Let’s All Go To Grammar School!

I’ll admit it. I have a soft spot for Theresa May. There, I’ve said it. Her politics are NOT my politics, but I can’t help but have a sneaking admiration for her. That’s not to say that I’m not against pretty much every political move she has ever had made. I just, y’know, don’t mind her. I want her do good things. Whereas with Cameron I wanted him to be worse than he was just so I could hate him more.

Perhaps it’s because she started well. Whatever your politics you have to admit she looked annoyingly impressive: strong and fresh and measured. But boy has it gone down hill. Sexist commentators will be keen to point to any “female” decisions she might make. They assert that a woman is more likely to govern with her emotions. This is of course misogynist tosh, but now, only a month or so in to her premiership, she’s made SUCH a personal decision.

Grammar schools clearly mean a lot to May and to her Chief of Staff Nick Timothy. They ‘pulled them up by their boot straps.’ But there is not one scrap of evidence to suggest they are (as she claims) a tool for social mobility. What grammar schools do is help the select few – which of course provides a lot of anecdotal evidence – but they hold back more kids from deprived backgrounds, way more, than they help. The experts are in total agreement.

It’s such a backward move! The tripartite system was abolished in 1965. We still sent gay people to prison back then, for Christ’s sake.

Anyway, it got the juices flowing …

Let’s All Go To Grammar School

Let’s all go to grammar school!
Ink wells! Blackboards! Metre rules!
Arithmetic and joined-up script
and all that Goveish rose-tint schtick.

Yes! Let’s all go to Grammar school!
Where the oeuvre of Rupert Brooke is read by apple-cheeked young men!
Let’s all go to Grammar school!
Let England’s leafy suburbs ring with Latin verbs again!

Oh, let’s all go to grammar school!
With slate-grey shorts and boaters on and leather satchels o’er our arms!
Let’s all go to Grammar school!
Where prep is penned in Parker ink beneath the gaze of frumpish marms.

Oh, let’s all go to grammar school!
‘Cause that’s where Mrs May went to and now she wants her plaque.
Disraeli of Dystopia, the unwashed on her back:
You see, it says, I love the poor, the poor and me are pals
we’ll co-opt all the clever ones, the rest can go to hell!

What’s that? Data? Peer reviewed? More experts and their whims?
Well, I met this chap in the pub last night and grammar schools worked for him!
We’ll pull apart the country’s schools, armed only with our zest,
some anecdotal evidence and that sense that we know best.

Conservative! Conservative! Conserving’s just for starters
let’s zombify dead policy and turn it on the shirking classes.

Let’s all go to grammar school!
Lines and canes and zealous rules
leave 98% of them
all writhing in typist’s pool
Oh, let’s all go to grammar school!
Oh, let’s all go to grammar school!
Oh, let’s all go to grammar school!
Oh, let’s all …

Sorry. Did I say all.
Whoops.

You can’t all go to grammar school
no dyslexics, jocks or fools
no late bloomers, no sweet lambs
who might get nervous in exams.

And on that note, I must confess
a tutor helps one past the test.
Can’t afford one? Pity that
still, best of British! *pat on back.*

You can’t all go to grammar school
not my fault, ‘fraid, thems the rules.
We only want the best of you
and yes, the brightest teachers too!

Then all the cross-eyed imbeciles
can choke down single syllables
in shabby schools whilst in the care
of middling folk with thinning hair

You can’t all go to grammar school
the intake will be minuscule
‘cause clever minds can only bloom
when all the thickos leave the room.

You can’t all go to grammar school
You can’t all go to grammar school
You can’t all go to grammar school
cos someone needs to wipe up drool

and bring the food and take the trash
and earn their weekly wage in cash
and buy their bounty secondhand
in this divided doleful land.