Saturday, November 20, 2010

Tenant's finances to be checked after two years!

Apparently tenant's finances are to be checked after two years, and if they don't need or rather qualify for social housing they will be asked to move on.

Great plan, should free up lots of social housing. In fact Labour came up with a similar very stupid idea before the election. They also ditched it, because whilst on the face of it, it is attractive, it is also very very barking mad.

If you are going to check someone's finances and on the result of that check make them move, then they will never breach what arbitrary number you have set. We already have this problem with the rest of the welfare state where people can't afford to take jobs because they would lose money doing so. The net result will be a very anti Conservative squashing of aspiration which is one of the driving forces of the party.

It does however get worse. If, as intended people who succeed move on, and those who don't stay, then estates and housing stock will fill with a homogeneous lack of achievement and ambition further stifling aspiration and ambition and directly counteracting the effect of allowing council house tenants the right to buy which broke up estates of despair.

The government wants to help the 1.8 million households on the waiting list. That is easy, we no longer have a dismal Labour government which utterly failed to build as many houses as any other government so anything will be an improvement.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The great big cyber security threat!

Apparently, according to a review of national security, there is regular massive attacks, with 1000 malicious emails targeted at government a month! See the BBC report here.

I laughed my head off. I see that on some clients systems (depending on how you count the stats) either in 1 second, and certainly in one day. With a bit of luck they refer to very carefully crafted and directed attacks, not the run of the mill stuff than business face daily, because law enforcement is not that interested in combating cyber crime.

Apparently these threats can bring down air traffic control, the national grid and other critical systems. True, which is why these systems should be nowhere near the internet, should not have USB ports or CD drives, and also be tied down tighter than a very tight thing. They should be able to operate autonomously if their interconnections break, and then their communications should not be over the internet or lines of communications that could be compromised by a cyber attack.

All that is easy to say though, the problem with the internet though is that it is easy and cheap.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Should Alex Salmond and Kenny MacAskill appear before a US senate committee over the early release of Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi?

Well... they have appear to have refused.. according to this BBC article.

But should they have appeared?


They are the elected representatives of the Scottish parliament, and answerable to them alone. They are, as is The British Prime minister accountable to their own house, and in no way, shape manner or form are they accountable to any other house.

Can you imagine George W Bush being, former President of the USA being called before a select committee of parliament?


UK politicians are in no shape, way manner or form accountable to the USA, and therefore should refuse on principle, refuse to appear before any committee of any elected body there. The same applies to appearing before the EU parliament or any where else. The reverse is also the case, I would expect an elected US politician to refuse the same.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Labour lies over "unfair cuts"

So the detail of the cuts begin..

Except of course that the NHS was preparing for £20 billion of cuts under Labour, and many projects and services were already cut under Labour.

Labour are now crying foul over "spending cuts". This is rank hypocrisy because they were cutting anyway (except in Ed Balls department because he was pally with Gordon Brown).

However, lets be clear, £1 in £4 that is being spent now, is not my taxes or your taxes, it is in fact the taxes to be paid by children STARTING primary school now. The public debt will not be brought down to 40% of GDP until 2031. So if you have a child of 6 years old, then they will be paying taxes when they are in work, not to fund schools and hospitals that they need, but to fund the utter fecklessness of the previous Labour government.

That Labour government started with doctors who were well paid by OECD standards, and much better paid that French doctors and made them the best paid in the OECD.

That Labour government spent billions on countless reorganisations that followed so fast one after the other that no one in the public services could tell what was going on.

That Labour government spent millions refurbishing government offices.

That Labour government gives handouts to families earning over £50,000 a year.

That Labour government pays more to feckless families who have never worked and have no intention of working than I earn in a year, and yet I pay taxes.

The Labour party hark back to the "disastrous declines" of the 1980's and 1990s! How full of rubbish are they? The 1970's were bleak, unsustainable and had Britain as the sick man of Europe. The 1980's and 1990's were tough, but they returned the country to sustainability, and crucially growth in the private sector.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

This coalition is like a camel!

This coalition is like a camel.

Some say a camel is a horse designed by committee because it is ugly, cantankerous and uncomfortable to ride.

Thing is though..

When the US cavalry tried camels over horses, they moved faster because the camels could carry all their supplies, the horses needed supply wagons which moved slowly, whilst camels were as effective as horses in battle.

Top that off with the fact that we are in a desert, what would you rather have? A horse or a camel?

Drastic cut for armed forces!

There will be a drastic cut for our armed forces at 8PM on Friday the 28th of May!

I am having my hair, pony tail and beard cut off to raise money for Help for Heroes.

There will also be an auction to see who gets to cut my pony tail off.

It will now be at the Wheatsheaf Inn, Broad Street, Cuckfield in Sussex.

Please support our wounded servicemen and servicewomen.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Operation Dynamo, the evacuation of Dunkirk, 70 years ago this week

From the 27th of May to the 4th of June 1940, 338,226 allied service men were evacuated from the port of Dunkirk and the beaches near by.

This turned the absolute disaster of the battle of France, where the French and British outnumbered Nazi Germany in terms of tanks, troops, artillery and naval power but were wiped out in less than a month in to some sort of moral victory.

And it was!

On the 26th of May 1940 prayers were said in both churches and synagogues for the safe return of our troops, such was the danger to our armies.

Operation dynamo kicked in, and in what has to be marked as an incredibly heroic effort, of the Royal Navy, the Merchant marine, private boat owners and the die hard troops, French and British that fought to the last man to hold lines, defend the indefensible and generally hold up the Nazi advance whilst those men were lifted from the beaches.

Particular mention must go to the crews of the 200 small craft that were lost, the French 5th core who held Lille with little point other than tying up German armour and infantry as well as the defenders of Bolougne and Calias who did the same.

May their souls rest in peace and perpetual light shine upon them. I will remember them.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Hair and beard shaved to raise money for help for heroes!

I will be having my hair shaved to a grade 3, and my beard shaved off to raise money for Help For Heroes. I have not had a hair cut since 1993!

I will be having it done at 8 PM on Friday the 28th of May 2010 at the Talbot inn, High street Cuckfield Sussex.

There will also be an auction for who gets to cut the pony tail off on the night!

If you can't make it there, then you can donate via my just giving site here.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

David Cameron is Prime Minister so let the blood letting begin

So David Cameron is Prime Minister, and incidentally made a good speech.

This was, politically a good election to lose. There is much unpleasant work to be done and people will not be happy.

However I, and everyone I know in the Conservative party is in politics for the good of the country.

We did not win a majority. We wanted one, and we worked hard for it. We did not get it. The people have spoken, and what they have said is unclear.

What is clear is that this country needs a stable government capable of doing the unpleasant work that will need to be done to build a better future for our children and grandchildren.

The only way to achieve that was a Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition. There was no other way to form a stable government.

I think that the Conservative and Liberal Democrat party have behaved in a statesman like way, put party interests aside, and indeed are prepared to take the hard stuff on the chin.

As a Conservative, all I can say is well done to the Liberal Democrats.

So to the blood letting.

There are many who will tear up their membership cards, of both parties. Then labour will attack the Liberal Democrats for not being "progressive". Well the term is asinine. All parties make progress, and in terms of social mobility the best times have actually been better under Conservatives.

Being in politics is a business that requires a thick skin especially when you actually win an election.

Gordon Brown resigns as Prime Minister and leader of the Labour party!

Well, Gordon Brown has announced he will resign as prime minister and leader of the Labour party tomorrow.

So there will be a Conservative government, probably in coalition with the Liberal Democrats.

Monday, May 10, 2010


It looks like Labour, having formed a GOAT (Government Of All the Talents) which did not work out that well will now try to form a COAL.

That is a Coalition Of All the Losers.


And with that many parties in it, it will be about as stable as a blancmange.

On the announcement of formal talks between Labour and the Liberal Democrats, after the close of the UK markets, the pound having gained 0.8 cents on the day fell by a whole 1 cent.

If there is a coalition between Labour and the Liberal Democrats and various other parties it will be unstable and will collapse relatively soon.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Mid Sussex votes for positive campaigning!

After having posted the results of the Mid Sussex constituency in the General Election, I thought I would comment on my view of what it means.

The campaign run by Serena Tierney was frankly a nasty personal one attacking Nicholas Soames in disingenuous ways.

Well, that meant that the Liberal Democrats did squeeze Labour, but it also pushed up the Conservative vote by 4564, increasing Nicholas Soames majority and getting him over 50% of the vote.

I also note Serena Tierney's behaviour at the count. Her team had been working hard throughout the election and worked hard at the count.

Serena turned up half an hour before her result was announced, and left immediately afterwards leaving the Liberal Democrat activists to watch over the by election count on their own.

Contrast that with Nicholas Soames who arrived about the same time I did, around 11 PM during verification, and left when I did at 7 AM after the last result was announced.

