Why is it only the right that gets angry about how state schools fail the poor?

(280 Posts)
longfingernails Sun 23-Jun-13 19:08:09

A truly fantastic article.

blogs.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/2013/06/christine-blower-the-nut-and-the-bigotry-of-low-expectation/

My favourite snippet:
This is what separates British left and right now. The left, in their post-Blair phase, is no longer very worked up about the poor doing badly at school. (?It may matter or it may not,? Blower said about poor children not going to top universities). The standard left response is to talk philosophically about inequality in society, as if this has the slightest bearing on whether the concept of a sink school ought to be tolerated in this day and age.

By contrast, the right are hopping mad about educational inequality. When the subject is raised in front of Michael Gove, it?s like flicking a switch. He blows his top. When I last interviewed him and raised the subject about whether it poor kids should be expected to do as well as rich, he replied in a crescendo of anger.

claig Sun 23-Jun-13 22:31:49

This is a quote from the article

"Now that Labour takes 80pc of its funds from the union, it seems to be on the side of the system, no longer on the side of those failed by the system."

But Labour has always taken most of its money from the unions. That hasn't changed. What has changed is that the left and leftist media and think tanks and charitable foundations etc are the system, that is why they don't want to change the system

longfingernails Sun 23-Jun-13 22:33:25

It's only the right of the Labour party (the ultra-Blairites) who even vaguely support school reform. But their voices have been drowned out. It's a shame, but not surprising given Red Ed's obesiance to the union barons.

More money doesn't really make schools better. Getting rid of crap teachers does. Implementing performance-dependent pay does. Eviscerating teaching unions, local education authorities and other defenders of teachers over pupils helps immensely. Restoring the rigour of examinations does. Getting rid of requirements for tickbox qualifications like PGCEs does. Allowing academies (and especially free schools) to flourish and unleash parental choice drives up standards in surrounding schools. Providing proper technical qualifications in conjunction with an academic hinterland for those who wish to pursue alternative paths is necessary too.

noblegiraffe The pupil premium was in both the Conservative and Lib Dem manifestos; Gove was a big fan (I asked him about it on here before the election). I like the idea of quasimarkets a lot as engines of opportunity, but I am not sure it has made a huge difference in practice. Quasimarkets can only work if they are sufficiently narrow in focus - in teaching terms, that means we need a "time premium" rather than a "money premium". It doesn't seem that the extra money has translated into extra effort being directed towards improving results for disadvantaged pupils.

claig Sun 23-Jun-13 22:34:22

Why did people vote for UKIP in such large numbers recently?
Because they wanted to register a vote against the system. the people swung to the right, away from the system which is left and progressive.

BoulevardOfBrokenSleep Sun 23-Jun-13 22:35:57

Yes, the Pupil Premium was one of the lib dem manifesto pledges they managed to actually get included in the coalition agreement. I'm struggling to think of - oh, raising income tax threshold to 10k was another.

claig, I'm using the phrase 'pissing in the wind' to mean 'making a contribution which is dwarfed by the size of the task'. A couple of hours after school tuition is not the equivalent of six years at an expenisve prep.

DrDolittle Sun 23-Jun-13 22:38:55

shrug grammar school worked for me. No tutors, as my family were too poor (mum wiped arses in a care home, dad was a school caretaker). I was the first in my family (even my extended family) to go to Uni.

Maybe if there were more grammar schools, people wouldn't feel the need to tutor their kids? Or maybe offer free tutoring (as suggested above)?

longfingernails Sun 23-Jun-13 22:39:53

In any case, the wider point (beyond any scheme or individual programme or funding priority battle) is this.

Voices on the right are genuinely angry about the lack of opportunity for all. The bog standard comprehensive has ruined the lives of millions - and yet we hear nary a peep from the establishment left.

No doubt there are some exceptions, but they make my point all the more by virtue of their rarity alone.

claig Sun 23-Jun-13 22:44:31

'making a contribution which is dwarfed by the size of the task'

I understand what you are saying Boulevard, but I think that this is negative, defeatist thinking. Anything is better than nothing, a thousand mile journey starts with a single step.

We mustn't have any more excuses, any more gagging orders, any more officials saying covering up for deaths and failures and shocking standards in hospitals and we mustn't have any more excuses for a poor education system that blames the pupils and their parents for not doing enough. Some of our brightests PhDs come from poor backgrounds and tghey are not uniquely clever, the potential is there in huge numbers and all it takes is a single step to unlock that potential and improving our education system is that step.

claig Sun 23-Jun-13 22:51:18

All we have across society - in our banks, in our politics and in our hospitals - is excuses and excuses and no one ever takes responsibility or is ever accountable and no one ever goes to prison or accepts blame for the decline of our society.

All they do is apologise - we're sorry that so many people died in hospitals or "sorry, there's no money left" or sorry that we got things wrong and didn't regulate properly. meanwhile ordinary people are left to bear the brunt of that failure.

It's a sorry state that thinks that sorry is good enough.

noblegiraffe Sun 23-Jun-13 22:52:56

Why does the article paint Blower's comment about inequality in society as 'blame the parents'? Surely if we're looking at inequality in society and children going hungry etc we can look at tax breaks for the rich, welfare cuts, child poverty. Is the right getting angry about that?

claig Sun 23-Jun-13 22:56:39

noblegiraffe, Labour left a note saying "sorry, there's no money left".
The government has had to be unpopular and make cuts, including to the huge welfare bill.

