Letter: Blackpool follies

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The Independent Culture
Sir: If there was one idea that we might expect to run through Labour Party policy, old and New, it is equality: or if that is too blunt for the New lot, then at least some levelling of the inequalities that grew out of the Thatcher years.

Yet so far we have been offered "super-nurses", "beacon councils" and now "superteachers" ( report, 28 September). What these policies have in common, (apart from receiving heavy criticism from all the professional bodies involved,) is they reward nurses, councils and teachers who have "excelled" with money, power and influence. Meanwhile, the 99 per cent of nurses, councils or teachers who did not scramble to the top of the heap are underfunded as usual.

What is "New" about any of this? It seems to me a mere formalisation of the dog-eat-dog attitude of the last administration. Can neither of these two political parties really come up with a better system of reward for public service than offering a tit-bit to the dog who jumps highest?


(Liberal Democrat county councillor)

Hinton St George, Somerset