Coffee House

Does Tristram Hunt think that choice in education should be only for the rich?

2 March 2014

1:48 PM

2 March 2014

1:48 PM

At last – Labour has made its intentions over education clear. Throughout his interview on the Sunday Politics today, Tristram Hunt showed that Labour has switched allegiances to adults, not the pupils. On the side of institutions, not those who use them.

Although the shadow education secretary stated he ‘doesn’t want to waste political energy on undoing reforms that, in certain situations, build rather successfully on Labour party policy’, he confirmed his party would not sanction any more free schools:

‘I was in Stroud on Thursday and plans there for a big new style of school in an area where you’ve got surplus places threatened to destroy the viability of small local rural schools. We want schools to work together in a network of partnership instead of this destructive market-driven approach’


Hunt reiterated that free schools parent-led academies should only open in areas where there are no places to fill in unpopular schools. Therefore, no more choice in education for such parents. This is an important principle: to John Reid, socialism meant rejecting the idea that only the rich should have choice in education. The Blair choice agenda was seen – rightly – as social justice. Ed Miliband seems not so bothered about this, more persuaded by the teachers unions who prefer schools to choose pupils, not vice versa. Hunt (whose own parents sent him private) seems to think it unimportant that every pupil, rich or poor, should have choice.

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Labour’s policy on free schools defies the very purpose of them — it removes the competition incentive for bad schools to improve. Pupils would be left to rot in bad schools with no option to go anywhere else. He repeated the old trope that his policy would be for existing bad schools to improve. But as the educational decay in Stoke (his political backyard) shows, that can be difficult. Seven schools in Stoke are currently rated ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted, all of them council-run.

Yet when pushed with the words of Tony Blair (above), on allowing parents to open up schools if they feel existing provision is inadequate, Hunt disowned this New Labour rationale. In effect, he said that such choice is now unaffordable:

‘We live in very difficult economic circumstances, where we have to focus on public finances on the areas of absolute need. We need 250,000 new school places, 150,000 in London alone. We have to focus on building new schools where we have to put them’

Hunt has also threatened to remove teachers from classrooms who are working in academies and free schools without Qualified Teaching Status — despite being educated by unqualified teachers himself:

‘We would want unqualified teachers to gain Qualified Teacher Status. If they are not interested in improving their skills and improving their knowledge then I don’t think they should be in the classroom.’

Hunt was keen to use Al-Medhinah Free School as an example of why all teachers need QTS — despite two-thirds of the teachers at the school being qualified. When it was put to Hunt that the problem with the Al-Medhinah was not unqualified teachers, Hunt instantly bounced back ‘yes it was’.

With 14 months to the general election, Labour has shown that while, to the naked eye, they may appear to be agreeing with much of Michael Gove’s reforms, it’s the same old statism. Hunt, who is the most able shadow education secretary since the last election, is happy to take credit for inventing sponsored academies and TeachFirst, yet is picking some of the most successful parts of Michael Gove’s reforms to stand against. Voters might want something more consistent than that.

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Show comments
  • John Smith

    Labour LEA’s NUT fail!

  • Andy

    What should be done is to privatise education. A parent should have an education voucher which can be redeemed at any school, be it a comprehensive, a grammar or a public school. By doing this you destroy the power of idiots like Hunt and the fascist teaching unions. Power to the people.

  • tjamesjones

    Tristram Hunt is a gift to the Tories. He’s so incredibly easy to dislike, you don’t even need to think about it (though, I add, if you do think about it you like him even less). He’s everything that can be bad about a gilded Tory with the smug self-righteousness of the left. My gosh I love to hate him.

  • Mike Ward

    Could somebody please explain to me how “free schools” and “academies” *increase* “choice in education”?

    Let’s say I have a four schools within commuting distance of my house. I have a choice of four schools and I can choose between them on the basis of things like convenience of getting there and my impressions of the school and its staff.

