Sunday, July 31, 2005

The Elephant On The Table Starts Dancing

It’s a good rule of thumb that what politicians talk about most is what they’ll do least. So I wasn’t surprised when all that talk of ‘education, education, education’ turned out to be blather even by Blairian standards. After all, Nu Lab is so in hock to the teaching unions that meaningful change is probably a political impossibility. The only real question is why the Conservative Party has such a reluctance to point out Labour’s very obvious problems in this area.

In a result sure to shock absolutely no one, researchers have found that kids in faith schools do far better than those in the cultural Marxist wasteland of normal schools. More to the point, neatly torpedoing the usual Liberal whine that these schools are somehow cheating by filling their classes with young Einsteins, it turns out that the gap is greatest amongst kids at the bottom end of the scale. Needless to say, even the researchers – presumably anxious to work in education again – scramble to explain it all away, but that emphasises rather than obscures the basic point.

Here we have a group of schools the mere thought of which is enough to turn the average Liberal into a reasonable facsimile of Linda Blair in The Exorcist, yet – staggeringly enough – they consistently beat their peers. This is the perverse nature of Liberalism laid bare – they don’t spend their time explaining away failure, they spend it explaining away success. Faith schools are hated because they won’t throw the towel in, and come on down into the cess pit with the rest of the losers. Isn’t it time we started talking about the underperformers as the aberration ?

As long as the Labour Party remains a prisoner of Big Education, they’ll be forced to pretend to take seriously arguments that faith schools are somehow gobbling up all the educatycium ore, leaving none for other schools. There’s no reason at all why Conservatives should join them in the madhouse. Indeed, this is the perfect example of what the Conservatives should be doing. Labour has no room for manoeuvre in education - they can’t bring forward any meaningful reform that will hit the educrats, while the Conservatives have no support to lose amongst these people. A Conservative Party committed to genuine reform will literally have the debate all to itself, if only they find the courage to actually address this issue. If nothing else, they could at least come out against the absurd persecution of faith schools by the Left.

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