SKETCH: Play Up, Play Up and Play the Game

With his lopsided grin, easy manner and tousled hair Tristram ‘Hereditary’ Hunt, did his duty impeccably, providing public school leadership to his dogged, working class party this afternoon in the Commons. He treated the sortie with the casual grace of a subaltern in vicarage garden, and ignored the terrible casualties around him.

Disdaining the enemy’s firepower, he went elegantly over the top to launch his deadly question – how many Free Schools had been approved against official advice?

The answer: “None.” Bang, one leg taken off.

Undeterred, he threw himself forward. “Was Al Madinah school approved against official advice?” The same answer took his other leg off.

Lying there in the mud but full of pluck, he waved his troops forward. Labour MPs threw themselves into the raking machinegun fire one after the other and met the same fate. Same question, same answer.

These young class warriors in the Battle of Education. Magnificently unprepared for life. You can’t help but admire their lionlike behaviour, whatever the donkey qualities of their generals.

But what arrogant, out-of-touch elite is sending them out equipped like this? What incompetent strategist has conceived their anti-Free Schools campaign – motivated by sheer loathing of the enemy and unconcerned with massive educational casualties among their own people?

Back behind the lines, as the guns pound on: Ed Balls pours himself a brandy and broods on the destruction of his enemies.




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Via the FT’s Jim Pickard: Seumas Milne’s idea for Labour election catchphrase:

“The Tories are the real extremists.”

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