Dave Aldridge has released an interesting blog post I want to respond to or at least use as a springboard for a personal rant. Where Dave asks “What, then, will become of the proposed LEA chains?” I guess he is dealing with that uncomfortable truth that the big businesses behind academies will – or may – not want to take on smaller schools, rural areas, some of the seemingly insoluble issues that lead to “poor quality pupils.” [NB: the website of the original report seems to have been taken down] That the state provides the “safety net” (I’m not sure of this shorthand metaphor) seems eminently reasonable; if the government has decided not to be the major player in what was a national initiative, well, we, the electorate, voted them in, sort of. Today it seems “we, the people” voted for a string of idiocies.
I join Dave Aldridge in his disquiet. However, I would be more sanguine about this if it weren’t for the dreadful other things we are seeing from this government at the moment: high-handed bullying around dodgy dealings on the NHS; rich people making decisions about their taxes that takes money from public services – and then covering it up; the opposition of the current government to taking in refugee children under the “Dubs Amendment.” This Kindertransport moment (the PM says it isn’t) is where I give up. If, as the Secretary of State for Education has said, this is a “broadly Christian country” (a phrase I believe she used to justify her position at the time in opposing equality in marriage, presumably based in part on a reading of Leviticus 20:13 or Romans 1:27), then where is our broadly Christian Government going to stand on Deuteronomy 10:18, 19, where God “takes no bribe…and executes justice for the fatherless and loves the stranger,” or the vilifications of the prophet Amos (e.g. Ch 8) against those who trample on the needy, eager to resume their unfair trading? And if the mention of Amos makes anyone think this is all a bit Amos Starkadder, then 2 Corinthians 8 is a more human take. Be kind: it seems that kindness – the recognition that we are all the same kind, all human, all with needs and talents and joys and disasters – is exactly what is being written out of our lives systematically.
So this is my Catiline question (I know I am not alone in using it) : Quousque tandem abutere, Catilina, patientia nostra? How long will you abuse our patience? If “accuracy is for snake-oil pussies,” if High Street tycoons can make a packet and then walk away, it is as if the last election entitles only to attend feeding time at a pool of crocodiles.
Yes, it goes without saying that these views do not necessarily represent an official position by my employers.
And yes, I know Cicero would not necessarily approve of my use of his phrase in this argument.