25 June 2020
Diary of a Corbynista
Eat, Drink and be Merry
by Don Urquhart
According to the Guardian here’s Gavin Williamson’s answer to the schools problem:
Government to fund private tutors for English schools
Why are children educationally disadvantaged? Mostly it is because they have problems at home. They might be hungry. They might be living with unsympathetic people. They might not have anywhere they can go to quietly study and, particularly in the Covid crisis they might lack the laptop and internet connection they need to learn remotely. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the willingness of teachers to give time to them. It has everything to do with poverty of the body and the spirit. If parents cannot provide an adequate environment the children must be removed at least for a time to a place where they can receive the attention they need. I think residential schools will be the answer in some cases.
What is not the answer is to spend a fortune on entrepreneurs offering to do some tutoring. This is just more privatisation of education by the back door.
At the Downing Street Press Briefing Baroness Harding was pressed hard by journalists about the poor performance of Test and Trace. She tried the robust defence approach – world-beating scale etc. But when that clearly wasn’t working she told us the answer was to wash our hands, wear masks and safely distance. As long as you talk about something you are still in the game I guess.
The Labour Party is still away with the fairies.
Labour Together has published Election Review 2019 which has been acclaimed as the way forward by the PLP members and media who smeared the former party leader and conspired to unseat him.
If they think this draws a line under their betrayals of ordinary party members they have another think coming.
While we are 4 years away from an election, the media will pile into the government without fearing a change of administration which might impair the income streams of the rich. So Piers Morgan is suddenly the voice of the people. What a travesty of our democracy that is! The only encouragement to socialists like me is that Mr Johnson can be shamed into recognising the brutality of his policies and does not wish to be a hate figure. So going forward we must adopt the Marcus Rashford gambit to force the government to be nicer.
The Prime Minister will tell us tomorrow that 1 metre is a safe distance from someone coughing and spluttering Covid-19 droplets. I have not yet heard a scientist of any flavour agreeing with him, but plenty of business lobbyists and the MPs they sponsor will give a hearty cheer.
The Conservative Party, The Mail, The Sun, The Telegraph, The Express have fostered white English nationalism as a means of achieving Brexit, and political power.
Yesterday before the football match between Manchester City and Burnley an aeroplane streamed the banner “White Lives Matter Burnley”.
In my childhood one of the great certainties was Saturday morning pictures. Flash Gordon wore an ill-fitting suit, Hopalong Cassidy and Tom Mix saw off the baddies, and we enjoyed a bevy of comedians, among whom the pre-eminent performers were Larry, Curly and Moe, a good hearted trio whose half-baked plans were forever doomed to hilarious disaster.
So it was a nostalgic evening for me watching the last of the Downing Street Press Briefings hosted by those latter day Three Stooges: Boris, Patrick and Chris. Like their predecessors you weren’t meant to take them seriously. There were some infant class pictures of knives and forks and beer glasses which apparently proved it was time for the nation to come out of hibernation and reassuringly there was the same old nonsensical patter we had grown to love over the last three months.
Tough act to follow!