Monday, 7 March 2011

Yes, Prime Minister

Sir Humphrey is about

David Cameron, speaking in May 2009, on the stump in Northern Ireland –

I think that what the Pető Institute has done in Hungary and the advance of Conductive Education for children with cerebral palsy – actually my son Ivan didn't have that sort of education but I know many people who have and just say that it transformed their lives and that suddenly, from thinking 'My child wasn't going to do A, B and C', it turned into 'Well, actually, now he can do all these other things', so I know how transformative it can be...

I think that what we need is very simple legislation that basically gives people the right to chose. In the end, trust the parents, because I think that, with Ivan, in the end my wife and I probably knew more about him and his needs than any other human being and you want the best for your children, you want to find out about what is available, but you've got to make sure that the information is there for parents to chose. That, I think, is the key, and then I think you'll find that you'll have a system where money follows the child and follows the parents' decision and then you shouldn't have such a problem in funding your school.

Mr Cameron has become Prime Minister and has had other, bigger things vieing for his attention. Tomorrow's Green Paper will have been composed by lower-level ministers and by civil servants. For the great part they will not be informed by personal experience, but they will have been subject to all sorts of advice and pressures from individuals and institutions at the level at which they operate, pressure groups, academic and professional organisations, the media – all of which has to be smoothed over, parcelled up and gift-wrapped under the watchful eye of Her Majesty's Treasury.

Something else to look out for, come the dawn.

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Blogger Susie Mallett said...

I expected to find one of these at the bottom of this posting,take your pick:

I could not decide which one to send you, Rod Hull and Emu, Mohammed Ali or, and I think my favourite, Frank Muir!

But watch out, on each one there is a Humphrey about.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011 at 20:25:00 GMT  
Anonymous Andrew said...

Thank you, Susie, what a very British repost!

There is an interesting wider issue here. I generally try to make my terms of reference as wide a possible here on Conductive World, since I know that its readership extends far beyond the shores of these islands.

But for the last few days I have been drawn into consideration of the possible redrawing of the map of 'special educational needs'. I feel justified in doing this because of the strong possibility that where Britain leads in this matter others may follow.

And in writing about British things, and here particularly about British politics, I slip easily into thinking of this matter in rather British terms. This is so culturally specific, I cannot possibly start to explain what a 'Sir Humphrey' is, except that it exemplifies how easy it is for the bureaucracy to hoodwink politicians, and hoodwink the voting public too.

And I guess that it would be just as hard to explain quite how Susie's 'Humphreys' take me down a peg or two and put me rightly in my place.

I do apologise to those looking in from outside. Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible (I cannot explain that, either!)


PS I too prefer the one with Frank Muir. Thank you for reminding me of them, they were a very long time ago now.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011 at 22:47:00 GMT  

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