This Thursday’s Thought from Word of the Day asks if Swarming in the Statusphere, a ‘guide to the top 50 new trends’, is a sign of the end of civilisation as we know it. As John Crace notes in The Guardian this morning, ‘Fancy a tweetup with some b&bs’ seems to indicate that we’ve reached a pretty low point. (If you really ‘want to see the future’, as Shine claim they have, you can read Swarming in the Statusphere online.)
Worse is to come: elsewhere in the same paper, Hugh Muir points out, under the strapline ‘Educashun, edukation, educayshun. The strange ‘practices’ of Michael Gove’: ‘”We will review the operation of the current ‘basic skills’ tests of literacy and numeracy which teachers are required to pass before they can practice,” says the official transcript of the speech made by the education secretary. And once teachers have had enough practice, who knows, he may even allow them to practise.’
The one Hugh Muir calls ‘Professor Gove’, holder of a degree in English from one of our prestigious universities and the beneficiary of a luxury education in one of Scotland’s noble colleges, must have intended this to be a lesson in irony. Surely?