    Now let us suppose that one of the schools becomes a Muslim school, one becomes a Maharishi school, and one becomes a Steiner school. Let us further suppose that I (like most people) do not actually believe in Allah (or any other supernatural overlords); or that people sitting cross-legged on the floor can fly; or in gnomes and homeopathy. And let us further suppose that I (like most people) do not believe that children should be segregated on the basis of ethnicity or on the basis of their parents’ irrational beliefs.

    My choice of schools has gone *down* from four to one.

    • HookesLaw

      Let us suppose you are spouting splenic gargage.
      In any event these schools are in addition to those already there. Thats the difference and the point of Labours proposals – they would only open them if there were a shortage of places. The tories want the ability to create new schools to create an alternative.

      • Mike Ward

        But my “splenic garbage” contained serious points:

        1) Existing schools convert to academies so don’t increase the number of schools.

        2) I take your point that new *free* schools sometimes increase the number of schools – though existing schools may then have to close if there is excess provision in an area.

        3) Even if the policy (under Labour or the Conservatives) were creating lots of new schools, people can only travel a certain distance, schools can only take in so many pupils, and (and this is the main point) you can’t possibly have enough school in each area to cater for every possible bizarre set of beliefs that parents in that area might have. Even if I’m (say) a Mormon and I’m lucky enough to live in an area where a Mormon school is created and I feel very strongly about sending my child to a Mormon school, even then my “choice” is not *increased*, it is reduced to one.

        The whole “choice” mantra is complete nonsense.

        Parents just want good quality normal local schools that are run by sensible people not crazy zealots. They can then *choose* the school that is easiest to get to from where they live.

      • Mike Ward

        …just out of interest, which of the three belief systems (represented by my three examples – all of which are taught in free schools) do you think is not garbage – splenic or otherwise?

    • Ooh!MePurse!

      That’s hardly a likely scenario! I assume that you have an ideological dislike of choice (just in education?) and that’s why you’ve concocted this silly argument.

      • Mike Ward

        It’s not intended to be a *likely* scenario. It is an extreme example designed to bring home a serious point.

        (Though Michael Gove has created many Muslim, Maharishi, and Steiner free schools and Steiner and his followers really did believe in gnomes and homeopathy.)

        The serious point was that making a subset of schools appeal specifically to different narrow groups in a particular area does not *increase* choice. For everyone who does not happen to fall into one of those groups, it decreases choice.

        And even if you are lucky enough to fall into a narrow group that is catered for by a school in your area and you really want your kids to go to such a school, even then you don’t really have *increased* choice because you will choose the one school on offer that meets your criteria.

        I’ve no ideological dislike of choice. I do, however, have an intense dislike of people who talk bollocks. Both Michael Gove and Tristram Hunt would seem to fall into that category.

  • swatnan

    Its always been the case that people with money have the choice. Those without only have the choice of take it or leaving it, eating or heating, or being on ngbenefits or working.

  • Pitkapoika

    None of what Hunt says has anything to do with educating children, but everything to do with protecting the closed shop mentality of the teaching unions, who in matters educational will fight to maintain the mess and lack of ambition which they created under the last administration.

  • Peter Stroud

    Hunt the most able Education Secretary since the general election? Who was the least able? I find Hunt completely clueless.

  • chudsmania

    Most labour politicians seem to think so , as evidence exists.

  • Smithersjones2013

    God forbid that Labour should give those poor people trapped in Labour’s urban ghetto constituencies a proper education. After all people might start asking the question why after decades of Labour patronage these constituencies are still ghettoes?

    No better that Labour drag everyone down to their own ignorant level and that way people will not see what an political obscenity the Labour Party is .Just as long as posh boys like Tristram can maintain their superiority is all that matters……

    • Shazza

      Hear Hear!

