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Ambition

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barbados
1315861.  Thu Mar 07, 2019 12:10 pm Reply with quote

Quote:
But if Mr Javid's opponent were Jacob Rees-Mogg, JRM would win by a country mile.



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(Not that it ever would be Mr Rees-Mogg, because no MPs outside the ERG would ever vote for him.)

Is that not contradictory?

 
GuyBarry
1315862.  Thu Mar 07, 2019 12:18 pm Reply with quote

dr.bob wrote:

But we're not talking about receiving support in your career. We're talking about ambition. By definition that starts before you start your career.


Not necessarily. You can develop ambition at any stage in life.

I think it's a great mistake to assume that you've got to pick some goal to aim for when you're still at school and then doggedly aim for it for the rest of your life. Some people are like that, for sure - PDR gave an example of someone who wanted to become an oncologist at the age of eight and eventually got there. And that's great, but a lot of people simply aren't like that. I think you can make children very unhappy by forcing them to become prematurely ambitious. It's probably healthier for most people to get a taste of what the adult world is like before they start to focus on an ambition. Explore a few different jobs before deciding where you eventually want to go. There's plenty of time.

Quote:
If (for instance) a young girl is constantly told "forget about becoming US President, because women never become President", then she won't even bother to ask a careers advisor about it because it will have been stomped out of her long before she reaches that point.


And who's saying things like that? It's not a message I ever hear in the media or from schools or careers advisers. The focus is very much on equality of opportunity these days.

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That's why teachers play such a vital role in a child's development and why suze is right to offer her pupils all the encouragement she can.


You're making it sounds as though teachers are the only people concerned about equality of opportunity. Everyone should be concerned about equality of opportunity. The child's family should be concerned about equality of opportunity. The child's friends should be concerned about equality of opportunity.

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So if an 11-year-old muslim boy asked you if he could become PM one day, your response would be "don't ask me, go and talk to a careers advisor"?


Eleven is probably a bit young for that sort of thing. I'd probably tell him to concentrate on his schoolwork for now and think about becoming Prime Minister when he's a bit older.

 
barbados
1315863.  Thu Mar 07, 2019 12:22 pm Reply with quote

Quote:
Not necessarily. You can develop ambition at any stage in life.

As you can start a career
Quote:
Eleven is probably a bit young for that sort of thing. I'd probably tell him to concentrate on his schoolwork for now and think about becoming Prime Minister when he's a bit older.



How much older?

 
GuyBarry
1315867.  Thu Mar 07, 2019 12:38 pm Reply with quote

If you want my honest opinion, about 30. At least.

 
suze
1315871.  Thu Mar 07, 2019 12:56 pm Reply with quote

barbados wrote:
Quote:
But if Mr Javid's opponent were Jacob Rees-Mogg, JRM would win by a country mile.


Quote:
(Not that it ever would be Mr Rees-Mogg, because no MPs outside the ERG would ever vote for him.)


Is that not contradictory?


Yes and no.

The way the Conservative Party elects a leader, as many MPs as want to enter the contest. MPs hold a series of ballots to reduce the number of candidates to two, and the wider membership then chooses between the two.

Unless only two MPs put themselves forward for the job, JRM would never get to be one of that final two. He's not especially popular outwith the ERG, so the other MPs just wouldn't vote for him.

But if he did somehow get to be in that final two, he'd have a decent chance of winning. His positions are more popular with party members than they are with MPs, while the reverse is true of people like Hammond or Rudd.


Labour does things differently, and any candidate who gets the required number of nominations from MPs is put to the wider membership. Jeremy Corbyn struggled to get the nominations he needed, and some of the MPs who signed his nomination form didn't actually support him. Rather, they signed his form out of sympathy, in keeping with a Labour tradition that someone from the hard left ought to be an option.

 
barbados
1315874.  Thu Mar 07, 2019 1:05 pm Reply with quote

Do you not consider that someone so unpopular with the PCP would encourage an MP to stand just to ensure he is not in the picture, much in the way that Gove did in 2016,

 
GuyBarry
1315878.  Thu Mar 07, 2019 1:12 pm Reply with quote

dr.bob wrote:

GuyBarry wrote:
Well, you just pointed me to an article saying it was. Did you want me to ignore it?


