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May 10, 2007

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Alex

Yeah, I've had a feeling that there is something vaguely COIN about the government's approach to "social issues". Exclude them from ungoverned space, put everyone under surveillance, then deliver political goods. Integrate the police/military command structure with the civil administration at the regional level.

Mind you, it's kinda traditional for far-left people to blame everything on Frank Kitson just before they collapse in a puddle of credibility.

Igor Belanov

How does all this relate to the government's policy of 'educational choice'? They shut 3 schools and merge them into some sort of borstal, so what choice does that leave more liberal-minded types? Send your kids to a sane school several miles away, or possibly pay to send your kids to a private school? I've always opposed the extension of choice in schooling, but, if these trends increase, the need for choice will be greater and it's practical application will become more and more difficult.

Dan Hardie

I'm beginning to think that- although so far the running on 'demographic decline of Europe' has been made by far-right nutters like Steyn- there is a demographic, and possibly also a gender-based, subtext to this. Adolescents- particularly boys- making loud noises, running around, perhaps playing contact sports or even being tempted to fight each other? But that is unacceptable! That could lead to bullying!

There are types and types of bullying, of course. It seems to me that NuLab- which grew out of a society which had an ever-shrinking proportion of young people, and which boasted of its female-friendliness- is part of a larger British mentality. It looks at some quite usual behaviour by young people, especially young men, and it is conditioned to see it as a threat.

dsquared

ahh haddaway and bollocks. I am in favour of experimentation and variety in education and if you are going to have experiments some of them will look like this. If it turns out that they get better A-level results everything will be forgiven, otherwise it will make a nice housing redevelopment.

Dan Hardie

'ahh haddaway and bollocks. I am in favour of experimentation and variety in education'- so long as no-one experiments on your kids without your permission and uses a bunch of Peterborough proles as lab rats.

Alex

Yeah. But the thing about experiments is that when one turns out like this, you stop. Rather, the ethics committee won't let you try it.

jamie

"...otherwise it will make a nice housing redevelopment."

I'm anticipating the Tony Blair memorial arson bonanza.

dsquared

I rather the resent the implied accusation of snobbery there.

Dan Hardie

'I rather the resent the implied accusation of snobbery there.'

Jolly good: publish on your blog the things you've said to me in private about the 'CDEs', or 'working class people' as some still call them, and I won't be making any 'implied accusations' of snobbery at all. I'll state that you're a snob, and so will many other people.

In the meantime, can you give me one point of difference between your support for this project and the support of all those terribly bright people in the 1960s who cheerfully supported 'experimenting' with tower blocks to house what you would call 'CDEs'?

dsquared

Well they are completely different things. Can you give me a single point of difference between your opposition to this project and the Treaty of Utrecht? More generally, are you Nick Cohen in disguise?

In related news, tower blocks were not an "experiment"; they were a solution to providing low-cost housing which could be built in a hurry and did not take up space. In related related news, I did not invent the standard classification for social groupings and if you find it offensive I would advise against a career in marketing.

Igor Belanov

Many high rise housing developments involved much experimentation with regard to architecture and planning, and working class people were used as guinea pigs. Some projects were done with the best intentions in mind, others were low cost disasters from the start.

dsquared

[Many high rise housing developments involved much experimentation with regard to architecture and planning]

Many developments of all sorts involve experimentation. Given the technological advances made during and immediately after the war, it is not particularly surprising that new building techniques were used. I don't agree that this constitutes using people as "guinea pigs".

jamie

Hang on a minute. This school isn't a standardized development. It's a project lying somewhere on the borders of prestige architecture, environmental policing and public private partnership. And as the fellow quoted in the article said, the children have to fit into this project. They're not the subject of an experiment. They're the pretext for one.

dsquared

I would be very careful in relying on quotes from that article. They all seem to have been chopped out of a Peterborough Evening Telegraph article the week before, and I suspect considerable Chinese whispers; specifically, I don't believe that the purpose of not having a playground is necessarily environmental policing (more likely, land costs money and there wasn't room for both the playground and the eco-wetland zone and the massive great sports area). I've got a whacking great thing up on my blog about this now, but the summary would be "hey, are you sure he didn't say that the guy at number 20 was a paediatrician?"

Alex

if you find it offensive I would advise against a career in marketing.

A remark that could be used to answer almost anything.

Dan Hardie

I am indeed Nick Cohen in disguise, and it gets even more sinister than that: nobody has ever seen Peter Tatchell and myself in the same room at the same time....

I will just note that it is very stupid to write a comment saying, as I did above, 'repeat what you said in your private emails'. It's dumb in all sorts of ways and I regret writing it.

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