October 31, 2007

Advanced mathematicians required by the public sector

Wow, what a lot of people got involved in this debate.
It must be so important, or vote worthy!
I would be pleased if we could just find some people who can count.
Can it be that complex to organise counting people on and off an island?
Another bloody shambles!



  1. The big issue is that we count the people on the way in, but not on the way out since we have no I-95 or I-95(W) unlike the US.

    Even if we did, we would have no way to locate all those who are violating their visa conditions and if we find them, we have no jails to put them in.

    And oh, we can not count those who swim or otherwise make it to the UK stashed under trains.

    So bloody shambles alright, but I do not think Mr Toff Cameron will be able to better this in any way, unless we leave the EU and decide to freeze any work visas indefinitely till we have sorted the current mess.. 😎

    Comment by Shefaly — November 9, 2007 @ 12:04 pm

  2. Thanks Shefaly
    What you say may be true about us counting people in but not out. However, it still seems to me that whatever the nature of the failure in the process, that we could ‘make a good fist of it’ if anyone with half a wit and even a modest commitment to the task got to control it. To briefly invoke a positive stereotype, I bet if we sub-contracted this one to a German organisation we would have a stunningly accurate number.
    I am not making a partisan point here on the inadequacies of Labour’s third way, which it seems is weak on counting and weak on the organisation of counting, although they probably got an A* for their maths. Rather I suppose it is exasperation blogged. Why do we always seem to have such incompetents running things? I have to agree with you that Cameron is unlikely to do better; he is another example of style over substance. I bet his lot will make similarly as big an arse of it as the last lot, should they get the chance.
    I also have to agree with you that we would not be able to locate the immigrants once in anyway, nor find space for them in prison. The latter and to some extent the former are just similar points of exasperation. Frankly, I am surprised that we can even locate them whilst they are in prison. Perhaps though I am just a little too Teutonic in attitude. Perhaps I need to ‘chill’, ‘kick back’ and just accept the fact that the only time we can galvanise the public sector is when we get them to tax us. Maybe that is the answer! If we make immigration control a department of the HMRC we will have this beat. Especially if we require accurate completion of some HMRC forms before entry.
    Anyone who is prepared to swim to this country or hide under a train has both my sympathy for their misplaced enthusiasm and my support. Each is worth two of our apathetic and lazy [apathazy – new noun] incumbents. Sadly though, I don’t think there will be many of them, certainly not relative to the, well who knows, but quite probably one to two million others. Economic migration is not bad, quite the opposite.
    The reason this is an important issue, is that to plan for a populace (let us assume for a moment that the public sector do in fact have something resembling plans) the most basic item of information is ‘how many people are there’. The private sector and the HMRC manage to generate deep files on all of us. No other public sector body seems able even to count. Run a country. I doubt they find their own arses with both hands.
    Incidentally I am pro-immigration. They are amongst the hardest working people we have in the country. Very recently I read that the Anglo Saxons were descended from an Iberian fishing tribe. We were all immigrants at some point. Unfortunately, immigrant progeny start to slip into the same apathazic ways. In case you are wondering that puts me in an awkward position, as I am not an immigrant. So to clarify, it is not actually the immigrant status that I like, but the work ethic they embody more often than the incumbents. A strong work ethic, especially when combined with above average ability, fame/infamy aversion and honesty sounds good to me.
    This is beginning to sound a little too righteous, but what should I favour, apathazy? Ok, perhaps it would be fashionably ambivalent to be an observer with no particular view one way or another, but then that would be apathazic. That would be to deny my own nature and I don’t want to be an apologist for the what I inherited or was moulded into, whether by my own will or others.

    Comment by conceptualizer — November 10, 2007 @ 11:35 am

  3. Conceptualizer:

    Now is, I think, a good time to introduce you to this thread over on a good Indian blogger lady’s blog:

    PS: If you are British, how come the ‘z’ in conceptualiser? 🙂

    Comment by Shefaly — November 11, 2007 @ 4:20 pm

  4. Hi Shefaly
    Thanks for the link, I will take a careful look.
    I am frequently exposed to American English and like the use of ‘z’ for ‘s’ in many words. Often it seems more natural and does not confuse the reader, except in respect of my nationality, which is rarely even considered. Also it seems like a perfectly good letter we don’t use enough. So for those reasons and as a mark of respect for our American friends, who have helped disseminate this great language so widely, I decided I would adopt their version.

    Comment by conceptualizer — November 11, 2007 @ 7:41 pm

  5. Conceptualizer:


    While Indians study a lot more English/ British stuff at school – I recall distinctly being taken aback by the anti-climactic end to Liam O’Flaherty’s story ‘The Sniper’ in my grade 9 English text book – they also watch much more Hollywood than British cinema. I think most still use British English, except the lazy ones who start dropping ‘o’ from colour and so on, and in school, they are penalised for these ‘mistakes’.

    As for not using ‘z’ enough I have found it quite amusing how some names are shortened by adding ‘zza’ to them. Gascoigne was Gazza, one Sharon in Bridget Jones was called ‘Shazza’. Where does this come from? I think this is a distinctly non-U practice too.. What do you think?

    Comment by Shefaly — November 11, 2007 @ 9:11 pm

  6. Hi Shefaly
    I think you are probably right about the non-U use of ‘-zza’, although I don’t know for sure and it does have a whiff of class stereotyping about it. I don’t know the etymology of it, but clearly it is not about brevity. In all the situations where I have experienced it the usage is affectionate and something about its usage makes the word more sonorous in its cadence. Perhaps it is as simple as that.
    When I was young I was uninterested in language, to me it was functional. Much later I learned to appreciate language, or at least English. After living and working abroad I realised just how relatively expressive English is. I was asked why we have so many words for the same thing, and a few examples were cited. I had to stop and think and realised that they had subtly different meanings. I am no wordsmith or language scholar, so I don’t know a great deal on this subject and probably there are much more expressive languages. However, I did realise that when one needs to communicate and enjoy doing it, how great English is. I am glad I was brought up with it as my first language.

    Comment by conceptualizer — November 12, 2007 @ 1:39 am

  7. Conceptualizer:

    Thanks for your note.

    “I was asked why we had so many words for the same thing, and a few examples were cited.”

    This is interesting. I speak German and French as well, and I learnt those languages as an adult, not as a child, as I did with English. I daresay that the two languages are way richer and granular than English is.

    Granted, German does not give poetic licence with the grammar but French is subtle, sublime and extremely precise if one has a large enough vocabularly. Amusingly the way to that is via French poetry.

    That said, Indo-Germanic languages share roots so I like making connections between and amongst languages. I hope that one day my written expression will evolve enough to capture and express the beauty of the whole clan of languages with high-fidelity.

    Thanks for your note.

    Comment by Shefaly — November 12, 2007 @ 9:28 am

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