June 2012 Archives
This week I was happy to defend the Education Secretary over the leaked plan to overhaul secondary school exams.
I believe that Michael Gove was right to point out that the current system has become fragmented, exam results inflated, and Britain's international educational rankings had slumped.
The leak which last week provoked a political storm was not an announcement, but a departmental leak. We have yet to see the details but any changes were to be part of a 12 week consultation this autumn. What cannot be denied is that the present system is letting kids down.
When it comes to unthought through educational idiocy, Michael Gove is the gift that keeps on giving for his political opponents. (See my previous Dale Street post about public examinations in May 2012).
The overall thrust of his policies so far in the two years of the Coalition Government has been to accelerate the "reforms" of the previous government to detach schools from local authority "control" with oversight instead being wielded solely from the perennially dysfunctional Education Department in Whitehall and to introduce a two tier system involving a significantly greater degree of selection via the back door. We have seen a straw in the wind for this locally where one secondary Academy is responsible for around half the permanent exclusions in the city.
AFTER a characteristically bitter fight between old enemies Peter Kilfoyle and Jane Kennedy, the battle for who will be Labour's candidate to be police commissioner has been won.
Ms Kennedy has been chosen as the party's great hope for the campaign, and given Labour's huge footprint covering most of Merseyside's political landscape, it's highly likely that she will win the £85,000 a year job at the November elections.
Mr Brocklebank attended yesterday's launch at the St John's shopping centre 'Cop Shop', at which various rosy-cheeked Labour hangers on were busy filling red balloons with helium and congratulating themselves on how they 'had won'.
Politicians are conning the public again. Hopefully the public won't fall for it this time.
Parliament is starting to embark on the task of reforming the House of Lords but already politicians are claiming that this is "arcane" and that people don't care about the issue. That is probably code for them not wanting people to care about the issue.
Just remember that the people saying this (MPs) are the same people that often get to retire to the House of Lords - the most exclusive club in Britain.
92 of its members are hereditary peers. They get to make laws that affect everyone in this country because of who their parents were.
Reform started 100 years ago but somehow MPs never seem to get round to finishing it off before they can benefit from the way it is appointed.
Labour's police and crime commissioner candidate Jane Kenendy has taken a swipe at defeated rival Peter Kilfoyle for his tactics during the selection process.
Ms Kennedy is the subject of the Big Interview in tomorrow's Liverpool's Post.
In the interview she had this to say about Mr Kilfoyle's campaign which emphasised his local roots.
Tony Blair may have won three General Elections, but history will judge Gordon Brown to have had a more positive impact on the future of Britain than Blair.
I know that is a fairly bold claim. But the more and more the Euro crisis unfolds the more I become persuaded that Gordon Brown was more influential to the future prosperity of Britain.
This week we saw more from Alastair Campbell's diaries. It is clear that back in 2003 Tony Blair and Campbell saw Brown's stance on the euro as deliberately thwarting Blair (extract from the Guardian):
I'm in the procsess of putting together a story about the Liverpool Fairness Commission for tomorrow's paper.
I've been sent an interesting FAQ document, which I thought worth sharing.
Here it is:
Steve Rotheram has tonight been awarded Parliamentary Speech of the Year for his Hillsborough debate speech.
The Walton MP made a passionate an emotive speech at last year's historic debate into the tragedy. He concluded by reading out the names of all the victims in parliament.
The political website Politics Home has rightly awarded him the Parliamentary Speech of the Year.
You can read the transcript of his speech HERE.
Jane Kennedy celebrated winning the Labour nomination for police and crime commissioner with party colleagues outside the Cop Shop at St John's Centre.
Mrs Kennedy beat another former MP - Walton's Peter Kilfoyle - in the poll as well as current police authority chair Bill Weightman.
Cllr Weightman was eliminated after the first choice votes were counted.
Today it was announced Ms Kennedy received 974 to Peter Kilfoyle's 833 after Cllr Weightman's second-choice vote was shared.
As reported last night Jane Kennedy was selected as the Labour candidate for Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner.
Here is her statement: "I am delighted to be Labour's candidate. I will work hard to win the support of the people of Merseyside too."
"Through six hustings across Merseyside I have enjoyed discussing policing with party members and whoever they voted for, I hope that they will all become involved in this important election campaign."