As if to emphasise that the assault on Labour education proposals has been, apart from the hot air generated, little short of a failure, the loathsome Toby Young has returned to the fray in his latest role as co-opted member of Michael “Oiky” Gove’s retinue of polecats, determined to raise the level of the debate to somewhere higher than the nearest gutter, but with little realistic prospect of success.
Possible explanation for lack of homework
Tobes’ first thrust, lame though it be, is aimed at Labour’s dislike of letting teachers without qualifications loose in schools, although in Polecat world, qualifications to teach are dismissed as mere “union-approved ‘certificates’”, as opposed to “preferred by every parent with a hole in their backside who has taken the trouble to research the subject and come to their own conclusions”.
How, though, to embarrass Mil The Younger and his party? Tobes has the ideal riposte: he ropes in Mil The Elder! “Does Labour's opposition to non-qualified teachers apply to David Miliband?” he asks, apparently unaware that the subject of his question is no longer an MP, and, having piled off to the USA, no longer an active member of the Labour Party.
And, in any case, what is his relevance to the debate? Ah well. David Miliband had returned to Haverstock Comprehensive School and taught a class once a fortnight. And he was not a qualified teacher! Wow! Tobes and his fellow polecats must have been positively post-orgasmic after that discovery! But there is something missing here: we don’t know who else may have been present.
Leading the lesson on one’s own, and with a qualified teacher present, are not the same thing, and to most people that will be blindingly obvious. So which was Mil The Elder doing? Well, Tobes doesn’t tell his readers that, because he couldn’t be arsed doing his homework on the subject. Moreover, that headline demonstrates that, if anyone is leading, it is him, and in a particularly cowardly manner.
This is not an isolated example: on the same day, Tobes came out with another leading question as headline, with “Is Labour's new education policy designed to woo Lib Dem voters?” which means readers are intended to think that this is the case, rather than the post’s author hiding behind a form of words because he can’t bother himself with those pesky basics of journalism.
What he may have discovered is that there are people out there who, despite the welter of abuse hurled at Stephen Twigg the other day, think that what he is proposing is preferable to what “Oiky” wants to do. But to admit that Gove might not be right about absolutely everything cannot be allowed, and so Tobes cowers behind his leading headlines, hoping that readers will take him on trust.
Not for nothing has he been christened “Captain Bellend” by one irritated parent.