May`s “stability” and “unity” | Bernie Evans

Theresa May claimed that the election is needed to provide for “stability and certainty” ( Morning Star, 19/04/17). With “stability” meaning “resistance to change”, May clearly intends to govern in the same way. How difficult is it for Labour MPs to unite with one voice against continued austerity, more underfunding of schools and the NHS, and  tax benefits for the well-off and big business being the dominant economic policy?   The “certainty” is that another Tory government will continue to have shrinking the state and taking government spending back to levels last seen in the 1930s…

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Observer letter on solving education`s problems | Bernie Evans

Grammar schools are not the answer to the problem of “huge geographical disparities”  existing in our unfair education system, as your editorial rightly said (Our schools are failing the poorest pupils. Politicians have no answers, only soundbites,16.04.17). It added that the top priority for education funding should be “attracting and developing the best quality teaching” in deprived areas, like Knowsley, but omitted to mention how this could be done. Certain areas, and some individual schools, could be designated  “Educational Priority Areas”(EPAs). Here, pupil-teacher ratios would be…

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Nuclear war not a game | Bernie Evans

Paul Mason is right, to remind us both of “what a nuclear weapon does”, and that nuclear warheads are now in the hands of “men for whom the idea of using them is becoming thinkable” (Nuclear war has become thinkable again,18/04/17). With leaders like Trump, Putin and Kim Jong-un, who revel in playing war games like children playing chicken, it is indeed “criminal” that the UK prefers “silence” to using our “diplomatic clout”. May clearly thinks any offence given to Trump will not only hinder a post-Brexit trade agreement, but also her chances of retaining the Tory leadership. She`s…

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A vote for May is a vote for austerity | Bernie Evans

Very pleased to see that the outbreak of “austerity amnesia” at the New Statesman has subsided, and that, the word, even though, as Helen Lewis tells us, “has disappeared from the government`s vocabulary”, still has an important place in your journal`s leading articles (Notebook,7th April,2017). At a time when the prime minister is telling us how hard her government is working to get the British people the best possible Brexit deal, she is simultaneously continuing with the callous and unnecessary cuts aimed at the least fortunate in our society. Are we expected to believe that a…

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Street-Porter`s lack of understanding re grammar schools | Bernie Evans

Janet Street-Porter appears incapable of understanding that some people can see the unfairness of grammar schools, even though they actually attended them (Grammars get my support,15/04/17).”Why is Labour so hypocritical”, she asks, when the likes of Corbyn, McDonnell, Flynn and Abbott were educated in grammars? How can she “have nothing but praise for a system”, which classes around 80% of all eleven year-olds as failures, and which takes hundreds of millions to fund at a time when state schools, catering for children of all abilities, are being starved of cash by the government? It…

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On British foreign policy | Bernie Evans

Of course there has been “too much optimism” that Russia could be easily “persuaded to ditch the Syrian president”, and, clearly, there still is |(Trump`s unpredictability demands European steadiness, 12/04/17). Why else would Johnson reject the opportunity afforded by the first visit by a British foreign secretary in five years, if the British government, in its usual arrogant way, didn`t think, firstly that European countries would take Johnson`s advice, and, secondly that the threat of yet more sanctions would “shift Moscow”? What should be clear to May and Johnson, is that not…

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Morning Star letter on Greening and grammar schools | Bernie Evans

Greening`s attempts to justify her boss`s vanity project were both implausible and disrespectful (Morning Star,14/04/17). How dare this government deliberately underfund comprehensive schools and make cuts in real pay for their teachers, and spend hundreds of millions on extending grammar schools because, apparently, comprehensive schools are not good enough for the well-off? How dare Greening say that children from “ordinary working families” would no longer have to “just make do” by attending the local comprehensive? Could an Education Secretary ever have been more insulting to a …

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