Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/497/2676

From The Socialist newspaper, 26 July 2007

Tories save New Labour skins

IN MAY the Tories announced they were abandoning their policy of re-introducing 'grammar schools in every town.' Their then education spokesperson, David Willetts, argued they could use New Labour's education 'reforms' instead to establish the selective education system they wanted.

Clive Heemskerk

Private company-sponsored 'Trust', 'Academy' or 'Foundation' schools - controlling their own staff, admission policies and school assets - could become grammar schools by another name. That was the unspoken argument.

The unity of Tory and New Labour education policy was shown in a debate at the 18 July council meeting in Lewisham over the plan for a new secondary school for the north of the borough.

Local parents fought tirelessly for a new school ever since New Labour's failed 'Fresh Start' policy led to Telegraph Hill school closing. Socialist Party councillor Ian Page first moved a council motion for a new school back in 2001.

New Labour councillors eventually agreed to a new school at Lewisham Bridge in north Lewisham after they lost their overall majority in last year's council elections. But throughout the long campaign there was never any suggestion that the new school would be anything other than a local authority run community comprehensive school. Until now.

New Labour's 2006 Education Act means councils can no longer just build and run a new school, they must hold a 'competition' to let trusts, foundations or academies 'bid' to run it.

Councils can also put in a 'bid' for a community school but Lewisham's New Labour mayor had decided not to, ensuring that the new school would not be under council control. So, five secondary schools in Lewisham would control their own admissions, widening the gap between the 'best' schools and the rest in, effectively, a new selective system.

At the meeting Socialist Party councillors Ian Page and Chris Flood moved a motion for Lewisham council to make a bid for a community school at Lewisham Bridge. While they criticised the whole damaging 'competition' legislation, they challenged Labour councillors to at least make the case for the new school to be a local authority comprehensive school. But they refused!

The mayor, Sir Steve Bullock, attacked the '1970s politics of futile gestures'. Other Labour councillors accused Ian and Chris of just trying to delay a new school. Ian responded that New Labour wanted to take us back to the 1870s, when education provision for working-class children was provided by charities or factory schools! And didn't New Labour's opposition to local parents' call for a new school for over four years delay things slightly more than bidding now for a community school?

Green and Liberal Democratic councillors supported the motion but, fittingly, Tory councillors' votes gave New Labour a majority. Tory councillors sit on the same side of the council chamber as New Labour.

When one Tory spoke he started by saying he was sympathetic to the motion and 'I wish I could support it'. A parent in the public gallery shouted, 'well, leave the Labour Party then', mistaking him for a Labour councillor. But then, what is the difference?

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 26 July 2007:

New Labour ignored flood warnings

Government cuts add to flooding crisis

Floods - who pays the bill?


Postal workers' strike

Postal workers: Their fight is our fight

Critical dispute for postal workers


Socialist Party NHS campaign

NHS: no more cuts, no more privatisation


Socialist Party news and analysis

Support Glasgow's social work strikers

Metronet walks away from trouble...

Airports industry expansion plans fail to take off

Brown's 'affordable housing' plan - all smoke and mirrors?


Tales from the council chambers

Tories save New Labour skins

If this is New Labour democracy...


Socialist Party Marxist analysis

The China Effect


Socialist Party reviews

Vicious bile and grovelling sweet talk

Why do we watch Big Brother?


Workplace news and analysis

Visteon workers continue fight for jobs

National Shop Stewards' Network hits the ground running

Another missed opportunity on teachers' pay


International socialist news and analysis

Erdogan's election victory reveals Turkey's faultlines

Mass protests planned at the APEC summit


Socialism 2007

Socialism 2007

Rally for Socialism

Socialist Party summer camp


 

Home   |   The Socialist 26 July 2007   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Labour:

triangleSheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison

triangleHundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP

triangleTories torn - bin them now

triangleSwansea Socialist Party: Mother Jones - A US labour pioneer

triangleThe end of the Tories?

School:

triangleNasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

triangleYoung Socialists launched in Greater Manchester

triangleSchools and teaching: A perfect storm of cuts, underfunding, excessive workloads and low pay

triangleSchool spend is behind eastern Europe

Councillors:

triangleUnite local government sector plans strike ballot

triangleSurveying Labour councillors - will they fight cuts?

Lewisham:

triangleLewisham 1977: When socialists and workers defeated the far-right National Front

triangle'Ana Key MP' - Socialist artist responds to attacks

Education:

triangleStriking back against sackers' charter at Leeds Uni

Schools:

triangleSchools "can't go any further" - stop the cuts: set deficit budgets now

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

19/10/17

North West

Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

18/10/17

Democratic rights

Conference on state spies: who's watching who?

18/10/17

Leeds

Striking back against sackers' charter at Leeds Uni

18/10/17

Royal Mail

Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

18/10/17

PCS

Balloting members on the pay cap

18/10/17

Art

'Dazzling' Bad Art show points to socialist future

18/10/17

Council

Sheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison

18/10/17

South West Wales

Hundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP

18/10/17

NHS

Uprising to save the NHS!

18/10/17

Socialism

Can you donate to the Socialism 2017 appeal?

18/10/17

East London

No cuts - hands off King George A&E!

18/10/17

North London

North London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses

18/10/17

BAE

Nationalise to save jobs at BAE Systems

18/10/17

Schools

Schools "can't go any further" - stop the cuts: set deficit budgets now

18/10/17

Swansea

Socialist Students 'welcome' Hillary Clinton to Swansea

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle19 Oct Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

triangle18 Oct Russia, October 1917: When workers took power

triangle18 Oct Tories torn - bin them now

triangle18 Oct Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

triangle18 Oct Balloting members on the pay cap

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

More ...

triangle23 Oct Chesterfield Socialist Party: The continuing struggle for abortion rights

triangle24 Oct Liverpool Socialist Party: The October Russian Revolution 100 years ago to the day

triangle25 Oct Salford Socialist Party: The October 1917 Russian revolution

triangle25 Oct Swansea Socialist Party: Mother Jones - A US labour pioneer

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2