    • Graeme S

      Nailed it

  • Colonel Mustard

    Just get ‘telemachus’ and his ‘associates’ to write your blogs. You might as well. This website has become a cesspit of Labour trolling and propaganda. Almost ever top comment ‘tagged’ and most comments (from ordinary readers) in the thread ‘adorned’ by the online propaganda trolling unit (which admits as much).

    Having championed a free press you should be ashamed of having your comments threads exploited that way by the very people seeking to muzzle you.

    • HookesLaw

      of course it has not and the verbage of labour idiots can be contradicted just as easily as the verbage from the kipperesque nutjobs can.

  • London Calling

    A choice between good schools,………now doesn’t that sound nice……. All schools should be good schools, private or otherwise, that’s the future standard to set that would be the most rewarding for all pupils………………..:)

    • Fergus Pickering

      Well of course all schools aren’t good schools and all hospitals aren’t good hospitals and all public urinals aren’t good public urinals and all betting shops aren’t good betting shops and all magazines aren’t good magazines and all people aren’t good people and…

    • Ooh!MePurse!

      Will not happen until the stranglehold of the teaching unions is destroyed.

  • Laura McInerney

    This sounds great, but the way that improvement is actually being sought in under-performing schools by the Conservatives is much better than you give them credit for. People seem to think that Free Schools are about giving choice for children “rotting” in bad schools to go elsewhere. Except, free schools are commonly opened in areas where all the surrounding schools actually have good or outstanding Ofsteds. So the argument falls at the first hurdle. Also, it would be a patently terrible idea to wait for the opening of a new school as the solution to a terrible one. The process takes up to two years, sometimes three. That’s a lot of wasted children.

    What the Coalition have actually done is institute forced ‘academy conversion’ on schools that are underperforming. This involves removing leadership, adding an interim board, and then bringing in a new organisation to run the school. If that organisation don’t manage it, the same thing can be done. By bringing in organisations with the greatest reputations to the worst schools, you ‘up’ the chance of improvement.

    If Hunt says he will stop *this* practice, then children might actually be “left to rot”. Merely putting Free Schools in appropriate places will not. It would help, therefore, if you could stop the scare-mongering.

  • Noa

    Tristram Hunt, a member of the political elite and a beneficiary of its privileged public school system happens to seek his career in with Labour.
    However there is no significant ideological difference between Hunt and Michael Gove. Both oppose the education of children by ability and both will condemn the brightest and best working and middle class children of present and future generations to mediocity by preventing their ability to achieve their potential.

    • southerner

      Absolutely right. Gove (like Hunt) is determined to continue the Blair experiment. Selection by wealth rather than academic ability.

    • Kitty MLB

      Utter rubbish, I mean about Michael Gove.
      I know we are heading towards a revolutionary sea of Kipperdom
      in the near future, and it helps to bag all three parties together.
      I am not a Cameroon, but Michael Gove is one of the most
      competent education secretaries we have had in decades,
      he comes from humble working class origins, Scottish I believe,
      he has vision, direction, determination, he is not afraid of the feral
      teaching unions, he wishes to go back to basis and make education about the children and not the teachers.

      • David Lindsay.

        Actually your description of Gove tells us why he is so dangerous. He has the low cunning to impose his crazy educational views on an unwilling society.

        • Kitty MLB

          Allowing all children the best start in life,
          and hopefully as taxpayers instead of future benefit scroungers
          is quite crazy I suppose.
          The vile teaching unions are against him which suggest ,
          he’s doing an excellent job.

          • David Lindsay.

            But it is not ALL children.
            It is those middle class children with engaged parents who will move their children’s school.

            • Alexsandr

              what has that to do with free schools. It has been happening for years. I think in the 60’s even.

            • Colonel Mustard

              # 4

            • Colonel Mustard

              That’s called FREE CHOICE. Which you and your bunch of low grade fascists want to control.

            • Nicholas chuzzlewit

              Fascist Labour could not tolerate anybody exercising freedom of choice or making an effort to improve the lives of their own children. I notice that Harman etc and the rest of the left wing hypocrites send their children to schools which are selective. Labour the party of lies, lying, liars and hypocrites.

