Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Quote of the day

” A wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.”

Thomas Jefferson

New Labour, New Threat - to Independant Schools

It seems that New Labour would like to be seen as heroically championing the downtrodden poor by forcing the wicked Independant Schools to provide places for poor people, to stop them being run as "exclusive clubs".

Hold on – Rewind! Many of the Independant schools were once Direct Grant Grammar Schools, providing places to anyone who merited them, those who could not afford to go were subsidised by the local authorities.

It was actually old Labour that put a stop to that on ideological grounds by abolishing direct grant schools. God forbid anyone might aspire to anything other than mediocrity under Labour.

The Conservatives later brought in the assisted places scheme to allow poorer pupils to attend them. Abolishing that scheme was one of New Labour’s top priorities on assuming office. God forbid anyone… etc. … under New Labour.

In an effort to ensure poorer pupils could still attend them the Independant Schools developed a scheme of sponsored bursaries. Clearly Independant schools do not particularly want to be exclusive. They actually want to be able to take in children who cant afford to pay the fees - that in many cases the schools were forced to charge by Labour, or go out of business.

It would in fact appear to be Labour and it’s FascistLite successor, New Labour, that have deliberately and consistently, over decades, excluded children from poorer homes from these schools.

But why have New Labour got a particular bee in their bonnet about it now, with all their talk of removing charitable status and unannounced inspections It might be more honest to provide their inspectors with natty leather uniforms and insignias. ;-) and complaints the poor are missing out?

Well clearly New Labour have actually engineered the ‘poor missing out bit themselves’, presumably largely for fossilised ideological reasons. One would like to hope it was unintended. But why now?

Well New Labour’s problem is the fact that they are incapable of providing an educational system fit for purpose, as they say. No one rational could seriously believe that state education is actually even adequate. It is failing pupils of all abilities and backgrounds.

The existence of the Independant Schools (Like Grammar Schools) and the desperation of parents who can only afford them by sacrificing virtually everything else is an indictment on the State and the state educational system - Not because of what they are but what the state schools are not.

If the state system were any use parents would not be so desperate for their children to attend them in such numbers - If the state system were any use New Labour Government ministers would not ensure their own children attended them in such numbers…

Independant Schools wouldn’t matter much at all if the State provided what these schools provide - a decent education.

The State would have out competed them, it is effectively an educational cartel all on it's own and they would have withered to a niche market. That they exist at all, despite New-Labour’s Herculean efforts to the contrary, is testament to New Labour’s utter incapability.

Imagine if BTs competitors got the sort of stick that the Independant Schools come in for. There would be an outcry.

So there is one answer. They attack the Independant Schools because they show up what can be done and just how bad the state system is. Otherwise the State could argue that it was not possible to provide and education to that standard in this modern age and people couldn’t point to these schools and put the lie to it.

But there is another reason. New Labour are desperate to distract from the continuous chain of PR disasters resulting from their apparently endemic incompetence and dishonesty (some of the currently prominent in that string being Northern Rock and Peter Hain), that is providing a metaphorical tower of political ash and pumice in the sky over them - like some latter day political Pompeii.

Gordon Brown has been firing off a few contentious salvos of late, such as his plan to harvest organs without actual permission.

This is primarily to distract the citizens and to persuade the more gullible that New Labour actually give a damn about providing the opportunity for the poor to actually benefit themselves - instead of remaining state clients from cradle to organ harvest - and we know that is not so.