Tuesday, 20 November 2007

A Little Learning

On one level, I am tempted to say that the state education sector is none of the Tories’ business, and that that is all there is to it. In health, we see the very underrated Alan Johnson moving away from Tony Blair’s Howard Hughes-like fear of the “dirty” public sector. That moving away cannot possibly happen too quickly across all policy areas.

But in education, the parties are now engaged in a bidding war to see who can move closest to promising the all-out abolition of state schools as such, with schools instead functioning as universities used to: the State will merely pay the fees of most pupils at what will in fact be private institutions. Means testing will follow rapidly after that, and then up-front payment of fees, or the replacement of State payment with loans, or some combination of the two. Except for viewers in Scotland. Of course.

As for Academies as such, since we are going to have them, is there any pro-life, pro-family, pro-worker and anti-war reader who might be able to find a one-off sum of two, four or six million pounds in return for one, two or three Academies to be run in accordance with economically social-democratic, morally and socially conservative British and Commonwealth patriotism, in partnership with splendidly “statist, syndicalist, nationalist, theoconservative and provincial” politicians? If so, then do get in touch as a matter of the utmost urgency: davidaslindsay@hotmail.com


  1. eiI understand that partners with an "educational" background do not have to provide the money as part of the Academy programme. You could get straight in there. I believe the County Council in your neck of the woods is currently consulting on Academies. Perhaps the BPA could establish and educational trust....

  2. I believe it couldn't! Not the role of a political party, as such, at all. But of its members and supporters as individuals, of course. Remember when political parties had close ties to civil society at every level of both? Well, let's get back to it.

    The County Council is looking for partners, yes. I'm trying to talk various people into hooking up with it (not on its behalf, I should add, although of course I maintain contacts...). All offers seriously considered, but time is now of the essence.

  3. Have you noticed how the one thing that they cannot countenance is grammar schools? I wonder why?

  4. having looked at Durham County Council's website it looks like you've missed the boat on that one.

  5. Anonymous 4:45 PM, we shall see on that one. There's about to be an entirely new unitary authority in County Durham.

    And 4:23 PM, yes, it's very telling, isn't it? Balls (who mysteriously fails to mention his public school in his Who's Who entry), public school Cameron, public school Gove: all dead against grammar schools and instead in favour of selection by parental income.

    Although, to be fair, Balls at least wants to keep the grammar schools that there already are, illogical though that is within his wider position. The Tories' more consistent desire to scrap even those, in the best tradition of Margaret Thatcher, is why Adonis did not defect to them a few months ago.