Monday, August 30, 2010


According to a study by Leeds University one in four young women working in the lap dancing industry are university graduates. Their average take home pay is 48,000 pounds a year after paying commission to the club where they work – I guess the cost of hiring their pole. I suspect the costume is not a major expense!

Unemployed new graduates are also dancing because they cannot find graduate jobs. They work as strippers because the pay is better than bar work and the hours mean they can attend interviews, training days or take further education courses during the day.

Fair enough!

Regular readers will know that my niece graduated in January with an honours degree in two ologies. I should stress that as far as I am aware she is not a pole dancer – but if she was, so what?

I felt a great sense of pride when she graduated – for her because it was due reward for several years hard work and dedication – also for the family because she is the first of our number to go to university.

Myself? I am a student of the University of Life and have some years yet before I graduate. Also rest easy in your beds because I couldn’t climb up onto the lap dancing podium let alone boogie round the pole.

When I sat through the graduation ceremony I clapped loudly when my niece received her degree. Yet I found the event held with due pomp and ceremony in a theatre auditorium largely depressing because I realized I was watching pass along the stage not a new set of graduates but by and large our new unemployed.

Tony Blair lectured us it was all about – education, education, education. As in so many things he was wrong because it was also about jobs, jobs, jobs. There is no point in sending off our young people with all levels of degrees if there are not the graduate employment openings for them.

So his policy of education, education, education has brought us the best educated burger bar servers, pub staff and supermarket check out employees money can buy.

Oh yes, and lap top dancers too.


Anonymous said...

Dear David,
Once again you hit the lap. Fully share your comments and worry. And about your dancing: we would be a perfect couple for table dancing at the good restaurants, of course after the dining and wining. See you soon. Your friend Ad/rian van Loon from Sotogrande.

Tony Murphy said...

The size of the civil service and the number of council employees rose dramatically under Blair's government.Part of Labours answer to the issue of employment was to create "non jobs".One brilliant example was the post of "5 a day co ordinator".The vague responsibility of this person was to promote the consumption of 5 portions of fruit and vegetables per day to help improve the nations health.This job came with a salary of 48,000 pounds,a secretary and an assistant.But here comes the good bit.A degree course was then set up in order to qualify future candidates for this post in other councils. In other words a "non degree" to go with your "non job".
Public money is being squandered in the name of education but actually at the expense of it.Education funding has got to be more focused on the quality of the education that brings a qualification that employers won't laugh at.

Prospero said...

I am affronted by Mr Murphy's comment.

As someone who never graduated from any University but that, like Sancho himself, of Life and that with a top honours in a non degree in Procrastinology, I have been able to find a job all my life.

Some paid well, some less, some marvellously. I have usally been, and am, self-employed (albeit taking a downturn at present).

But I have been willing to do anything (legal), not restricted strictly by what I wanted to do. In two different countries, I have known doctors, physicians, who had to drive taxis to make a living. One of them, an old school mate who had studied for years and struggled financially as a result, said, "Now I know why I went into medicine. I just like people, and this [taxi driving] is one heck of a way to get to know a lot of them." He is now a prominent psychologist -not a psychiatrist- in New York, and has made a well-deserved fortune.

One of the things nobody is teaching these days is that we have options, choices. Always. It is only a matter of attitude. Or as my mother used to say: Any diploma is worth getting, but only because you have to prove you know something - more important is to know it for yourself.