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Showing posts from June, 2014

Fiscal policy - the smoking gun

This spreadsheet is part of the 2013 Public Expenditure Statistical Analysis. In this you can see the lid being taken off public spending in fact in 2001. This was reasonable up to a point, but it then resulted in increases in spending that were far too optimistic (in terms of GDP) and resulted in our financial problems being at the higher end of countries in Europe rather than the middle or lower end. I would like to thank Lord Turnbull for highlighting this for me. He makes the analytical point:
"What is unusual about 2000-01 to 2007-08 is that public spending as a proportion of GDP rose in a period of upswing. In earlier recoveries eg after 1983-84 and after 1991-92 public expenditure as a percentage of GDP fell as growth outstripped spending, reversing the opposite of the downturn."

"Trojan Horse" - a summary

We now have the publication of most of inquiries and inspections relating to Trojan Horse. There will be more reports, but not so much into individual schools. It is important to remember where this started. There was the trojan horse document and then Khalid Mahmood MP said: ‘There has been a serious bid to take over most of the schools in the east and south of the city.’ There are, of course, a lot more schools than the 21 that were inspected. The real challenge in this is the use of the word "extremist". That is normally taken to be someone who is supportive of terrorism rather than someone who does not like tombolas because they are gambling. The idea that there was effectively a terrorist style plot to take over schools was always a nonsense. It has now been solidly disproven. I don't personally think it was a good idea to put a terrorism expert into running the investigation as it semi confirmed the allegation. An allegation that was always untrue and fo…

Statement re: Oldknow Academy

The situation with Oldknow Academy is different in the detail to that with Golden Hillock. There remains, however, the more general problem of tarring everyone (particularly Muslims) with the same brush. It is not unusual for there to be a falling out between the Head of a school and the Chair of Governors. This has happened in Oldknow Academy. Also there have been things that have gone on that I do not think are right. In particular the celebration of religions other than Islam were downgraded by the school (referred to publicly as the cancellation of Christmas). As I said with Golden Hillock: "To me it is very important that there are no secrets in any UK schools. Schools also need to provide a broad British education." What did happen with Oldknow Academy is that a number of parents, all of whom are Muslim, were complaining about the curriculum being narrowed and the school offering a less than broad education. I do think they have a point that needs to be looke…

Statement re Golden Hillock Academy

Golden Hillock Academy is in my constituency. To me it is very important that there are no secrets in any UK schools. Schools also need to provide a broad British education. I am unhappy with Tristram Hunt pointing the finger of Muslim Extremism at the Head of Golden Hillock and the Chair of Governors at Golden Hillock. The Head happens to be a Sikh. Tristram Hunt may not understand this, but Sikhs are not Muslims. The Chair of Governors (Mohammed Shafique) is someone I have known for over 15 years. He is not an extremist. He has at times been and may still be the Chairman of the Sparkbrook Ward Labour Party. [Sparkbrook is the ward on the other side of Golden Hillock Road outside my constituency.] It is difficult commenting on leaked reports particularly as I don't have a copy of the report. I did ask the school to tell the staff body that they had legal protection in talking to the local MP as I was told some staff members were frightened to talk to me. The school d…