3 MAY 1975, Page 6

Westminster corridors

Monday, April 21 There has been published this day a pamphlet, entitled Treatise concerninig the Lowering of Scholarly Standards in our Colleges, the consequent Relapse of our Children into Barbarism, and the Ruin of our Country that may therefore be anticipated. Though composed with the Authority of numerous learned Professors, this Document bath provoked great Offence among men of goodwill (as they style themselves), many who in these days boast the title of Schoolmaster, and those who daily show their literary talents in the Publick Prints. For they contend that Infants in our Time are inferior to None in English and Mathematical Attainment, that the Ruin of Academic standards hath been much exaggerated, that anyway Scholarship is itself a mere Bauble of little Value, that it hath been demonstrated by Science and Logick that Learning is an • Impediment to human happiness and to the securing of a just and virtuous Society, and that, since the pamphlet's authors are evidently free from a Fanatick Passion for Levelling, no attention need to be paid to their wild and unmeaning Ravings. That such is the judgement of Experts is beyond doubt — for any who take a contrary view are pronounced not to be expert in the matter and very likely moved by hostility to the People.

Tuesday, April 27

-Tis whispered about the Town that Master Heath, but recently returned from his Con

valescence, is consumed yet by the Thirst for Revenge against Mistress Thatcher and by Ambition for Power and the Trappings of Office. In pursuit of which aims, he hath hired several apprentice Statesmen and a multitude of female scribblers to quarry for Facts and Arguments; he is, moreover, ever to be seen in Corners with Master Peter Walker, such Tories as may hope for little Promotion in the new dispensation, and numerous Hacks and even Placemen of the Artisans' Party.

For ('tis rumoured) he thinks to satisfy his Purposes by a mighty Upheaval of all Factions and the Total Re-arrangement of Public Affairs that would result in an Administration of All the Talents (excepting Mistress Thatcher), with himself restored to a leading place, as for instance Secretary of State for the Control of Workmen's Wages. None can guess whither these Manoeuvres will lead — except that it will not be to an Administration of All the Talents.

Wednesday, April 23 Master K. Morgan, the principal Agent of the Guild of Hacks, hath repeatedly declared that he and his Employers seek the Power to extinguish the Freedom of Scribes merely so that they might display Restraint and Virtue in never employing it to their Advantage. To his mortification, then, but to the surprise of few others, the Guild of Hacks hath loudly asserted that the Freedom of Scribes should mean whatever they choose it to mean, viz: that all Scribes should be at liberty to write only what pleases a majority of the Guild of Hacks. This candid arrogance having caused affright even to such weak and hesitant lovers of Liberty as Placemen of the Artisans' Party, it is now believed possible that the Law may be properly amended. General satisfaction would thereby be effected. For it is agreed amongst public men that, the liberties of Scribes having been preserved, the liberties of humbler Workmen may be extinguished without serious loss.

Thursday, April 24

Sir D. Ryder, whom the present Administration hath entrusted with the task of augmenting the efficiency of our Industries, issued this day a Report on the Wretched Condition, of British Leyland, a company devoted to the manufacture of cars and vehicles of every variety and description, which was established-but seven years ago On the Advice of a Publick Agency then entrusted with the vital task of augmenting the Efficiency of our Industries. Therein Sir D. Ryder, who must surely be avid for a Peerage ('tis the most charitable explanation), recommends that British Leyland, being on the verge of Ruin, should be allowed to take as much Publick money as it can absorb, even down to the taxpayer's last farthing, and that in return the Workmen should agree to labour more ,sensibly and in smaller numbers, at,some time in the future by methods as yet unspecified. Such conclusions delight Master Wilson who thereupon asserts that the Reputation of Britannia depends wholly upon the continued production and export of vehicles, provided that these activities be unsullied by any prospect of Profit. At which the Tories sit as if struck dumb by a natural catastrophe, unforeseen and unforseeable.

Saturday, April 26 Master Wilson hath this day finally given an unequivocal statement of his Opinions on the great Entanglement with the European Powers, viz: that he hath been of the same opinion on the matter for the past fifteen years.

Tom Puzzle