Sunday, 26 February 2017

Shammy Leather: Dictionary Definition

A Shammy Leather: A soft, non-abrasive section of mountain goat; if you rub the Labour Party with it for long enough, it will come up all nice and shiny.


Mark Wadsworth said...


DBC Reed said...

Don't think the Labour party or any other elected party stands much chance in the present democratic melt down. Bigknickers gained the loyalty of much of the working class by practically giving away council houses then making sure that they inflated in value to keep the new owner class happy .( Or did not officiously seek to apply the anti inflationary policies applied to earned income by getting the miners beaten up and other conspicuous State violence.)
Now that house prices have inflated out of reach of the customers the same gangsters have decided that the housing market is now bwoken and are scrabbling around (successfully) to steal UKIP wally-voters who would be happy with anything if immigrants are being deported even though this is against the EU* rules and gets us slung out of our biggest trading arrangement.
I don't know when the metropolitan elite is going to stop calling this populism ( a nineteenth century American anti -monopoly movement) and face up to Neo -fascism.Homeownerist fascists are being
joined up with anti-immigrant fascists in ways which are not susceptible to politics as usual.
(I appreciate that homeownerist fascists can be simultaneously anti -immigrant low lifes whom this country and the Tory party saw off at the times of Enoch Powell and Oswald Mosley: Bony May embraces them desparately so low has the Conservative Party sunk.)

Lola said...

DBCR "...Bigknickers gained the loyalty of much of the working class by practically giving away council houses ...
You mean she carried out the greatest redistribution of wealth in history!? Cor. Who's a thunk it?

Mike W said...


I know that Corbyn trusts Shammy and the House of Lords more than his MPs. I am assuming here you did not have a chuckle. Fair enough.
There is a serious point underlying the joke.How about this?

I picked her out over the 'overdetermination' problem in politics if I can call it that. A political elite have their own data and form their own model as to why they won and lost. They then cast around for other possible causal factors to be the ones discussed in the media for their supporters to adopt, defend, and form around.
The claim here: an in the know elite (real model) and their followers public model)model.

So in the sham case above,shammy got called out. The Labour spokesperson is engaging in the very same metro elite treatment of the working class that the Labour working class has rejected.To explain what? Why the Labour party has been rejected. Why, because she is.....

My personal prejudice in this case: I first left the Labour party because I despised the educational manifestation of this Labour elite system. I remember a famous left winger coming to our ward and taking questions after a a speech on the coming class conflict against Thatcher. As eveybody was still cheering he took questions. As a youngster I asked, 'would the coming Labour government close down the public schools and crush Oxbridge in the first year too?
The room went quiet.Hush. The main man, now in cool tones said; 'No, No, No, there is no need comrade. We will make the comprehensive system so good that no one will everwant to send their kids to Eaton'. Everyone cheered. I sat down knowing I would leave the party.

Bayard said...

Mike, W, I can't really see your beef over education. The way the spokesman outlined is how they do it on the continent, so why wouldn't it work here? Or do you just have a visceral hatred of people paying for their children's education?

Mike W said...


No beef now really, except with those who sell faux anger that they do not have in them or in their guilded social group.I was a dogmatic young, working class man in my 20s: War and Education seemed the most important questions to me at the time. The Labour MP, 30 years later, is still in the house. Just :)

As a crusty today, my opinion/advice to my younger self:

1,LVT will sort out Oxbridge land ownership issue.

2,Simply stop the pretence that the Public Schools are charities. Tax Harrow as the business enterprise it is. Then Bayard, yes, let parents choose.

3,Admit good comprehensive scools are streamed, and allow the headmaster's to call their school anything they like.(if it makes the local parents happy)Labour: do not bother discussing 'wicked' Grammar Schools, if you cannot do the above first to the public schools.

4, Specifically Labour Party Policy. All Labour MPs will face 'positive discrimination' tests. This is a - 'Your education policies created 94% of us since 1950, now let us rule doctrine': All Comprehensive School Educated Labour MP lists only/ 50 male 50 female.No Oxbridge students for twenty five years (no Oxbridge PPE for fifty) And most important: No sons and daughters of the Labour great and good. No son or daugher of an MP can stand as an MP before 30 years after the death of their parent. (I call this my 'Fuck off' Blair and Kinnock the younger principle).If I want hereditary rule, I can vote Tory. You can also start using this meritocratic doctrine at the local level too. Labour local councils, the most inbred 'aristoracy' I know. Finally, upper limit on the number of lawyers that Labour can carry in Parliamment. I would like to see their answer to that one first!But I suggest max 25 per 300 MPs. :)

Bayard said...

