Monday, November 21, 2011

I thought of Eric Pickles' curry academy first

One of the more diverting stories of recent days has been the news that Eric "Lime" Pickles is to found
a UK curry college that would teach British workers the secret of perfect pakoras a showpiece of the government's integration strategy to be published shortly. 
Pickles's "curry college", as it is being called, would see the government backing a school to train British people from all backgrounds to become chefs specialising in Indian food as an answer to the crisis in the £3.2bn curry industry triggered by the Home Office's ban on bringing in chefs from Bangladesh, India and Pakistan.
Back in February 2008 I pointed to earlier reports of this recruitment crisis in the "curry industry" and also to reports of high unemployment rates among young people with a Bangladeshi background.

I asked:
So if there is such a need for new staff in curry houses, shouldn't we be looking to recruit and train them from the Bangladeshi community in Britain?
Well, Pickles' college will be open to people from any background - and quite right too - but it is clear who had this idea first. This, incidentally, is not the first time this blog has anticipated an idea later put forward by a leading Conservative.

In my essay in Liberalism: Something to Shout About I wrote:
[Public] order is best seen as a by-product of people going about their ordinary business rather than the result of enforcement action by the authorities. 
Perhaps the next Lib Dem London Mayoral candidate should campaign for a new generation of Routemaster buses and promise to employ conductors on them.
Well, Boris Johnson got there eventually.

Incidentally, I was puzzled that Johnson's plan for a new Routemaster aroused such opposition among Liberals and the left. I suppose they think that everything good must bear the stamp of Progress, and the bus idea was tinged with nostalgia.

1 comment:

dreamingspire said...

I was disappointed by the new Boris Bus for London, expecting it to include the best of green ideas in an innovative drive train, but instead it only has an established technology: the 'diesel electric hybrid drive system' that is already in full production, and that I experienced last weekend on the Stagecoach 300 service to and from the Oxford Pear Tree Park and Ride.