An open letter/article to the only potential leader who will listen.
Dear Mr Corbyn
Cards on the table: I have never voted Labour. In fact, in 2010 I tactically voted specifically against Labour for the sole reason of the sheer destruction of the Education system.
I trained to teach in 2003/2004 and spent six years watching the damage worsen in a career I should have been able to love. Indeed I loved teaching the children and young people, but the job itself was nothing but lies, deception and political undermining at every step. I had watched “Curriculum 2000” unpick the fabric of good education and turn it into a grotesque point-scoring that had nothing to do with educating, and everything to do with politics and league tables, buried under a hidden, stealth privatisation that the current arm-chair experts till know nothing about.
So I voted Lib Dem — because they weren’t Labour, and there was no damn way I was voting Tory. I knew the Lib Dems could never get into power, but I wanted them to damage Labour enough and maybe squeeze a hung parliament, and get into a coalition. When they did that, I crossed my fingers and hoped they might be able to buffer the shit storm I knew a Tory government would bring.
Quite predictably, I watched a turn-coat public switch from really liking Nick Clegg, to deriding him for everything that went wrong in that coalition. Admittedly, the Tories play that one well by engaging the long game: use Clegg and the Libdems as canon fodder, switch the electorate off and on again, and squeeze into power by a slither of seats in 2015. To give you an example: I have always hated how people blamed the Lib Dems for the increase in tuition fees, which they had promised not to do. So many people tutting and huffing at Nick Clegg; pointing the finger at completely the wrong people.
It was the Tories who made that happen, and then put the Lib Dems out there as cannon fodder. And the public fell for it.
And we ended up with the Tories, elected without the mandate of the public since more people did not vote than those who actually ticked a Tory box.
It pains me greatly to think that anyone could vote Tory. Okay, that’s not totally true. I completely understand why the rich, narcissistic, self-serving top 10% would vote Tory: to protect their money. But any one else…
…I just don’t get it.
And I think you are the same. Every time I see one of those classic “Corbyn-Bashing” photos where you are captured with a slightly puzzled look, I imagine you thinking: “I don’t understand you people — how on earth can you not see, and hate what the Tories have done to this country?”
You have stated your case perfectly. You have made it clear that you want to fight for the people — for everyone. The Tories have attacked the disabled, the sick, the young, the elderly, those dependent on care. They have neglected and failed to support t he 124,000 homeless children — or any other homeless people, for that matter — and continue to dismantle the education system.
Popping My Teacher’s Hat on again for a Minute
Yes, I come back to the education system, and I do that for a reason.
I am QUALIFIED to talk about it. I have the specialist, professional training, the recognised qualification, and over 15 years of experience in that field in one way or another. I have taught and supported children in young people in Primary and Secondary schools; in youth clubs; theatre and music; private tutoring; and various voluntary work with some of the most vulnerable in our society. I have helped, advised, and trained people working with children.
And yet our ministers of education (and all other areas) have no experience or knowledge. Michael Gove spent more time whining about calling the times-tables “multiplication tables” because he thought children were confused and would mix them up with clocks. (Honestly. That’s true. That is an ACTUAL DIRECTION from an Advanced Skills Teacher/Adviser when I was teaching.) Under Tory direction, the target setting got so bad that I was told to focus on the 75% of my year 5 class who would meet the target level and “dump the bottom 25% — 7 children — onto my TA. (Again, honestly, that is an ACTUAL DIRECTION from a highly regarded Head Teacher.) The intention was to ensure the school That was the moment when I finally walked away.
I continue to see education battered more, and each day that goes by makes me more glad I left. The Tories keep trying to distract the public with big numbers and claims that they are pumping money into schools. What they DON’T realise is that we — REAL TEACHERS WHO KNOW OUR SHIT — know that on the ground level schools are losing money, increasing class sizes, closing schools, sacking teachers and TAs…
And I am not on my own in this — here’s another story of experienced teachers walking away.
Theresa May has Patronised us for Too Long
I know this isn’t news to you, as you have to stand opposite her in the House of (Not at all) Commons most days. But the notion — first spouted by David Cameron — that we are “all in this together” or that we should “unite” is very easy for someone to say when they get to go home in an expenses paid car to their second paid home, to sit on their luxury sofa in the £1000 leather trousers.
But word to the wise, let’s be clear: we aren’t in this together. When the shit hits the fan, it is the people who get covered. Just like the Clegg Dems were used as cannon fodder, so too are the sick, disabled, and weakest of our society. Again, I am qualified to talk about this because I know only KNOW THESE PEOPLE, but I had to survive as one of those scrounging bastards for 18 months. You know, living off my £Millions under Universal Credit. (£568 a month, actually).
It doesn’t take much time with Google (for BBC readers: other search engines are available) to hunt down the UK national average salary, which is quoted as £27,200.
Nice try, politicos! But anyone who paid attention in maths when they were in Year 5 and above will know how to calculate the MEAN. You include ALL figures. And if you have just one (or a small number) of substantially different data points it can create a misleading “result.”
Forgive my vanity — I am about to quote myself:
So this kind of thing is why the Tories simply must not be allowed to remain in power.
Should you need any other reason — try watching this film: