Monday, June 04, 2007

Notes and queries

From the Old Country comes news of a remarkable insight from Mr Boris Johnson, who holds the seat of Henley-on-Thames in the Conservative interest and who speaks for that party in the lower House on matters of Higher Education.

Mr Johnson has identified a grave disadvantage to the common good in allowing the daughters of gentlefolk to pursue education. It seems that young Gentlemen are likely to choose these young ladies as their wives, and so prevent the advancement of women from the lower orders. Mr Johnson made this and other observations in the pages of The Spectator, from which we have taken the following passage:
The colossal expansion in the numbers of female graduates is in many ways a marvellous thing; but it has boosted the well-documented process of assortative mating, by which middle-class graduates marry middle-class graduates and thereby entrench their economic advantages, pooling their graduate incomes to push up house prices and increase the barriers to entry for the rest. The result is that in families on lower incomes the women have absolutely no choice but to work, often with adverse consequences for family life and society as a whole — in that unloved and undisciplined children are more likely to become hoodies, NEETS [Not currently engaged in Employment, Education or Training], and mug you on the street corner. Of course I am in favour of women working, and the world would be far nicer if women ran it, but I sometimes wonder if they — we — really want to work quite so hard.
However, we cannot help but observe that, although Mr Johnson would never be found on a street corner, he keeps company with men who are no strangers to fisticuffs. We have read a report from the Daily Mail, a newspaper read by office clerks, concerning a duel between two of Mr Johnson's closest friends: Mr Darius Guppy, himself a convicted felon, and Earl Spencer.

We note that Mr Johnson entitled his essay The Pursuit of Happiness, a title which is shared by a musical ensemble from Her Majesty's Canadian colonies. For your edification and pleasure, we a present a composition by said ensemble, entitled Pressing Lips.


That Morthos Stare said...

Darius Guppy? The name conjures up an entire lifestory in the style of P G Wodehouse, does it not?

Paul said...

As someone said on a forum about another Boris Johnson event, "why you Brits bother writing fiction is beyond me."

Darius Guppy is the grandon of Iran's foremost philosoper on the distaff side and the naturalist Robert Guppy, for whom the fish was named. It seems such an apt name for a fish that it is hard to believe that the man was not named after the fish.

Tomorrow, I shall change my surname to Lolcat, which should keep posterity guessing.