Friday, 31 August 2018

SNP: From Proponent to Detractor... And Education

In the week that
  • Alex Salmond demonstrated that the SNP is built on his ego
  • I heard of Facebook's latest Edu Beta initiative
  • The CBI encouraged Nicola Sturgeon to focus on upskilling the workforce
This post is written using the discourse that our politicians have created by not curbing the comments of their supporters and neglecting to put more focus on Digital Citizenship in education

(Kids I would not read this one... it contains the kind of language that politicians and their supporters use on social media).

In my using core values to identify a brand voice post I highlighted how, when and why I might go from proponent to detractor and, ironically enough, was written because the then SNP Education Secretary asked me to pitch in... I'd think twice about responding to such a request today!

To any rational person with an interest in Scottish Education or Politics I'd recommend that you take a look at Adam Grants Ted Talk" and how "Disagreeable Givers" are the most undervalued in any organisations

And/or Jay Baer's "Hug Your Haters" and how the 5% who care enough to come back to you could be what the other 95% are thinking but don't care enough to say anything at all. The silent majority will just quietly return to their old voting habits...And the 'unprecedented record swings' will be a shock to everyone on the day.

My experiences have been horrendous ones! I went into one job at entry level and worked my way up to a wage that was in the top 7% of the UK population... then things went a little pear shaped. As some have put it, it's like the plot of a horrible film.

But everywhere I look, in UK Further Education, Scotland and our young people, many are about to experience similar situations as changes in the world of work will affect them. I have done what I can to make people aware of this (As limited as the attempts have been - with £0, no voice and a 5 year old laptop).

I would HATE for anyone else to go through this, but all of the people above - FE, 4% of the workforce are work at call centres and young people who are already marginalised will be even more so. It's a lonely - and depressing - journey.

Homeless and SNP Detractor

Let me get this in before the President Sturgeon and Comrade Salmond's cybernat supporters do:

I am a worthless piece of shit... I know this already. 

Angry? I sure am angry... About as angry as a President who wakes up in the morning and logs onto Twitter! Or need a more #IndyRef example? Rage? It's well beyond rage!

For proponents of the #YouMatter movement, try telling yourself you have anything of value to offer when you move one box at a time via First Bus because:
  • You can't afford a van because Tony Blair & Gordon Brown wreck the economy, Cameron wipes out any good work from Every Child Matters for his 'Big Society,' then Vince Cable and the Government's NRAM repossess your house.

    The shame, embarrassment and feeling of worthlessness and failure   being one of the "Young Aspirational Families" that David Cameron was an advocate of... to presenting yourself as homeless, isn't an enjoyable one.
  • The credit rating you get as a result of Vince's decisions to help the banks that made money from these toxic mortgages and THEN made money by betting that people would not be able to keep up their payments, what the fuck were you thinking Vince and NRAM?!
For proponents of the SNP, of which I was an ardent supporter in 2014 & 2015, the Cybernats who disagree with my experiences and how I internalise them... they are my experiences and you can go fuck yourself right off and/or follow the lead of those great political 'leaders' of our day, Trump & Salmond, and go grab a woman by the pussy and they crowd fund a sexual harassment case if you disagree with my experiences.

Oh what's that? Oh you've already supported the sexual harassment crowd fund of a rather wealthy individual? Good for you! Come on #IndyRef2! You can do it... go piss everyone that disagrees with you off and see if that helps bring #The45 up to the required level.

Clearly the SNP should have introduced early assessments years ago as you're all shit at maths! you're English and critical thinking isn't so great either ;)

Not only have I accurately predicted every election since 2015... But I've tried to tell people at The SNP (And other parties) what I saw before, during and after their grand plans and how they were headed for trouble... but have been astutely ignored.

Whether in education with projects like Gazelle, FELTAG, implementing ideas from the Scottish Learning Festival or in the world of politics, my insights have been accurate.

Politics Vs Tech Companies
For a very long time I've felt that tech companies would do more in education than the political classes ever would.

We saw this with Pokemon Go and how it did more in 24 hours to get people up and about then anything that the politicians did in years. IMHO we also see this with Microsoft in Scottish Education too.

People celebrated when social media affected change with far off places like the Arab Spring... But we all seem less impressed with what it's done closer to home with the division that it's created with the divisive campaigns of Trump, Brexit and the Scottish Independence Referendum.

The first of these was the Scottish Independence referendum and IMHO the leadership needed from the SNP the weekend after Sept 2014 was, as it has been for the last 11 years... Missing.

When I first joined Social Media it was a productive and collaborative space. But it would appear that the takers/fakers did what they did best -> They took advantage of the collaborative space and made it work for them... we only need look at egomaniacs like Trump and Salmond with his £100,000 crowd fund to see this.

