Stonewalling and Arrogance

For those who have followed this thread, I have received the latest response from the DfE which of course completely ignores the substance of my complaint about the effective banning of texts from GCSE English Literature from September 2015.

I am not in the least surprised to have received such a stonewalling and arrogant reply having been used to this deflection and avoidance from the DfE, in its many guises, over the years. My ‘acceptance’ of that fact is nonetheless an angry and disgusted one, but my only ‘consolation’ is in having witnessed totally similar – from all political parties – over the recent weeks of the General Election campaign.

Two examples from yesterday will suffice to illustrate, both from Tories who I think have been the worst [or most proficient in executing], but I acknowledge all Parties have been rehearsed to the most immaculate degree of stubbornness in persisting with a mantra of key words/phrases regardless of the precise or even quite general question being asked.

One was Andrew Neal on his lunchtime BBC2 politics programme asking a question of a Tory minister about a potential threat to child benefit should her Party be elected, and for her then to repeatedly ignore that question – asked again and again by Neal – by rehashing a rehearsed generic reply. We have seen similar from so many throughout the campaigning, but it was still, and will continue to be, obnoxiously brazen and arrogant and – simply but profoundly – rude.

The other was by David Cameron on the Question Time special last night being asked a question about the proliferation and need for food banks during his 5 years in government and, as a related though more specific point by the same person, a question about a disabled child who had died and whose parents were subsequently being charged the bedroom tax for that child’s now vacant room: highly emotive questions, especially the second, asked with clarity and sincerity. When Cameron responded with yet another repeat of the mantra, one he had already regurgitated 3-4 times up to that point, and never once – not once – addressing or even acknowledging the emotive reality of that question [agreed with or not], I was utterly disgusted……but sadly not surprised. And that is the horror: not to be surprised, as I am not surprised with this response today – though I am not comparing the emotional and moral aspects of these two situations.

I probably haven’t articulated the depth of anger and frustration in all of that as I would like to have done, but it will have to do. Posting the following letter even seems a little insignificant within the context of the wider picture I have placed it, but it is still a part of that overall persistent stonewalling and arrogance which is so prevalent now.



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