Bugger Bristol


In the unlikely event that it passed you by, yesterday was A Level results day for students up and down the land. Cue photographs of happy girls dressed in inappropriately short skirts jumping in the air and a queue of middle aged know-it-all celebrities quoting themselves saying, 'exam results don't define you; look at how rich I am.' Unfortunately, for many kids, they kind of do. Certainly, underachieving immediately narrows down options and gives them less control over their own destiny. 

So, many kids will have found themselves in the position of narrowly missing a grade yesterday and will have turned to Clearing to find an alternative university slot, just as the daughter of a friend did yesterday. 

With nothing less than an A, her chosen faculty bounced her on the basis that her A* was not in the right subject. She called. The fellow on the end of the telephone was very helpful, 'Looks a bit odd he said, I'll take a look and get back to you. You're not a non EU national are you by chance? We've been told you'll have no problem if you're from outside the EU.'

You see, it's all about money. Non EU nationals pay more. It is time someone tore into these universities and ripped their pious sense of entitlement to shreds. The illusion that they promulgate of fairness and value in education is cracking. As it happens, the young girl concerned happily received an offer from another, and better rated, university. So Bristol University, you can mostly bugger off you mercenary sods.

Cunning Plan

Apologies for the absence but back and with much to say after a month in which we've said goodbye to, amongst others, the Labour party, (probably for a generation), Sepp Blatter, (hurrah!), Charles Kennedy, (anyone who described my mum as the Helen Mirran of Inverness must be a good soul) and the television series Mad Men, (bereft). What with the current series of Modern Family now ended I'm left only with the hilarious comedy Silicon Valley to justify my license fee. Anyway, we're also coming to the end of school exam season and with it A Levels and the last of my cohort to finish school. Should I be encouraged or dismayed by these recent snapchats received from said student with a cunning plan?

which was unfortunately followed by this,

Humans Need Not Apply

and while hard working students are reflecting on their examination results and potential university and career options they may wish to consider the clip above.

It's just a fact that the education system does not, yet at least, properly prepare the young for the world which they will face, not today but in three, five, ten and twenty years time. Some studies suggest that up to half of all jobs can or will be computerised or automated within 10 years. At the current accelerating rate of change, its coming down the tracks an awful lot faster than that and for many in the workforce, it's already here.

Governments face many challenges. Two of the biggest are glacial but immovable demographic changes, meaning a smaller working population bearing the burden of supporting a growing and longer living retired population but also how to support the disenfranchised part of the working population whose utility has been replaced by an Intel chip. Theoretically, everyone could be richer and have more leisure time. That's what my Geography teacher foretold when I did my own A Levels but no, what we have for the moment is a bunch of mega billionaires competing with each to throw water over themselves while many of their fellow citizens can't afford the technology that was supposed to change and enrich their lives. It's great that Bill and friends are supporting a good cause but I think you get the point.

So kids, go and learn about chips, coding, nano tech, bio tech and avoid anything that can be done by a bot and just so you know...... that includes McDonalds so don't think that fall back will be there for long.


and how's he taking it?

Good luck to all those who will be receiving AS and A Level results this morning. No point in hiding under the duvet and avoiding the issue, time to man up and face the music. Advice that the youngest Crumble Kid has interpreted in his own way. It's never easy following two elder siblings with a string of A*'s and A's, actually its bloody unfair. Where is Soroya anyway? Having just seen the results myself I reckon I've got about two hours to leg it and join him out of contact before his Housemaster calls at around 10am, "and how's he taking it.........?"



We learn this morning, with no surprise whatsoever, that the number of visas issued to foreign students rose by 35% to 362,015 in the year to June.

Last week we learned that the system was short of around 200,000 University places for this year's A Level students.

Anyone spot the correlation there?

If you're perhaps a wee bit frustrated with the whole university applications thing then simply pop overseas, acquire a foreign passport and providing you're waving a cheque for twenty grand in your sticky mitt, you can more or less get into any university you care for with none of this A* / A grades nonsense involved.

Oddly enough, that's more or less the way things worked here a hundred years ago. Do we get to take the vote back from women next?