Sunday, 23 March 2008

What a NUT!

Some readers may recall the name of Baljeet Ghale, the former president of the National Union of Teachers, who last year complained that the government's plans to teach a watered-down set of platitudes, under the general (and generally misleading) designation of "Britishness", were "racist". Well, Ms Ghale has now been replaced as NUT president by one Bill Greenshields, whose old school far-leftism makes Ghale's liberal-left talking points seem positively sane, rational, and benign:

The new head of Britain’s biggest teaching union has called for the private education system to be nationalised.

Bill Greenshields, incoming president of the National Union of Teachers (NUT), said such a move would improve state education and make it fairer.

"Fairer" = everyone receives an equally bad education.

The NUT, the most left-wing of the teaching unions...
Which really is saying something!
...has long been hostile to independent education and to Labour’s programme of setting up academies with private-sector sponsors to replace failing schools.

But Greenshields’s comments to the union’s annual conference in Manchester yesterday went one step further.

“Let’s consider our own direction of travel – from private to public, towards bringing all schools into the state sector,” he said. “Then we would soon see some urgent improvements in our state system.”
No, you wouldn't. The existence of private schools does not harm standards in the state sector. Rather, as I wrote when the writer Alan Bennett made similar remarks back in January, it is banning private schools which really would harm the education of millions of children. After all, since chippy little leftists like Greenshields and Bennett are correct in believing that most private schools offer a better education than most state schools, the inevitable consequence of 615,000 pupils being forced to leave their private school, and go instead to the local comp, would be that the majority of those 615,000 children would experience a lower standard of education than they are getting at the moment.
Of course, for crypto-communists like Greenshields, the quality of the education received by the children of the bourgeois capitalist oppressors is probably not a matter of any great concern. But transferring an extra 615,000 children into the state sector would also cause huge disruption to the many thousands of state schools which would find these extra pupils thrust upon them, which would hardly be to the advantage of any of the existing pupils (or, indeed, their teachers).

But what creatures like Greenshields really want is not an increase in standards. Instead, they simply want to assuage their own feelings of envious resentment, by dragging everyone else down into the gutter with them. And they attempt to conceal their resentment and bitterness, by slapping the label "fairness" upon it all, as if that makes harming the education of millions of children - not to mention restricting the right of parents to educate their children in whatever manner they see fit - perfectly alright.

I doubt that any government would be mad enough to actually do what Greenshields proposes. For a start, too many hypocritical champagne socialists (Diane Abbott, anyone?) have their own offspring privately educated. But what is worrying is that a huge number of teachers must surely share Greenshields's deranged views. After all, it was they who voted him into his position, not to mention Baljeet Ghale before him. Which surely begs the question, would you want these far-left NUTters teaching your kids?

Hat-tip: David Vance


Alex said...

The NUT gathers every year at Easter in order to distress the British public with its ridiculous demands. This year, for the nth time, they want to nationalise private education.

Once independent schools have been "integrated" with the state education system, an exterior standard of academic excellence with which the achievements of local comprehensive schools can be compared, will be abolished. The NUTTERS would have us believe that, in calling for the destruction of independent schools, they have the interests of "fairness" or "social justice" at heart, and that a state monopoly of education will enable an upgrade in the quality of teaching and learning at every school. Does anybody outside the Marxist bubble of the NUT believe this?

Greenshield's proposal should be recognised as yet another sack of humbug in which the self-serving and levelling purposes of teachers are represented as steps on the road to a Society of Scholars.

Anonymous said...

Bill is just another in the long line of students that have been unable to grow up who have succeeded to the throne of the NUT. never a sensible word passes their lips. Still, it keeps them busy, and they're not 'teaching' anyone while they're at it.

James G. said...

Reminds me of the thing that Steyn typically asks...when you mix dog poo and chocolate ice cream, what does the resulting mix taste like?