“No short-haired, yellow-bellied, son of tricky dicky is gonna mother hubbard soft soap me with just a pocketful of soap. Money for dope. Money for rope.”
David Laws, you might remember, was the Liberal Democrat credited with forming the economic bits of the coalition agreement that has resulted in the remarkable success of economic recovery. Sadly, Mr Laws was caught embezzling public money and rather than going to prison, was punished with a week off work and two years on the naughty step. Happily, he is back and is now a minister in the Department for Education. The former merchant banker and fraudster is now in a position to lecture teachers who fail to inspire their students. It seems that Laws thinks that teachers are holding back children leaving them with “depressingly low expectations”. One assumes that David Laws, having offered the defence of a desire to conceal his sexual orientation, would prefer teachers to take on the role of Fagin and encourage children to greater expectations by picking a pocket or two. After all, that is what he has done.
The blessed Saint Michael Gove, clearly on a mission from God, continues to assert that Academies and Free Schools will improve the education of our children and demands that teachers should be literate and numerate. That, of course, is a very good idea assuming that you are coming from a mind-set that hates state school teachers. Sadly, the embarrassing statistics show that state schools out-perform Academies and Free Schools in GCSE results and vilifying state school teachers after introducing any old nutter failing a basic CRB check suggests a policy of desperation and, more importantly, complete ignorance.
Iain Duncan Smith served his country as a soldier by heroically eating dinner and drinking wine in the officers` mess and in a variety of consulates and embassies around the world. Upon leaving the army he signed up on the dole. After an unsuccessful attempt as an arms dealer, he again signed up on the dole. With little else to do, Parliament beckoned and, amazingly, he became Leader of the Conservative party. He was utterly useless and was, quite rightly, removed. Happily, he is back and telling us that people with disabilities are scroungers and that the poor are only allowed to have two children. Mr Duncan Smith has four children, a house subsidised by tax payers, a car with a driver and his meals and booze and expenses for whatever he wants paid for by us.
Jeremy Hunt, a man who lied to parliament and suffered shocking amnesia in front of the Leveson Inquiry, once hid behind a tree to avoid photographers when attempting to pick up his pay cheque from News International. Promoted to Health rather than incarceration, he recently visited a hospital in Norwich on an autumnal morning to praise NHS staff. In the afternoon, 600 staff received letters of redundancy. One can only hope for Jeremy`s sake that there are enough dead Ash trees outside Richard Branson`s office to hide behind when he picks up his pay cheque from Virgin Care.
Chair of the Health Select Committee, the Conservative member for Charnwood Stephen Dorrell, has demanded a full, independent inquiry into what NHS trusts knew about child abuse in hospitals and secure units when a television celebrity was doing his worst. Interestingly, Stephen Dorrell was Secretary of State for Health between 1995 and 1997. At about the same time, the then Welsh Secretary may or may not have seen evidence of abuse at residential homes in and around Wrexham involving named individuals with links to the government. That Secretary of State for Wales went on to become party leader but proved to be as utterly useless as Iain Duncan Smith. Happily, he is back and is conducting foreign policy with all the unnecessary charm of a Trident nuclear warhead aimed at a tent full of extremist militants.
The Conservative member for North Thanet, Sir Roger Gale, has suggested that senior management at the BBC are responsible for the celebrity child abuse scandal. He told the Daily Telegraph:
“BBC management, over far too many years, has sought to maintain an imperious distain for criticism and it has become clear that successive directors general have, while happy to criticise others for not answering difficult questions, either turned a blind eye to criminal activities or have not known what has been going on on their own doorstep, which is also culpable. It is as if your favourite and respectable aunt has been revealed to be on the game, and if Lord Patten is not able to grasp that, then I fear that not only the director general but also the chairman of the BBC Trust are going to have to fall on their swords.”
It took the sublime Sandi Toksvig on The News Quiz, ironically a BBC Radio 4 production, to give some background to Roger Gale`s comments. Sir Roger, a former pirate radio DJ, was appointed Director of BBC Children`s Television in 1976 just as the second series of Jim`ll Fix It went to air. The soon to be ex Director General George Entwistle that Gale seeks to blame was 14 years old at the time. That is just about the same age as the victims.
The sound you hear is not just the closing of establishment ranks but the slamming of cupboard doors that the light of truth will almost certainly never penetrate. There is something very, very wrong in all of this and with the stakes being so high we are unlikely to know the full story.
For all his contradictions and flaws, John Lennon summed it up. He recorded this 41 years ago: