It Is Beyond My Understanding, the circus that surrounded the kidnapping, or murder, of that smiling child, Madeline McCann. I make no comment other than on the exceptional circumstances the parents found themselves in. Firstly, they are both doctors, with more than adequate incomes. Why then was a fund raised for them, what was it intended to be used for, who initiated it, and was it properly monitored subsequently? There was the very public reception by the Pope at the Vatican. Surely, considering the numbers of children stolen, and abused, it would have been more appropriate, if the Pope had used this tragedy to preach about the callous trade of young children for sex and pornography, and the theft of children for sale to wealthy parents for adoption. Some do not know how they would react if caught up in a similar situation, I personally believe I would be so shattered, so at sea when it came to knowing how to get the child back, that I would probably sit on my hands, certainly not be trekking from country to country, when I would know, having stood surrounded by representatives of the world’s media, that the story was being published throughout the world From the very beginning I felt that the parents were enveloped by some puppet-master with his own agenda.
The TV films did make me realise, generally people who have to face the media in tragic or highly charged circumstances, often they take their wives along and hold hands all the way. Perhaps my family are different, we link arms, as one does, but only rarely do we hold hands. Just out of interest, see how often politicians, people going to court, and celebrities in the floodlights, hold hands with their wives, their partners or their mistresses.
Education and Training. A Warning! Since the dawn of time until the 1950s, the main educational routes in the professions, the trades and selling, was more commonly as a result of being apprenticed or articled to a respectable company. In those days it was dead men’s shoes, you had a rough idea where you were going, and a good idea of where you would finish up. There was security, and because of the class system, people tended to be content with their lot, only a few were overcome with extreme ambition. WW1 had been such carnage that the government, at the beginning of WW2, made a ruling that everyone who left their job to join the services, would be entitled to their job back when the war was over. In actual fact, as I can speak from my own experience, not enough of us were killed to make this a reality. The employers were faced with men and women in place who had served their time over five years of the war, and yet there were those returning, looking for work, but were at a disadvantage, in that it would take some time for them to get up to speed.
We are in a situation now which is just the reverse. With cheap imports, sending so much of our manufacture abroad, we are not training sufficient people to the highest standards, which one needs to be competitive, and I believe if we are too dependent on teaching, of a poor quality, in schools instead of the quality training by well qualified journeymen in workshop situations, we will suffer severely. The educationalists are often theorists who have not come up the hard way. Being married to a teacher one tends to move in teaching circles, and in spite of what University chancellors, the government, and statisticians say, teachers of the old school will tell you bluntly, that the products today from schools and universities, as a mean, are below the standard that would have been expected back in the 30s and 40s. From my own experience in engineering in the post war years, the older men were competent and reliable, the new trainees from technical schools were often useless, The current wave may have technical skills, and understand things which have come to light since those days, but their basic skills, the skills necessary for industry to forge ahead, are not what they should be. If the government doesn’t take on these basic fundamentals, and step up the quantity and quality of the training that is necessary for a vibrant economy, we will sink. It is not coincidence that we have such a vast influx of tradesmen from Poland and other Eastern European countries. Soft university options, degrees in subjects that are oversubscribed to, and are theoretical rather than practical, mean we do not build a technical base. I am told the wealth of this country is based on its financial dealings and its inventions. But I believe if the bottom falls out of the market, we will be suffering the consequence, if we haven’t a manufacturing base of high-quality – deep trouble!.