Well, I got a reply from the DfE after all, to my letter to Mr Gove on industrial action. Two pages, what’s more. But not from Mr Gove – he passed it on to his new schools minister, David Laws. And it is a very reasonable reply, shorn of all the bluster that comes with Mr G’s original missive. However, I can’t think that it was just what David Laws had planned to do that day. With the help of some great pictures from Getty Images and the Spectator, and the ability of David Laws to play the straight man to Gove’s stand-up routines, I imagine some conversation like this – or not – may have taken place…
I shall reply to Mr Laws carefully as the letter doesn’t come close to meeting the concerns I raised. But at the moment, it is, all things considered, much more reasonable than anything his boss is currently penning. MG used to be a great Times journalist, and I read his column avidly – it was self-deprecating, urbane, intelligent and often very funny. My teacher cousin and her husband, both well to the left of me politically, live in his constituency (Surrey Heath) and cannot see the pleasant side of him at all.
The captions above, of course, have little reference to reality, I suppose.
Yesterday’s Times had no fewer than 7 obituaries or reflections by different journalists on the life and work of the wonderful cricket journalist and writer Christopher Martin-Jenkins. I would gladly spend an entire day listening to him commentate on a test match and not feel the day was wasted one bit. Those who love cricket, and the gentlemanly culture that sometimes prevails around it, will know that CMJ was one of the sustainers of that culture against the brashness of so much modern competitive sport. It will be strange not to read his articles in the Times, and to hear his gentle precision on the radio.
If you read the work of Adrian Plass, who is convinced that cricket is played in heaven, then you may gain some assurance that Martin-Jenkins, a devout Christian, will find a place to commentate alongside some angelic aficionado of slow left-arm bowling.