Letters: Malcolm Cox, March 15, 2016

David Cameron
David Cameron
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Oh dear, the anguished cries of Conservatives, or probably UKIP fury (Tuesday, March 1).

Although Mr Warden does not say quite who he would like to replace Mr Cameron, unlike Alan and Lesley Mudge who seem rather keen on Mr Gove and Boris Johnson seems a favourite. Both missives compare our Prime Minister with Neville Chamberlain and his ‘piece of paper’ on returning from Munich all those years ago. Only last May David Cameron won his general election with the support of good folk like the Mudges. For years people like me have been claiming just what an unprincipled, shallow fellow Mr Cameron is, now we read of his ‘arrogant and autocratic’ attitude whose attack on Mr Johnson is ‘aggressive and bitter’.

As far as Mr Gove is concerned, where does one start? Presumably the Mudges are unaware of regular moans from headteachers, especially in our region, who complain of their inability to deliver the curriculum due to staff vacancies. Presumably they are likewise ignorant of his legacy at Ofsted where Sir Michael Wilshaw complained angrily about ‘plots and smear campaigns’ from Mr Gove’s department.

I wonder in what capacity The Mudges arrive at their glowing approval of Mr Gove. After almost four decades at the sharp end of education I can at least speak from experience as one who has followed Mr Gove’s career with a professional interest. I also recall the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee being ‘alarmed by reports of worrying expenditure by some schools, high salaries being paid to senior staff in academies or excessive payments for governors’. And I recall the chuckles in staff rooms when schools received their autographed Bibles which apparently cost the taxpayer one third of a million pounds. Gove’s record at education is as disastrous as that of Hunt’s within the NHS.

The Mudges’ attack then veers into a baffling broadside against a former New Zealand premier who, because she offers a left-wing perspective, inevitably becomes ‘Red’ Helen. Helen Clark was elected no less than three times. No mean feat. The campaign has only just begun, just imagine, three months of the Bullingdon Boys biting lumps out of each other, a delicious prospect. Concluding by returning to Michael Warden whose literary style seems to have become much more entertaining lately. It is not the ‘parcels of gold’ that worries me so much as the ‘wee timorous beasties’ and their allied rodents and perhaps a ‘sinking ship’.

Malcolm Cox, Terrington St Clement