Why Labour deserves to Lose – In a word, Mediocracy! – Preface to a New Book



Self-Deception – Anatomy of a Cover-up

a Sequel to Death of a Nightingale with ispy


(Dedicated to the memory of my friend James David Astley Sanford who died in a cycling accident in Singapore in 2012)

In 2008 and years following I wrote Death of a Nightingale – the play, the book, the website, and the blog   to show how very best intentions and best laid plans can go astray. Here they were built upon a dream word Inclusion, upon a human right to equality of opportunity, and upon a false premise, that education should be single track.

It’s Hush Hush

In fact, Inclusion has become for many a nightmare word. The human right for some to equality of opportunity has ignored the human rights of others, denied them their opportunity and, in some cases,victims of bullying, mentally and emotionally damaged them. Education should be multi-track, each track different and separately costed. Equality here is supremely irrelevant. The pursuit of excellence – not to be confused with elitism – should always pre-empt a legitimate concern for the disadvantaged. A society should play to its strengths not its weaknesses.

The real mischief lies in the pursuit of Equality when, as I keep saying, we are equal only sometimes, unequal most times, and different always. It also lies in trap laid by human rights lawyers that once you have a legal right to something, a human right to it, you do not need to consider its practicality or its affordability and, most importantly, the different rights of others.

Fair play is what you need, plus professional, street-wise, management knowhow. A totally different way of doing things.

This is as relevant today as when I wrote it. The Times Educational Supplement, the flagship for the educational establishment, forty years on from the Warnock Report of 1978 headlines its edition on 4 May 2018 “The Long Road to Inclusion.” The Editorial was headed “We’ve come so far on inclusion, but we’ve still got so far to go.”  You can’t blame shortage of money when you consider how many TAs have been employed to try to make it work.

If you don’t succeed, fail, fail, and fail again.

It is important to realise that the starting point was not the 1978 Warnock Report but the Labour Government’s 1976 Education Act that tied its hands. That’s when a group of educational zealots hijacked the system and it has been hijacked ever since.

I was provoked to write this. Nothing in my life has been pre-planned. Certainly, none of this. I retired from a successful company, now nation-wide, for a quiet life. When my membership of Rotary introduced me to the late Fredwyn Haynes, the inspired and inspiring head teacher at Barbara Priestman School in Sunderland – a special school for children with a physical disability and a learning difficulty – I entered a world I had never seen.

When I became its Chair of Governors I was able to help parents, governors, and the pupils themselves in their successful campaign to keep their school open while over 100 others were being closed. The private sector certainly not lily white, but pristine compared to the duplicity, hypocrisy, insensitive bullying I was to witness in the public sector. This reached out from Sunderland’s Local Educational Authority, truly the organ grinder’s monkey, to its power base in London.

And what I witnessed at close quarters, smear tactics, ultimately a sting to discredit the governors and destabilise the school. The standard weapon of crusading zealots. Here an obscenity, the details best left in my archives.

A small picture can sometimes tell you more than a large one. The devil is in the detail.

Now here another small picture. My complaint against cycle lanes for non-existent cyclists in Newcastle.

This time the dream world of the Cyclist – saving the planet, combatting obesity. Their right to be on the road, for society to make it safe for them regardless of cost and practicality. Here another group of crusading zealots, notably auto-phobic cycling lobby Sustrans,  capturing and defending the high ground.

Again it’s hush, hush.

In recent years my blog has told another revealing story. Once again, the private sector pristine compared to the machinations of the Teflon-coated public sector. Watchdog, Rip-Off Britain, and Fake Britain studiously ignore this. And some in my own profession, the Law, pigs in the trough like the rest.

To understand why the UK suffers from chronic inertia, why Whitehall is sclerotic, you’ll find some clues here.

Once you have seen why the Left and its lawyers are the agents of their own disappointments, why they betray the hopes of those who trust them, you cannot un-learn it.

And the world will be a better place.

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