Parliament and Politics: Education Must Be Saved from Its Ignorant Ministers ; THE SKETCH

By Carr, Simon | The Independent (London, England), June 27, 2003 | Go to article overview
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Parliament and Politics: Education Must Be Saved from Its Ignorant Ministers ; THE SKETCH


Carr, Simon, The Independent (London, England)


POLITICIANS NAG us about our apathetic voting habits and the fact that we are disengaged from the democratic process. Let us add an illustrative example to the first law of politics: MPs at education questions yesterday were outnumbered four to one by members of the public. Our parliamentary politicians are massively disengaged from the democratic process of education. Perhaps that's why educational results are improving so much.

Mind you, you wouldn't go to education questions twice, not unless you had to. You'd have to be paid very good money to go more than once to watch that oily stream of administrative effluent spilling out of the ministerial sump. Why Education degrades its ministers we don't know. The Defence Secretary is defensive. The Health Secretary is a doctor. The Transport Secretary is about to be moved on. Why don't the ministers for Education show any evidence of being educated? And if they are, why do they fill the hall with their empty ignorance and canting banalities?

The more you see these people in action, the more you support the idea of removing the entire education system from political control. The rubbish they talk is directly proportionate to the mess they create. And the mess is monstrous. But you knew that.

David Miliband looked like a recognisable human being up in South Shields when I dropped in on him before the last election. Now he's already a junior minister, the fastest parliamentary rise since David Owen was made parliamentary private secretary to Gerry Reynolds on his arrival in 1966, then under-secretary for the Navy in 1968.

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