In 1997 Murdoch reported that "It's the Sun whot won it"
In 2017 Trumps campaign team said they would not have won if it wasn't for facebook

Idiots* like Alex Chalk and FELTAG's Matt Hancock say that "Tech Companies need to do more" and today's papers include the rise of politicans getting abuse on social media... but, as I continually ask, what do they do to temper their own supporters?

Meanwhile members of their party go about (For what appears to be to create EVEN MORE division for the purpose of power and personal gain) saying that people in Burkas look like letterboxes, I think there's far more of an argument for politicians to do more to curb their supporters behaviour.

*If David Cameron can call his Education Secretary a lunatic then I assume it's OK to call the FELTAG architect an idiot - was 50% of all FE College courses online by 2017? On track for all course material to be online by 2020? What's that? No? Oh it all 'Evolved' did it? Cool! Great work! Apologies, you're as much of a genius as Cameron says that his Education Secretary was!

No Voice
There have been two articles that have had a HUGE impression on me over the last few years

Lost in the Ghetto"One of the terrible fates that can befall a human being is to be born intelligent or sensitive in an English slum. It is like a long, slow, exquisite torture devised by a sadistic deity from whose malevolent clutches escape is almost impossible"

Collaborate Vs Collaborate “When you obsess about the customer, you end up defeating your competition as a byproduct,” said K.R. Sridhar, the founder of Bloom Energy, a fuel-cell company. “When you are just obsessed about the competition, you end up killing yourself” as a byproduct — “because you are not focused on the customer.”

The weekend following the #IndyRef result I tried desperately to tell people at the SNP that they needed to "Chase the #NewPower Storm" of #The45/The45Plus, they didn't do this... and are paying the price today with the trolls call themselves SNP/Independence supporters.

One irony is that I would not be surprised if the very people who probably denounced Trump and his "grab them by the pussy" comments have funded Salmonds crowd funder... go figure!

In 2015 the then Education Secretary asked me to pitch in with her Education Consultation... I did this, then got zero support and the arrogant woman could not even bring herself to thank the people that I got involved with the initiative... If there's one thing that winds me up it's people's time and efforts not being acknowledged!

Also in 2015 I wrote to my elected representative on a personal issue and, despite following up on some 10 occasions, got NO REPLY AT ALL, that is of course not until the 2017 "Begging Letter Phase" of the political calendar comes round and a case worker emails to say they

"Feel my comments on social media are unfair" but they could not (and can not!) produce a reply to my query. THEY dropped the ball on a serious issue, one where intervention *Just might* have helped... And I'm the one being unfair? Get to FUCK Margaret Ferrier and your case workers!

If you were to take a look at Margaret Ferrier's Twitter feed or 2017 campaign material SNP, Tories and Labour are mentioned WAY MORE than the word "constituent" (Again the data doesn't lie... Wasn't one bit surprised when she lost her seat, I articulated what clearly others felt about the representation, compare that with the offer of help in March 2015).

I voted for the SNP in 2014 & 2015, spoilt my paper in 2016 and voted Labour in 2017.

2017 despite doing what I can to nudge the needle forward in Scottish education with things that I feel are important (And which are in line with the 'Fine Speeches' at their fancy ass conferences) under trying circumstances, you get no assistance and nothing but snark from your elected representatives CASE WORKERS... And that MSP is responsible for the nations Mental Health agenda... For fuck's sake! No wonder politicians get trolled online when they are this incompetent!!

At all stages I have tried to make people aware of what I've seen and experienced.

SNP and Education
I have three kids in the education system. Two of these kids are coming to the end of their education and not only do they have a dim view of their experiences, but:

1) "All the good teachers leave" is one observation, and according to them
2) EVEN THEIR OWN TEACHERS have said "We are not preparing you for the future of work"

For the majority of their time in education this has been an SNP administration.

(Note to the idiot at Education Scotland who sent me a response to correspondence to John Swinney, My kids are in education now, today... not in 2030! #ScotlandIsNow #ScotlandCan #GoDo and all that shit! Go fucking fix this stuff today, now, not tomorrow and not in 10 years time)

Alex Salmond & Crowd Funding
Just how ridiculous is education policy Vs what our politicans do?

I've written a number of times on this blog about the prevalence of Twitter in Scottish/UK and US politics Vs how underused it is in education.

But Nicola's former Mentor-Turned-Stay-Away-From-Eck's Crowd Funder takes this to another level entirely!

