Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/432/5078
The Socialist 23 March 2006 |
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Socialist Party members protest against Labour education minister Ruth Kelly
Socialist Party members protesting against Labour education minister Ruth Kelly
NO IT'S not a stage version of Oliver but Socialist Party members
(above) protesting against Labour education minister Ruth Kelly, who was
addressing a TUC sponsored conference last Friday on Labour's education
The bill's pro-big business measures, along with Labour's other
privatisation policies, will turn the clock back a century in terms of
public service provision.
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The protest was given extra significance in the wake of new sleaze
allegations over Labour's funding. The protest also generated media
publicity ahead of the Campaign for a New Workers' Party conference on
Inside the conference Ruth Kelly got a roasting when she spoke.
Despite restricting the 'debate' to answering written questions only,
she convinced no-one present that the legislation would raise standards
in secondary education.
Lewisham teacher and Socialist Party member Martin Powell-Davies was
roundly applauded when he tabled a question asking: "why, if
privatisation has proved so disastrous for other public services, is the
government going down the same road in education?" Ruth's 'answer'
was to simply deny that the Bill was a form of privatisation.
Another Socialist Party member and UNISON executive council member,
Raph Parkinson, bluntly asked her: "Why is the Labour Party
carrying out Tory policy?" Again she denied the charge - although
she didn't explain why the Tories voted for the bill!
A headteacher from a Tower Hamlets school carefully explained how the
gap between pupil 'achievers' and 'non-achievers' is already widening
and how the provisions in the Education Bill will make the situation
Kelly was left floundering, unable to provide any evidence to back up
Labour's claim that the bill's measures would help improve education