Where is the evidence that "the people" want electoral reform?

I have heard many people claiming that the electorate want electoral reform.

Where is the evidence?

69% of people voted for parties that have been traditionally hostile to changing the voting system.

If there were a referendum, it would be lost.

So where is the evidence that the UK wants PR?

Friday, May 07, 2010

Gordon Brown squatting in No 10 Downing Street

Some people seem to be whinging about Gordon Brown squatting in No 10 Downing Street.

Whilst it is clear that he has lost the election, it is not clear how a winning coalition could be formed either.

What is clear is that it is unclear how a government will form.

In the meantime our constitution provides that the Primeminister remains until replaced.

Seems fair to me.

Someone has to run the country after all. Anyone got any better ideas?

West Sussex County, East Grinstead South and Ashurst Wood, Conservative hold

John O'Brian, Conservative 2878

Catrin Ingham Liberal Democrat, 2771
Robert Wall Ind. 328

Mid Sussex District, Hurstpierpoint and Downs, Conservative hold

Anna DeFilippa Conservative 2362
Rodney Jackson Liberal Democrat 1848
spoilt 48.

Mid Sussex Dirtict, Haywards Heath Heath Liberal Democrat Gain

Ruth DeMere, Conservative 1310.
Sue Ing, Liberal Democrat 1350
Alan Yates, Labour 221
Spoilt 23.

Well,you can't win them All.

Mid Sussex district High Weald result

Conservative hold,

Simon McMenemy 1670
Anne Marrie Lucratf 922
Paul Brom (Green) 922

Mid Sussex District, Cuckfield,Anstye and Staplefield result

Conservative Hold,
Robert Salisbury 1597
Stephen Blanch 1362.

Mid Sussex result, Con hold with an increased majority

Nicholas Soames has increased his majority getting 28,329.

Serena Tiereney got 20,927 squeazing Labour

Thursday, May 06, 2010

The Mid Sussex view

Well, there can't be much surprise that Nicholas Soames will win. Serena Tierney has thrown the kitchen sink at the campaign, but the nasty Liberal Democrat campaign has not gained traction.

The reception on the doorstep has been both good and warm.

I also think we will have done well holding our by elections.

That said, if I am wrong then I will have to eat humble pie.

Exit poll predictions

The exit polls predict:

Conservatives 307
Labour 255
Liberal Democrats 59
Others 29

Now this is based on UNS and does not include postal votes so I am not sure if it will be as accurate as 2005.

Exit polls are pointless!

with the number of postal votes out there, I can't see the point of it. Afte all sampling them is difficult.

BBC article on blogging

The BBC have published an article on political blogs here.

It covers my views and the views of 4 other bloggers on the election. They are:

There is even a picture of me on it!

The longest day!

Spare a thought for all party activists. Polling day involves a lot of hard work before and after polls close.

Also spare a thought for the people running the boots and counting.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Liberal Democrat housing policy does not add up.

On the one hand the Liberal Democrats want to set a target to build 1,500,000 new homes, and on the other hand they want to add VAT to new homes.

How is increasing the cost of new homes by £15,000 going to help when money is already tight?

Liberal Democrat Godfrey Newton- a strong voice for Worthing West!

Liberal Democrat Godfrey Newton- a strong voice for Worthing West, the only problem is that he is the Liberal Democrat candidate for Horsham, where one suspects they might like their MP to represent them!

Gordon Brown warned on banking collapse in 1997

Gordon Brown was warned that the changes to the banking system he was bringing in, in particular removing the role of bank regulator from the Bank of England and putting it into the hands of the FSA would lead to a systemic banking failure.

When discussing the bill that passed the changes to the banking system the Conservative Shadow Chancellor, Peter Lilley said:
With the removal of banking control to the Financial Services Authority--the "super-SIB"--it is difficult to see how and whether the Bank remains, as it surely must, responsible for ensuring the liquidity of the banking system and preventing systemic collapse.
And further:
We have no objection to the objective of trying to bring greater simplicity and one-stop shopping to the business of financial regulation, but we fear that the Government may, almost casually, have bitten off more than they can chew. The process of setting up the FSA may cause regulators to take their eye off the ball, while spivs and crooks have a field day. We shall observe closely what is going on in the development of the proposed legislation.
You can read the whole section of the debate here (several pages), the quotes were drawn from here.

