Monday, 12 April 2010

Dangerous Idea, Gordon

I see in today’s Guardian that the Labour manifesto will

“pledge to end "take it or leave it" services in education, the NHS and police.”

the article continues,

“Brown claims in a Guardian interview that his goal is to bring reform right into the mainstream of public services.

He promises that inadequate schools, hospital authorities and police forces will all be subject to forms of takeover if either objective results or parental ballots demand new leadership. In education this could mean being taken over by successful state or private schools, education chains, or universities.

"The days of take it or leave it public services are over," Brown says. "The days of just minimum standards are over. The days of the impersonal are finished. It has to be personal, accountable and tailored to your needs, and with a mechanism to trigger change if the service does not meet your needs."

He says the aim is to unleash the highest quality providers, whether public or private, so that they can meet needs, not just in their local areas, but to turn around performance in other areas too.”

I could say lots about this idea but I confine myself to the following thoughts:

“What happens, Gordon, if, during the term of a government, a majority of people consider your government to be inadequate?

Will there be a mechanism to allow your government to be taken over “if either objective results or parental ballots demand new leadership”?

A dangerous path to tread, Gordon!!


  1. Yes, it sounds a bit "looney tunes" to me, when I cast my eyes over many of the parents of schoolchildren and consider their tendencey to always find someone else to blame for the failings of their offspring. Sounds like a recipe for chaos (even though chaos is sort of not supposed to need a recipe, by definition, I think... but politicians of all colours do like to help it along).

  2. ....and my tendency to spell tendencey wrong (and all other errors I ever have committed or will commit) is (and are) of course not my fault, but that of my rubbish educators... sack the busturds!

  3. ... but you are an educator, Andrew.

    Andrew wants the sack ... and not with his nurses in the basement. Well, probably them too.

  4. But not my own educator Cal... Oh, hang on a moment... a bit of self-education, a fair bit, was indeed in the mix of my education too... OK sack me, sack everyone who educated me, sack everyone who has ever had anything whatever to do with me... Heck! It's beginning to sound as if Gordon might be onto quite a good idea after all!

  5. Getting confused is either a sign of old age or a poor education. We all know that both contribute! :)

    Sorry, Sean. Just having a wee "quarrel" with Andrew.

  6. Calum, allow me neither to focus on your post not on your ferocious quarrel with Andrew, but on a horrible mistake in one of Andrew's comments:

    Very probably due to the fact that Andrew is suffering from having been educated by strange little men, he wrote:
    'Heck! It's beginning to sound as if Gordon might be onto quite a good idea after all!'

    As I do not find any reason to doubt that ductus and orthography of Kieran Looney & Associates are sweet fruits of an extraordinary excellent education, I do allow myself to correct the tiny mistake I detected:
    'Heck! Its beginning to [...]

    Now might this and that reader ask her-/himself why I'd trust more f.e. in Looney's extraordinary excellent education than in Andrew's excellent extraterrestic one.
    Perhaps I'm a bit sentimental. You see, now and then Mrs. J. would sigh: 'Oh Sean, you are such a loony.'

  7. It is (or even it's) all getting a bit silly at Calum's place tonight. I like it.

    By the way Sean, you are a gentle pussycat with English. You should see the mess I can make with German! Such a mess ich dare not show.

  8. Andrew, please: Don't hide your light under a bushel. Dein 'ich' was perfect.

    Ahem, ... and what is a 'gentle pussycat'? I do hope you are not spoiling for a quarrel.
    After all, don't they say: Never wake a lion ... err: a gentle pussycat for fun.

    Absolutely off topic:
    Calum, Andrew, that was great fun. Exactly what I needed.
    How to explain?
    't was heart lightening.
    Thank you, and
    the peace of the night.

  9. Sean I think you are as daft as Andrew and I are. :)

  10. This very thought does not lack of accuracy, Calum.