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Category: government

Michael Gove: Soundbite Stupidity

Michael Gove’s announcement of Conservative education policy has now got me seriously considering whether the Conservative party deserves the votes of me and my partner.  Andrew Lansley’s “Let’s use Google for everyone’s health records” was at best ill-considered but Mr Gove’s proposals are a disgraceful example of soundbite politics which completely ignore reality.

Firstly it plays directly into Labour’s hands and their claims of “Tory toffs”.

Just because someone has a 2:1 degree (which I do) or higher doesn’t mean they will make a good teacher (I don’t think I would).  Where is the evidence to prove this belief?  I know some extremely intelligent people who (no disrespect intended) struggle to engage people in one to one conversations and who have no ability to engage groups of adults let alone children. Where is the evidence to prove claims that those with 2:2s or other qualifications lower than a 2:1 are poorer teachers?  Alientating lots of people plays right into Labour’s hands.

The problems I am seeing teachers struggle with have nothing to do with having a first class degree.  They have everything to do with incompetent leadership, unprofessional conduct, a complete lack of support for teaching staff and protecting vested interests.  You get those kinds of behaviour from people of all education levels.  You don’t need a degree to behave unprofessionally.

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PCC Wants To Regulate UK Bloggers

In a disturbing article, Ian Burrell describes how the chair of the the Press Complaints Commission wants the supposed “watchdog” to have jurisdiction over blogs, suggesting that blogs do not have the same right of reply that they offer people offended by newspapers.

My response to Baroness Buscombe, whose ill-considered neo-New Labour idea is described above is a plain and simple “Get stuffed!”

Bloggers write about issues that are important to them, issues about which they can write with far more knowledge than the mainstream media, issues which the mainstream media think aren’t worth any coverage because they don’t sell newspapers.

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When Twitter Took 333 off Trafigura & Carter-Ruck

Cricket fans will know the test match to which I allude here.

It’s the summer of 1990 at Lord’s.  England are playing India.  Indian captain Mohammad Azharuddin wins the toss and invites England to bat.

Captain and opening batsman Graham Gooch takes the Indian attack for 333 runs in an England first innings total of 653/4.

After the match Mohammad Azharuddin insisted that his decision to insert England was the right one.  Even though Gooch hammered another 123 runs in his second innings and England won by some distance.  When an opposition batsman hits 450-plus off your bowling, you’ve made a big mistake. You might not be keen to publicly admit it even though the rest of the world can see it’s a big mistake but it remains a big mistake nonetheless.

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Party Politics & Phorm

Gordon Brown’s performance in this morning’s interview with Andrew Marr was pathetic beyond description.  It shows a man losing his grip on power and trying to convince himself, his cabinet, his party and everyone else that things aren’t as bad as they seem to be.  When he started to talk about fairness and responsibility I nearly choked on my tea.

His is the “government” which has done nothing to prevent the illegal interception – without the customer’s knowledge and without due judicial process – of thousands of peoples’ internet communications data by BT and Phorm.  Some would say his government is complicit.  Others might say they are collaborators.  Either way it is his government, civil service, watchdogs, Police and CPS that offered no obstacle to BT and Phorm and refused to enforce the law.

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