Fine feckle

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The Independent Online

The blame game, part 683. Estelle Morris, the Secretary of State for Education, accuses "feckless parents" of undermining Britain's education system. She does not, of course, go far enough. We understand why she does not want to blame teachers. There is a charm offensive on.

But there is another group of people with even more direct responsibility for poor discipline and low standards: the pupils themselves. Let Ms Morris come right out and say it. The reason our schools fail to live up to New Labour's vision of excellence in diversity, setting but not streaming, and outdoing the Koreans in maths, is because of the poor quality of the raw material. Let pupils take the rap.

Let Alan Milburn make clear that if this nation of hypochondriacs did not bother the NHS with trivial complaints about life-threatening conditions, there would be no waiting lists. Let the Prime Minister admonish the electorate for giving insufficiently thoughtful answers to opinion pollsters.

Would it not be easier, as Bertolt Brecht once said, for the Government to dissolve the people and elect another?