Economics and similar, for the sleep-deprived

A subtle change has been made to the comments links, so they no longer pop up. Does this in any way help with the problem about comments not appearing on permalinked posts, readers?

Update: seemingly not

Update: Oh yeah!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The problem, sir, is you, sir

I have something of a history with the subject of grand schemes of Michael Gove and so was interested to see his "English Baccalaureate" being given the go-over on Question Time. One person present made the very good point that, whatever the merits of the actual idea (which I think she had some sympathy for), it was fucked straight out of the box (I paraphrase), because these things always depend massively on implementation, and this plan would have to be implemented by precisely those teachers and headmasters who had been systematically alienated and pissed off by the high-handed way in which it had been announced. It's a good point.

But the thing is, it should probably be extended in a more troublesome and more personal direction. The problem is that Gove himself has his blocks placed at least ten metres behind the starting line when it comes to leading the implementation of big schemes in the department of education. He's got an annoying flat intonation to his voice. He's got an amazing weakness for trendy management-speak phrases that gives the impression of having read them in The Economist two days ago. All in all, he gives off the impression of the class smart-arse; his entire persona from the day he arrived on the public scene has been one of someone who thinks he knows better than you do, and is about to explain exactly where you've been going wrong. Fair or unfair, teachers fucking hate that sort of thing.

There are plenty of government posts, including some important ones, which do not have as part of their requirements the leadership and confidence of a large workforce of state employees. Economic Secretary to the Treasury. Minister for Trade. Chief Whip. Minister for Pensions. But some do, and it's not a good idea to have people in those jobs like Patricia Hewitt, or Michael Gove. It might not be fair on Gove, who is seemingly genuinely committed to his vision of education reform and might even have some good ideas. But the nature of managing any system is that you have the right man in the job, not necessarily the man who wants it most.
22 comments this item posted by the management 1/16/2011 12:28:00 PM

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