To think only those with life experience should be Minister of a certain topic? (Looking at you education)

(49 Posts)
HoveringKestrel Sat 25-May-13 18:23:53

I wish a party could be formed which has members who are not only fair minded and reasonable but also know what they're talking about.

At the next general election I won't know which party I'll vote for anymore.

Yes, and not just Gove and Hunt. Gideon Osborne should really have some kind of qualification in or experience of economics to be chancellor. Hell, I'm more qualified to do the job!

Great cartoon, JennyDee.

Merle Sun 26-May-13 08:09:41

Yes I agree. The Justice Minister, Chris Grayling, has never practised as a lawyer and yet thinks he knows better than the lawyers as to how the system works.

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Sun 26-May-13 08:16:15

Playing devil's advocate, one problem of ministers having a relevant background is that they are part of the system that the government is looking to reform, so they may bring their personal experiences to bear too much or believe that their personal experience was typical, when in fact it might not be.

I absolutely agree, OP. I'm a scientist, and the idea of someone with no scientific experience or training being in charge of gvt policy wrt science regulation and funding is horrifying. It's all very well having advisers, but as others have said, what happens if the minister refuses to listen to their advice because they simply don't have a good enough understanding of the subject.

Khaleese Sun 26-May-13 08:19:46

Omg i agree!!

I understand that a CEO can turn their hand to anything, however that's because they draw on their experience.

These idiot MP's have no bloody experience. Bunch of idiots.

Can you imagine working at asda as CEO and offering Dave your mate from school a job as head of marketing??

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Sun 26-May-13 08:20:19

Also, to offer a counter, Gordon Brown had virtually no experience at anything at all, never mind finance, before he became chancellor - did his doctorate and lectured in history for years and then was a journo before becoming an MP, but he made a pretty good chancellor. Could have done a lot better, but not sure an economics background would have been the difference because it was party politics that led to his errors rather than lack of technical knowledge

hackmum Sun 26-May-13 08:23:19

In a way it doesn't matter that much if they don't have a relevant background, as long as they're prepared to listen to people who do.

What's striking about Gove is that headteachers and teachers are telling him he's wrong, while he insists he's right. The more you think about the implications of this (that he believes that people who work with children day-in, day-out for years on end have no understanding of education), the more extraordinary it seems.

Greenandcabbagelooking Sun 26-May-13 08:24:26

The reason, at least historically, that Cabinet members are reshuffled every few years is to prevent them become too powerful.

Also Cabinet ministers are generalists, the specialists are the Civil Service. The Minister is in theory only meant to be the elected representative or leader of the Civil Service department.

Also, what would happen if there were no teachers/lawyers etc?

In the US, members of the Exectutive can be, and are, specialists. This is because the President can pick whoever he likes to be in the Executive, they are not elected. Indeed they can't be from the Parliament, due to the Separation of Powers.

HollyBerryBush Sun 26-May-13 08:32:27

He went to an elite private school in Scotland. How does that prepare him to run state schools in England?

His background is hardly silver spoon is it? he's a scholarship boy, not privileged at all. Bit of a crap start to life in fact.

Gove was born in Edinburgh; at four months old, he was adopted by a Labour-supporting family in Aberdeen, where he was brought up.[5] His father ran a fish processing business; his mother was a lab assistant at the University of Aberdeen before working at the Aberdeen School for the Deaf.[6]

In Aberdeen he was initially educated at a state school, later attending the independent Robert Gordon's College, to which he had won a scholarship.[5] From 1985 to 1988 he studied English at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford,[7] where he served as President of the Oxford Union. He was awarded a 2:1-degree.[8]

Gove became a trainee reporter at the Press and Journal in Aberdeen, where he spent several months on strike in a dispute over union recognition and representation.[9]

Solopower1 Sun 26-May-13 08:35:39

Any minister's first priority is his/her own political party. You know this is true because each new government tries to change the policies of the previous one - whether they are working or not. (Like the NHS, which wasn't broken before this shower tried to 'fix' it).

So whatever policies a minister thinks or knows are best for the country have to be best for their political party - first. Occasionally you might get a minister who wants to do something good for the country but it clashes with party ideology, so then they would spin it or draw attention away from it by bringing in something popular with the party at the same time.

