The bad penny, the pee into the wind, he just keeps coming back.
After he turned in his woefully prepared report into home education, for which, as far as we can understand, the conclusions were written first, we tried to challenge either him or the DCSF on it.
And we were told “Mr Badman does not work for the DCSF, he is independent, and has turned in the report, so it is nothing to do with him any more, and since it was independent, it can’t be wrong, so the DCSF can’t be challenged for putting forward a legislative program based on it.”
So we got a hearing arranged for the select committee on education. AHEd, working through freedom of information requests, got very robust figures where not only did Badman give none, but Baroness Morgan claimed that they “weren’t the basis of the report”.
I’m sorry, WHAT?
This “independent researcher”, who no longer has anything to do with the report, can get the DCSF to forward his request for “better figures” (and with a later deadline than other evidence) to every LA in the country?
Now, as far as I make it, that makes at least three different versions of the state of play that Badman and the DCSF have spun.
1) Badman is independent, the report is soundly based in empirical evidence.
2) Badman is independent, the report is based on soft evidence that we can’t find right now.
3) Badman is working for the DCSF, we’d like some evidence that we forgot to collect. Since the dog ate the last lot.
What really annoys me isn’t so much that it betrays a set agenda from the outset.
We knew that.
Nor that their evidential cupboards (along with their coffers) are bare and that the stats in the report are a triumph of auto-proctological accounting.
We knew that.
It’s that they thought no-one would notice. It’s possibly the most half-arsed, cloth-eared, pig-ignorant attempt at a cover-up that I’ve seen since my chocolate encrusted three-year-old son claimed the biscuit tin fell on him.
It makes the machinations of The Thick of It look like machine like competence.
More than anything, it shows the level of dismissive contempt that Badman, Balls and all their little wizards have for home educators, parliament and the population as a whole.
They’re trying to move the goalposts and think no-one will notice. I spurn them as I would spurn a rabid dog with dysentery.