The Department for Education and Skills appears to be channelling for some of Charles Dicken's more grotesque characters. Gradgrind Gove has long been preaching his gospel of 'facts' and rote learning. Now he has decided that children and teachers are not working hard enough and has called for longer school days and shorter holidays. His sidekick M'Choakumchild Truss, not to be outdone in ensuring that our youngest citizens should not be permitted to slack, has this week criticised nurseries which allow toddlers to “run around with no sense of purpose.”
The House of Lords has backed regulations promoting privatisation of NHS services in England. An Opposition attempt to overturn the NHS (Procurement, Patient Choice and Competition) (No. 2 Regulations 2013) was defeated by a ruling Coalition majority of over a hundred votes. Holders of NHS budgets are likely to be forced to put more services out to tender, giving lucrative opportunities to private firms even if this harms patient care.
In the last few days, the economic case for austerity has been dealt more than one significant blow. The IMF has warned George Osborne that he is ‘playing with fire’ and an academic paper which had ostensibly given the policy great legitimacy has been shown to be fatally undermined by mathematical and statistical errors.
“Lying here, she is one of us, subject to the common destiny of all human beings”. Speaking at
Margaret Thatcher's funeral yesterday (17 April) , the Bishop of London reminded us of what a funeral is actually about.
That a politician as divisive as Margaret Thatcher should polarise opinion in death is probably not surprising. Unfortunately, responses on both sides of the divide have done little but entrench bitterness and have pointed yet again to the sterile confrontationalism of so much of our politics.
What is there to say about Margaret Thatcher’s legacy? So much has already been said. It’s not just tasteless to celebrate a person’s death: it also seems terribly futile and diminishes our own humanity.
In a new Middle East analysis podcast, Ekklesia associate and regional expert Dr Harry Hagopian talks to James Abbott from the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales about the status of what has been commonly described by commentators (and some protagonists) as the 'Arab Spring'.
I was two years old when Margaret Thatcher came to power, and thirteen when she resigned.
Thatcher’s policies led to mass unemployment, leaving my father on the dole for much of my childhood. I started secondary school the year that Section 28 was brought in, banning schools from presenting same-sex relationships as legitimate.