Perkins & the Charity Reforms

Perkins! Youfre in bright and early!

"Yes Sir. I wanted to research this charity business.

What charity business?

Well, wefre apparently going to abolish public schools!

Abolish public schools! Good grief, Man! What are you on about?

Well, it seems wefre going to insist that all charities prove that poor people arenft prevented from benefitting from their services. But how can private schools possibly do that?

Seems perfectly clear to me!

But Sir, if Shane Plonker from the Domesday Estate goes to a bog-standard comprehensive then how can he be said to be benefitting from the public school 20 miles out in the country?

Really Perkins! Ifm disappointed in you! There are multiple ways in which your Shane benefits!

Ifm somewhat at a loss, Sir ...

Well, all the rich, toffee-nosed nobs go to the public school along with the nouveau-riche Russian mafia and so on. Now thatfs a considerable benefit, surely!

I donft quite follow, Sir.

Well, how would you like to spend the best days of your life with a load of the afore-mentioned! If the public school siphons them all off elsewhere somewhere in the country well away from Gasworks Lane then everyonefs a winner!

Hmmm. But they get a much better education, Sir.

I wouldnft stress that point too much, Perkins. Wefve made great advances in the state system since Blair came. Or do I mean since Blair went? Ha ha!

But private schools have far nicer surroundings, better equipment, smaller teacher-pupil ratios .... they are generally far superior.

Come now, Perkins. Youfre just quoting statistics to me. State schools have ethos. Besides, therefs another major benefit of private schools to poor people.

And what is that, Sir?

They save the government a lot of money. The rich and criminal pay the same taxes - well, of course they pay a lot more because they are rich and criminal! - as the rest of us but we donft have to provide education for them. QED!!

So we can spend all this extra money on state schools, then?

No, but it means we can give those clever doctors a 30% payrise, Perkins.

But it doesnft make sense, Sir!

It just depends how you look at it, Perkins. You just need to change your perspective.

But private schools are ipso fatso better, Sir. How can they benefit the poor unless the poor actually attend them?

Well - just supposing youfre right about private schools providing a better education - hypothetically, of course - then the poor clearly benefit from their future leaders having a superior education. After all, would you want to be governed by someone who had been to Bogside Comprehensive?

Hmmm....

And youfre forgetting the interference factor!

What on earth is that, Sir?

Well, the rich and powerful - not to say criminal - families that can afford private schools obviously focus their attention on them so that they donft keep interfering in the running of our state schools. That leaves them free of timewasting, busybody, know-it-all parents who try to tell us how to run things and put a brake on our progress. That way we can concentrate on our mission of bringing the standard of state schools up to that of the private sector, canft we?

Ifm not sure I follow, Sir. And if all you say is true, then why all this hoo-ha about charities and new rules and so on?

Donft worry Perkins. Itfs called politics. It makes the government appear to be doing something and avoids them actually having to do anything. Youfll get the hang of it. Now what about my cup of tea?