Writing in The Times, the vacuum can man Sir James Dyson says government should place more of its education investment into design and technology and less on fluffy stuff that people aren’t interested in. Food is high on his disparaging fluffy stuff list.
Yes, design and technology is our biggest export. “Tech funds” are a must-have item for any finance house these days that wants to be with it. Even the social enterprise investment bank which I sit on the board of has one and yes, we need to build young people with the skills to take up these funds and opportunities.
But he ruins his case by saying the money should come from programmes currently aimed at getting children cooking, saying they don’t want that. I still vividly remember my primary school teacher physically forcing us to “eat our greens” at lunchtime (why do they get called school dinners?) and so the notion that children know what they want and should be indulged – burgers and loads of chips – is the kind of idea that belongs sucked up in a Dyson.
There are too many single-issue lobbyists around clamouring for media and government attention. We need cookery classes in schools not so that Jemima can make cup cakes for her tea party but because we need to control what we eat and know what’s going into it so that we might take a better grip of our well-being and become a fitter, healthier member of society.
It’s unlikely that Dyson’s rubbish will get sucked in; the guys from Leon are doing great work in schools taking off from where Jamie Oliver left off eight years ago in getting affordable and nutritional food into kids. If Dyson had a more rounded view, he would back rather than oppose these efforts because we could then deliver good techhies with good tickers.
Search Iqbal’s blog
Iqbal’s recent posts
Iqbal’s blog archive