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But it is not at all "dominated" by opposition to *new* grammar schools; your coverage of it is.

Choice for all parents
No new comprehensives
Setting within schools
Traditional subjects
Traditional teaching methods
More powers to expel
Faith-based schools supported

There is so much for a traditional Tory (especially one as dismayed as I am by plummeting standards) to rejoice at in our education philosophy but all you want to talk about is no new grammar schools. When was the last time a Conservative PM built new grammar schools?

Under Labour education has reached a crisis point. Grade inflation has devalued exams. We were treated yesterday to Brown saying he wanted to end innumeracy in 11 year olds. Really? What about the last ten years?

Yet all that we can talk about here is selection at entry level rather than within schools!

I seem to remember "school discipline" featuring somewhere in your last manifesto...
glad you're not throwing that one away!

The entertaining/depressing "mind your f-ing language" programme on Monday evening showed the extent of the problem.

Private school phone lines must have been red hot with applicants the following morning!

David's work experience might come in handy when he's ousted as Tory leader. It won't be too long now.

UK Daily Pundit: oh, do grow up.

I know,he's done really badly. Which of the previous leaders held the Tories consistently ahead in the polls and why is his lead 10% when named against Brown?

Fairish comment Tory T although our earlier thread did highlight the other policy initiatives and welcome the emphasis on building up the family as a way of restoring social mobility.

UK Daily Pundit: oh, do grow up.

Posted by: William Norton | May 16, 2007 at 12:24

Well said, William. It could have been worse. Dave could have spent the day as a lavatory attendant.
I hope he will, preferable at a grammer school.

Whoops! Should be grammar school - over to you William

It gets worse , doesn't it. What is Cameron taking? Well, i was hopeful for him, i really was, but by God, he's turned out to be crap. I cannot ever imagine the Lady would do any of the things Cambo is doing to get votes. I can imagine him going outside Westminster wearing a 'buy freetrade' sandwich board whilst holding a packet of lentils. I see the LibbyDems are virtually casting open warfare against The Minger, how long will it take for us to do the same to Cambo?

Freetrade should read fairtrade!

I think this idea is a really good one, hopefully those people will now know what the Conservative Party is, as they didnt before. The idea is a good one, but I dont think Cameron is quite gettting the tone right- this was one place he really shouldn't have worn a tie and the bit where he's handing out the plastic knives and forks was awful. I hope he does more of these sorts of visits though and that he does actually learn something from them.

Certainly David Cameron will have to think long and hard about his recent string of disastrous failures such as 911 new Tory councillors, more councils in the north West than Labour, breakthroughs in the North and Wales, gaining 40% of the vote and holding Labour to 27% whilst taking hundreds of LibDem seats.

And there's also that disappointing constant poll lead ever since he won the leadership election and the election-winning distance he has over Brown.

How he sleeps at night I'll never know.

'I cannot ever imagine the Lady would do any of the things Cambo is doing to get votes.'

a) I don't think this is a vote grabber - it is trying to get to grips with real issues.

b) All politicians should now spend time in the real world, discovering it in this way - politics needs to change in this country.

c) Well said Tory T.

Agree with your comments ToryT.

"I cannot ever imagine the Lady would do any of the things Cambo is doing to get votes."
Simon, the Lady stood behind the bar in a men only club pulling pints during her first attempt to be elected to parliament!!
Go and read a decent autobiography on her and you might be surprised at just how similar the problems she faced within her own party are to those faced by David Cameron. Only difference was she was trying to bring the whinging and outraged left along with her while Cameron is trying to do it with the carping right in 2007. They had one glaring similarity, a determination to put the Conservative party into government in extremely different economical and social times.
Having just read about her time as Education secretary I am finding some of the obituaries being expressed about a system we gave up trying to encourage and promote in the last 30 years both in and out of government almost beyond parody.

Mrs Thatcher of course appeared in a documentary style film designed to highlight her credentials as 'just' a housewive.......

- housewive

+ housewife

These longer visits are a really good idea (by which I mean similar to my idea).

I've thought for a few years that a minister needs to spend a few days at least in a hospital - following patients through the system, observing doctors, etc. in order to understand what really needs reforming, instead of the utterly pointless "here's a politician" flying visits.

Contrast with Blair's 'victory tour' last friday visiting dozens of schools, childrens centres, city academies, adult learning centres, etc. where he must of spent nearly 30 mins at each.

DavidDPB, its catching. "economic" DOH!

Simon says: "I cannot ever imagine the Lady would do any of the things Cambo is doing to get votes."