No. I'd prefer it if you explained why it was wrong, or provided some evidence to back up your claim that Clinton's failure to become president "wasn't anything to do with anti-female prejudice."


I expressed a belief, and you pointed me to an article that suggested my belief was wrong. I'm quite happy to accept that. I don't want to argue the toss over it.

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Why not? Was that based on any actual evidence, or simply personal prejudice?


Ignorance, probably. I've never researched it - I've formed opinions based on what I've heard in the media. I don't recall any media commentators suggesting that Hillary Clinton lost the election because of anti-female prejudice. But if there's research demonstrating that she did, I'm happy to accept it.

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So you're trying to tell me that if the MPs were convinced that a candidate would perform very badly among the wider population in a general election, they'd vote him in anyway just because they think he's a damn fine chap?


That's a different question from the one you asked earlier. I expressed reservations about how Javid would perform amongst the Tory party membership, not the wider population. The Tory party membership are highly unrepresentative of the wider population. They're not even particularly representative of Tory voters. Tory party members tend to be pretty right-wing and I think suze said their average age is 72.

If Sajid Javid were the Tory leader in a general election, I think the Tories would have an advantage purely because their leader came from an ethnic minority. It gave Sadiq Khan an advantage in the London mayoral election (I believe - I haven't done any research to back this up). Now I know the country as a whole isn't as liberal-minded as London, but I think there are more people within the wider electorate who want to see ethnic minority candidates succeed than those who are prejudiced against them.

It's not just trendy left-wing people who believe in equality of opportunity these days - it's become a mainstream belief, embraced by all parties and people from all walks of life. Racism is generally seen as unacceptable. That's not the same as saying that racism doesn't exist or can be ignored. But there are far more anti-racists than racists now. I genuinely believe that.

GuyBarry wrote:

1) You said that being a women gave them an advantage. That would surely imply that new MPs would be more than 50% female.


Not necessarily, because it depends on the number of female candidates. I don't have any figures for that either though.

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2) It's a shame you didn't check any figures for new MPs. Of the 93 MPs that were newly elected in the 2017 election, less than 40 were women.


That surprises me, but it's still better than the 32% figure you quoted for MPs overall. It's clearly heading in the right direction anyway.

Quote:
GuyBarry wrote:
Same reasoning. The baseline figure for the number of ethnic minority MPs is tiny. Once the longer-serving white MPs start to leave Parliament, I'd expect to see more newcomers from the ethnic minorities elected.


11 out of the 93, or just under 12%. Better, but a little under the 13% you quoted above. I'd caution against getting too complacent about that number, though, given the small-number statistics involved.


I think that's very good actually. 13% of 93 is 12, near enough. I'm afraid I can't get too bothered about a difference of one MP.

 
Alfred E Neuman
1315905.  Thu Mar 07, 2019 5:45 pm Reply with quote

GuyBarry wrote:
Eleven is probably a bit young for that sort of thing. I'd probably tell him to concentrate on his schoolwork for now and think about becoming Prime Minister when he's a bit older.

How patronising.

 
GuyBarry
1315929.  Fri Mar 08, 2019 2:23 am Reply with quote

Well I'm sorry if that sounds patronizing, but I really don't think that eleven years old is an appropriate age to be thinking about becoming Prime Minister. I think that people should gain a bit of life experience before they set their sights on such lofty aims.

It would be interesting to know how many people who actually became Prime Minister were considering it at the age of eleven. I suspect very few.

 
Alfred E Neuman
1315934.  Fri Mar 08, 2019 4:54 am Reply with quote

GuyBarry wrote:
It would be interesting to know how many people who actually became Prime Minister were considering it at the age of eleven. I suspect very few.

Thatís not really relevant.

 
dr.bob
1315936.  Fri Mar 08, 2019 5:13 am Reply with quote

GuyBarry wrote:
I think it's a great mistake to assume that you've got to pick some goal to aim for when you're still at school and then doggedly aim for it for the rest of your life.


I'm certainly not suggesting that. I'm merely trying to elicit what you think is an appropriate response from a teacher to a young student who expresses some kind of ambition, especially when the teacher thinks the chances of success are very small. So far all you've come up with is "you're too young to think about that" or "go and speak to a careers advisor." I can't help thinking that such an attitude isn't going to inspire too many people.

