UK Minister Michael Gove takes a running jump.
“The more that fluent, intelligent, kind and sensitive people explain that the Emperor’s New Clothes are a thoughtful co-creation blending public and private sector expertise from the textile and non-textile communities and these have been, benchmarked against international norms and sensitive to both body positivity feedback and non-judgemental protocols concerning the tone-policing of issues around personal space, the less likely someone is to say the guy is naked”
Michael Gove. The Ditchley Lecture 27 June 2020
The push for a samurai caste to rule is a perennial. Gove clothes them as numerate bone shakers, iconoclastic, doughty, Cummings with knobs on. Gove is always interesting to watch and listen to. In Boris’s Bash Street Gang he is the only one I could ever warm to. Cocaine he may have stopped but his enjoyment of his brain is always evident.
In his well timed speech he is putting down a marker for those in his party who would shake off the shoddier members of the Brexit constituency. He puts himself in the place of someone born in unfavored circumstances and discovers that the cards are stacked against him. He wants to overturn all that,
“… I am in public service… … because I want to tackle inequality…. …my driving mission in politics is to make opportunity more equal. I want to ensure that whatever their background, every child has the chance to succeed…”
What is the success grid? Logically if it comes out of education then it is a degree and the search for a job to match. But Michael won’t that just reproduce the middle-class wishy-washiness you want to erase? Look at this chap in North London. What do you think his success grid is? Or this community with its own homegrown English. Are you thinking of them? (congregating summer time young is about maximising breeding choice, so there is hope that the multi coloured BLM masses will off-set those mono culture block parties).
Your newfound Labour Redwall voters will look open mouthed at these sophisticated young Londoners and wonder what the f**k the schools think they are doing. As long as state schools are looking over their shoulders at the private sector nothing can be done. Levelling up is a nonsense that leads to exactly the narrow funnel values that Gove decries. Let the rich have their foreigner padded debased Brideshead schools with the twitchy creepy staff and get the public budget onto the streets and give the kids a safe place to run their own show.
Strictly speaking the success of educational policy can be measured by the proportion of young who decide crime is the neater track. The street disturbances this spring and summer and the ambiguity of the response to the Covid restrictions means the doctrine of policing by consent — always an ideal rather than a practice — has become fatigued and frayed. The Army who built the Nightingale may have to come back out again in support of the boys in blue.
Joseph Conrad says somewhere something like crime is the organising principal of society. According to an article by Lizzie Dearden in the Independent The National Criminal Agency (whatever bureaucratic buffoonery that is),
“estimates that at least 181,000 offenders are linked to serious and organised crime in the UK, more than twice the strength of the regular British Army… …the staggering scale of criminality was underestimated, despite killing more people than terrorism, war and natural disasters combined and costing the UK £37bn a year”
The relationship between the criminal and the above ground economy is a primary challenge for Gove’s imagined numerate public servants. Modelling cash flows between the two and then factoring in social security would make illuminating reading, but only for the bold. The suction force of the black economy to keep low achievers (in old-fashioned school terms) glued to the ground floor is enormous.
Any hint that inventing a jobless lifestyle is legitimate would be electorally disastrous yet it seems logical that for a goodly number that is where we are heading and that the cultural capital accumulated by those right at the bottom may soon need to be perfused more widely as Jobworld crumbles. Over to you Michael! (and Dominic).