Ed Lines

I KNOW quite a lot of teachers who thought that Conservative minister Michael Gove was the Devil incarnate, during his time as Education Secretary.

Gove’s cardinal sin was wanting to re-establish traditional educational disciplines and values in our classrooms. Teach kids the three Rs? How dare he.

Britain’s classroom revolution is largely a done deal. Our schools are the high altar of political correctness and the few remaining exemplars of the teaching generation many of us remember have either retired or quit in despair.

I won’t say ‘fondly remember’ because some of the sods were closet sadists. But boy, they knew how to hold the kids’ attention while force-feeding them knowledge.

We’ve had a police purge of celebrity and ministerial feeler-uppers from the 1970s.

How long before someone gets the idea to start dragging old English and Maths teachers before the beak to answer charges on throwing blackboard rubbers, or traumatising an 11-year-old by humiliating him because his blazer was buttoned up wrong (and yes, I remember that happening at Cardinal Hinsley Grammar School).

In one lesson, your tie was checked to see if it was the correct length and physical retribution was common for serial offenders.

I never did fathom what that had to do with passing O Levels, and I’m not going to pretend that getting a ruler across your knuckles or a strap across your backside never did you any harm either.

But the pendulum has certainly swung too far the other way.

Anyway, for my money Michael Gove is by miles the best brain in the Conservative party.

A rare backbone in a sea of political jellyfish, and David Cameron abandoning Gove when he took on the teaching unions says everything about the man who is Prime Minister and the man who should be.

As such it is not surprising that today’s generation of university students seems more intent on re-writing history than studying it or actually making a worthwile contribution to the world.

A generation and more of British young people has been brainwashed with left-wing, Brit-hating dogma. You reap what you sow.

The recent campaign to topple a statue of Cecil Rhodes at Oriel College Oxford has spawned a follow-up University of London protest to remove a figure of Queen Victoria.

Across the nation’s campuses, privileged, self-regarding prats are doing their best impressions of Stalin in trying to erase the past.

Why stop there, kids? Take the sledgehammers to Nelson’s Column while you’re at it.

In fact London would look like a demolition site if we destroyed every symbol of empire.

Put the bulldozers through Trinity College Cambridge too, because it was built by that murdering philanderer Henry VIII.

And if you don’t like conquering empires, grab a shovel and get digging up the A1, because what did those Romans ever do for us?

This rabble doesn’t even ‘get’ the irony of how their privilege came about.

For now, the masters of those universities have invited the students to discuss their issues, while refusing to contemplate removing statues or re-naming buildings (and the little sweethearts probably don’t even realise they’re getting a patronising “there, there children” from the authorities).

Thank goodness for that, because the first establishment to succumb to these childish temper tantrums will only encourage more.

I know I shouldn’t get so exasperated. This is what students have always done, and usually by their 30s or 40s they’ve experienced enough of life to realise how immature they were. But still.

Britain more than most countries has examined and confronted its past. Trying to judge men of centuries past by today’s juvenile morality is beyond pointless.

The few great minds we have today – like Gove, and you really should read his book Celsius 7/7 – know that in order not to repeat history’s mistakes, you have to understand them.

That single truism, as much as anything, is why the federal European experiment is doomed.

Sadly, these wet-eared students haven’t learned that yet.

My fear is that they never will – and may end up teaching my grandkids their soft-headed tripe.

‘QUEEN backs Brexit’. It was only a matter of time and trust The Sun to get there first.

Not that there’s a ‘Fleet Street’ any longer, but I’ll bet a dozen national newspaper editors were kicking themselves this week for getting gazumped.

I fully expect the paper to get its wrist ineffectually slapped by IPSO – the Independent Press Standards Organisation – because whether or not Her Maj made the reported remarks to former Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg, it could not have constituted ‘backing Brexit’. The darn word hadn’t even been invented when the alleged conversation took place.

Convicted on a technicality then, not that anyone gives a hoot. And for what it’s worth, it would be a massive surprise if the Queen wasn’t a Brexiter.

I understand why Royal protocol insists HRH remain above the rabble-rousing fray, but this storm in a teacup does raise some titillating thoughts.

How long before the Duke of Edinburgh – or Phil the Greek as I prefer to think of him – advocates not just leaving the blighted EU, but firing a couple of salvoes across Germany’s bows just for good measure.

Born Philip, Prince of Greece and Denmark on the island of Corfu in 1921, it can’t be easy seeing the nation of his birth brought to its knees by bureaucrats in Berlin. Just this week the Germans were wafting another bailout cheque in the Greeks’ faces, teasing them as to just how much more pain they were willing to inflict on their people. It will end in tears.

I’m surprised the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, hasn’t waded in already claiming divine guidance on the matter.

‘God Says Stay’ would probably fit well as a Sun headline although things could get a bit tricky if the Pope comes out as a leaver. Getting shut of those pesky CofEs and Anglicans might have some appeal for the head of the Catholic church.

And then of course there’s the very real religious influence of the mosque. How will the nation’s imams guide their flock?

What’s the betting the leaders of ISIS and al Qaeda throw in their two-pennorth before June 23rd?

I imagine they’d be urging the faithful to vote ‘stay’ if only so they can keep a steady stream of extremists flowing back and forth through our porous borders.

This whole circus is going to produce some serious fun and games before judgement day.

IF I hadn’t been told this portrait was of Diane Abbott MP, I’m not sure I would have guessed.

And if I hadn’t been told it cost the taxpayer £11,750, I would have guessed it had been painted by her son. The one the avowed socialist sent to private school. Who presumably was lousy at art. Diane Abbott

I suspect the artist deliberately made it look like Abbott had just walked off a Jamaican plantation as opposed to out of an Islington wine bar, but what really troubles me is that expanse of naked chest and shoulders. Did the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s old flame really pose topless?

If so, I’m surprised the artist didn’t throw up on his palette, because she really, really, is no oil painting. This is apparently Diane Abbott hanging in Westminster – which is an expression I’d consider fondly if used in a slightly different context.

I doubt this conceited hypocrite has a problem with so much public money being wasted on her vanity. Her type never do.

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