Do you think George Osborne enjoys people mocking and blaming him? He is in this position because of the total incompetence of the shower that preceded him.

beatback Sun 23-Jun-13 22:59:45

The left have always wanted a "EVERBODY WINS" nobody loses education system. One of the ways they did that was to increase the number of people going to University to massive proportions and make impossible promises that everbody would be a winner this was also done to make the ilusion that people were getting brighter. Our maybe, the left for their own reasons want ten of thousands of graduates coming home to no jobs causing frustration and anger and then the left can come out with the "VOTE FOR US WE SET YOU FREE" type dogma.

noblegiraffe Sun 23-Jun-13 23:01:54

Claig, if the Tories are so angry about schools failing the poor, why are they seeking to make more people poor while at the same time letting large companies off their tax bills? If that graph is correct and poverty correlates to results, then the quickest way to try to improve results would be to reduce poverty.

SirChenjin Sun 23-Jun-13 23:04:28

Noble - the left have already said that they would cut the welfare budget if they got in next time round, and they had 13 years to get the banks and tax avoidance/evasion under control. They did FA, other than create a society dependent on benefits where the rich got richer and the poor got poorer, with businesses getting away with paying crappy minimum, rather than living, wages while the Govt topped them up.

And where is TB now? Currently lining his own pocket - the most wealthy ex PM this country has ever produced. A man of the people? Bollocks.

Crumbledwalnuts Sun 23-Jun-13 23:05:44

Yes I agree with Claig and longfingernails but I"m too tired to write anything so I'm just going to say, I agree with whatever you say probably to the end of the thread. I hope that covers it.

claig Sun 23-Jun-13 23:10:21

Good points, SirChenJin.

Only now when the Tories are in power have we heard about all this tax avoidance by large coroporations and individuals with accounts in Jersey etc. But this stuff was going on throughout the Labour years.

I only heard this the other day when a UKIP MEP was interviewed and I thought there must be some mistake, surely he is joking, but it looks like it is real

"Hundreds of expenses claims by Tony Blair have been shredded, it has emerged.
The claims and receipts, relating to Mr Blair's final year in office, were destroyed even though there was an ongoing legal bid to have them published.
Westminster officials say the documents were destroyed by mistake, as they did not realise they were the subject of a legal challenge."

www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-567121/Tony-Blairs-expenses-shredded-mistake--just-public.html

claig Sun 23-Jun-13 23:11:31

And someone probably said sorry

That's alright then.

noblegiraffe Sun 23-Jun-13 23:11:37

Sirchenjin, I'm no fan of new labour either, but an article championing the Tories as the saviours of the poor really does stick in the throat. They don't give a toss about the poor unless it suits their political aims of e.g. privatising education and slamming the unions.

claig Sun 23-Jun-13 23:17:02

"Claig, if the Tories are so angry about schools failing the poor, why are they seeking to make more people poor while at the same time letting large companies off their tax bills? If that graph is correct and poverty correlates to results, then the quickest way to try to improve results would be to reduce poverty."

They don't want to make people poor. But we all know that huge corporations have more power than them. We see them at Bilderberg meetings with the heads of the large corporations. We know they are funded by business. We know they can only do so much.

All they can seem to do is have media campaigns and pressure to try and get the corporations to ever so kindly agree to chip in a little more. And New labour are no different despite what they may claim.

That is why the brunt of austerity always falls on the ordinary people and not the mega rich and the huge corporations. That is the real world and wishing it weren't so won't change it.

beatback Sun 23-Jun-13 23:17:18

The country that new labour inherited in 1997 was in the best financial state since "EVER" . labour got away with huge unaffordable spending for 10 years instead of the standard 3 years that was because "MAJOR" despite the reputation had run the finances of the country very competently. Yes i know about the E.R.M fiasco, but the country was still in a place that stood up to ten years of labour spending madness and this was from the most right wing labour leader ever. labour will never be able to say no because their paymasters and voters mostly public sector demand higher pay better working conditions even when it is incompatible with the economic situation. The money that has been wasted on windfarms and "SOLAR PANELS" that was another waste where whitehall mandarins over estimated the costs associated with it by three times, the result was many very wealthy people made fortunes .Even in these difficult financial times if the money was properly accounted for enough money for first class education for poor people, they could even bring back "ASSISTED PLACES" to the best private schools or better why not have Boarding Grammar Schools for kids who are not in selective areas. The state could cover the cost of the boarding this could take bright but vunerable kids out of inner cities and place them in a enviroment that would be right for education.

SirChenjin Sun 23-Jun-13 23:17:23

Do you know what Noble? I don't think any Govt is really that interested in the poor. They pay lip service, that's all, whilst filling their own large pockets with the family silver, and that goes for the left, right, and everything in between.

Arisbottle Sun 23-Jun-13 23:17:36

Because no one from the left cares about education or the poor, that is why most teachers, social workers, charity workers, nurses etc are all rabid right wingers.

I don't think George Osborne really cares wat the average man on the street thinks of him.

By all means highlight the mistakes of the labour government, although I think that sure start has helped poor children as has much of the money pumped into inner city schools . But don't say the left don't get angry because I am furious and actually trying to do something about it.

SirChenjin Sun 23-Jun-13 23:19:06

I don't think most teachers, social workers etc are rabid right wingers! confused

claig Sun 23-Jun-13 23:21:08

And that is why approx 25% of people in the local elections voted UKIP, a previously fringe party, because they are fed up with what is happening.

They gave up on New Labour years ago, they put their faith in the Tories, but now that faith is starting to wear thin too.

Arisbottle Sun 23-Jun-13 23:21:23

I was being sarcastic, I was trying and clearly failing to make the point that it is bollocks to say the left aren't angry and don't care when most of the people at the chalk face are left wing.

By all means say they are getting wrong, but don't say they aren't angry or don't care.

southeastastra Sun 23-Jun-13 23:22:00

the 'poor' how bloody patrionising that phrase is

the 'poor' to the midde class are kids that don't go to a 'rulssel group' university

most 'poor' kids i know accept that they aren't going to be leaders in industry but know they aren't so easily written off

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