            • Kitty MLB

              Aw diddums, I second what the good Colonel said.

            • HJ777

              I don’t think that you understand how markets work. If a supplier of goods or services sees his customer numbers fall by 5% and his competition’s rise by 5% he will rapidly realise that he has a problem. It doesn’t require everybody to switch supplier to put pressure on a supplier to improve. The supplier will then either react or continue to decline and go out of business before long.

          • Ooh!MePurse!

            As a teacher I wholeheartedly agree with your comment on the teaching unions. They are the single biggest block to pupil progress. Problem is that we all feel obliged to join one in case we are ever in need of legal advice or representation. The bulk of teachers only join a union as an insurance scheme and then have to suffer the ignominy of the union nutters making their self-serving and whingeing speeches. I cringe whenever I see them and just hope that people realise that they do not represent decent and professional teachers.

            • Noa

              What can you do about it?

              • Ooh!MePurse!

                See my comment above about Voice. I’ve often wondered about the feasibility of a dedicated, non-union insurance scheme.

                • Andy

                  Or you could set up a non political union run by and for its members.

                • Ooh!MePurse!

                  The only problem with that suggestion is when would I find the time? That’s the reason why the nutters control the teaching unions – those of us who are truly dedicated to the job are too busy teaching and helping children to learn than to spend time on union ‘issues’; teacher union leaders don’t care about helping children to learn.

            • Kitty MLB

              Indeed. The vast majority of our teachers do a
              phenomenal job and are under so much pressure,
              they must not be compared with the wretched unions.
              Try a spot of contumaciousness against the unions.

          • Ooh!MePurse!

            If anyone on here knows any teachers who hate being forced to strike by the union bullies, advise them to check out Voice. We will never strike, our job is too important.

        • Colonel Mustard

          # 3

        • Alexsandr

          no. he is imposing good educational values on a dead hand profession dominated by unions.

        • Nicholas chuzzlewit

          No he is scouring the rancid filth of socialist mediocrity and failure from the British education system.

      • Shazza

        Unlike that slimy, hypocrite Hunt, Gove really wants to improve standards in education for all children and give them hope and aspiration for a better future. All Labour cares about is widening it’s supporter base by lowering standard education to ensure that the populace will continue to be damned to a future of benefit dependency to shore up their grateful ‘clients’. Labour destroy hope, Labour ensure a culture of low expectations for hoi polloi but like Hunt, Harman, Balls, Abbott et al, ensure that they and their offspring get a superior education via private and/or selected state schools. Gove is doing admirable work in the face of hardened socialist dogma so well represented by the NUT who are determined to undermine him at every opportunity.

        • Kitty MLB

          Wholeheartedly agree Shazza.
          Labour are indeed the party big on blame, low on aspiration
          and even lower in responsibility and they have the utter
          audacity to believe that we must entrust them with the young.

          • sarah_13

            Exactly. Whenever labour are asked a reasonable question like the one about Tony Blair the answer is its unaffordable. They create the miserable circumstances in which they thrive. Bankrupt the country then tell us nothing can be done because there is no money. They are and always have been incompetent and not fit to govern.

            • Kitty MLB

              Wholeheartedly Agree.

      • Noa

        His origins are irrelevant.
        Actions speak louder than words.
        Deceive yourself by all means, but don’t abuse others for not sharing your self deception.
        http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/gove-michael/
        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2523331/Outcry-new-grammar-school-places-50-years-axed.html

        • Kitty MLB

          I only abuse Lefties&Cameroons,
          never kippers or Conservatives,
          it would be like piercing my very phyche
          with a dagger.

          • Noa

            Actually Kitty I seek to hold all politicians, of any party, to the light, to explain and account for their deceits, errors, omissions, evasions, lies, broken promises and misdeeds.