Re charities, there are an awful lot of "charities" in this country that shouldn't be classed as such. If I was in charge, there'd be a lot stricter rules on charities, especially concerning the ratio of money spent on management salaries to money spent on charitable activities.
OTOH, if schools are to be stripped of their charitable status, then so should universities, who are much more managerialistic* than any of the schools.

*managerialism: where a business is run for the benefit of and all potential profits are consumed by its management.

Mark Wadsworth said...

The supposed corporation tax exemption for many private schools is only worth a few hundred pounds per pupil, a state school place costs thousands. Railing against that is silly. Private school teacher salaries are taxed in fulll as normal. Overall, private schools pay a lot of tax.

Mike W said...

Bayard, as ever, the team here direct me to look at where my thinking is weak. I did not know that universities had that status! So yes, in principle both institution types need to be looked at before stripping the status from Public Schools. However, my object was not directly combating 'managerialism'in principle, but to tax a succesful 'business' and not subsidise it. These old, English and Scottish public schools are crying out to be turned into proper PLC companies, that can do far more for our tax base than drain it.How far down the 100 universities, do you think we can go with the same plan?

'Stricter Rules'. Agreed.

*I Googled to check and I notice that Universities had: 'Exempt' charity status. But I could not workout if this is the same charity status that the Public Schools have.Anyone help?

Mike W said...

Mark, 22:06 I think we crossed.

Railing against the small amount.I am not going to argue tax revenue with you :) I take your point.

But I was pointing out that I found Labour's recent campaign against grammar schools plain silly and lacking in perspective. If we are ignoring as a party, that 6% Public School kids = 50% places at Oxbridge (and charitable status), I cannot imagine why we would go after grammars (old and proposed)as causing dangerous social division in our society.

Mark Wadsworth said...

MW, 6% of public school kids = 50% of university places??

State school pupils get between two-thirds and nine-tenths of uni places (depending on how snobby the uni is). Of the private school pupils going to uni, a tiny fraction are from what are artificially classified as 'public' schools.

Charitable status is a bit of a red herring in the grander scheme of things. Private schools clearly save the taxpayer money overall and pay a lot of tax overall.

Objections to private schools - to the extent there are any - must be based on overall educational standards, rent-seeking by private schools and elitism/self-selection. Not on taxation.

Mike W said...

I conceded your tax point.There is no huge pot to draw into public revenue.But let us buy shares in them!

You got me here though. The 6% PS students = 50% of all places, I did say, 'Oxbridge' places, but this was a figure I had in my head from years ago. It is dated.

Even in 2013/2014:

Economist says;

'Just over 7% of British children are privately educated, yet over 40% of those at Oxford and Cambridge were. Almost everyone agrees that this figure is too high. Yet few agree on the reasons why.'

'rent-seeking by private schools and elitism/self-selection'

Yes, what I would like to see is the % figure per subject. Not the aggregate figures. Conjecture here. The figure for 'soft' subjects at Oxbridge like: PPE, Latin, English and French, for example, will be far worse that 40% quoted. As high as 70% perhaps? The percentage for 'hard' subjects like Maths and Physics will be much lower than the 40%. As low as 20% perhaps?. So much closer to the next 30 universities in the tables. In short, the Physics/Maths deparments are already tending toward meritocray. If that differential existed (I really do not know) would that be understood to be a 'rent' metric in your sense above?

Mark Wadsworth said...

MW, clearly, the whole system is very rigged in favour of public schools, private schools, a few really good state schools, Oxford, Cambridge and so on. But it is not quite as bad as it used to be, is all I'm saying.

As to 'rent-seeking', what I mean is, from the point of view of most parents of private school pupils (and I am a parent of two), it is a waste of money, it is a stupid arms race. If we all agreed tomorrow to send all our kids to state schools, we'd be far better off and I doubt that state school standards would fall.