Socialist Worker

The Troublemaker

Issue No. 2511

Testing times as pupils fail exams they are meant to fail

Troublemaker was shocked to hear the results of this year’s Sats tests for primary school children. Nearly half failed to meet government targets in reading, writing and maths.

Strangely, the figure for those failing to reach the targets last year was just 15 percent.

This apparent drastic decline in children’s abilities was definitely not entirely foreseen and predictable.

It was absolutely not a deliberate ploy by the government to ram through its agenda to privatise schools.

It just so happened that the tests this year were much harder than they had been in previous years.

And the fact that “failing” schools are open to “intervention” and forced academisation is just a coincidence.

Hated education secretary Nicky Morgan

Hated education secretary Nicky Morgan (Pic: Wicki Commons)


Attack

Education secretary Nicky Morgan has definitely not been doing all she can to attack schools so that they can be turned into academies.

It just so happens that last year the Tories couldn’t write off enough schools as “failing”.

So Morgan created a new category of “coasting” that would let her “intervene” in many more schools.

Unfortunately two reports into academies were also released in the same week as the Sats results.

The Sutton Trust’s Chain Effects 2016 report found that most academy chains it studied “are achieving results that are not improving”.

They also “may be harming the prospects of their disadvantaged students”.

In the same week the Education Policy Institute produced a league table of academy trusts and councils in England.

It found that academy trusts aren’t better than councils at raising standards in schools.

The Department for Education’s response? “Our ambition remains for all schools to become academies.”

But it’s definitely a policy based around helping children and improving education—not an ideological agenda.


Councils selling and renting offshore

Councils are flogging property off shore.

Private Eye magazine identi?ed 48 freehold and 56 leasehold properties that have been sold by

41 local planning authorities in the decade up to 2015 to offshore companies registered in tax havens. As there are 326 authorities several hundred such sales will have occurred. The most proli?c sellers of property offshore were Leeds, Watford, Plymouth and Camden.

The identity of those behind offshore companies often cannot be identified. No one knows who is behind the company Winchesta Comercio Internacional. Hampshire county council sold its of?ces at the St Thomas Centre, a church in Winchester, in 2014. The company paid £759,940 and sold it on the very next month for £1.2 million.

At least 1,000 council properties, valued at £1.2 billion, are also leased by offshore companies.


Expensive secret publicity landing

The Daily Mail frothed last week, “THE RAF’s state-of-the-art new ?ghter jet touched down in the UK for the ?rst time”.

A disgusting waste of money

A disgusting waste of money (Pic: National Museum of the US Navy)


Two F-35B Lightning 2 aircraft did indeed arrive at RAF Fairford.

Thanks to the drop in the value of sterling the aircraft cost £100 million when they left the US and £115 million when they arrived.

The jets will take part in air shows. They will be the RAF’s most expensive PR campaign. Two years ago, the RAF’s ?rst F-35B had to be retired from air show duties before starting due to catching ?re. So the jets are accompanied by a planeload of US technicians and security personnel for minor repairs. If something serious breaks the whole aircraft will have to be shipped back to the US under a tarpaulin for top secret repairs.


Michael Gove's racist mug

TORY Michael Gove, who was last week eliminated from the race to become Tory leader, admitted he had a racist mug.

Michael Goves racist mug

Michael Gove's racist mug (Pic: Wiki Commons)


Emblazoned with an iconic portrait of Uncle Sam, it carried the words, “Jihad?! I’ll give you jihad you miserable, rag-headed, heathen bastards!”

But Gove insisted it was a piece of “junk” that had been sent to him.

He said he had thrown it away and it did not reflect his political views.

A spokesman for Gove said he could not be specific about when the mug was discarded or how long he had it.


Zip it Ukip!

Former Ukip leader Nigel Farage will continue to draw cash as an MEP for next two years. This includes—

  • £84,000 a year salary
  • £3,684 monthly general expenditure allowance
  • £3636 yearly travel expenses for travel outside the UK, on top of his travel expenses to and from the European parliament
  • £260 daily subsistence allowance which will be available to him as long as he shows up and signs the register

Andy defends Dave at tennis

Murray

Murray (Pic: Wiki Commons)


Wimbledon champion Andy Murray bizarrely chose to show sympathy with prime minister David Cameron during a TV interview after his victory.

Murray said, “It’s a pleasure to play in front of you. The prime minister of the country here as well. I think playing in a Wimbledon final is tough but I certainly wouldn’t like to be a prime minister, it’s an impossible job.”

The crowd’s cheers for Murray turned to boos quickly after Cameron was mentioned.


Dodgy Dave's broken promise

David Cameron earlier this year pledged to offer unaccompanied child refugees stuck in camps in Europe sanctuary in Britain. An amendment to that effect to the Immigration Act was passed in May.

So far not one child has been identified as “eligible” to come to Britain.


Just for the vellum it

Tory peer Lord Lexden asked about maintaining the “cherished” tradition of printing laws on vellum—made from calf skin. Earlier this year the House of Lords decided to end the practice. The Cabinet Office overuled them.

Lord Bridges of Headley says he is pleased to be discussing this “pressing matter” given that “not much else is going on”.


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The Troublemaker
Tue 5 Jul 2016, 17:04 BST
Issue No. 2511
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