            In short, to be judged for the evils that they do, which outweighs the good by a considerable margin.

            • Kitty MLB

              Yes, very honourable and correct indeed.
              We cannot yet judge UKIP yet,
              as they are the vestal virgins of politics,
              so therefore popular.
              Conservatives, have paid for their evils,
              and now with being benighted with Cameron- have mercy !

          • HookesLaw

            Cameron is a conservative no different to the vast numbers of conservative politicians there have been since the party was formed. You live in a dream world that is driven by your prejudice and fantasies.

      • Andy

        If memory serves I believe Gove was adopted.

    • David Lindsay.

      Just what is the relevance of any statement from your BNP clones to the real world?
      Face it Noa you are a pressure group which exists only to destabilise the Tories.
      You do that well.
      Stick to it.

      • Noa

        So writes the avatar thief Telemachus, the unquestioning supporter of Stalin and his crazed genocidal policies.

        • David Lindsay.

          You are as cazy as Mustard.

          • Noa

            Barking I see, tele. I see the ‘black dog’ has you firmly in its grip.

      • Colonel Mustard

        # 5

      • Colonel Mustard

        And you are a group that exists only to destabilise this website.

        • HookesLaw

          And the right wing nutjobs do not I suppose? Lindsay of course is right on this point.

    • HookesLaw

      Opinium’s methodology exagerates the kipper vote. UKIP as evidenced by Farage’s tube train comment is now blatantly racist.

      • Alexsandr

        why is it racist to want your country to be for its countrymen?

        • HookesLaw

          So we should send all the French who have come over here thanks to Hollande’s stupidity back shall we. Send them and their businesses and their employment and their assets and their taxes back? Send back all the people who come here and work hard whils all the others of your ‘countrymen’ languish in bed on benefits?

          You are as thick and bigoted as Farage is.

          • Noa

            Who is the thick bigot here? An intolerant censor too, given the opportunity.
            To quote Nigel Farage:
            “I think we’re in huge danger here. This was a guy telling jokes about national stereotypes, not racial stereotypes. We are heading down a road here where we would kill all humour in this country if we tear things to pieces.
            “Enough is enough, let people tell their jokes. If what they say is inappropriate they won’t earn a living because they won’t get booked again.”

      • Noa

        Would you care to explain how, or would you prefer us to take this, along with so many of your other pronouncements, on our sheer, unquestioning faith in your infallibility?

  • HookesLaw

    Correct – on the side of the institutions and not the people who they are intended to serve. Seems like a good enough definition of socialism to me.
    How disgusting is it then that there are some who are intent on splitting the right wing anti socialist vote?

    • southerner

      What right wing is that? There isn’t one amongst the liblabcon.

      • Kitty MLB

        Although I am fond of Kippers and closer to them then I am Cameroons.
        Yet this LibLabCon, is somewhat monotonous now!
        Childish, opportunistic and makes you look like a minority party,
        and it also does annoy Conservative grassroots, who you wish to attract, and the voters will ignore such silliness.
        Its best to show what you have to offer the country instead,
        we know what you think of the others.

        • southerner

          What makes you think I am a kipper? I am a conservative longing for a conservative party.

          • Kitty MLB

            I only noticed that, humble apologies.
            Hopefully that will happen at some point,
            who knows when though 🙂

            • southerner

              Only when the current party is destroyed and a new conservative party replaces it.

              • HookesLaw

                That exposes you as an extreme right wing bigoted loon.
                Probably as bigoted as the comedian Farage employed to close his conference.

                • Noa

                  “…I think we’re in huge danger here. This was a guy telling jokes about national stereotypes, not racial stereotypes. We are heading down a road here where we would kill all humour in this country if we tear things to pieces.
                  “Enough is enough, let people tell their jokes. If what they say is inappropriate they won’t earn a living because they won’t get booked again.”

                • southerner

                  Ha that genuinely made me laugh out loud Hooke. Sticks and stones old boy. No point engaging with the issues itself in your book I guess. Name calling a far superior form of debate.

