Another long liquid lunch appears to have taken its toll on Michael “Oiky” Gove’s head polecats Dominic Cummings and Henry de Zoete, the less than august presence behind the @toryeducation Twitter feed, as they let slip the ultimate objective of the Gove revolution yesterday. Educators and parents may find some of the potential scenes distressing.
Yes, "Oiky", your polecats
And if the goals are achieved, it will make the upheavals caused by the appearance of all those Very Wonderful Free Schools in areas that don’t need them seem like calm and gradual change. Because what the Tories’ policy is working towards is to let the market assume full control, and to strip away any ability to hold power to account. Anyone thinking I jest need only read on.
The revelation came after a number of contradictory and obfuscatory moves from Dom and Hen, kicking off with their response to Alan Mills, who had rightly observed that the Twitter account was “Trivial, rude and unbelievably childish. How is it that education is led by these people?” to which the response was “It isn’t ... we’re nothing to do with [Gove]”.
That this was another pack of lunchtime-fuelled lies was then revealed in a frankly sinister response to Ruth Serwotka, who had prodded the less than dynamic duo on the saga of Kings Science Academy in Bradford: “Keep going with Kings all you like. We are thinking about new HR rules, pour encourager les autres”. But they have “nothing to do with Gove”? Oh what a giveaway!
Another Twitter enquiry tried to press @toryeducation further on the identity of its author, obtaining this reply: “Cummings is not a civil servant ... he has nothing to do with this account”. The first part is true: Cummings is a political appointee, but he is still paid out of taxpayer funds. And he may have “nothing to do with this account”, but that does not mean he is not a user of it.
Then came the one that should make folks sit up and take notice: “profits are a sideshow. The DREAM is total voucherisation. DfE just accountants. Ofsted gone. MPs zero control”. Fancy a bit of that, do you? Hundreds of millions of pounds of public money being thrown at whoever wants a bit of the action, and no democratic accountability? Taxation without representation?
There would be no control either, if there were no Ofsted. So some parents might get lucky, but the idea that there might be any equality of opportunity would go out of the window. And control of the purse strings would be down to folks like Cummings and de Zoete, and of course “Oiky” Gove, the bloke who thinks he can have a world in which all schools can be better than average.
Anyone still want to let the DfE carry on this way? Things will only get worse.