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John Burns' Blog

Burns Night; Bank Bonuses; Education

Published: Friday, January 14, 2011

Burns Night
It’s Burns Night tomorrow in Kidwelly.  We’re a trifle early: it should be close to 25th but Kidwelly is low down the pecking order for a pipe band.  Your correspondent will be doing the Address to the Haggis as usual.  A few years ago we went to a Burns Night in Swansea where the Address was much more amusing and charismatic than I can manage.  Their Scottish country dancing was also more polished with everyone knowing exactly what to do.  Our dancing is a bit of a shambles as nearly everyone is a beginner.  More fun though.

I once heard a radio programme on the subject of “Happiness”. One contributor said that Scottish Country Dancing embodies all the key elements of happiness – exercise, music and companionship.  On the other hand it is said that you should try everything at least once in your life except for two things: incest and Morris Dancing!

Bank Bonuses
The New Statesman makes some good points about the Governments craven failure to deal with bank bonuses.  While the banks may claim that bonuses are a just reward for high profits, those profits would not have happened without a State bail-out.  It is the tax payer who should be reaping the benefit.  Also, the bonus culture is based on maximising risk in pursuit of short-term profits, the root cause of the financial collapse.

Simon Hughes, Lib Dem spokesman on education says that while pupils of fee-paying schools make up only 7% of the population, they account for 25% of university students and at Oxford the figure is 50%.  He plans to do something about that.  A letter to the Guardian points out that he should start with the Lib Dem party where 25% of MPs are from fee paying schools.  For Labour the figure is 15% and for the Tories it is close to 50%.

This got me thinking about Burns Pet Nutrition; I suspect that ex-fee-paying pupils are under-represented.  We may need to introduce positive discrimination to meet the quota for public-school pupils.

On January 4th I wrote that I had at least one reader.  Fiona, our nutritionist tells me her mother also reads it so that makes two.  But perhaps she doesn’t count as she’s family.

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