Now that Gordon Brown has admitted some liability for the banking collapse it is interesting to see Labour spinners, and indeed Gordon Brown lying about how the banks were run before his disastrous changes. They allege that the banks were self regulated before Labour came into power. This is, of course wrong. Barclay's did not regulate Barclay's, nor did Lloyd's regulate Lloyd's, the Bank of England supervised them all, keeping a close eye on balance sheets and risk which as we know is a movable feast. Previously they had taken failing banks over and had them restructured in a weekend.

You can read more articles on the Bank of England here.

I would seriously recommend reading the whole debate. Robert Chote gets quoted quite a lot!

Friday, April 30, 2010

BBC biased on immigration

I have just watched the BBC 10 o'clock news, and it discussed immigration, and specifically how much was immigration from the EU and how much was from outside of the EU.

They then picked 2008, when the economy was beginning to suffer and based there report on that.

That was disingenuous in the extreme. The fact is that between 1997 and 2007 three quarters of of net inward migration has been from outside of the EU, not, as the BBC said from inside. The BBC simply cherry picked the year.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Gordon Brown calls Labour voter a bigot!

Gordon Brown called Labour voter Gillian Duffy a bigot after a very smiley type of conversation, because one of the subjects she raised was immigration.

What gets me about this is that he did not disagree with her on camera but insulted her behind her back.

You can see the original video here, her response here, and Gordon's apology here, though what I suspect he is apologising for is not calling her a bigot but being caught.

A lot of people are worried about immigration, and whilst Labour talk tough on immigration they clearly think people who are concerned about it are bigots. It is not bigoted to be concerned about immigration.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

IFS spending cuts worst since the 1970's shocker!

The main news, and rightly so, is that the well respected Institute of Fiscal Studies has produced a report that says that all the main parties are not telling the truth about spending cuts. The BBC has this.

At best we have the worst spending cuts since the 1970's (worse than Thatcher) and at worst, since the Second World War (It is not clear how much worse the latter is than the former however).

In defence of the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, the IFS does point out that they have no numbers to work from in terms of detail because there has been no spending review. Labour have said that this is because public finances are uncertain. True. However as the IFS point out, that will continue.

What is the biggest lesson of this?

Well there are two.

One is that we need more honesty in political debate, without the "they want to murder babies" sort of debate that we get especially with Ed Balls talking.

The "They want to murder your babies" style of debate really hinders honesty, and is currently best exemplified by the cancer scare Labour party political broadcast ripped apart here. In essence it is a very narrow pointless scare story over a stupid target which achieves nothing.

The other thing it really does say is that the increases in public spending by Labour over the last 13 years have been unsustainable and irresponsible.

Labour started in government with doctors who were well paid by OECD standards, and finish it with doctors being the best paid in the OECD. I never thought doctors were on the poverty line.

Lastly though, there is thankfully for you, the main three political parties and I, a "hole" in the IFS's figures, and that is the dividend payments from our shares in Lloyds TSB and indeed RBS as well as the potential profits from the sale of those shares. That could be worth a few billion a year. After all Lloyds TSB expects a profit this year.

Monday, April 26, 2010

More on Peter Harvey, the science teacher who snapped.

At the time of the incident where Peter Harvey attacked **** ********** I wrote this.

Well, his trial has started, for Attempted murder. The BBC has this.

Firstly I am surprised he is not claiming diminished responsibility. He is merely pleading guilty to GBH.

From the trial it really does appear as if his class was a living hell for him. Given that he had been off sick because he feared he might hurt someone, you do really have to ask what support he was given. Many of these points I made in the original article.

One thing this does draw in to sharp relief though is school discipline. Clearly this needs fixing.

I feel very sorry for all those involved.

Update 14th of May 2010 to reflect a section 39 order I have been made aware off.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Liberal Democrat councillor defects to Conservatives

Prominent Mid Sussex Liberal Democrat district, West Sussex County and East Grinstead town councillor. you can read the full details here.

In a statement she said:
I have become increasingly disillusioned with the Liberal Democrats who have little positive to offer people in East Grinstead and locally are running a campaign full of negativity and personal abuse.
Interestingly many Liberal Democrat activists get fed up with their relentlessly nasty campaigning and leave. You can read about another former Liberal Democrat here, who went left for the same reason and then got smeared when he stood as a Green candidate.

There have been many defections of activists from the Liberal Democrats to the Conservatives in Mid Sussex since Serena Tierney arrived a few months before the 2005 general election. I expect many more.

