Wednesday, 19 August 2020

Escalating incompetence doesn't make it go away.

There is only one thing that surprises me about the suggestion that teachers and parents in England have lost confidence in the Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson, and that is the implicit presumption that they ever had any in the first place. I suffer from the rather old-fashioned prejudice that it’s impossible for anyone to lose anything that they didn’t first possess. What’s much more surprising than the lack of confidence in Williamson is the government’s proposed solution, which is that Boris Johnson should “…take the reins alongside Williamson…”. I cannot conceive of any rational conversation which concluded that the way to deal with the proven incompetence of the Education Secretary is to keep him in post and let another proven incompetent take the decisions for him. Apparently, according to a ‘source’ at Number 10, “There is barely an issue [the PM] has been more personally associated with…”. The implication that he has been less personally involved with other minor issues such as a pandemic and Brexit might tell us rather more than the ‘source’ intended. But anyone who concludes that the answer to a government foul-up is Boris Johnson should surely be wondering whether they’re asking the right question.

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