Let me declare an interest.
Those of you who have followed my Bertie Boffin lecture series know all about my skills as an Earth Scientist. Gail has degrees in both Geology and Geophysics. The street where we live, in the heart of 'Europe's Oil Capital' has, at a guess, one of the highest densities of geoscientists in the UK. Really, you can't venture out the front door without bumping into another one.
So, Mr Iain Duncan Smith, I am amply qualified to give an opinion, at least from a canine perspective, on what are the good and bad points of this particular breed.
First off, and most importantly, you can rely on a geologist to take you on regular long walks in the hills. Most of them will only have studied the subject at university because they fancied the idea of the field trips, and not because they envisaged a relatively lucrative career sat in front of a computer in the offices of an oil company. So at weekends there is nothing they like better than to head out into the countryside, often to places that are spectacular and seldom visited by shelf stackers or in fact anyone else. This, I would say, is their most useful trait.
Secondly, you rarely get lost when you're with a geologist. Even without Satnav, most of them can find their way around, despite lacking a dog's sensory advantages. They can visualise what a landscape looks like simply by glancing at a map with some squiggly contour lines drawn on. It's true! They might even be able to navigate their way to the pet food aisle at Tesco, or better yet, the meat counter.
Thirdly, I am reminded that it is geologists who explore for the fuel to transport me out of Aberdeen to all those nice walking places, and for the materials to manufacture the computers without which there would be no 'Bouncing Bertie's Blog'. Even a Tory would agree that these are important roles.
Can I think of any downsides? Well it has to be said that a disproportionately high number of male geologists have beards. And as all pups know, it is not so much fun licking a beardy face, although even then, the possibility of finding food caught up in the facial fuzz can be seen as a positive.
So there you have it, Mr Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.
I make no judgements about shelf stackers, but geologists are surely a GOOD and USEFUL thing, in my wholly unbiased view.
Gail, do I get my special treat now?
|Admiring the Torridonian Sandstone - July 2012.|
*Background summary: an unemployed young geology graduate took the government to court for forcing her to work unpaid stacking shelves at Poundland or lose her benefit payments, and she won her case. The government are appealing the verdict.