To add to his achievement last year in gaining Academy status and a new building for Holywells High School – now renamed Ipswich Academy – Ipswich MP Ben Gummer has scored again by ensuring Chantry High School is also re-built by ensuring it is in the Government’s Priority School Building Programme.
Mr Gummer may have his faults, especially on his agreement with the fantasy science of global warming and somewhat perverse views on Europe, but he is an excellent advocate for Ipswich in Westminster. He genuinely cares about the town and its people and this is borne out by the effort he puts in to bending the ears of ministers to ensure money flows East to our hospital, our schools and I hope in the future our dreadful railway.
Public money coming to Ipswich doesn’t happen by accident. I would bet most Whitehall mandarins and probably a fair few Government ministers wouldn’t be able to place Ipswich correctly on a map of the UK. I personally had to look Ipswich up on a map when I got an interview at BT’s R&D labs back in 2000. So I know Mr Gummer has to work very hard to get the decision-makers in the Coalition Government to take Ipswich seriously. And by taking that logic further, it shows how little effort the former Labour MP Chris Mole put into his primary job of representing Ipswich people. Mr Mole was more concerned about climbing the greasy pole and representing the Government in Ipswich (remember the scrapping of Heart Care services at the hospital) than fighting hard for his constituents.
I now expect Alasdair Ross and other Socialist apparatchiks to start telling me in the Comments below that Chris Mole worked through thousands of cases, answering countless letters etc etc. All well and good but that is the level I expect from a Councillor. I expect my MP to possess exceptional skills of persuasion and communication and then use them effectively within the Whitehall machine to work the system for the benefit of his or her constituency. Frankly, Mr Mole didn’t have those skills whereas Mr Gummer has them in spades. Even when Chris Mole was made a junior transport minister, he spent more time looking at the modern West Coast mainline than the dilapidated and awful Great Eastern line! The guy couldn’t have done less for Ipswich if he tried.
With a new school building for Chantry High School and the new Ipswich Academy combined with Education Secretary Michael Gove’s reforms, we may be able to reverse the decline in educational standards in Ipswich and Suffolk. Labour, of course, don’t want this to happen. They would prefer it if children still left school with poor literacy and numeracy skills as then it is easier for their councillors and activists to dampen their aspirations to better themselves.
People who have ambition and the skills to match tend to swing towards Conservative values of thrift and hard work as this eventually pays good dividends – and I don’t mean the Co-op variety. But Labour do not want people to have a good education – as they might end up voting Tory!