As humans we love difference. We love difference so much, we use it as a way to qualify other people by colour, gender, sexual orientation, financial and material wealth, social background, taste, appearance and in many other ways too.
Many of the benchmarks that we carry within our own personal make up as we attribute a value to others are unconscious or to the world outside us, secret from everyone’s view.
And the fact that we effectively make the judgements connected with our way of thinking behind closed doors, means that no matter how hard do-gooders attempt to legislate or rather control our behaviour, controlling other people’s thinking at a personal or very private level is a battle that even the most politically correct amongst us will never actually win.
So obsessed have we become with being able to legitimise our qualification of others when it suits us to do so, we have found it easy to use the markers that society legitimately provides to create yet another set of differences between ourselves and other people. One that stands far outside the purpose for which that system was intended, and the help that it was originally intended to provide.
For a long time, academic qualification has increasingly been used as the preferred way to distinguish the ability, attitude, application, intelligence and any number of other things about an individual that to the audience can be used to distinguish the capability of a person and whether for the purpose they are being considered, they are ‘qualified’ or not.
By-passing the cold, hard reality that academic qualifications, whether it be a GCSE, A’Level, Graduate Degree, Masters or Phd is simply another benchmark created in some particular persons (usually an academic’s) thoughts, the elephants of our society have fallen head over heels in to the trap of believing that academic standards portray the genuine quality or value of each and every individual or person.
They do not.
Yesterday, we witnessed the power of these maleficent social anchors at their horrifying worst, when Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner was ridiculed for having what are considered to be 4 very poor GCSEs and academically speaking, no more.
Whilst Labour and their principle spokesperson for Education demonstrate little credibility in terms of the policies they have been putting forward with an eye on the upcoming General Election at their Party Conference this week, there are few of us outside of Westminster who could list with fingers on one hand, the number of politicians from any one Political Party who we could hand-on-heart consider credibly, when it comes to fulfilling their roles properly, and being good representatives of the people too.
Perception is everything. Particularly so when it comes to the influences on our thinking and lives that is played out on social media and TV.
Just because an MP or politician looks good on camera, comes across as confident, sounds competent or can boast an academic cv that included Eton, Oxford or wherever it may be from, it is simply a fact that the reality and truth may be – and in the case of many of our sitting MPs – is that they are not ‘qualified’ by or by being any such thing.
Because we have learned and increasingly been conditioned against the value of the substance of life experience and the practical understanding of people, business, community, their experiences and views that time in the real world gaining knowledge of different situations brings, we have reached a stage where we look for things that make high-profile people stand out for all the wrong reasons, mistakenly thinking that they are right.
There is some rich irony in the fact that it was the Labour Government of 1997-2010 that pushed the envelope of qualification bias to its currently accepted extreme by suggesting that it was not only possible, but should be the case that everyone has a degree.
This malignant and ill-conceived step has itself contributed the biggest change in perception about what qualifies any person.
It has pushed us all much further away from regarding each and every other individual as being equal and the same.
Furthermore, the meddling of Angela Rayner’s political predecessors when in Government bears much of the responsibility for the commercialisation of Higher Education. The rancid truth being that many young people have been condemned to financial servitude by a past Labour Government by being encouraged to take degrees that nobody in industry values.
Others are being left behind simply because they are excluded by the perversion of a system that frowns upon anyone who is not academically inclined, or because they know that a lifetime of debt is not something that they can realistically afford.
Education in its real sense, is only partially academic in its make up. No matter how any person is educated, they are equally capable of greatness or of behaving like fools. And the suggestion that people are only capable of anything great if they have good academic qualifications is a premise that is fundamentally flawed.
When we finally have a Government led by politicians who are responsible and not so easily led, the hard decisions over the way that we educate and support our young people will be addressed properly.
The focus will be brought back to the basic reality that as teenagers, we are pretty much all either ‘heads’ or ‘hands’.
Once we value the fact that not everyone in their early teens is either ready or able to spend at least another 7 years in books, we can then get back to providing a real option of parallel educational – not academic pathways – that developed properly with business and the opportunities that Leaving the EU will give us, will mean that rewarding lives for people whatever their background and birth, will for a great many more of them be fully assured.
image thanks to businessinsider.com