Bogged down in the sectarian mire of British politics…

I long ago scrubbed BBC’s Question Time off my regular viewing schedule, but last night I switched it on about half way through whilst waiting patiently for the late edition of Hearts and Minds (thanks once again that lone assassin who put an end to our YouTubing of NI’s flagship current affairs programme)… But it turned out to be surprisingly good… Two things from an NI point of view… One was Vincent Cable on Afghanistan when he suggested that since we have the Provisional IRA running Northern Ireland [Ed – I didn’t think anyone was running Northern Ireland], it was absurd for the government to pretend that at some stage they would not be talking to the Taliban… And the other was from a young Northern Irish woman in the audience… who noted that whilst 8% of the UK population may go to private school, yet 50% who get in to Oxbridge are private school educated. She also noted that opportunities to move on in these hard pressed times require people to work as interns, which in turn means you need rich parents to keep you going. Clipped, but absolutely to the point.

Despite a credible performance against the rather bumbling but ubiquitous Tory working-class-Northerner-done-good Eric Pickles on the Today Programme this morning, John Prescott and Labour’s ‘back to the future’ return to Class War can’t obscure the fact that in all the time they’ve been in power Labour barely dented the problem of falling social mobility…

A little bit of attention on the actual problem (and how it might be ‘nudged’ the other way) rather than a lame resort to tribal politics (yep, we’re not the only ones wearing the congenitally sectarian blinkers) would be good… But don’t hold your breath…

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  • i wonder

    Washington Post
    Digest Friday, December 4, 2009
    Pope Benedict XVI and visiting Russian President Dmitry Medvedev agreed Thursday to upgrade Vatican-Kremlin relations to full diplomatic ties, the Vatican said.
    The two men also discussed challenges to “security and peace” in the world and “themes of mutual interest such as the value of the family and the contribution of believers to the life of Russia,” the Vatican said.
    Asked afterwards what both men thought of Northern Ireland they both replied we think its fuked.

  • Border Fox

    The provisionals running NI ?

    Has Peter Punt been doing a bit more double jobbing than we first thought ?????

  • Panic, These ones like it up em.

    Those British Islanders don’t really know a lot about Northern Ireland.

    The education system over there needs a bit of a seeing to.

  • slug

    Gerry Adams of lies by stating that he was never even in the IRA, while actually being its leader throughout.

  • slug

    “And the other was from a young Northern Irish woman in the audience… who noted that whilst 8% of the UK population may go to private school, yet 50% who get in to Oxbridge are private school educated.”

    This is largely because people from state sector don’t apply to Oxford.

  • DC

    Why didn’t New Labour tackle social mobility and social inequality?

    Here’s a tip:

  • Panic, These ones like it up em.

    Is it a shame that people that know so little about NI have so much influence in it.

  • iluvni

    I’d say there is more public sympathy for the board of directors of RBS than there is for the pathetic leadership of Sinn Fein/DUP at Stormont.

  • i

    shurely ‘forward 2 past’ rather than ‘back 2 the future’ tho i like m. fealty heard the latter on radio 4 this am?

  • Driftwood

    Unlikely that we shall hear a ‘dreamt up on the playing fields of Campbell College’ statement at Stormont.

    The playing fields of Grosvenor, maybe.

  • Northern Irish

    There is no such thing as a Northenr Irelander. It is a pro MI5 phrase, designed to degrade and demean.

    Private school kids do best eveywherse: Olympics, primary schools (yesterday’s “UK” report), university entrance. Public education sucks: the unwashed tended to by the uncaring.

  • Willie

    Northern Irish sur illistreats that uz in the we north are gud edukated. Wel said mat!

  • Expenses111

    Mick you say that you didn’t see Hearts and Minds until the late edition. Yet you blogged at 10.44pm last night about it. Explain….

  • Brian Walker

    Purely on technicalities, Conservative front bencher Andrew Lansley got his public school membership all wrong during the exchanges. He first claimed that George Osborne and Harriet Harman had goneto thesame school. He was nearly right but not quite; both went to St Paul’s but to different thoough linked ones – Hattie went to St Paul’s Girls. Aniece of Lady Longford’s, you could say she’s a Labour toff. She suffered for it and for sending her daughter to another independentschooljust before the97 election. Then Lansley miscorrected himself and said shewent to Charterhouse. D Dimbleby should have been able to correct this as he went there. But admitting membership of the Bullingdon club at Oxford like Cameron and Boris may have been enough for him. It’s all completely mental stuff. On driftwood’s localrefs,I think the shine has gone off Campbell, hasn’t it? All sorts of oiks’ schools have come to the fore since my day. Well seen the place has gone to the dogs.. no respect for their betters left..

  • Sean

    so much time so little imagination