So what, Simon (Heffer?)? Politics has changed a lot since the time of your precious sainted Maggie (gawd bless 'er), and the fact that David Cameron has recognised this and has got his own style, suited to the contemporary political landscape, is not something to decry.

If the past 17 years have shown anything, it's that constantly harking back to a mythical Thatcherite nirvana will not take the Conservatives anywhere. It's history - move on.

David Cameron's couple of days spent in the school environment will do more to help him understand about the problems faced by teachers particularly with discipline than any focus group findings.

'Please Sir, how do you spell "gimmick"'?

Not in the least surprised to hear that school pupils (sorry, "students") in Hull haven't heard of the Conservative Party. Of course, they could just have been taking the piss!

Indiscipline in Hull schools is certainly nothing new either. My mother was a Reception teacher at a school in North Hull some 30 years ago now. Even in those days, she couldn't leave her handbag unattended - and that was in a class of 5 & 6 year olds!

BTW, on the broader question, I certainly wish my children had the opportunity to attend a Grammar School. My own school (in Hull) was a Direct Grant school at the time, but is now fully independent.

Sorry, Scotty, I forgot to ask: how many "autobiographies" (sic) on Mrs Thatcher have you read? ;-)

Editor : Thanks for your measured response on the World at One - I'm sure you did n't need my reminder about the polls! Going back to the earlier BBC thread, of course the whole programme was about Tory "splits" and Martha K sounded really happy. I thought DC dealt with her very well. Buried away was interest rates might go up again, just a tiny snippet, just caught it.

Richard, if I could do a smiley it would be blushing with that mistake.

"Using “hangman” on the smart new interactive whiteboard we get to “Conser_ati_e party” before any one gets it."

Probably because it doesn't exist anymore.

They'd definitely have got this:

"Blu_ Labo_r"

I know we have been in opposition for ten years but it is a bit worrying when a class of 13 year olds can't name the Conservative party when "Conser_ati_e party" is written in front of them!

Very worrying,I'd say, and not in a good way- hopefully these teens will take more of an interest in current affairs once they get older, otherwise turnout in a decade's time will be very low.

It could be worse though. When I was 13 I'd not only heard of the Conservative party, I actually supported them......that's what happens when you've a Working Class Thatcherite father and a mother who believed in gra*?!*r schools! :D

I would like to know if he obtained the appropriate child protection clearance - which I would guess is required even for a sickening PR stunt like this.

As someone who was there I can say that it was not just the Conservative Party they didn't know, they didn't know what color the Lib Dems use, who their MP was or what MPs do. This episode is more a reflection on political disengagement than it is a reflection on the Tory Party

Hope he doesn't get depressed like that Beeston Classroom Assistant Siddiqui Khan and blow himself up on the Tube....still Dave cycles...

Ah, a job he can do

This episode is more a reflection on political disengagement than it is a reflection on the Tory Party

Indeed, and it is concerning. Whilst the three Rs must come first, surely there is space to cover this sort of thing in school. Even in the '83 election, when I was a nipper of nine, I can remember my teacher telling us what an election was etc. By 87 I was fully aware of what was going on.

Whilst I love modern multimedia and multi channel TV, perhaps there was something to be said for an age where everyone watched World in Action, Question Time and News at Ten.

In response to post above can I just say that he HAD to wear a tie because that is the school uniform. Kids have to and so do the staff that is why he was told he had to put a tie on.

This artcile is just wrong. The policy is not opposed to grammar schools. the policy is about building an improved system that learns from various methods and offers the best chances for far more people.


Frank Chalk's "It's your time you're wasting", gives a funny-sad-shocking picture of the effects of poor discipline in schools today.

Has 'Dave' the Chinless Wonder experienced the long wait for a Criminal Records Bureau check to show that he was fit and proper person to be in a classroom with children? Until this is complete he can't work with children and draw a salary from teaching.

Did he have to forward other forms of identity to the CRB before he went playing acting in Hull? Does 'Dave' know what the CRB accept? Does 'Dave' believe that the State should collect all this information?

Did 'Dave' submit details of where he lived for the last five years?

Did this poseur have to wait 6-12 weeks for the police background checks to be carried out?

Would 'Dave' like to tell us if he has ever had a CRB check?

If he wants to play at teaching, he needs to go through the hassle of the CRB checks first, then he can experience reality.

Camoron is a waste of time and space, and I hope that he is going to pick up a P45 pretty soon.

what a pathetic post by Blunketts dog - you embarrass yourself

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