Yesterday, whilst flicking aimlessly through the unending nihilism of the internet, I was struck by a particular blog post. I was not struck in a good way. The article, written by Sarah Vine (Daily Mail Columnist and wife of Conservative Education Secretary Michael Gove) left me with a great sense of anguish and injustice. I thus took to rewriting her piece, drawing the true meaning from her smokescreen of fake morality. The following is what I produced. I must emphasise that it is polemical and is intended to be so. I apologise for any offence caused or any perceived misrepresentation. I wrote as I saw; you may have seen something completely different and are more than justified to say so.
You can find Vine's piece here, please read it before my revised edition.
Like thousands of ordinary families across the country, of which myself and my husband the Conservative Education Secretary Michael Gove are undoubtedly included, we found out on Monday which state secondary school our darling daughter Beatrice will be attending.
Like any normal mother, I have therefore decided to write an article for the Daily Mail to impart you with my wisdom, and allow you to understand and appreciate my deep moral commitment to state education (something absolutely and irrevocably dissociated with political expediency).
Let’s be clear however, my daughter will not be attending any old god awful state school, oh no. She will be attending Grey Coat Hospital (situated in a really posh area of London), where she will be educated in how to spell; which is more than can be said for the morons who attended many state secondary schools during my era.
Being somewhat of a rabble-rouser in my youth, I myself was subject to the unpleasantries of mass education. With only enough resources for three communal pencils and half a teacher, my school barely managed to scrape me through my A-levels and deliver me to the gates of a university education. The whole experience was so thoroughly frightening that I am physically unable to suggest any rational method for its improvement.
But I don’t need to; all I need to do is fit in a handy analogy about why the state school system is actually beneficial. (And I haven’t mentioned Michael’s political career yet, success!)
Indeed, you see, the state school sector is different. State schools create down-to-earth individuals who adhere to the school of common sense, and this is to be tremendously commended. I know as well as you that children in state schools don’t aspire towards high-power careers or professional repute. In state schools, children realise that they have almost no chance of entering public life, or becoming the CEO of a global corporation, or becoming a rocket scientist. They are happy in blissful mediocrity, settling for useful yet unimportant jobs such as hairdressing, being at ease in their natural pursuit of aesthetic superficiality. As such, state schools should continue to foster well-rounded personal values over occupational progression; there is no room for both (especially when school funds come out of my hard earned taxes).
Indeed, the state doesn’t care where its pupils come from; all that matters is where they’re heading. And where they’re heading, unlike my daughter, is not Westminster.
Of course, as to not offend Michael’s chums at Number 10 I must be even-handed and give a mention to private schools. Gosh. This is a tricky one. How do I affirm my commitment to state education and therefore boost mine and Michael’s political image (oh dear. I said it), without denouncing private education and getting on the wrong side of DC?
I do not believe in private education, but that does not mean I think it’s wrong.
There. That will have to do. Hopefully most people will have clicked over to articles about Kim Kardashian’s toothbrush or something by now.
To summarise, some state schools are awful, truly awful. Fortunately, my daughter will not be attending one of those. We will be sending her to a nice state school, where she will learn ‘rugged working-class values’, whilst benefitting from the cultural capital of myself and her father. She will most probably do very very well. Meanwhile, many thousands of state school pupils will follow their natural path in life and become hairdressers. Nothing I can do about them, or indeed I want to do about them. I merely wanted to vaguely justify our otherwise politically transparent decision to send Beatrice to state school.
In other news: Vote Gove 2020?