Saturday, February 07, 2009

Dave's fully comprehensive

Do any conservatives still think Cameron is one of them? Boy, are you gonna be in for a rude shock one day!

As Cameron unveils his grand plan for education - which seems an awful lot like Labour's grand plan for education to me - he also reveals that he can't understand why people still send their kids to private schools.

“I think it’s crazy that we should pay lots of money for private schools. We all pay our taxes. You should have really good state schools available for all.”

Well, the thing is, Dave "we" don't pay lots of money for private schools - only those who can afford it do. The vast majority of taxpayers pay lots of money for shitty state schools. Seriously, though, if Dave was a true conservative he'd understand why people do spend lots of money to send their kids to private schools - and thank God so many do, it saves the state a small fortune.

And it's worth pointing out that most of us did have access to really good state schools at one time - they were called "grammar schools" which used to rival public schools for the quality of pupil they turned out (and still do where still exist).

I'm not going to tell Cameron or any conservative why he, as a conservative, should understand why people send their kids to state schools - but here's a small clue. It's about choice, me old mucker. Cameron's claim that he will send his kids to state schools reveals a lot about him.

Conservative Party leader David Cameron has pledged to send his three children to state schools if the standard is high enough ....

Right. His eldest kid is a special needs school, right? The next one has just started primary school I believe - so she'd be about 5 years old, yes? So let's see - the next election has to happen in the next 18 months or so and let's assume Cameron wins. That means he'll have around a whole parliamentary term to get the "standard high enough" before his daughter goes to St Bogg's Standard Comprehensive - and he's not sure if he can do it?

Dave's plan for education is go good even he doesn't have any confidence in it.


TheFatBigot said...

I think there is a further point, Mr Stan.

The responsibility for bringing up children, including educating them, lies with parents not the State. The State steps in, quite legitimately, in two ways.

First, through the pooling of resources for the common good it provides schools which many parents cannot afford to fund directly. In essence this is a form of insurance - pay your premiums and we will provide a school, use it if you need to.

Secondly, by providing child protection services when parents fail in ways unrelated to education (as to which see my comments on your Shoesmith post).

I am concerned about Mr Cameron's starting point. He seems to presume it is for the State to educate children rather than for parents to do so. How much better, I wonder, would things be if the presumption were placed where (I believe) it should be?

Stan said...

"The responsibility for bringing up children, including educating them, lies with parents not the State."

Exactly, FB - and if Cameron can not understand that, as he says himself, then he can not possibly be a conservative. It is, as you say, his starting point that the state owns the responsibility for countless things that should be the responsibility of the individual. That is not conservatism - therefore Cameron is not a conservative.

Anonymous said...

Note the weasel words in Call-me-Dave's pledge: "if the standard is high enough"

In practice, it will turn out not to be.

Anyone betting against?