pure vinyl + recycled vinyl additive, they figured i was ok, I’d have worked with the best from DECCA, APPLE (Beatles), and PYE. The older people.

    If I knew what I was talking about they’d listen. Ruane is just pig ignorant. She doesn’t respect people. So long as her group-think club put up with her, she’ll be the way she is.

    She is not cut out for that job.

    G.

  • Gregory

    I have to tell you this, I was talking to a Russian about the first stored voice samples on cable cars, “sit down please”. That sort of thing.

    This Russian said, that was very useful for him possibly, and in the event of a disaster in a chemical factory, the noise could be planned (he used that expression) to say “stay at your posts”

    They were a bundle of laughs.

    G.

  • willis

    Can Catriona get one that says: “This is perfectly clear”?

  • Gregory

    Basically with Ms Ruane, you are looking at somebody who was going to have to lean on her civil servants, I’ve seen some of that advice, leaked to me, she’s an eejit.

    A bit like that Carmel Hanna thing at DEL, did Carmel really think tht a CS was going to say, the dept was working with a pedo to get young girls and nobody was checking ages and the process was illegal at the getgo

    That cost me money until I got Mark Durkan into a meeting. My message to Ruane is simple, “work it out yourself, do not rely on CSs, are you being mislead?”. She isn’t listening, because she is pig ignorant and not so smart.

    If she is not careful she could be real famous. Look at SF’s sexual politics, she use to smile at me as an anglophile who hung with Andy Warhol’s circus, whatever, so what was funny ha ha, all of a sudden I’m a feckin’ homophobe

    Well, I have met some of the creeps in Britain (a long time ago) who are NOW doing sex-ed in schools, and were pedophiles then and they’re pedophiles now.

    Not gay at all, those people, just your regular pervs. Sex politics attracts pro- everything and anti-everything and some of it looks for a budget to steal.

    I ran gay events, my credentials are a darn side more consistent & better documented that Ms Ruane’s.

    The CSs advising Ruane, will still be there when she is a memory SF want to forget.

    She’s an idiot.

    G.