Thursday, 9 December 2010

Yes, but what does it mean?

I'm sat here watching the students, and some of their hangers on, attempting to recreate the poll tax riots. And failing. A couple of pointers for them:

  • If you want to go for it, you'll have to take the majority of the population with you. From the feedback I've seen, you don't got them. 
  • If you want to go for it, you need to hit hard and hit early before the police get themselves sorted. 
  • If you want to protest about the government not taking money from everyone to pay for your BA in Hollyoaks in its entirety, then don't start waving anarchist banners about, that isn't how anarchism works. Anarchism is the total absence of government. No government means you pay for the lot. 
  • Get some decent slogans, your ones are pathetic.

Anyhow, it is obvious that the trouble makers are a minority, and I have no doubt that the event has been hijacked to an extent by a group of people who just like smashing stuff up, but then that's life.

My attention lies away from the demo in London though, it is directed towards the left wing politicians, and the media, especially the BBC. One word has been trotted out ad infinitum today, and I'm struggling to put it into any meaningful context. The word? 'Progressive'.

Listening to Radio 5 in the car (the only option down here because music radio, endlessly playing the same 5 shite songs all day bores the arse off me) 'Progressive' is used in a positive sense. This policy is not progressive. One can only draw the conclusion that a progressive policy is desirable.

To me, progressive suggests a journey. But progressing to what? To my mind, a policy which moves us towards a country where the endless interference by the State is curtailed, where the freedom of the individual from mindless regulation and incessant and invasive monitoring is enabled is progressive.

What we have here is a demonstration from people who want the government to force us, under threat of imprisonment, to hand over our cash, via them, to fund the desire of some individuals to go to university. That, to me, is not progressive, it is reinforcing the idea that the State must take from the whole of society to bankroll the desires of one group.

As an aside, I think the whole thing is too broad, as is always the way with law these days. I'm actually quite happy for my taxes to be spent on the education of those who would leave Uni with degrees in subjects like medicine, engineering, the sciences - stuff that benefits the economy and the country as a whole. If we can be world class in these areas, we will all reap the benefits. However I do object to the idea that cash should be taken from me to fund what is little more than a lifestyle choice from people who will study degree courses that will not really be of any benefit to the individual, let alone the country as a whole. As a general guide, any subject which has the word 'studies' in the course title. I also have concerns over 'ology' if not prefaced with the two letters 'bi', I'll let 'archae' slide as well, as long as we don't get thousands of them.

I digress. Progressive is a weasel word, used to disguise the real feeling the user wants to impart.

Progressive is a word that you will rarely hear someone outside the left use, when it is used by the left, I can only imagine that the thing they want to progress to is, well, it doesn't bear thinking about.

What they mean is 'fair'.

Fairness is a subjective term. Is it fair that students will have to cough up? Well, if you're about to embark on a university course, it doesn't seem fair at all. If you've left school at 16, trained as a plumber and have just struck out on your own with no or little help, then it seems perfectly fair.

So, can we stop the use of this word? Perhaps the term 'weasel word' isn't quite accurate. I prefer a term like 'cattle-prod word', a term that is couched in such a way that one is designed to feel guilt about going against it. It is a form of bullying and is used to suggest that we are all moving forwards together. To be frank, it makes me shudder.


Mr Progressive said...

I am completely pissed off with hearing the word progressive on TV and radio, what is this progressive? progressive to whom, to what, to where are we progressing to? fucking sick of it.

Anonymous said...

Life is a competition. You compete for jobs, housing, a mate, even to be first in the queue at a sale. Why not compete for free tuition fees? Those that achieve in A levels and continue to achieve at university get it free. Top 10% free, next 10% pay 25% of fees, the rest pay it all. Hard work and ability should be rewarded.
It may require raising standards to separate the wheat from the chaff but that would be no bad thing. University should not be seen as an easy option, an escape from working for a living, or a means of finding yourself!

Call me Infidel said...

As I have commented before. When I hear the term "progressive politics" I am minded to reach for my Smith & Wesson.

Top notch post Wolfers.