Saturday, 11 January 2014

A new licence test for teachers? What about a televised one for politicians?



Labour have announced that when they find a leader charismatic enough to win an election, sometime near 2050, they will introduce a licence system for teachers. Tristram Hunt (careful) is planning for teachers to be reviewed by a Royal College of Teaching to ensure that they are still all bright-eyed and enthusiastic, despite having been kicked around in the dust and left for dead by the Tories.

Seems fair, I guess, if you think that it will make any kind of difference, which is unlikely. What I was more struck by when reading the news was the idea that politicians, not teachers, should be put through regular licence renewals, mostly because it would make good television.

Part 1: Fitness. No one likes watching hugely overweight political figures squeezing their bloated bodies into the back seat of chauffeured cars. Let’s get them running. Over an assault course. With a shark pool underneath. Fail to complete in the time? Enjoy working in Burger King.

Part 2: The lie test. Bring in some of that fancy FBI equipment, rig them up, add some kind of electric shock penalty to boost ratings, then ask simple questions like ‘do you actually give a toss about the general public or are you just on some mad power trip?’ Bzzzt.

Part 3: Personality. Send them to the pub for a few beers. The task is simple. Have a chat, buy a few drinks, try not to upset anyone by being condescending or patronising. Easy? I doubt it. Imagine the great television as Cameron and Gove attempt being all chummy and cool before upsetting everyone and ending the night cowering beneath a table, hiding from a barrage of bottles and cold chips.

The Politicians’ Annual Licence Review Show. I think the title still needs some work.