GuyBarry wrote:
And who's saying things like that? It's not a message I ever hear in the media or from schools or careers advisers. The focus is very much on equality of opportunity these days.


It could be the message coming from family or friends. After all, if a woman has never become US President, despite being the best qualified person for the job and a leading politician of her age, it's not an unreasonable conclusion to draw.

You yourself, in this very thread, have said "I think they (schools) should be encouraging them (pupils) to set goals which are realistic." So if a young girl expresses her desire to be US President, and her parents respond with "That's never happened before. Don't be so unrealistic. Pick a goal that's more likely to happen." that would agree with your own views as expressed in this thread.

GuyBarry wrote:
The child's family should be concerned about equality of opportunity. The child's friends should be concerned about equality of opportunity.


They should. but you can't guarantee they will. And, if they don't, what's the solution? Should we, as a society, just sit around saying it's a shame the parents aren't doing a good enough job, or should we provide other avenues of encouragement and inspiration, i.e. through teachers.

 
dr.bob
1315939.  Fri Mar 08, 2019 5:50 am Reply with quote

GuyBarry wrote:
I expressed a belief, and you pointed me to an article that suggested my belief was wrong. I'm quite happy to accept that. I don't want to argue the toss over it.


That explains the confusion. Maybe other people picked up on it, but when you said "she didn't win, but it wasn't anything to do with anti-female prejudice.", that sounded to me more like a statement of fact than simply you expressing a belief.

Thanks for clearing that up.

GuyBarry wrote:
Now I know the country as a whole isn't as liberal-minded as London, but I think there are more people within the wider electorate who want to see ethnic minority candidates succeed than those who are prejudiced against them.


Given the widely reported problems that people from ethnic minorities have in terms of discrimination when applying for jobs and so many other aspects of life, I find that statement impossible to believe.

GuyBarry wrote:
Racism is generally seen as unacceptable.


This statement is somewhat undermined by the rise in popularity of right-wing, anti-immigration parties both here and in other countries.

GuyBarry wrote:
That's not the same as saying that racism doesn't exist or can be ignored.


I'm glad you do realise that.

GuyBarry wrote:
That surprises me, but it's still better than the 32% figure you quoted for MPs overall. It's clearly heading in the right direction anyway.


I certainly is, which is a good thing. We're an awfully long way from a situation where being a female candidate gives someone an advantage, though.

 
GuyBarry
1315944.  Fri Mar 08, 2019 6:28 am Reply with quote

dr.bob wrote:

I'm certainly not suggesting that. I'm merely trying to elicit what you think is an appropriate response from a teacher to a young student who expresses some kind of ambition, especially when the teacher thinks the chances of success are very small. So far all you've come up with is "you're too young to think about that" or "go and speak to a careers advisor." I can't help thinking that such an attitude isn't going to inspire too many people.


But it's not the teacher's job as far as I'm concerned. It's a bit like saying "what's the appropriate response from a teacher to a young student who develops a medical condition?" The only sensible answer is "go and see a doctor", I would submit, not to try to diagnose it themselves.

Teachers are not trained to be careers advisers; they're not paid to be careers advisers; it's not in their job description. As suze pointed out, requiring a teacher to give careers advice could even result in an industrial dispute. Surely it's far better to refer the student to someone who can give them the support and information that they need?

Quote:
GuyBarry wrote:
The child's family should be concerned about equality of opportunity. The child's friends should be concerned about equality of opportunity.


They should. but you can't guarantee they will. And, if they don't, what's the solution? Should we, as a society, just sit around saying it's a shame the parents aren't doing a good enough job, or should we provide other avenues of encouragement and inspiration, i.e. through teachers.


I really don't see the value in dumping extra responsibilities on teachers for which they're not qualified. There are so many other avenues of encouragement and inspiration out there.

 
barbados
1315945.  Fri Mar 08, 2019 6:52 am Reply with quote

I know quite a lot of teachers, and I reckon I could count on the fingers of one foot the number that would start an industrial dispute as as a result of being asked to provide any advice to a child.

 
GuyBarry
1315948.  Fri Mar 08, 2019 7:01 am Reply with quote

I'm just going by what suze said in post 1315860:

suze wrote:
The industrial relations climate in schools is fragile, and ordering a teacher to do something that she doesn't think ought to be her job could lead to a complaint about bullying or even a strike ballot.

 

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