Like many people on Tuesday, I was eager to find out what former US President, Donlad Trump had been charged with in a New York court. It turned out that he had been accused of 34 different criminal offences. TV reporters, like me and probably you as well, struggled to see those 34 items. It appeared to be only one thing — falsifying his accounts.
Maybe he did it 34 times. I don’t know; I couldn’t work it out from the charge sheet that was published. Meanwhile, across the rest of the USA beyond Manhattan, prosecutors are preparing a wide range of criminal cases against “The Donald”. It is going to be hard to keep track of what he is being accused of doing wrong. If just one of these cases involves 34 elements, just imagine what it is going to be like over the next 12 months when hundreds more are added. It would be so much easier if they just charged him with one thing — being a proven liar. The plethora of charges will merely give Donald Trump more oxygen for publicity.
The day after all the brouhaha for The Donald, a much more serious case hit the headlines when Kyle Bevan was found guilty of the murder of his partner’s two-year-old daughter. This led to a debate about the role of social services in protecting vulnerable children. Critics argued that the risks should have been spotted by social workers and the girl protected. That’s great in theory, but not in practice. Social workers in child protection are in short supply. Instead of having a maximum of 18 cases to look after, child protection officers now have dozens. They simply cannot keep track of what is going on.
While I had been reading about this case, I was joined at lunch by a professor who asked how many students were taking a new degree programme I had introduced recently. During the discussion I mentioned I was working on a new module, which starts next week, called “The Psychology of Entrepreneurship”, in which students will discover what makes entrepreneurs tick. “How many students are doing that module?” asked the prof. “It’s a small class,” I said, “there are just 12 of them.” The professor then said that this was ideal. “Once you get more than 15 in a class, it’s difficult to see what’s going on,” he added.
School classes get limited at around 30 students, but the teachers cannot really cope with that size unless they have a Teaching Assistant. Being able to see which students are struggling and…