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 If we ran our Olympic team the way we run our state schools, we wouldn’t win a single medal

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Firebird

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PostSubject: If we ran our Olympic team the way we run our state schools, we wouldn’t win a single medal   Sun 30 Aug 2009, 11:38 am

If we ran our Olympic team the way we run our state schools, we wouldn’t win a single medal
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Written by Peter Hitchens, Published on the 23rd of August 2008


Source (Mail Online):
http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2008/08/if-we-ran-our-o.html

Our industries may have vanished, our fisheries may have been stolen, our streets may be increasingly dangerous. But, gosh, wow, we have lots of gold medals.

And we hope to stage our own Olympics four years hence – greedily seizing the chance, as Third World nations always do, to pretend that we’re going up, when in fact we’re on the way down.

I’m pleased, of course, for the individual medal winners – especially Rebecca Adlington, who would probably have won a medal without any help from the hateful Lottery.

But their achievements are their own, not mine. It makes no difference to my life, or yours.



And how odd it is that all this effort, all this money and talent should have been devoted to succeeding in a contest which is, deep down, quite meaningless.

Politicians of all the Liberal Elite parties join in praising the way it has been done. Yet if anyone advocates the same methods in our State education system – ruthless selection, encouragement of the best, harsh discipline, no tolerance of failure – he is dismissed by the same politicians as an ‘elitist’.

Well, excuse me, but isn’t it far more important that we survive as an economy and a society in this hard, competitive and increasingly merciless world than that we gain a few shiny knick-knacks in an athletics meeting?

Let John Major, Michael Gove, Gordon Brown, Tessa Jowell and the rest of the supporters of comprehensive schools and diluted exams and socialised university entrance apply their principles to Britain’s 2012 Olympic team.

Your parents went to university? You’re rejected, so as to give an opportunity to someone who can’t swim as fast but needs encouragement.

You went to a private school? You’re rejected, too. We can’t have any privilege here, even if your parents bankrupted themselves to pay the fees. Your place will go to someone slower and less fit.

You passed a tough test way ahead of the others? Sorry, you’ll just have to go at the speed of the slowest in a mixed-ability training squad.

You’re talented but you live in a poor area? Too bad. All our best training schemes are in rich suburbs.

Your training is constantly interrupted by bullying, swearing and loutish behaviour? Too bad. Here’s a copy of our ‘anti-bullying policy’.

You’re doing really well? No help for you, then. Our concern is for equality, not excellence.

You’re slow, undisciplined, disruptive and no good? Have a special trainer and lots of resources.

If we nurtured our Olympic hopefuls the way we educate our children, the only role they’d have in any Games would be sweeping up litter in the stadium.

I have seldom seen a better example of an entire country getting its priorities wrong.

The day will come, and quite soon, when we win no medals and realise what we have become.

But I suspect, by then, it will be too late.
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If we ran our Olympic team the way we run our state schools, we wouldn’t win a single medal
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