Tuesday, 17 December 2013

How To Turn People Off Politics

The last time I wrote a blog which mentioned the campaigning organisation 38 degrees it was about a petition on their website which was badly written. I don't know how anyone could have signed it. It was so bad I even got a comment on the blog from a member of their staff who disowned the content. I have come across 38 degrees again in a Facebook link and again it concerns Michael Gove. I have to confirm again that I am not a Michael Gove fan so please take this blog entry as a criticism of 38 degrees in allowing this particular petition and as a criticism of the comments that relate to the link on Facebook.

It is one thing not to like Michael Gove's policies but it is another not to like him. To save you from clicking on the link I'll tell you that the petition to the Prime Minister says get rid of Michael because he is a waste of space. It goes on to justify this view by saying he is a waste of space. Hardly the most compelling of arguments. It does tell us that some teachers have disagreed with him but there is no reference to anyone or to anything that Michael has (or has not) done. There is a criticism that Michael has denied 'expert opinion' but the author should know that Michael has his own 'experts' so it's not a valid argument. Perversely it concludes ' Michael Gove must be persuaded to resign' when the headline was 'remove Michael Gove from Office' and was addressed to the Prime Minister. I'm fairly sure this petition wasn't written by 38 degrees since it was on a section of their website which invites members of the public to contribute. However they have to take some responsibility for the errors. On the other hand I really hope that the petition was not written by a teacher. That would be the saddest indictment of our education system.

The person in the street is not interested in personal abuse of politicians. All it does is switch them off politics. All they see is politicians praising themselves for an educational system that allowed grade inflation, then they see politicians praising themselves for a system that stopped grade inflation (for grade inflation please read any other political change in our educational system). 

The motivation for this blog did not come from the petition but from the comments on the Facebook page... 'get him gone can not stand him'. When did this become personal? People who should know better are clicking on 'like' when what they are liking is personal insult. I may not agree with Michael Gove and would argue against his policies, but I would defend his right to implement his decisions and to do so without personal abuse.

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