Monday, November 11, 2013

Blairite Chutzpah

In the Independent John Rentoul attacks John Major's record on social mobility in comparison to St Tony. There is much in the article that strikes me as nonsense but this is particularly disingenuous:
But what did Major do to work to change the system while he was Prime Minister? He sneered at Tony Blair as “another public school-educated Socialist” in his 1995 Tory conference speech. That would be the Tony Blair who sent all his children to state schools, the first prime minister to do so. The Tony Blair who raised standards in state schools especially in London, under Major an under-invested disaster area for the education of working-class children. The Tony Blair who introduced academy schools to replace schools that had failed their disadvantaged pupils.
The state schools that Blair sent his children to were hardly "bog standard comprehensives", but the what is really incredible is praising academy schools.

Academy schools are a great idea but when Labour introduced they weren't exactly an entirely new idea. They are almost identical to the Grant Maintained Schools introduced by the Conservatives which flourished under John Major and were then abolished by Tony Blair. To compare Blair to Major favourably by pointing to Academies is simply ludicrous.


Mark Wadsworth said...


With the benefit of hindsight, Major was the best PM in living memory, I quite liked him and his gang of four at the time, and the older I get the more fondly I look back.

Ross said...

He was much better than he was given credit for. He was also the most likeable PM in many decades.

James Higham said...

Rentoul is an utter fool - I heard him speak at the Tory Conference - yep, no error - what a waste of space.

Ross said...

I wonder what he was doing there.