        • HookesLaw

          Of course it is monotonous and the subject we are talking about is a good example of why its rubbish. Kipper loons have to pretend this way to justify their spoiling tactics and letting in labour.

    • Alexsandr

      yes, it would help if the tories were to withdraw in 2015 and allow UKIP to win. Get a real right of centre government rather than new labout lite we have now.

      • HookesLaw

        And see a 500 seat Labour victory? You continue to misrepresent what this govt stands for and has achieved in order to justify your ignorant bigotry.

  • Shazza

    Even Len McCluskey is the better face of Labour than this smug, spoiled, Bollinger Bolshevik. If Red Ed and these clowns win in 2015, it really is lights out for us.

    • David Lindsay.

      What he says makes does make much more sense than Gove’s crazy planting of new schools in areas with enough provision.

      “Hunt reiterated that free schools parent-led academies should only open in areas where there are no places to fill in unpopular schools.”

      Hunt wants to improve, by imput into all forms of school.
      This makes educational and social sense.

      • Alexsandr

        Oh. so you are of the school that thinks a new coffee shop should not open near an existing one. or a new supermarket should not be allowed near an exiting one. forget choice, get the sh*t we give you and be grateful.

        • David Lindsay.

          These are our children not commodities.

          • First L

            Exactly – should our children not have the best? Rather than just what the state shovels up?

          • Alexsandr

            what has that got to do with anything. we need the best for our children. rubbish schools need to wither and die and new ones replace them. Letting rubbish schools carry on with a captive set of children is criminal.

            • David Lindsay.

              Problem is Alexandre that withering takes a few years before closure and such policy condemns large numbers of children to suffer progressively poorer education throughout their important formative years.

              • Alexsandr

                well if offeted were just a load of box tickers maybe they would identify schools before they failed. And we need to get rid of useless teachers.

          • Colonel Mustard

            # 2

          • HJ777

            What would you know about “our children”? I thought you didn’t have any?

            Gove isn’t ‘planting’ schools anywhere with his free schools policy. The point is that he doesn’t decide where they are set up.

            As for Hunt, he may want to improve all schools but that doesn’t mean that he knows how to do it. The idea that it can be done by central diktat is laughable.

          • kyalami

            Exactly, and if better education is available it should not be quashed simply because they already have a bog-standard comprehensive.

      • Colonel Mustard

        # 1

        • Kitty MLB

          Its excellent that you are back Colonel,
          a tremendous amount here were worried
          that you gave up on this place-although,
          some wise person here put my mind at rest!
          What are the numbers for.

          • Fergus Pickering

            Come kitty. The Colonel is counting. What Lindsay and Tele sday is of no interest. How often they say it is.

            • Kitty MLB

              I did know, Fergus I just wanted the Colonel
              to actually realise that he is allowing those two
              trolls to know how much they get under his skin.
              He is playing right into their hands, the first thing
              he did on returning was to respond to them,
              I could have whacked him ( sorry Colonel)
              He should ignore them, they would hate that.

              • Noa

                “David Lindsay.” and Telemachus are one and the same, a a troll spamming boring stalinist propaganda.
                The original David Lindsay, who seems to have stopped posting on here, presented an often informed fabian socialist view from the north east which at least had the merit of sincerity.

                http://davidaslindsay.blogspot.co.uk/

                • David Lindsay.

                  Noa
                  You can continue to post these falsehoods as you will.
                  Mustard seems to be addicted to similar speculation.
                  I also see that the Coffee House Wall tells us variously that Andy Car Park, Joany, Huktra and Fergus Pickering are Telemachus who I see posts in his own right there.
                  I do confess that several of us (myself, Mynidd, telemachus and GW74) would fail Stock Exchange concert party rules.
                  We do however sleep in different beds.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  You must think people are stupid – as Labour generally do.

