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August 06, 2006

Hurrah for Thickoes!

Rod Liddle:

This is the nub of the issue: what on earth is there to learn about journalism at postgraduate level? The point and purpose of our lowly, occasionally useful, trade could be scribbled on the back of a postage stamp and would easily be comprehended by a 14-year-old hoodie with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and a carrier bag full of glue. Who has decided that it must be dignified with a doctoral thesis?

Trade might be overdoing it a bit, craft is closer to the truth.

It is a common mistake that people in certain occupations have to be “clever”. There was a shock horror story in the papers last week to the effect that almost all people who work in kindergartens and nurseries are utter imbeciles; ill-informed, illiterate, oxtail soup between the ears, etc. Should we really let these morons look after our lovely children, these terrible Vicky Pollard manqués?

Well, yes, we should. No matter how loveable, cute, cheeky and unintentionally funny pre-school children might be, they are also extraordinarily stupid. The most intellectually demanding task required of kindergarten workers is that they should be able to outwit a four-year-old and thus stop him doing stuff. Other than that, they need to be kindly of nature, patient and competent at handing out the plastic building bricks and making sure the kids don’t try to take a quick dip in the local pond. They are not required to summarise to their charges Wittgenstein’s Tractatus or explain what it was that Heisenberg was so uncertain about. Handing out a brightly coloured book about a mischievous mole while smiling benignly will suffice.

Quite. The clincher being that Polly insists that child care shouldbe done by highly trained and highly qualified pedagogues. Ergo, we know that’s wrong, must indeed be a job for the thickoes.

August 6, 2006 in Media | Permalink


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Wonderful, Tim. I'm going to lift some parts if you don't mind. As a former and maybe even current 'thicko', may I submit that sometimes it's damned difficult to outwit a four year old.

Posted by: james higham | Aug 6, 2006 11:18:44 AM