Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Sunshine wins the day: Birbalsingh v Millar

Fiona Millar wrote in yesterday's Guardian “I have seen several Katharine Birbalsinghs come and go. They emerge from nowhere; catch the media’s attention, often because of the way they look. Would she have made the same impact if she had been white and middle aged? Around 1 per cent of what they say is true; the rest is usually eye-catching propaganda that plays into the prejudices of the audience. In my experience these characters usually inhale too much of their own publicity, get over-promoted and vanish as quickly as they appeared.”

Not only is this really dismissive, patronising drivel on a very personal level - something we have come to expect from the nasty party - but it does absolutely nothing to advance her argument that everything in state education is wonderful. From someone who argues in favour of 'bog standard comprehensives' it just shows that even non-white, non middle-aged teachers with years of real experience in classrooms recognise the serious problems that consign each generation to a lack of opportunity, aspiration and ultimately promote poverty.

"I used to stand up at assembly all the time and say: “Be like Martin Luther King. Be like Nelson Mandela.” How then could I, when facing the music, not try to do the right thing? I may be unemployed, but at least I know that if ever I get the chance to stand at assembly again, I can hold my head up high" answers Katharine Birbalsingh. Wonderful. The argument has already been won. Even St. Barack knows the value of real education. He just calls them Charter schools.