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It’s possible to spell a word correctly by chance…*

06/09/2012

Zapraszamy naszych nowych czytelników w Polsce

I’m not sure where today’s photo originated, but I saw it chez the wonderful Guido Fawkes, an essential daily read, so that’s who gets the hat-tip.

The United Kingdom Border Agency (UKBA) is supposed to protect us from illegal immigrants, terrorists, drug smugglers and the rest of the world’s undesirables, and it is as leaky and useless as a rusty old bucket. Ports are unguarded and airports understaffed, villains wander in and out unchallenged, convicted criminals remain at large and re-offending for years. Meanwhile the transparently law-abiding of all nations – including this one – stand in queues for hours on end waiting for a resentful, barely-literate UKBA jobsworth to stamp their passports.

Recently, however, the UKBA managed grudgingly to heave itself off the metaphorical sofa, switch off the telly, scratch itself indecorously, tuck in its soup-stained string vest, chug the last of a can of warm lager, stub out its Woodbine and belatedly do some real investigative work. It started by addressing the obvious and well-established scandal of the universities and bogus ‘colleges’ which have been cheerfully abusing the rules governing the admission of overseas students.

Each year, tens of thousands of bona fide students come to the UK to earn bona fide degrees. Tens of thousands of others simply masquerade as students, slip through UKBA’s tatty old net with no intention of studying and every intention of working here illegally. London Metropolitan University (LMU), an establishment with delusions of adequacy which those with a functional memory will recall as a pair of mediocre polytechnics (Guildhall and North London), became notorious for turning a blind eye to this while scooping up the fees.

The UKBA got its act together and investigated a representative sample of  the university’s ‘students’. This revealed that 25% of the sample group simply had no right to be in the UK at all. Furthermore, LMU was unable to provide any proof of language proficiency standards or, finally, any supporting evidence that 57% of the sample had been attending lectures.

A couple of weeks ago, therefore, LMU had its right to sponsor overseas students summarily removed. It was shocked, of course, in much the same way that Casablanca’s  Captain Louis Renault was “shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on” in Rick’s Club while gratefully pocketing his winnings. LMU was shocked at the ghastly prospect of the crippling loss of all those lovely fees and, unblushingly, has reached for its lawyers.

Naturally, the students did what students all around the world do best, and held a fatuous street protest yesterday. In a spectacular own goal, however, this rather proved the UKBA’s case. Judge for yourselves the quality of the education being provided by this proud paragon of the British educational establishment:* … or because someone prompts you, but you are a scholar only if you spell it correctly because you know how. (Aristotle)

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