Friday, March 03, 2006

See what I mean?

I can't get my blood worked up about this, but in fact it goes to the heart of what is wrong with the British political system. Femme-de-Resistance has told me to produce more short, snarky posts, so regard this as the short, snarky version of my long post about the POWER inquiry.

The school dinners at my local school are lousy. In a sensible political system, this has a sensible solution
1) I get together a group of concerned parents.
2) We contact our ward councillor, who has plenty of time to deal with constituents.
3) Our ward councillor raises the issue with the council.
4) The council improves school food, and raises local tax to pay for it.
5) If they don't, you vote them out.

In fact, the fastest way to improve the food in your local school is
1) Be a major TV personality, because national politicians are too busy to bother with issues that aren't on TV.
2) Make a TV programme about how awful school food is.
3) Persuade the Secretary of State for Education, who is an extremely busy person with personal responsbility for the education of millions of children, to take a personal interest in school dinners.
4) In order to cover up the fact that decisions about menus are being made by a national political figure on the basis of a TV programme, the Secretary of State sets up a School Food Trust to make reccomendations.
5) The School Food Trust spends several months deliberating, while its unelected crony members get paid £20,000 a year for 1 day a week's work.
6) The School Food Trust produces a doorstop glossy report (with tens of thousands of pounds spent on graphic design) and spends even more public money shopping it to the media.
7) The Secretary of State makes an announcement that she is implementing the reccomendations of the doorstop report, with another accompanying media circus.
8) Schools are no longer allowed to have vending machines or tuckshops. This is considered preferable to improving the quality of food, becuase it is more eyecatching in the press.
9) Every headteacher in the country has to reorganise their school food provision, regardless of whether it is appropriate to their local circumstances or not.
10) The standard of main meals either does or does not improve, depending on factors beyond your control.
11) If the food in your local school is still not good enough, rinse and repeat.
12) Every 4-5 years, you get to vote for the man who appoints the Secretary of State. But you probably voted on grounds other than school food, because you can't even tell if the bad food in your local school is the fault of a woman in Whitehall anyway.

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