Monday, January 08, 2007

Education, Education, Education - Resign, Resign, Resign

I haven't blogged here in a little while as I'm in New Zealand attending a friend's wedding, but one story has really caught my attention and made me angry enough to search out internet access. That story is the breaking news about Ruth Kelly's decision to send her son to a private school because her own local schools are not suitable to educate his "special needs" (here).

Other blogs (notably Guido's and Iain Dale's) have rather let the minister off the hook. I for one believe that this is a fundamental issue and that she should resign. I don't fall for all this crap about her having to make a decision in the best interest of her child. She was elected and subsequently became part of a government that promised to improve education for all children. This has patently not happened and this former education minister shares a great deal of the blame. In my view she has two choices: 1) agree that the government has failed, send her child to a private school and resign; or 2) send him to a local state school and keep her job. What she cannot be allowed to do is admit failure and retain her role.

The press gave Tony Blair an easy ride over the choice of education for his own children and unfortunately that set a terrible precedent. How long are we going to stomach ministers who tell us, "do as we say, not as we do"? The argument could have been made that Tony Blair had to make his decision about his own kids before being given an opportunity to improve the lot of his local schools. These bastards have now had almost 10 years to make their changes, so this argument will simply not fly any more.

Iain Dale says "I won't be calling for Ruth Kelly's head", but then goes on to say "But she should answer this question: what would someone do if they didn't have the financial resources to pay £15,000 to a prep school?" There is no suitable answer to that question and that's why she must resign. Come on Iain, I would have expected more from you.

This is a government on the brink of collapse and cabinet ministers are behaving with a complete lack of collective responsibility. Has the country gone mad? When did it become alright to stay in a government and then publicly argue against it? First it was health and local hospital closures and now it is education. When will somebody resign on a matter of principle?

The Labour cabinet has become a morally bankrupt collection of individuals that are positioning themselves for life post Tony. Shame on them.

1 comment:

james higham said...

Yep, where does the buck stop?