                  Everyone has a particular style of comment. David Lindsay had his and it was very distinct. Your ‘telemachus’ style with its mischievous provocations the fruit of your obsessive stalking is distinct and every comment in this thread, whether by ‘David Lindsay’ or ‘telemaque'(there’s a new one) betrays it, however badly you try to conceal it.

                  The question is how you get away with it and why the Speccie let you. Now that is worthy of investigation.

                • Kitty MLB

                  I have not of most of these people
                  from coffee house wall, only Fergus
                  and he is not Telemachus.

                • Kitty MLB

                  There is also a David Lindsay
                  who has been posting at ConservativeHome
                  for years. A Leftie, not too tribal,
                  respectful and someone that never
                  involves himself in debates very often-
                  Will assume he is a different one,
                  perhaps the original person you have
                  Said has stopped posting here.
                  Did not realise it was possible to
                  steal someones avatar, it is
                  impossible to do so with Intense Debate.

              • Fergus Pickering

                You are right, Kitty, as always. But I am guilty too.

                • Kitty MLB

                  I suppose it’s also difficult to
                  ignore the constantly provocative. Noa has explained why to ignore
                  is sometimes to condone (telemaque is at this moment
                  dripping poison into my ears about the Colonel)

                  There is that wider issue with some chaps being confrontational, and never backing down, the trigger for
                  so many wars ! regrettably, Fergus, another one clearly
                  is on the way and I fear we will be involved.

                • Fergus Pickering

                  Unsheathe your sword, Kitty. We will put them to flight.

                • Kitty MLB

                  But Cameron said I must put down the sword
                  and hug a hoodie, and I have seen the Light and have become a Cameroon.

                • Kitty MLB

                  Changed my mind, Phew ! being a Cameroon lasted 10 Minutes.
                  Shall, Unsheathe that sword & find the Conservative escutcheon and they will flee like little mice.

          • telemaque

            Oh Kitty Kitty Kitty
            You are so blind
            Nicholas exists to destroy free debate
            He destroyed the former Coffee House free comment forum (coffee house wall) by his hectoring provocation
            He tried to destroy the reinvented Maidstone wall by an early destabilising flounce
            Now he acts as High Sheriff trying to bully and gag anyone who does not favour his peculiar brand of anarchical right wing polemic
            If you do not believe me read his disgraceful comments to my very good friend GW74 on Toby Young’s Harman thread
            When our chair telemachus fully returns he will tell more tales of bullying and harassment of our team, particularly Mynidd, David Lindsay and our chair as well as our associates including Dalai Guevara

            • Noa

              Kitty,

              Colonel Mustard and others, including myself, have beeh countering Telemachus’ perverse posts on this site for years.

              To ignore the most blatant distortions and lies is to condone and even, by implication, accept it by one’s silence.

              • Kitty MLB

                I have only posting here for a month
                and I am still getting used to people
                and some with their different identities.
                I suppose to ignore is to condone,
                and will trust that the Colonel,
                yourself, and others know better
                when dealing with such characters
                as telemachus.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  The thing to bear in mind Kitty, is that for all our ills and flaws most of us here are just individuals commenting from the perspective of personal opinion.

                  Whereas telemachus ‘and associates’ are not. They are here on behalf of an unknown aspect of the Labour party with an agenda and they operate to an orchestrated purpose. Mainly to provoke and destabilise.

                • Kitty MLB

                  So I have seen Colonel.
                  The fact that they are here following their own manipulative agenda separates such people from other Lefties who try to
                  behave most of the time and whom are tolerated .

