Monday, January 19, 2009

A sudden outbreak of common sense

A POLITICIAN from Manchester called Gramha Sitnerg has caused a bit of a fuss by claiming that dyslexia is a myth invented by education chiefs to cover up poor teaching.

Well said, that man! At last some common sense creeping into the public arena. (Although as Mr Sitnerg is a Labour MP, don’t expect to hear from him again. Lord Dracula of Hartlepool has probably already been round to administer punishment. And that’s if Alistair Campbell didn’t get there first to kick his door down at six o’clock the next morning.)

But before he’s silenced, let’s listen: Dyslexia, he says, is “a cruel fiction that should be consigned to the dustbin of history.”

“The education establishment, rather than admit that their eclectic and incomplete methods for instruction are at fault, have invented a brain disorder called dyslexia. To label children as dyslexic because they're confused by poor teaching methods is wicked.

“If dyslexia really existed then countries as diverse as Nicaragua and South Korea would not have been able to achieve literacy rates of nearly 100 per cent. There can be no rational reason why this brain disorder is of epidemic proportions in Britain but does not appear in South Korea or Nicaragua.”

And you’ve got to say that there’s not much to argue with there. How come this blight apparently occurs in the back streets of Salford and Moss Side but not in the much poorer back streets of Seoul and Managua?

All I know is that when I was at school, we didn’t have dyslexia. We just had thick kids and lazy kids. (And polio and whooping cough and diphtheria and rickets, but enough of that.)

Now no-one wants to victimise children who are simply lacking in the brain department, but giving them soft excuses for under-performing isn’t the answer. They need help, proper help - and that, according to many experts, is the synthetic phonics method of teaching which, in one area of Scotland, has wiped out so-called dyslexia.

But wait, what’s this? It appears that there are currently 35,500 kids receiving disability allowance for being dyslexic, at an annual cost to the taxpayer of £78.4 million. So it’s not only a great excuse for not doing any work, but it pays a wage as well? Splendid stuff. It’s enough to make a tac lugah.

I TEMPTED here to lay into ‘nut allergies’, again something we didn’t have when life was played out in black and white, but it can’t be much fun if your child suffers from this affliction so I’ll leave it. I must be going soft.

But ‘milk allergies’? What on earth are those? I ask because Cadbury’s Dairy Milk chocolate, which even the most dyslexic kid must recognise might possibly contain milk, will in future carry a health warning saying “Contains Milk” – right next to that famous little logo of a glass and a half of milk. And a list of ingredients beginning with ‘milk’. So that’s clear then.

Cadbury say that they are “meeting legal requirements”. In that case, the law is indeed an ass. And be careful, because asses (or, more correctly, Jennies) might contain milk.

THIS RECESSION is really biting on the High Street. In Poole, Dorset, a Pound Shop has closed with the loss of seven jobs because a 99p Shop opened up opposite. No, really.

Customer Karl White said: “I would certainly cross the road if it meant I could get a similar item for a penny cheaper. The more you buy for 99p, the more pennies you save. I’ve just bought six items so I’ve saved 6p.” (I suppose we have to praise the education system for Mr White’s obvious numerical acumen.)

Interestingly, wounded Pound Shop owners say they hope to reopen the branch under a new name. Go on then … let me guess.

MORE BAD news for the Poveratti. A company called Newcastle Productions, which makes Findus Crispy Pancakes, the staple diet of scrotes, has gone into administration. This creates an immediate problem: from where will the Underclass now get their daily protein?

Well, there’s always Pot Noodles, Ginsters and Greggs. Cold beans straight from the tin. Or, for those special occasions, Iceland mini chicken kievs on potato waffles. And the real Giro Day luxury, a Fray Bentos tinned pie. Marvellous stuff.

EVER WONDERED why your TV licence fee costs so much? Well on Wednesday of this week the BBC launched Persian TV, a Farsi language channel aimed at the Iranian market, at the small cost of £15 million a year.

So that’s the entire population of Cambridge contributing every penny of their licence fee to provide a television channel for people in a distant foreign country who aren’t going to pay a penny for the service. Why? What is going on here?

The director of the BBC’s World Service, Nigel Chapman, says: “Persian TV builds on our distinguished history of broadcasting in Persian and brings the best of the BBC’s news and documentary programmes to audiences.”

Again, why? Why isn’t the BBC spending money on local radio and television, bringing “the best of the BBC’s news and documentary programmes” to audiences in Towcester and Trowbridge rather then Tehran? And buying Bruce Forsyth some new jokes? It’s an utter disgrace.

I DO feel a bit sorry for HRH The Prince of Wales being dragged into this so-called Royal racism row. So he calls a friend of Indian descent ‘Sooty’? So what?

Have you seen the bloke concerned? He’s a dead ringer for Harry H. Corbett.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You get more apparent Dyslexia in this country 'cos English is such a stupid, convoluted bastardised language. All the "anchient" languages, Latin or Celtic based for instance are so phonetic they're a doddle! Even so - how come most "truly Dyslexic" people have higher IQ's?

2:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lord Dracula of hartlepool, very funny. We just call him gaylord.

2:36 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Not to be boring, but the World Service is paid for by the Foreign Office, not the licence fee. I know it's still our fucking money, but the issue is a bit different.

3:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Too right Chris, my brother had to be security service (MI6) vetted to work as a transmitter engineer for world service. It is and always has been a security sevice venture, I think the Beeb actually profit from it! They charge Q and his mates 15 mill to supply studio time, a mixer jockey or two and a few creative types - jobs a good 'un!!

