Stick, carrot or finger-pointing and laughing?

MY PREVIOUS post about the politically-incorrect use of red ink on weans’ jotters provoked some amount of the usual abuse but also a rather useful and informed debate in the comments thread. I love it when that happens (not very often, if you must ask).

The Devil pointed out, (not without some justification, I should confess) by way of suggesting a solution to my red mist dilemma, that, since I am a member of the governing party, then the remedy is in my own hands.

Oh, if only ’twere so easy…

Do we really think that the way to prevent this kind of waste of time and energy is to pass a law prescribing the language that can be used in schools and by local authorities? Sounds a bit authoritarian to me, and ultimately unenforceable.

No, surely better to mock and ridicule education providers teachers and local services and equality facilitators council staff and to shame them into coming to their senses.



Filed under Blogging, Government, Society

11 responses to “Stick, carrot or finger-pointing and laughing?

  1. John with sarcasm

    I took the trouble to dig out my school exercise books from some 30+ years ago. There is an awlful lot of red ink on the pages.

    I have grown up failing to obtain a criminal record, or even a driving conviction. I’ve worked hard all my life and never been unemployed, saved for a personal pension,have plently savings, have no debts, own several properties, never been seriously ill (lucky and fortunate), paid all my taxes and stayed faithful to the same women in all that time.
    I am clearly psychologically disturbed due to all the red ink.

    Who can I sue?

  2. Simon

    Perhaps the Government could allocate some fnuds for a national “Naughty Corner” into which to send the loonies until they come to their senses.

  3. The problem stems from the innate cowardice of so many British people who seem so afraid of “breaking the rules” or “giving offence” that they become crazily cautious.

    It’s frustrating, for example, that perfectly sensible H&S rules which are designed to protect school-children from cavalier teachers, get blown up out of proportion by some and used (sometimes as an excuse methinks) to provide a reason for doing nothing.

    Of course our anti-everything-that’s-been-invented-since-1958 media is in large part to blame…

  4. Jay

    For a start, Tom, the Government could stop lavishly funding an evidently bloated Health & Safety Executive and I’m not sure how much autonomy LAs have over the budgets allocated by HMG, but the money to pay for those public sector non-jobs advertised in the Grauniad has to come from somewhere.

  5. Chris' Wills

    Well you might ask the department of education (I assume there is such a thing still) to point out in, very simple, words that they are morons for trying to enforce such things.
    Could also fire a few “education experts”.

    Something does need to be done; Scotland used to be famous for the quality, depth and breadth of its education, especially in engineering, mathematics and the hard sciences, not so much anymore.

  6. Johnny Norfolk

    Interesting and another cop out from Labour.
    You should be involved in this instead of hounding private individuals who just want to be left alone. Sort out the councils who do this sort of thing. But then Labour arranged for my bin to be emptied every 2 weeks. You interfear in things you should leave alone, and do not deal with things when you should. Par for the course.

  7. wrinkled weasel

    “shame them into coming to their senses.”

    Oh, if only ’twere so easy…

    I am pointing the brown finger of foetidity at you Tom Harris. It’s not the sad gits whose imaginations are so tiny that all they can think of is to work for the council and push paper. It’s their elected bosses, (usually Neu Arbeit) who come up with this egregious tosh.

    You and your Westminster myrmidons have created a climate in which this crap can flourish. Just listen to your wimmin colleagues yakking on about equality.

    Let’s get one thing straight. Political Correctness does not create equality, neither does it protect vulnerable and bullied minorities. I merely replaces one kind of scapegoat with another – usually white, middle class heterosexual males who pay taxes and mind their own business.

    Did you know that if you place your wheelie bin incorrectly you can now be fined more than if you are drunk and disorderly or caught shoplifting? That’s your Government’s policy of fining and penalising the inept and uninformed. Thanks. (If I say what I really feel about this you won’t publish it.)

  8. Dave H.

    “…a rather useful and informed debate in the comments thread”

    Now that’s just inviting abuse…

    Isn’t it the case that teachers make up a very large proportion of the Labour Party? I think it would be fair to say that those working in the educational sector, in and out of the classroom, are generally left-leaning .

    One of the commonest criticisms of this Government is an urge for centralised control, targets and micromanagement generally. This, combined with an obssession with PC (many of you are actually proud of this) has created the conditions in which such flaccid nonsense thrives.

    Eleven years with the Education, Education, Education party in power and you grumble about the red-ink silliness* going on in schools. In truth, in every way, it has Labour fingerprints all over it.

    Your lot created the swamp, don’t complain about the smell.

    BTW I notice you have used the “S-Word”. Please don’t, research has shown it can upset parents. Use “learning centre” in future, please.

    *I nearly wrote tomfoolery but that would have been cheap as well as unfair. Harrietfoolery should exist as a word.

  9. Andrew F

    Oh, you almost said something nice about your commenters, but then you just had to have a dig in the parentheses.

  10. Loki

    You and your lot have passed a law for just about everything else! Why the sudden reticence this time, Tom?

  11. Tom,

    “Do we really think that the way to prevent this kind of waste of time and energy is to pass a law prescribing the language that can be used in schools and by local authorities? Sounds a bit authoritarian to me, and ultimately unenforceable.”

    I am aware that I was being slightly flippant: I once read How To Be A Backbencher by one of your Labour colleagues, Paul Flynn, and understand that it is very difficult to get things done. However, I am also aware that a quiet word in someone’s ear (especially from an MP) can work wonders.

    But, my real point was, of course, that if you allow people to choose the schools that their children go to (after all, some parents may agree with the red ink issue), then you at least give them a choice.

    No doubt you will disagree with me (although I hope that you acknowledge that this is not a partisan point: I am no more fond of the Tories than of your lot), but I happen to think that state schooling has been a disaster because politicians have priorities that are not those of education.

    Remove the state from the schools and let parents choose.


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