Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Poor children may be bused to school in wealthy areas

Modern debating techniques, Part II:

"It is not some kind of social diktat or American-style enforced de-segregation"

This proposal is EXACTLY that, so the spokesman begins by denying it, thus (he hopes) taking the sting out of the criticism.

Between the ages of 11 and 13, I was bused from one village to another in the first years of comprehensive education. The schools in our poor rural area were not deemed large enough to provide the right "mix" of pupils. I remember sleepily waiting at dark bus stops early in the morning. My wife - from the same area - remembers riots and bullying on her bus, which often led to the driver turning everyone off to walk miles. The idea was quietly dropped after a few years. Now it's back in another guise, and only the local bus companies will benefit.

British education is in a mess because of social engineering, not for lack of it. Kelly is rearranging deck chairs in true New Labour style. She will do anything but admit that Labour's educational theories (and the Conservatives failure to resist them) caused the horrors of "bog standard" comprehensives and destroyed social mobility in Britain.

Labour activists will delight in depressing house prices around less bad State schools, smashing home owners' small dreams. Those who do their best for their families are again penalised for their temerity.

New Labour is in power, not because of the ever-shrinking working class, but because it has successfully deceived more gullible members of the middle class. Kelly should remember that.

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