Business Values

Business values what? Profits!

Two more questions: Do we want an economy that serves the needs of society or a society that serves the needs of the economy? And is it in all of our best interests to accept the inevitability of business values creeping into all aspects of our lives? The following three items are all depressing in different ways:

  1. A boring, test-driven education system comes about when business minds apply themselves to the problems of delivering education for all. The owner of a factory, states Ken Robinson who is good on the subject of dreary and unimaginative standardised education, would attempt to see off a threat to profits by facing up to overseas competition, limiting production-lines and making sure that everything is made to the same standard. Following the same production-line mentality with people in education is surely one of the main shortcomings of our education system.
  2. James O’Shaughnessy – one of David Cameron’s former special advisors – has argued in a recent pamphlet for the Policy Exchange thinktank that it is time for profit-making firms to be allowed to run academies. As Private Eye points out this could be good news for O’Shaughnessy who has set up a firm, Mayforth Consulting, to act as an ‘educational entrepreneur’. It’s heartwarming stuff!
  3. By way of teaching 13 and 14 year-olds about the African slave trade Queen Elizabeth’s Girl’s School in Barnet asked its students to come up with a business proposal for how they would capture and imprison slaves in Africa. Apparently one part of the lesson pointed out positive aspects of being a slave trader such as having an affair with a beautiful slave!