So the next time you hear Liberal Democrats claiming to be nice, you will know they are not. They are by far and away the worst of the 3 main parties.

Anything you say will be taken down...

Misconstrued, misunderstood, distorted and twisted beyond credibility.. and then used against you.

In this case I am talking about what David Cameron said in the Paxman interview for Panorama today, what Michael Crick said about it, and indeed what the press in the North East and Northern Ireland have said about it.

What David Cameron actually said was that the public sector was too large a part of the economies of several parts of the UK (In Northern Ireland the public sector accounts for 68% of GDP and in the North East 63%) and so the solution is to increase the size of the private sector. Obvious really.

However this has been turned on its head into swinging cuts in both areas. This is not what he said, meant or intended. It is a clear distortion.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Serena Tierney slammed in national press shocker!

Something most people don't realise about the Liberal Democrats is that they are the truly nasty party. Their campaign tactics are very unpleasant. Well, Serena Tierney's tactics have made it into the Daily Mail (Yes I know, not a paragon of any kind of virtue, but then what news paper actually is?)

The story leads with one of her local campaign tactics, which is to accuse Conservative councillors of deserting a sinking ship, because there is going to be 4 local by elections.

Well, one died, (Brenda Binge), one's husband's Parkinson’s disease has taken a turn for the worse so she has less time available to be a councillor, one has moved away and the other is about to.

Perhaps Serena thinks they should stay in post pocketing their allowances for doing little. Perhaps it is what Liberal Democrat councillors would do. Here in Mid Sussex, the Conservatives on the other hand do not.

Of course other Liberal Democrat nastiness is also covered in the article, and none of it surprises me.

If you have a story about Lib Dem campaign tactics, leave them in the comments or email them in.

Saint Vince Cable is skewered on his record

Much is made of the sage powers of Vince Cable. However as the Liberal Democrats are up in the polls, there record, or rather what they have said over the last few years have come under scrutiny.

Here is the result:

You decide.

Hat tip to Guido Fawkes, via Iain Dale.

Monday, April 19, 2010

The dangers of a hung parliament.

There is much discussion of what the dangers or benefits of a hung parliament would be. Apparently many people would like a hung parliament.

Well, today the DUP issued their manifesto, relishing the prospect of a hung parliament. The SNP and Plaid Cymru (The part of Wales) also relish this, as their small number of seats will give them much influence in Westminster.

This is, in the United States of America, called Pork barrel politics, and results in those with disproportionate influence getting disproportionate funding for their area. In fact both the SNP and Plaid Cymru are insisting that there need be no public service cuts.

The bottom line is this. We have had a Labour government, therefore we have not only run out of money, but run up obscene debts, and not only that, but will continue to run up these debts for years to come. Times are going to be tough, and frankly a hung parliament means that while most pay for Labour's mistakes, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland will get of Scot free.

Personally I think we are all in this together, we will all need to tighten our belts, and no one should be hit so much harder because some hold disproportionate influence.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Ask not what your country can do for you

- ask what you can do for your country.

So said John F Kennedy in his inaugural speech on Friday the 20th of January 1961.

Fundamentally that is what the Conservative manifesto is about.

What you can do, and how you can get involved in running your country.

A Future fair for all?

Labour's manifesto is entitled "A Future fair for all".

Apart from the fact that is a vacuous motherhood and apple pie sort of statement*, you do have to ask what is meant by "fair".

Is it fair for example, that a family where no one works that has 5 children can get as much on state benefits as one where only one adult works full time on average pay**?

Is it fair that the education of a whole class can be put in jeopardy by one or two disruptive pupils whom the teachers can't deal with?

Is it fair that after 114 years of universal primary education, so many people leave school with out the ability to read, write or do arithmetic?

Is it fair that someone who works 100 hours a week only may only earn 4 times the before tax equivalent of someone who has never had a job?

Is it fair that you can pay a professional*** good money to do vital work for you, only to find out that they may be working 100 hours a week, and frankly are no good to anybody after 70 hours a week?

So what does fair mean exactly?

*Who wants an unfair future after all?

**That is mean average, not modal average.

***That means lawyers, accountants, tax advisers and of course doctors. Who would want to be operated on by a surgeon who had not had enough sleep?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Where did they get the data?

Iain Dale and Dizzy cover an article in the Sunday Times about Labour's very very dirty tricks in the campaign as far as cancer is concerned.

Basically they have sent out personalised cards 250,000 people who have had cancer treatment. (At least one of whom had died). These cards were very specifically addressed it seems.

