‘We hold,’ say the Tories and Lib Dems with their actions, though not with their exact words unless behind closed doors, ‘this truth to be self-evident, that human beings are born unequal.’
They continue – again with deeds rather than with explicit policy discourse – along lines such as the following: ‘It is urgent that we should return the education system to the essential role which it always played in the past, which is to prepare children and their parents for inequality, and to accept and appreciate inequality. Those who deserve to prosper will do so, if we simply set them free from state intervention and control. Those who do not deserve to prosper, due to their lack of intelligence, energy or aspirations, will be treated with compassion, in so far as resources permit. But basically we say to them, tough, that’s life. In these various ways we are making the world safe for capitalism in its neoliberal variety. Everyone will benefit, of course, even if some do not yet realise this.’
This Tory and Lib Dem view of education is clearly shot through with falsehood and hypocrisy. But Her Majesty’s loyal opposition, namely the Labour Party, seems to broadly agree with it, or anyway to have nothing useful or inspiring to say against it.
It is in this context that the Socialist Education Association has launched its 32-page pamphlet entitled Gove’s School Revolution Scrutinised, sub-titled The Reality behind the Rhetoric: essays on the current crisis. There are seven brief essays altogether. The pamphlet is reviewed by Robin Richardson at http://leftcentral.org.uk/2013/07/20/what-revolution-and-why-and-where-heading-review-of-goves-school-revolution-scrutinised-book-review/#more-3587.