Three score years and ten

KRM 10_04_20_21When I wake tomorrow morning (Saturday 9 July 2016) I will have achieved three score years and ten.  I am pleased both to have reached this landmark and to have been born when I was.  I am not so sure I would be comfortable to be in my school years or early work years now.

  • My parents went without a lot of luxuries to send me to a private school.  They thought I would thrive in a small, 5 to 18 school and I did.  I was never a sportsman but I was academically talented and this was recognised and encouraged.  I left school before I was 16 years old with enough O-levels as they then were to start my chosen career.  Someone in my Party is now suggesting that people whose parents sent them to be privately educated should be discriminated against.  Bonkers!
  • I was the last generation for whom university was not de rigeur and I am glad of that.  I served five years as an articled clerk with a firm of Chartered Accountants and qualified when I was 21 years old.  I do not know how I would have taken to university but suspect I may not have thrived.  In any case, I fear John Major and others have cheapened the process by converting polytechnics into universities.  Some were up for this (Oxford Brookes) others clearly were not.  I am glad I do not have the burden of student debt although this may be useful in helping students to identify the value of education and of their own degree course.
  • I think we have lost our identity in a number of ways.  Firstly in dress and appearance.  I always thought tattoos were worn by tars and tarts and I struggle to see many middle class people sporting ghastly tattoos very visible to all.  I am baffled by the desire to despoil the human body in this way.
  • I am also sad to see the degeneration in dress standards.  In London, in pubs and restaurants and on the streets and trains, people are generally very scruffy, particularly men.  Oxfordshire is little better.  I am baffled that couples can go out when she dresses fairly well while he looks as if he has come straight off of a building site.
  • Which leads me on to women and a few men wearing jeans with holes in the knees.  Whoever was the designer that persuaded people to pay good money for jeans that appear worn out at the knees needs to be locked up for mendacity or given a Queens Award for Industry for extorting money from people too stupid to realise they are being had.
  • I will conclude with the equality and sexuality industries.  The quest for equality at all costs has led us to lose some of the most important values a civilisation can hold including respect for religion.  I distrust the increasing secularisation of our society because removing religion from the mainstream threatens the removal of our core beliefs and moral values.
  • Which leads me on to gay marriage.  I don’t have a problem with people who are gay but I have always felt sexual matters were private and I do object to having people’s sexual practices thrust up my nose.  I struggle with men kissing in public; it is too many years of conditioning and a slight aversion to overt signs of intimacy between anyone in public.   As for two men or two women marrying, I am sorry but this remains plain daft, given that the church’s view of marriage is for the procreation of children which is pretty challenging for two men or two women unless they invoke some form of artificial assistance.
  • Finally, I hear Cameron is going to allow women to take part in hand-to-hand combat by our military.  Given he imposed same sex marriage on our country, I suppose this was inevitable but it seems plain bonkers to me.  Until we abolish the separation of men’s and women’s teams in cricket, football, rugby and boxing, I fail to see how women should be expected to compete equally in fighting an 18 stone aggressive Russian soldier with knife or bayonet in a future confrontation.  It is bonkers.

About Keith R Mitchell CBE

Qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1967. Pursued a successful career in financial training and publishing until selling his interests in 1990. Elected a County Councillor for the Bloxham Division in 1989. Leader of Oxfordshire County Council 5 November 2001 to 15 May 2012. Chairman of the South East England Regional Planning Committee July 2002 to July 2005. Chairman of the South East England Regional Assembly July 2005 to July 2008. In HM the Queen’s 2007 Birthday Honours, appointed a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in recognition of services to local government.
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