5. Loving Keir Starmer
who took to Andrew Marr this morning to clarify Labour’s position on Brexit. He emphasised that Labour will support a pro-longed transition period, and a commitment to the single market lasting at least 4 years after 2019.
Whilst the sustained focus on changing the freedom of movement policies may be a concern for some (and that’s putting it lightly), it will certainly appease Labour leave voters. Certainly, the mainstream press have responded positively in some parts. Shocker.
4. Feeling the need for a system we can say YES to!
At our Neoliberalism political education session a few weeks ago, David and Carina discussed the need for a replacement to the current system. In Naomi Klein’s book ‘No is Not Enough’, she supports this idea, highlighting that for too long we have had plenty to say no to, and not enough to say yes to.
We feel this embodies the spirit of Momentum: we need a system to marshal around and promote. The Labour manifesto was an excellent starting point. Within the group, we’re making tracks with our focus groups and branching out our pol-ed sessions.
We’ll continue to bring you snippets of the book over the coming weeks.
3. Worrying about our education system
There’s a good proportion of teachers in our Momentum group and this week was perhaps the most stressful of the school year, as year 11s flocked into schools to receive their GCSE results.
It was the first set of results for Gove’s infamous changes. (You can read more about the impact of these here: Let’s make Britain world leaders in education)
We personally can’t wait for the day Angela Rayner gets into the Secretary of Education role, actually listens to the foot soldiers (teachers) and uses her plethora of experience in both the pros and cons of the system to make it work for everyone.
Why is it that in England half of our students must fail every year? In Scotland, if student achieve a specific %, they pass. In England, that % pass mark changes every year. The result? Every year, we send off around half of our sixteen year olds without 5 GCSEs and therefore without adequate opportunities.
For students in Scotland, this is only the case if they themselves have failed to reach and clearly outlined goalpost. For students in England, it happens simply because they couldn’t beat around 50% of the cohort.
How is that progressive? Inspirational? Effective? How does it help to drive our society forward? In what job are you judged only in terms of how you do in comparison to others? Where you’re only as good as the person next to you is poor?
For the people on the ground, we must watch students fail to get into college because they only scored X points; which just last year may have been enough to get them a C, or even a B.
Imagine starting an education system from scratch. No-one would think to do it this way.
2. Dove watching
1. Remembering Diana
As someone who used her power, position and status to bring about positive change and leave the world better than she found it.
You can watch Diana 7 Days on BBC iplayer now (Beware: Blair and his hands make an appearance).