Solopower1 Sun 26-May-13 08:36:09

So ministers are chosen not for their expertise in a field but for their party loyalty.

MissAnnersley Sun 26-May-13 08:58:24

It is incredibly frustrating that decisions about our children's education are made purely to make political points.

Gove knows that portraying teachers as incompetent, left wing liberals plays well to the gallery. 'Going back to basics' appeals to many too. He is preying on parents' concerns and exploiting them for political gain not educational progress.

This idea that we can 'go back' to the halcyon days of a 1950's education is flawed. We should be looking forward not back.

GW297 Sun 26-May-13 09:07:57

YANBU! I have never understood this.

lljkk Sun 26-May-13 09:21:21

Gove is not silver spoon but he is classic Thatcherite; working class come good thru seemingly own hard work but actually because of rather token interventions to promote social equality (scholarship boy). I don't hold that against him, but he has little experience of what education needs and opportunities are like for less lucky people. And it shows. He would love to see a grammar school system come back, I reckon. The earlier elitism is started, the better.

Does anyone know where Gove's own children are educated? I am dying to find out.

Solopower1 Sun 26-May-13 09:28:49

I also think it's a mistake to hold any one person responsible for thinking up the policies of an entire department. Every minister has a murder of hooded crows flapping round his head. Nasty shifty-eyed characters who feed on the carrion of dead policies, and who all have their own agendas.

Then there are the lobbyists ready to bribe and betray, with their fifty pieces of silver (or whatever).

scaevola Sun 26-May-13 09:32:54

Gove isn't Thatcherite - he's trying to remove GCSEs, not introduce them as her government did. And Thatcher never moved to return to grammars.

Agree with Solopower1 about the role of the department/advisers. And would add the ret of the Party who also set tone and direction of policy.

Anifrangapani Sun 26-May-13 09:39:22

The housing minister is a surveyor.

HollyBerryBush Sun 26-May-13 09:54:50

Does anyone know where Gove's own children are educated? I am dying to find out.

From his webchat on MN

MichaelGove: Dear Slug and others, my daughter and son are at a faith school and it's a great school - over-subscribed, with great methods, great head and socially comprehensive intake. Faith schools are hugely popular and I wouldn't want to deny parents the chance to choose the education they want for their children.

caroldecker Sun 26-May-13 10:38:12

The problem with 'experts' in any field is that they think the way it is now is the best. This is because they run the system and would have made any necessary changes, so resist anything else. Someone coming from outside does not have these prejudices.
Also people always over-estimate the benefits of the status quo and under-estimate the benefits of change.

lljkk Sun 26-May-13 11:53:31

Thanks, HBB.
I wonder what he+wife did to get the kids into that over-subbed school.

hackmum Sun 26-May-13 11:58:40

I read somewhere (but sorry, can't remember where so can't verify) that Gove only won a scholarship when he'd already been at the school a few years, and before that his parents paid the fees.

iliketea Sun 26-May-13 15:56:30

caroldecker I don't think that the benefit of change is underestimated. The problem is that in the NHS at least (and probably education too) is that the benefit of change is never really seen because the implemented change is never given the time to show the intended benefit. There is nearly constant change, with every government, and by the time new systems are in place, there is another government minister changing things again.

i see where you are coming from but i hate always hearing this sort of thing. i am a caseworker and researcher for a msp and deal with such a huge range of issues i couldn't possibly have "life experience" in all of it. i do however do my best to do my homework and speak to people who might have the experience before making decisions

OwlinaTree Tue 28-May-13 17:14:12

The problem with him isn't really necessarily WHAT he says, it's HOW he says it. He seems to delight in ignoring anybody who disagrees with him, however qualified they may be. Look at how he was received at the headteacher's conference. I mean, if head teachers give a vote of no confidence, how does he expect any of his ideas to get put into practise with enthusiasm and good leadership?

He seems to want to completely destroy moral within education, destroy schools with good reputations and consequently children's futures. How young people must feel at the moment being told all sorts of conflicting rubbish about the validity of the qualifications they are studying for is seemingly not important to him at all.

I've no idea what he's like as a person but I detest what he's like as a politician and leader.

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