There is little subtlety nowadays at the increasingly piss-poor Maily Telegraph in its attacks on those ghastly oiks who oppose its heroes in the Tory Party, and today has brought an excellent example of the genre, as “Education Editor” Graeme Paton goes into bat for Michael “Oiky” Gove, telling readers “Gove to 'dock parents' benefits for condoning truancy'”.
Yes, "Oiky", you've disrespected teachers
And what is this about? “Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, is to announce a new crackdown on problem parents who fail to ‘face up to their responsibilities’ by ensuring children attend school on time ... Full details of the reform package will be outlined later this year but the Telegraph has learnt that it will include docking child benefit payments from parents of habitual truants”.
Stop right there. That first headline is loaded: there is one clear suggestion here, and that is to connect benefit recipients with child truancy. Not just child benefit – which is in any case universal – but benefits as in the idea of some being dependent on the state, of being out of work. The Tel is saying, very deliberately, that some mythical body of benefit claimants is responsible for kids not turning up at school.
But what this is also about is jaw-dropping hypocrisy: “We need to ensure that those parents who don’t play their part in ensuring their children attend school, ready to learn and showing respect for their teacher, face up to their responsibilities” Gove will apparently say to Policy Exchange, a so-called think tank which was, to no surprise, set up partly by Himself Personally Now.
“Respect for their teacher?” From the same minister who, in the same address, “will round on the left-wing educational establishment”? The same minister who has spread the same disrespectful smears about education professionals, even before the 2010 General Election? The same minister who has presided over systematic abuse of educators by his retinue of polecats in recent years?
It was Gove and his acolytes who characterised any part of the educational establishment that did not meet with the approval of the right as “The Blob”, an early example being a superbly paranoid rant in the Spectator by Dennis Sewell in early 2010, promising “the political cage fight between the Tories and the educational establishment will be the most thrilling contest of Cameron’s first hundred days”.
Gove’s ardent fan James Chapman at the Daily Mail was still churning out the same drivel earlier this year, telling “Education Secretary remained defiant against left-wing establishment ... Confirmed he refers to them as 'the Blob' - a reference to 1950s horror film”. Michael Gove has single-handedly alienated the teaching profession by having them all denounced as rotten lefties. Now he wants others to “respect” them.
What a stinking, unprincipled hypocrite he is. So no change there, then.