When on the New Enterprise Allowance the advice from People's Plus (A Nottingham based company... #GoDo!) about if you had a bad credit rating:

"Do something about it" No shit Sherlock... and how do you propose you that? Silence. What great advice... If you're coming all the from Nottingham I wish you'd sent Robin Hood instead of the Sheriffs round!

When I struggled to raise finance I told my Work Coach, I might try a crowd funder... the response?

"What's crowd funding?"

I'm guessing she know what it is, and how effective it can be.

But a word of warning... as Nicola's calls to support a rape crisis crowd fund, if you lack the popularity, or the celeb status of Alex Salmond and/or what Lewis Termin and Malcolm Gladwell find in the "Cultural Advantage" of the Middle Classes don't fall into the trap that I did!!

Invisible Children, SnapChat, Podemos & New Power
The book New Power has helped me SO MUCH to see how, why and where I went wrong and hope that this might help others who believe that they can be marginalised and follow the examples of the college drop outs who create the next big thing that is portrayed in the media.

There is a certain DNA to the Tech and EdTech companies that become successful and, if others try to follow their example without some of those ingredients... they will fail!

New Power highlights this very well, something that the Alex Salmond  crowd funder exemplifies.
  • The Invisible Children example = they needed the "look at me, looks at me" celebs who like the sound of their own voice to get involved before the TV networks picked the story up.
  • SnapChat = College drop outs and founders who have a spat and fall out (Waves to Nicola and Alex), they dropped out of PRIVILEGED colleges! I'm sure that the connections that Mum and Dad had or connection at college and/or their fraternity would have seen them succeed at no matter what they did!
  • Pablo Iglesias & Podemos = Became a leading political party in Spain in record time, putting social media - and participatory politics - to good use, but Pablo also saw the value that the same main stream media that Cybernats hate today, was necessary.
Btw if (And I doubt it is the case - as Alex Salmond came to the defense of Bath based Wings Over Scotland - all the way from England???!!) the SNP did want to address the issue of their 'Cybernat' problem, New Power details how to go about doing this.

The Well & Facebook
In 2015 I read Kate Hefner's book about Stewart Brand and Larry Brilliant's early online community called "The Well," and a comment that Howard Reingold (Michelle Cordy's "That's how it works, Michelle" mentor from the ISTE 2016 closing keynote) made.

I noticed from Facebook's Edu beta announcement that my assessment was not wrong... and what did I do with this information when I discovered it?

Why I shared it with my Scottish Edu contacts and political ones way back in 2015... Just ask the head of the SNP at Westminster Ian Blackford.... Don't blame me! I voted Yes, and I tried to share what I'd discovered as I tried to make the transition from sales to community management.

I also told you when, where, how and why I became less and less supportive of the SNP... you arrogant pricks.

Lost in the Ghetto... Alone, but there are lots of us
I would encourage ANY leader to read the following articles
If the last article is correct and a record like this along with the hubris, arrogance and divisions of the SNP continue in this way it will be worse than losing power, it just might be a return to the same levels of representation as the 1970s.

If Ms Sturgeon is reading this I doubt if she will recall but we met at the 1997 Count when I canvassed for Jim Byrn, wasn't a great night was it... what was it 6 seats?

The fact that the cultural conditions existed for a few weeks in 2014 that could have brought about the kind of unheard of positive changes, but were squandered is a disgrace.

Whatever is in store for the Rah! Rah! Rah! Independence! Independence! Independence! Brigade it is extremely unlikely that this culture will return - not impossible, but will take the kind of hustle that anyone you try to talk to about this will scratch their heads and say "I don't get it."

This takes use back to the topic at the start of this post and the reason tech companies will do more than politicans can be found in Peter Thiel's advice.
Political Genius?
There is a scenario where Alex Salmond's crowdfunder is a stroke of genius, but I made the mistake of thinking that events leading up to Aug/Sept 2014 were intentional but now know that it was a happy accident for the SNP... but just in case:

If taking lessons from Trump and Boris and is looking for ways to create a crisis to further polarize and divide the country and/or following Steve Jobs example with “Let’s Be Pirates” against his own organization to create and reset the culture to affect change, then his crowd funder could be a political master stroke… this might prove beneficial to SNP MPs, but creating even more divisions and a political landscape more like today's US politics in Scotland to add to the already deeply concerning ‘Cybernat’ problem would do nothing for the plebs.

How big is the cybernat problem? People paying £100,000+ for a crowd funder to someone who no doubt is making above the national average to cover fees against sexual harassment? I’d say that’s a pretty big problem to address!

But who cares, as long as more of the people with your colour of shiny badge makes it back into their cushy jobs at Holyrood and Westminster, fuck the plebs and jams, right?

That has most certainly been the case in my experience.

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