                • telemaque

                  Oh Kitty
                  Put not your faith in these spoiling posters addicted to disruption of reasoned debate
                  Noa granted is a standard Ukip trollster and therefore to be pitied
                  What will he do after the letdown of May 2014 dissolves the party in acrimony
                  Nicholas is a totally different kettle of fish (yes Nicholas- for he metamorphosed soon after his destructive flounce from the Maidstone Wall)
                  He is an anarchist without creed
                  His only purpose is to troll up and down Coffee House Blogs trying to bully any left of centre poster off the blog
                  Isabel has toyed with proscribing him but on balance has concluded that free speech outweighs his disruption
                  Please do not be taken in
                  He is like a scorpion

                • Kitty MLB

                  The Colonel is a gentleman with integrity and someone
                  who practically everyone here respects and the same
                  applies to Noa.
                  They do not want to bully Lefties off the blog,
                  freedom of speech is imperative for a conservative.
                  You cannot be the only Leftie here, no one else causes
                  such issues as you do, and you purposely antagonise the Colonel, and here, have been very spiteful.

            • Colonel Mustard

              An excellent irony from the individual who most desperately wants to control what others are permitted to write here and who infests every thread under multiple identities in order to do so.

              ‘telemachus’ of the infamous ‘charter’. An attempt to impose a peculiar brand of left wing propaganda arrogantly presumed to represent some mythic ‘reasonableness’ on the old Wall. The same ‘telemachus’ who ranted and railed desperately (and obsessively) about not being permitted to post his tripe on the new Wall started elsewhere. The very one who on many occasions hinted darkly but publicly about getting the Spectator to ‘proscribe’ commentators who failed to conform to his dogma. The defender of the indefensible in the form of his Soviet ‘hero’ the monster Stalin and who still told lies about Katyn when the whole world knew the truth. The creature who lurks and stalks obsessively in order to post libellous comments like the one above about those who represent the greatest opposition to his relentless cant.

              And his continuity has slipped as he has allowed himself to get drawn to the silly name-calling ire that always characterises his ineffective rearguard actions. As ‘telemachus’ has already posted twice today on the Welsh windbag thread.

              There are certain elements of the chair about our Mittyesque infestation though. They concern wood and its thickness.

              • telemaque

                Our Chair returns tomorrow night and will fully re-engage
                Putin permitting

                • Colonel Mustard

                  Another vanity as ‘telemachus’ never engages with anyone. ‘He’ just peddles low grade propaganda or libels other commentators.

                  The Spectator have toyed with proscribing him (as they did the real David Lindsay).

      • Nicholas chuzzlewit

        The whole point of Gove’s policy on free schools is to create the competition which might drive up standards in failing schools or force them to close. The needs of the teachers and their unions are utterly irrelevant it is what parents and their children who matter and they should have as much choice as possible. Little chance of that under Labour the party of mediocrity, failure, lies, lying and filthy liars.

    • Kitty MLB

      Tristram was placed in that position because it was thought that
      his meagre knowledge of history and ‘Adonis’ looks would
      make a fool out of the charming and exceptional Michael Gove.
      Yet he just resembles a stroppy little smug boy that you would
      like to chuck into the nearest pond.

      • Shazza

        He also has that posh boy sneer that he uses when referring to himself as ‘an historian’. Of what, I ask myself? The successful policies of Lenin/Marx/Mao/Castro etc. as experienced in the USSR/China/Eastern European Soviet states etc.?
        He flushes with annoyance when the upstart interviewer dares to question his superior knowledge/goals/etc. He belongs in your ‘nearest pond’, along with the rest of the pond life.

  • ohforheavensake

    Is that the policy? Good- another reason to vote Labour.

    • Shazza

      Seems like the blank page is still ……. a blank page.

    • Nicholas chuzzlewit

      Yes that’s right failure and mediocrity for all the twin pillars of Fascist Labour’s approach to everything.

    • Colonel Mustard

      You don’t need a reason to vote Labour – good or otherwise. You’d vote for a garden slug with a red rosette in a safe seat. The party you support just exists to attack the Tories or, more often, the myth of the Tories your own party has created and which brain dead morons like you fall for.

      Labour “a force for good” – pff! – quasi religious bollocks perpetrated by tribal fanatics.

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