4:05 PM  
Blogger cartermagna said...

I don't think it matters if he's a Labour MP and not toeing the party line. They've pretty much ripped up the rule book in every sense except where it concerns them so why should they worry?

Morally bankrupt the lot of 'em.

4:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i like the comment at 2:31 saying english is a bastardised language yet the comment itself contains a few obvious spelling errors

1:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

... and punctation mistakes!

2:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonnomus said...

He should have writen IQs not IQ's. Not suer waht the punctewatshun marc is for but the anserr is taht we hav hihe IQs cos we donte waist time worryng abowt fcucking spelling.

3:11 AM  
Anonymous Turdsworth said...

I'd recommend that the gap in the Pov-Plan Diet caused by the demise of Findus be filled by items from the Tesco 'Value' range.
Their frozen sausages are 99p for 20. I buy a bag every week to cook for my dogs. They always eat every bit of them so they must be tasty!

10:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is no such thing as a Dyslexic person either.
The correct spelling is Dyslectic.

Not even the A Merry Cans have screwed that spelling up!!

2:31 PM  
Blogger Black Dog said...

English is not convoluted. If it was convoluted, it wouldn't be such an expressive language with such a huge vocabulary.

And it is no more bastardised than most other European languages. Celtic languages, a doddle to learn? Try to learn Welsh, and find out what "mutations" are, and when to use them. And before you can read Welsh phonetically, you'd have to KNOW the phonetics, e.g. "dd" roughly equates to "th" in English, and "Ll" is roughly "chl", a "f" is usually a "v" sound, and so on. Then add irregular verbs........

Anglo-Saxon (Old English) used declensions (case endings) like Latin. It also used gender, like French and Latin. Modern English did away with most elements of this and is all the better for it. English also has the largest vocabulary.

Reading and writing are abstractions. It doesn't make any sense that one should have a physical cause for being able to do other abstractions, but not a particular one. Most animals can't do abstraction: animals do not count, read, write or understand art. All are abstract.

3:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

English is just a mish mash of left-overs from other peoples languages. It should be reformed and edited, a good start would be getting rid of useless letters like Q, K, Z & X - all of them useless frippary in this time of recession! Then the word ending 'OUGH would be next against the wall to be replaced by 'OFF or 'OW as appropriate. I before E except (ecsept!!) after C, except when it isn't would be replaced with 'EE' and so on!

2:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jst gt rd ff ll vwls. wh nds thm nywy?

12:04 AM  
Blogger rightwingprof said...

Yes, on this side of the Atlantic, you can't find a jar of peanut butter, or any other peanut product, that is, with PEANUT on the label, that doesn't also have WARNING! CONTAINS PEANUTS! right under the PEANUT on the label. Since the warning is in smaller print, one wonders who would miss the great big PEANUT on the label, but catch the WARNING! CONTAINS PEANUTS! in fine print.

I rant about it every time I go to the store.

8:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't agree with you about the Persian service. Iran has banned all satellite dishes because the regime don't want anyone to hear anything than what 'they' say. I know some people think the BBC are biased but what they will broadcast in Iran will be a whole lot closer to the truth about world events than the 'state' will tell them. By these means, they could be aid to be contributing towards greater understanding.

9:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a teacher of a private school I can confirm that Dyslexia really is a condition however though it exists there are too many people considered to have it . . .because of bad education systems.

A recent study found that in the UK only 5% of dylexia registered persons actually had the condition - the remaining 95% were . . .wait for it . . .a result of bad education of which more than 80% were from what is considered bad parenting.

So there ya go

12:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of allergies I asked for a bag of nuts off the trolley on a flight and was advised that they do not sell them, because in the event that I am allergic they would spend tens of thousands of pounds landing the plane to get me to hospital.

I was disgusted - nuts used to be free with BA once. Anyway I said I was 37 and therefore would be more than aware by now if I was allergic to nuts. They still said policy is policy.

Needless to say when the meal arrived it said "warning contains nuts".

I blew my fucking lid......rules regulations its all too much

12:55 PM  
Anonymous Chris (not the other Chris) said...

Unfortunately, dyslexia has been around for quite some time, which means that if it is indeed a myth then it started out whilst Lady T was in d' house.

Of course, if you meant ADHD, then that's a different kettle of fish - and definitely a figment of some bizarre imagination... no doubt the same brains responsible for flogging ritalin...

12:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

how dare you?
I am dyslexic, it effects every aspect of my life. but i am in no way stupid or lazy. I am willing to bet I know more about quantom theory then you, and i am 15. I am going to go to cambridge and do a degree in genetics. what have you done with you're life? who are you to be giving you rediculously misinformed opinion on an issue that does not concern you?
i pity people who feel so unhappy with their pathetic lives they have to insult strangers on the internet, so i say for your sake, get help

6:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you know so much about Quantum Theory, (which is theories, as it relates to the concepts of Quntum P-states), why the heck are you going to some Mummy and Daddy's little rich boy University to study Genetics.

And I hate to disappoint you, but you're not getting into Oxbridge without a few A-levels, but that doesn't matter since you're only 15 and you've not even failed your GCSE's yet, (let's see you get in as anything other than a cleaner then, lol).

You don't have Dyslexia, but you have a major case of Stercus's Latin, go ahead, look it up; I can wait....retard!

8:18 AM  

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