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Gove vs Cowell - Let the Dilemma Begin
November 15, 2013 4:49 PM   Subscribe

"Michael Gove has condemned Simon Cowell after the media mogul was quoted saying the secret to success was to be useless at school then "get lucky". The education secretary told Mail Online Mr Cowell's comments were "irresponsible and stupid" and said they undermined teachers' efforts."

[Cowell] said: "I didn't work hard when I was at school. I left at 16 and I didn't have any qualifications. I was useless. The secret is to be useless at school and then get lucky."

Mr Gove said: "This is an irresponsible and stupid thing to say. Teachers strive every day to ensure children understand the importance of learning, hard work and discipline. Simon Cowell's comments undermine their efforts.
posted by marienbad (6 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: Two famous people sniping at each other isn't, in itself, enough to carry a post. -- restless_nomad



 
Calling yourself useless and lucky doesn't sound like an endorsement...
posted by pwnguin at 4:56 PM on November 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Well, let's be frank. If you're talking about "success" at the level of a Simon Cowell, that's a pretty valid formula. It's just that for most other values of "success," it's not a particularly good plan.
posted by uncleozzy at 4:57 PM on November 15, 2013


Its worked for Ian Duncan Smith.
posted by biffa at 5:00 PM on November 15, 2013


Gove says that Cowell's comments "undermined teachers' efforts"? This is something Gove knows a lot about.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 5:01 PM on November 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm hesitant to agree with Cowell about anything, because I strongly dislike him, but it's hard to disagree with him here. For the most part, it seems to succeeding in school mostly teaches one how to succeed in school. Most people come out of school with the same advantages that they brought in with them, and that translates to success in life, but success in one doesn't strike me as causing success in the other.

I scraped through high school with the minimum GPA required to not be kicked out of the district, and I dropped out of college almost immediately. I'm not a millionaire, but I'm moderately successful. Part of that comes from the personality traits that made me such a poor student being useful to my employment, but most of it came down to pure luck and making friends with the right people. In the meantime, I know a bunch of M.A.'s who are struggling to find any sort of work.

Most people aren't going to have my luck, but then most people aren't going to be lucky enough to have the resources to leverage their education into great success, either.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 5:13 PM on November 15, 2013


From the comments on the beeb:

(Of Cowell) "Its good to see kids from the streets get on - see below:

Mother is a former ballet dancer and socialite, father an estate agent developer and music industry executive. Attended Radlett Prep School and independent Dover College. Blah menial jobs blah ... but did not get along .. until his father, who was an executive at the recording giant EMI Music Publishing, managed to get him a job."
posted by marienbad at 5:14 PM on November 15, 2013


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