Apart from the fact that they misrepresent the Conservative policy on cancer and its effects, preying on the very ill and vulnerable is a very low tactic.

From the Sunday Times article Labour deny using confidential information:

"Labour sources deny that the party has used any confidential information. However, the sources admit that, in line with other political parties, it uses socio-demographic research that is commercially and publicly available."

The question has to be how did they get the data that Mr Bob Smith has had some cancer treatment, and not his next door neighbour or his brother down the street?

Many months ago now I had an accident. I tripped up over something in the kitchen and seriously banged my knee. A few days later I had a checkup with my GP so mentioned it to him. He looked at it and said it was nothing to worry about. Shortly afterwards I received a marketing text from a claims handling agency saying that I could claim (from me presumably, so I did not take up the offer).

This all begs the question, is our confidential medical information being sold to the highest bidder and is therefore commercially available because this Labour government sold it, or are Labour just misusing special access to it? Either way it is wrong.

Could you imagine what would have happened if someone had had a cancer scare and decided not to mention it to their family? Their confidential medical information is then posted through the door on a postcard every one from the postman to partner picking up the card.

I do hope the Main stream media press on this issue. What goes on between a patient and doctor is supposed to be confidential, not sold to the highest bidder or used for political purposes.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Is Brown going to call an election tomorrow?

There is so much in the press and indeed on the airwaves about Gordon Brown calling an election for May the 6th, which means going to the Palace to see the Queen.

The thinking is as there are elections on May the 6th, Gordon must go then as to have two elections in consecutive months would be expensive and would annoy the electorate.

Whilst all that is true, and there is an encouraging poll from ICM*, Gordon still will not do it, as he does not possess the required courage. There will be a reason to dither, and he will take it.

The actual election is in June**, the last possible date being the 3rd apparently though I always thought it would be the 10th.

*According to there is an ICM poll in tomorrows Guardian putting the Conservatives on 37% and Labour on 33%. This could even give Labour more seats. The only down side to this poll from Labour's point of view is that it was conducted over a Bank holiday weekend, (worse still a double!) so you may as well ignore it. There is another poll with the Conservatives 10% ahead, though for the same reasons that is dubious.

**I am preparing to eat my hat in the morning. If you disagree, prepare to eat yours :)

Update 23:00 BST.

Well it has been announced that Gordon will go to the Palace in the morning and the election will be on May the 6th.

I don't actually own a hat.. so I will make one out of rice paper :)

Monday, February 22, 2010

On Education

I watched the second in the dispatches series on children and maths. I was pleased to see much progress in the school, with many of the children improving considerably.

I do hope the head teacher, whom I regard as brave takes note that there not only is nothing wrong with his pupils, but there never was, only an issue with the teaching provided. When it improved so did the children's maths.

It seems to me that primary education is overlooked, yet by the end of primary school many of our children's futures are set. If we were to make the right investments in primary education however, secondary education would be much easier, the children would get more out of it and in fact, we could spend less on it if that was desirable.

Do not get the idea though that I am advocating spending more cash. I am not. Far from it. One thing that this Labour government have tested to destruction and proved to be entirely false is the idea that if you throw cash at it, it will improve. They have also tested to destruction, and proved sadly wrong, the idea that some gibbering idiot in Whitehall can teach a child 50 miles away by bothering their teachers with endless bits of instruction.

We need to find a better way. It starts with teaching the teachers, and frankly some of them need it.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Education! Education! Education! What chance have our children got?

What chance have our children got when the primary school teachers can't do maths?

I have just watched Dispatches on Channel 4, Kids Don't Count (Part 1 of 2), and did the test that they set 155 teachers here. Apparently only 1 out of 155 got what I would regard as the minimum mark required, 12 out of 12. Something like half got 50% or less.

Do we seriously expect children to get anywhere when the teachers can't do the maths?

Lets be clear here, a primary school teacher does not need to be maths geniuses, but they do need to be able to do the sort of questions their students are expected to do in their sleep. (The test above is aimed at primary school leavers).

The head teacher who allowed dispatches in was very brave, if useless at maths. Clearly we have a problem, and we need to test teachers on the basics and where they fail, they will need remedial training. If they still fail, they need replacing.

Ed Balls and Michael Gove were asked to take the test. Both declined. Pathetic. I took the test and got the 12 out of 12. That means I can do primary school maths. One would hope primary schools teachers could, and also that those who seek to run education could as well.