Why the British government felt they needed to ask 2,272 people to confirm an ancient proverb, I have no idea. 65 per cent thought that who you know is more important that what you know when it comes to finding a job. But the results were actually a lot more interesting than the headline figure suggests, because of how contradictory they are.
Well folks, it’s been a long time coming, but at last we have a sensible suggestion about what to do with dodgy bankers. Here’s what, and why it’s important.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies reported today that over 60s are the only age group to be better off now than they were before the financial crisis struck in 2007/8, while adults in their 20s saw the biggest fall in income — about 12 per cent. They called it “a triumph of social policy.”
It’s probably a bit un-PC to compare school kids to the Taliban, but I have no doubt that when ex-soldiers make it through a two-year fast track programme to become teachers that they’ll notice the similarities. Teenagers and terrorists: liable to explode any minute.
I hate being pegged. In my early twenties I used to drive past a primary school on my way to work and every morning would coincide with the lollipop lady and a troupe of five-year-olds. I could feel the accusative stares directed at me when the parents reigned back their kids as I bore down on their zebra crossing in my VW Polo. At 12 miles an hour.
Then there’s the look of surprise, followed swiftly by the ushering on of Johnny and Claire, with the odd furtive glance in my direction to see if the road rage had overcome me. Then, just cos I like to prove that I’m not one of those hooligans my mum always used to tell me about, I’d thank them for getting in my way.
So no, we’re not always a menace. But I am also guilty of once trying to find out how fast my car went (not very with a 1.4 litre engine).
Here’s a list of interesting points about the beliefs of young Britons today, put together by the Economist in a recent leader.
Most young people believe…
1) Sexual preference and homosexuality are just non-issues. Young people in Britain really don’t care what others get up to at home – or even in public – and the government shouldn’t either. Gay marriage? Meh.
2) Mass immigration is something we should worry about. Facing appalling job prospects, young people are concerned that immigration is becoming a problem. All the same, they wish politicians wouldn’t keep banging on about it.
3) Less than 30 per cent of those under 35 think that welfare is one of Britain’s proudest achievements (compared to 61 per cent of post-WW2 baby boomers). They think Britain actually spends too much on welfare and support cutting down on the amount of government funding it gets.
4) Global warming is a biggie.
5) Tesco can rule the world if it wants, just so long as it still sells cheap food.
The European Union is taking Britain to court for discriminating against some European residents in Britain who are denied social benefits (like child support) that other immigrants aren’t because they are asked to take the wrong kind of test.
I’m not going to get into the debate about whether the EU is right to challenge Britain in this way, But I thought it would be interesting to see what sort of questions they ask. Here are a few examples (the actual full test hasn’t been published, obviously, so these are sample questions), borrowed from the BBC and Guardian (x2).