Cancelling Schools for the Tory Future
Read this list and weep: http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/interactive/2010/jul/05/building-schools-for-the-future-michael-gove
Every name with the word "stopped" next to it is the snuffing out of a brighter future for kids from an entire community. It's children condemned to learning in, and teachers to teaching in, an environment that's not fit for purpose. It's the difference between having a local school where the buildings and facilities are a source of pride to one where they are a source of embarrassment. And it's the economic madness of a country emerging in a fragile state from a recession and throwing construction workers on the dole when they could be building new schools we need, earning good money, paying taxes, and sustaining the jobs of other people they buy goods and services from.
I feared that a Cameron-led government, particularly one propped up by the Lib Dems, would be an impossible opponent for Labour - a mushy force on the middle-ground, crowding us out with crowd-pleasing centrist policies and smothering debate in the warm duvet of "compassionate conservatism", hoodie-hugging and proclamations of bring the "heir to Blair".
Now I just fear for the benighted people of this country. What crime did we commit to deserve to
have our society and communities trashed twice in 30 years by the governmental equivalent of the Vandals and Visigoths?
I fear that this Coalition of economic wolves backed by 22 of the meekest, stupidest and most easily placated by high office political sheep will create such anger and disgust that meaningful debate with it won't be possible.
I want to scream at them. I want to cry. I want to shake them and ask what pathetic lack of imagination it is that leads them to think this is what 21st century Britain needs or deserves.
No doubt they'll say we can't afford new schools. I don't quite get the maths of that when we're the 22nd richest country in the world by GDP per capita. I don't imagine we'll be seeing the schools that the PM or the Deputy PM or the Chancellor attended stopping any building projects or putting up with teaching in portakabins.
I'm not sure we can afford not to have our construction workers working, and instead to be paying them benefit.
I'm not sure we can afford to try to compete in a globalised knowledge-based economy on the basis of a half-complete school building programme and billions in cuts to our education budget.
I'm waiting for someone to pinch me and say this is all a really, really bad dream. But I know I'm going to wake up and the lunatics will still be running the asylum for at least another four years and ten months. Lord knows what damage they will do in that much time given the destruction they have caused in just two months.
I hate it. I hate living in a country led by people whose political and economic views are so extreme, irrational and reactionary. I wish they'd just all get on a boat and go and establish some free market experimental laboratory on an island in mid-Atlantic, and leave the UK to the rest of us who want to live in a normal West European social democracy that does normal things like fund normal public services, keep people in normal jobs rather than on the dole, guarantee the weakest in society a normal civilised existence, build schools not cancel them. It's not too much of a dream is it?