State of Education – Yes, Prime Minister – BBC

The PM wants to make some important changes to the education system but Humphery points out that its not all that relevant. Classic clip from the political sitcom Yes, Prime Minister. Watch more high quality videos on the new BBC Worldwide YouTube channel here:

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  1. I remember being told at school to take Latin as it "Gives you a through understanding off all the European languages". I got in quite some trouble for pointing out that this simply isn't true. SOME of them have SOME roots in Latin – notably Italian and Spanish. Some like German and Nordic have practically none.

    But if you speak English you're pretty much sorted for business, technology, science and so on and so forth. So what's the point of learning French or German – let alone Latin that nobody speaks natively?

  2. Mutatis mutandis (Sir Humphrey is not the only one who remembers a little Latin), one could say the same about education in the United States. The 'tomfoolery' of the local school boards guarantees that little real teaching goes on. The Teacher's Union is not much help either; they have their hands full keeping the administration from treating the teachers like the lowest level slaves.

  3. As a neutrally minded foreigner who doesn't love or hate England, but was there few times and having many friends there, I think healthcare and social welfare are much greater mess than education. Shortly, UK governments since interbellum still tries to be socialist more than my homeland, when we were actual socialist country of soviet type. And same time, UK tries to be still important capitalist country, not mentioning bizzarre populist monarchism and huge separatism outside England. It's kinda like Spain, but strangely without any modern Civil War.

  4. This clip is painfully true. The whole education systém is a joke. Having worked in The system for 10 years and been to school, university and technical colleges they are not there for the students, they are there for political reasons. I love education but I detest The system.

  5. A bit of Latin, That refers to us All:
    Si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses.
    Yvigny Goncharov You speak of America, the people, about the Sum of the Parts. then say that the parts, the rest of the world, as being lesser.
    Onya mate, you must be right, as you have written, or gotten it writ.
    Yes. Exactly.  What is it that makes me right…?
    Sir Humphrey Appleby : Si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses.
    James Hacker: What does that mean?
    Sir Humphrey Appleby: If you'd kept your mouth shut, we might have thought you were clever.
    Peace to us All.

  6. MartianSanta– in reply to –@truvianni the European capitals of London, Glasgow, Paris and Berlin are still centers of culture. and despite what Humphrey says about the British education the people of the UK are generally very educated. unlike the USA, that other then a few isolated intelligent communities in New York, Boston and such Americans are segregated and pretty ignoramus. British cultural influence spreads from Australia to america, the middle east ,Africa and India. the us is just another British colony.

    Martian, you're an ignoramus. Americans are a lot more PRACTICAL in their education.  Your impression of the average educational attainments of Americans is vastly more parochial than truvianni's — stop watching the Lowest Common Denominator "pop" shows we export, and spend some time learning about America and Americans. Brits who visit us are continually surprised to learn how much LESS violence there is on our streets — yes, than the UK — despite endless "journalism" that makes us look like the Wild West brought back to life, and equally surprised to learn just how VAST the USA is. When you hear the word "State" in relation to the USA — think "Nation of Europe"…. you won't be that far out of line. We have 50 NATIONS with their own culture, history, and immigrant heritage, of size and/or population to match the nations of Europe. The cultural background of the USA is as large AND DIVERSE as that of Europe, indeed, of all the world, not merely the UK. And shares much of it — we have more Jews here than there are in Israel. The largest number of Swedes outside of Sweden, more Irish than Ireland, and almost as many Italians as Italy. In fact, of most national population groupings, there are more here than anywhere but the "home" nation, and in many cases the number here rivals that of the home nations. And we don't need to travel to meet those of other cultures — WE meet them day to day.

    Hint: Just because someone doesn't agree with your prejudices does not automatically mean THEY are the "stupid" ones. Amazingly, you might — yes GASP might — be the one who is wrong. That kind of arrogance is amusing to those of us who don't have a stick up our butts.

    And British cultural influence is a waning legacy, mostly predicated on the widespread usage of English. And America is one of the chief reasons it continues.

    We have a polyglot "mutt" culture, and if it plays widely here, it plays anywhere in the world, which is why AMERICAN culture is so predominant. You're welcome for the chance to ride in on our coat tails, by the way, no thanks required — If it weren't for America, your culture would be highly rated … like the French… but only marginally popular… like the French.

    And BTW, If it weren't for America, you'd be speaking German. So go sneer at yourself in the mirror for me. I realize that will require pulling your cranium from your rectum, but do it… just for me.

  7. }}} truvianni: why is it that the English have such a hard time with foreign languages?

    People who speak English are a lot less likely to NEED to know another language. For them, it's a good thing but less likely to be an ESSENTIAL thing.

    A legacy of the power of the British Empire, and the American dominance of affairs as that wained. 300 years of the world finding English to be a profitable language to know does that kind of thing.


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