New Labour’s failure
Luke Bozier is a Labour member and activist who lives in central London. He worked for the party and is “a big fan” of Tony Blair. But he cannot find a school place for his daughter with which he would be happy. Anyone interested in assessing the New Labour years should read his story.
The Ofsted report on the one school at which his daughter has been offered a place said that “White British and/or high ability students” were sometimes left to “drift at the age” in classes:
It’s not my fault that I’m “White British”, and it’s not my fault that my daughters are. This is the only school place in the city I can get for Sophia, and I cannot afford private school. So I have a choice: send my child to a school where even the government’s own inspectors say she’ll not be properly taught or pushed to excel because of her skin colour, or move to another area outside of London where the schooling is generally better and there are more places …
Shadow Cabinet members never miss an opportunity to cynically oppose for opposition sake the Coalition Government on its efforts to reform welfare and education. But we’ve just ended 13 years in power when we had a chance to completely overhaul the social system. We did a hell of a lot of good in various fields, but we have also left a hell of a mess …
Whenever I hear the shallow, cynical opposition from members of my own party, I just have to be reminded of the situation with Sophia’s school to understand that we haven’t earned our right to be cynical. It makes my blood boil to think that successive Labour education secretaries have led to a situation where a bright, amazing little girl can’t get an education in her own borough. I may be centre-left politically, but if I had the means they would be in private schools in an instant. And I would defend that decision tooth and nail. The state simply cannot provide for my girls, even a state shaped by more than a decade of Labour government.
Of course, this is not simply a failing of the Three Wasted Years, 2007-10; nor does it mean that great things were not achieved in Blair’s time; the problems are deep-seated, difficult and in many respects insoluble. But no doubt Paul Dacre, avid reader of this blog, will now offer Bozier money for a two-page spread in the Daily Mail headed, “It’s not my fault that I’m White British.”
Update: Bozier has blogged about the response to his article. I should perhaps try to be clearer: I agree with him and thought his article excellent, which was why I linked to it. My reference to the Daily Mail was intended only as a prediction and a warning that it would twist his words and use them in its anti-Labour hate machine.
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