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The Budget Review

Could you imagine? How boring would that be, and pointless. They grind you down these buggers that’s for sure. Yesterday, a columnist from The Times remarked on Twitter that to refer to David Cameron as ‘Dave’ and George Osborne as ‘Gideon’ (our beloved PM and Chancellor sidekick) is to ‘not help our case’. The blog is guilty as charged and I wondered why I do it. I also wondered what would help the case of those of us diametrically opposed to so much of what the government stands for and came up with: pretty much nothing. We are stuck with them now it seems whilst we, as my friend judiciously observed yesterday, squabble amongst ourselves.

The country’s biggest Welfare Reform ever looms and whilst there was clearly a need for change, the lack of incisive detail worries many of us who work with people who will be affected. There is also a hideous undercurrent to the agenda, manifested by those who will be most affected by the changes: lone parents with children. It seems that the millionaires that rule the country, will not stand for the feckless poor procreating with abandon. It’s nearly Victorian in ideology. Meanwhile I hear people say things that they most certainly wouldn’t have voiced a few years ago. Everyone is looking for someone to look down on, someone to blame.

This government seems to have shown equality the door. Only this morning Gideon was harping on about wanting to help those who wanted to get on. God forbid that those of us lucky enough to get on should support the indolent, less fortunate souls. And I have a problem with the Conservative definition of ‘getting on’. It means material wealth and paying taxes doesn’t it – unless of course you are a global corporation… By that definition of wanting to ‘get on’ I suppose we can exclude such luminaries as Gandhi, Mother Theresa and Jesus Christ Almighty too. Not holding down a full time job in the rat run? Worthless! What about people who want to ‘get on’ but for reasons of accident of birth, or poor access to education are trapped in poverty and a generational cycle of no hope? Cannon fodder I suppose. Expendable, dispensable, to blame. It really does make me sick. I might call the architects of the chaos Dave and Gideon, but believe me, when I think about them and what they are doing to society for more than 30 seconds I really want to call them a lot, lot worse.

Image from the excellent cartoon blog by Gary Barker here


The Commons Education Committee are calling for the public to tweet questions and ideas for their oral evidence session with the Minister of State for Education next week.

You have until Friday 27th January at 11.00 a.m. to submit your question using the #askgove hashtag

Graham Stuart MP, who chairs the committee said

“This is a good way of breaking down the seemingly vast gap between the governed and the governing. We are always looking at ways of reaching out and making sure people can use our services to help us hold the government to account.” More on the story here

I’ll start the ball rolling

Why does the Minister feel it necessary to impose his own personal curriculum likes on the children of the 21st century? #askgove

How will the Minister rebalance the curriculum to ensure that the value of education lies in the process and not in the production of league tables? #askgove

Does the Minister feel it would a good idea for him to shadow some teachers to get a real feel for the scale of the task the profession faces in today’s test-mad culture #askgove

I could go on…

The Northern Lights, Cresswell Beach, Northumberland by Lee Jennings