This is an imaginery piece written in the spirit of good fun and not malicious to anyone – perish the thought!
Address by the Secretary of State for Education.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I have been criticised for cancelling Labour’s school building programme. Quickly, so as not to spoil the occasion, I will go through my mantra – Labour’s recklessness, large public deficit, no money, a programme out of control etc etc. Now let us address the real problem. Dave and I want to create new Free Schools and this will cost us. Dave’s vision is lots of little Eton’s all over the country, my own, reflecting my childhood experiences, is somewhat different; but we agree on the essence of the matter, the desirability of creating lots of bureaucrat-free new schools in modern buildings with small classes, where children learn in classrooms full of desks occupied by smiling well-fed children from good backgrounds. These schools will have the the very best of teachers (no third class degrees to be seen anywhere) and will teach conventional subjects in the good old way. These children are entitled to know about the Romans, Edward the Confessor, good Queen Bess , and the British Empire – and in that order (applause).
Where do we get the money from to build these aspirational, non-bureaucratically run schools? Look money doesn’t grow on trees: we have to spend new money and save some old money. The answer is to cancel school building projects for local authority run schools and give some of it to these better new Free schools. (applause). What could be more reasonable? We shall substitute these good new schools for those not so good old schools. Taken as a whole exam results would improve, children would behave better, and some teachers – the very best – would get higher pay. Is this not what Conservatism is about: some people, the nicest in society will do better and others, perhaps not so deserving, would do less well. We are in politics for this purpose, to encourage competition and to reward hard work. (applause) And we reject socialism with its tired old belief that everyone should be treated equally with bureaucratic controls to ensure that they were. (more applause) If the result of this policy is to encourage people to quit sink Council estates and seek jobs and school places in towns that would welcome them in the North, perhaps in Scotland or Northern Ireland as well, wouldn’t that be good too? (applause). Get them off welfare and into work! (more applause).
Friends, I have a dream. In this dream I am on a train to a leafy place in the Midlands. It is a foggy day. I walk through a misty haze of side roads and there ahead of me shining bright is a new school built in the traditonal way but pristine and proud with the smiling faces of children moving urgently to the school There is a Doric Arch and above it the words engraved in gold letters, ‘The Sandygrove Institute, one more Michael Gove Initiative’. I am human you see. If Tesco can get away with it , why not me? (laughter) All men should dream a little. Thank you for listening. (prolonged applause).