NLGN – The unthink tank

It is said by some that ‘think tanks’ have a role in thinking the unthinkable when it comes to proposing policies to address specific problems.  After listening to the Head of Communications for one left wing think tank on BBC Five Live ‘Drive’ this afternoon, James Hulme from the New Local Government Network (NLGN), it would be fair to assume some think tanks also have a role in providing employment to utter idiots unfit to work in the real world.

The topic under discussion was the Conservative plan to allow parents or interested parties to set up and run schools within the state sector.  Hulme, being of the left and formerly homed at Tony Blair’s favourite think tank, the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), clearly opposes the plan on spec. After all with his world view, unless a branch of government has control, ’tis bad.  But his reasoning revealed a complete disconnect from reality and ridiculous lack of understanding about what the plans actually mean.

He prattled on about having visited many schools and seen how incredibly hard the headteachers and teachers worked.  Then, astonishingly, declared the idea that schools could be set up and run by people such as parents as unworkable because he couldn’t see these busy people in classrooms teaching algebra!

One would guess that among think tank wonks, James Hulme is not alone in lacking the mental capacity to understand the difference between setting up and running a school’s affairs (as per the proposal) and parents putting themselves forward as untrained teachers. But maybe I’m being unfair and not considering that perhaps Hulme does understand the difference very well, and was instead using spin in a calculated manner to misinform listeners about what setting up a school really means.

In which case it shows that rather than thinking the unthinkable he is simply acting as a propagandist for the Labour party, which ensured that in 2008 the NLGN received a chunk (£118k) of £1.6m of taxpayers’ money to fund think tank activites, such as campaigning and political advocacy.  That’s right, the same taxpayers’ money Labour kept telling us at the time could not possibly be cut because it would affect frontline public services.  Quelle surprise!

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2 Responses to “NLGN – The unthink tank”


  1. 1 OctavianUK 14/04/2010 at 10:40 am

    Hi AM, I got a direct message from you on twitter and cant reply that way, So I’ll do it here. Dont plan on using twitter to tweet. Its a nice way to get the blogs I like in one place.

    Keep up the great and inspiring work, Craig

  2. 2 Autonomous Mind 14/04/2010 at 10:54 am

    That explains it. Thanks for letting me know – and thanks also for the kind comment. I’ll do my best!


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