There was an article in yesterday’s Independent about David Beckham admitting to not being able to do his six year old’s homework. A humbling and genuinely funny confession from someone who is obviously at ease with knowing where his calling in life lies. Which, thankfully for us, is not in academia.
I wasn’t surprised by the way in which the Independent reported the story. Education is to the broadsheets what sex is to the tabloids, a bizarre mix of hysteria, ridicule and self congratulation. Reading about education gives graduates the horn like Keeley does scaffolders.
Essentially it was a witty article that openly pointed to an ironic lack of educational achievement for someone so famous. A handy answer to the jealousy of Ruperts in tedious jobs everywhere.
‘While he may be talented, he’s not educated. And talent cannot be harnessed without a good education’.
By the time I got to work the tiresome DJ Shaun Keaveny was onto the story. He has a morning show on the absurdly conservative radio station, Xfm. Shaun Keaveny is just another student who uses dry wit and a corny northern accent to lend some credibility to his lack of genuine talent. Xfm, with its adverts for the Daily Mail and sneering intellectual snobbery is every inch the embodiment of New Labour ideals. It’s also very much like the BBC, The Guardian and the Independent, in as much as it has a extremely inflated opinion of its own importance.
It was when Keaveny openly mocked David Beckham’s southern accent, made to sound retarded, that the full nature of the episode begun to unfold.
We have to ask the question, If David Beckham were Black or Muslim, would he be openly ridiculed by the politically correct?
Highlighting an individuals lack of educational achievement may be a way to appease middle class jealousy, but we should question a society in which merit can only be celebrated when accompanied by an education.
Like me, David Beckham left school at 16 after failing all his GCSEs. This isn’t something I’m particularly proud of, but on an intellectual level I’d much rather be compared to David Beckham than some witty journalist, whose name I can’t even remember.