Thursday, 8 July 2010

Michael Gove's schoolboy errors

Now that the Tories, er .... I mean the Coalition is in power we can expect a continuing attack on state education under the guise of 'improving standards'. The new Education Secretary, Michael Gove, wasted no time in asking schools to apply for academy status. What he meant was privatisation and removal from local democratic control. This is part of the shameful plan, started by New Labour, to break up the state school system. Private companies, charities, and dubious religious groups will be given control of our education system. Money which could have been spent on our children will disappear into the pockets of 'entrepreneurs' instead. But education is public service, not a business. Children have to be educated, which means a steady supply of cash will go into the pockets of the profiteers, and like privatisation of other public services those companies will continue to take the money regardless of whether they provide a good service - remember the railways? - because this is all driven by neoliberal ideology.

When Gove spoke to parliament on Monday we heard the predictable cuts - the slashing of the Building Schools for the Future programme - started by New Labour. While the NL plan to build and repair schools was admirable it was also a PFI initiative designed to put money into the pockets of the private sector and rip off UK taxpayers - a scam - in other words.

Gove made at least 25 mistakes in his predictably arrogant - 'we're in power now' - statement. But his biggest mistake was to announce those swinging cuts. There are many people who wanted change and gave this coalition the benefit of the doubt. Those numbers are thinning rapidly. After only a few weeks in government many people are now waking up to the reality of a 21st century Thatcherite Tory government - its like waking up with a very bad hangover, and the worst is yet to come.

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