Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Con-Watch: That Michael Gove is a Very Odd Cove

MG wants to go beyond the academy and trust and co-operative models of state school governance. He wants the state to give money to businesses, including existing schools and universities, to build and run schools for shareholder profit. (Correction Weds 13:04: Sorry Diablo, that may not be quite correct, like much of Gove's scene setting fictoids).

Mr "Family Values" Gove (above) conjures up a dystopia where alongside pizza, curry and estate agent litter through our letter boxes we get vigorously competing schools.

Marketing themselves to their potential customers, scared poop-free with tales of woe about the local community school, into spending their school vouchers and a variable top up at St Gove's, St Goo's or St Cam's.

Before his envisioned nuclear families get to that stage however MG wishes, nay demands, that potential married couples are able to receive state-provided pre-nuptial advice.

You know, Sanctity of Marriage yada yada, Love is Patient yada yada, Short Sharp Shock yada yada, Five a Day yada yada, not to forget a Quick Guide to Tax Breaks For Married Superiors.

Still later following matrimonials at the picturesque Tory parish church and some strictly procreative sexual concourse, a pregnant pause, and the welcome pitter patter of little feet, our Tory-blessed nukes will then it seems get parenting lessons from the Tory, er, nanny state. Brilliant! Brilliant! Brilliant!

Many of these services and this support already exist(s) under the very noses of this Tory reactionary big-state meddler, for couples and parents and children of any and all permutations.

LOL are working through a feast of "policy announcements" that would make Edward Lear himself leery with the nonsense of it all. But many thanks to blogger Tom Harris for drawing attention to the absurdity of all this, the judgmental pro- and pre-scriptive big-state Tory way.

UPDATE Wednesday 13:01: Following the, er, indistinguished Foreign Policy debate involving that retired Spook and old Two Gallon Hague, the Beeb have just rewound Mr Gove. This time listened to a little more closely. What's the kid on? Was that actually step one in a leadership bid? For after the General Election debacle of 2010?


Anonymous said...

I'm sure I remember many yaers ago a 'yoof' programme on either Channel 4 or BBC2 that featured a group of street cred presenters plus a weird looking schoolboyesque jack-in-the-box by the name of Michael Gove. His task was to flit among the audience and make contoversial remarks on 'issues of the day'. On xserveral occasions he was on the verge of a well-deserved thumping - not that I'm advocating violence.

Everybody I have mentioned this to looks at me as though I am odd - well, the few that know who Michael Gove is do.

Can anybody else recall tbis programme or have I been eating too much cheese before going to bed?

Anonymous said...

A Stab In The Dark was a British television programme of topical monologues and discussion screened on Channel 4 in 1992.

It was hosted by comedian David Baddiel, journalist and future Conservative MP Michael Gove and critic and television presenter Tracey MacLeod.

The monologues, often containing very dark humour, were delivered straight to camera by each host in turn before a small studio audience on a stark set with numerous staircases. Sometimes relevant guests were invited on to further or contradict a point, including Conservative MPs Jerry Hayes and Alan Clark.

I don't feel like punching him.

Anonymous said...

I was quite pleased with myself for having remembered it, until you had to go and remind me of Jerry Hayes. Now I won't need the cheese to give me nightmares!

Ted Foan said...

"....to build and run schools for shareholder profit."

Wrong again, Chris. This is explicitly not the case.

Chris Paul said...

Oo, er, sorry Diablo, you may be right. This was on as aural wallpaper. I must say the nanny state stuff caught my attention more than the burning up existing community schools that dearly need investment at the market stake. Independent schools are charities are they not? For some reason.

Anonymous said...

Apparently, most independent schools are called "public schools" because originally they were established in order to educate the sons of those who could not afford private education.

As time passed, the took in more and more from the monied classes and usually retained a tiny scholarship system or bursaries. In this way they have been entitled to keep their charitable status.

It is rather like Harrods being able to claim charitable status if once a year they treated a homeless person to a free cappucino in the restaurant.

Anonymous said...

If Harrods did that I'd stop going.

Chris Paul said...

EHC - you are indeed correct about "public" schools. Many of them were charitable institutions for us paupers. Then the earth turned on its head and the rich muscled in ... being as they were better than many of the private schools.

Eton was I think one of the latter, and it's still a bit dodgy by the look of some of the products.

As for Harrods ... aren't they specialising in assassination conspiracies just now? Nothing charitable about that! Leave Phil alone. He's a gent.

Anonymous said...

If a charity was to set up one of the Blair/Brown Academies, would they get charitable status?

And what about voluntary aided schools?

Ted Foan said...

"Oo, er, sorry Diablo, you may be right."

I am right, Chris. Read the speech more carefully and understand that this is a serious proposal to improve the standard of education for all children in this country. Don't just dismiss it because the Conservatives have proposed it.