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Twice times, or a (modern) tale of two bears

by Paul Goodman

Screen shot 2011-06-15 at 09.45.52 When the Government was formed, Michael Gove was made Education Secretary, and Andrew Lansley Health Secretary.  Lansley's health plans were approved by Oliver Letwin.  Gove was shredded by Ed Balls over the Building Schools for the Future Programme.

"There were Two Little Bears who lived in a Wood,
And one of them was Bad and the other was Good."

Lansley's NHS White Paper was signed off by David Cameron and Nick Clegg.  Gove ran into further trouble over school sport with Balls's successor, Andy Burnham.  His wife wrote an article in the Times about his underpants

"Good Bear learnt his Twice Times Two -
But Bad Bear's thingummies were worn right through."

Lansley's health bill sailed through the Commons with only one Liberal Democrat abstention.  Gove's free schools scheme met an uncertain start. 

"Good Bear learnt his Twice Times Three -
But Bad Bear never had his hand-ker-chee."

All seemed clear.  But -

"...then quite suddenly (just like Us)
One got Better and the other got Wuss."

Lansley's plans ran into trouble with the medical vested interests.  And Gove's academies programme proceeded apace.

"Good Bear muddled his Twice Times Three -
But Bad Bear coughed in his hand-ker-chee!"

The Liberal Democrat spring conference revolted against the health bill.  Gove announced plans to sack bad teachers, and toughen up vocational education.

"Good Bear muddled his Twice Times Two -
But Bad Bear's thingummies looked like new."

The health bill was held over.  A third of all secondary schools are now either academies, or in the process of converting.

"Good Bear muddled his Twice Times One -
But Bad Bear never left his buttons undone."

Yesterday, the Government - David Cameron, Nick Clegg, Andrew Lansley and all - announced the overhaul of Lansley's proposals.  Today, The Guardian splashed on Gove's plans to raise the bar for exam results.

"There may be a Moral, though some say not;
I think there's a moral, though I don't know what.
But if one gets better, as the other gets wuss,
These Two Little Bears are just like Us.
For Christopher remembers up to Twice Times Ten ...
But I keep forgetting where I put my pen.*

* So I have had to write this one in pencil."

(Apologies to A.A.Milne.)


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