Non-religious Academy in Solihull decides to religiously select in admissions by pairing with a Church of England Primary School and giving its kids preferential access. There's an idea, frequently promulgated by supporters of religious schools, that these schools are somehow just the same as all the others except they say "C of E" or "RC" on the sign by the gate. Locally, I've often seen the number of Muslim pupils attending church supported schools are evidence that such schools are open and inclusive, and indeed popular with Islamic families because they promote similar values. Maybe they don't have a great deal of choice. All the primary schools nearest us are Church of England or Roman Catholic. Now, I'm not religious but if my kids had to walk into school every day past a statue of the Virgin Mary, a picture of the Pope, and a sign saying This week we are praying for insert curriculum area here I'd be pretty pissed off. I imagine that if I followed another religion entirely, I'd be biting my tongue every single day of my child's school career. Of course not every Muslim or Hindu or Christian or whatever family is hugely observant, but that stuff must stick in the craw of a lot of kids and a lot of parents. We avoided the local schools by sending our kids further down the road. They avoided us by weighting people without a professed religion to the bottom of their admissions list. I'm not entirely sure I'm heading here, other than to argue the religious schools, while not actively malign, aren't benign either. Except perhaps in the sense that a tumour can be.
Looks like it's time for Daniel and I have the father-son "meaningful variable name" conversation.
Compare and contrast - Will Hutton : If Thatcher's revolution had truly saved us, why is Britain in such a mess today?
The empress really has no clothes. Wednesday's funeral is a tribute to the myth and the conservative hegemony she created. If the royal family is concerned, as is reported, that the whole affair will be over the top, they are right. Mrs Thatcher capitalised on a moment of temporary ungovernability that, to her credit, she resolved, then sold her party and country an oversimple and false prospectus. The landslide Mr Blair won in 1997 was to challenge it, but he did not understand at the time, nor understand now, what his mandate meant. The force of events is at last moving us on. But Britain has been weakened, rather than strengthened, by the revolution she wreaked.Daniel Hannan : Why you should, if you can, come to London for Margaret Thatcher's funeral
I'll be there because I know of no finer British prime minister. When we thought we were fated to inexorable decline, she taught us better. I want to thank her one last time.
Spoiler : I went off and bought one of Will Hutton's books after I read his article. After I read Hannon's I just wanted to punch him. Twice.
Stewart Lee asks where are all the right-wing stand-ups? They drafted Danny Finkelstein for the News Quiz last Friday. He is not a natural comedian and wouldn't recognise a set-up line if it was on a card with the words and this is where you get to say something funny stencilled in red ink along the bottom.
Maybe I could employ something from the Captain Kirk guide to fighting.