The event organisers say “Everyone is welcome especially parents,
governors and students”. In reality it will be a stage managed event, strictly for the left only. Note you can only ask questions in advance to @NCE2014. Who? More on that later.
The panellists don’t look too extreme – a children’s author, a council leader and a teaching union rep. But look more closely.
The children’s author is Michael Rosen who is a self-confessed fellow traveller with the Socialist Workers Party.
It’s no secret that for many years I was personally and politically close to the SWP and its forerunner the International Socialists. This meant that I read and sometimes wrote for your journals, I supported many of the campaigns you supported or initiated and over the years, I have been personally friendly with several of your prominent members.
The council leader is Ealing’s own Julian Bell who worked with the Ealing Southall MP (who employs him) to try to persuade a Southall school not to become an academy. They failed luckily.
Christine Blower of NUT is known to be a left-wing extremist.
The organiser of this event seems to be an anonymous front organisation called Towards a National Campaign for Education. Their website doesn’t identify any officers, members, etc.
A clue to who is behind all of this can be found on the event poster. The contact details give all away.
Nick Grant is a full-time employee of Ealing Council* who is paid the best part of £80K a year to be a full-time NUT union rep. He uses his time for activities such as co-founding the Anti Academies Alliance, “convening” the Ealing Alliance for Public Services, writing articles for the The Socialist Worker and organising strikes in Ealing’s schools.
So it seems clear to me that this will be a totally stage managed, extreme left wing event. If Adrian Chiles goes through with chairing it all he will do is lend legitimacy to Nick Grant and his SWP clique.
*The council officers have written to me to point out that Grant isn’t employed by the council directly. Technically he is employed by one school. The way the cost of his employment is divided between the Borough’s schools was not explained to me. The effect is the same. I will ask for clarification. I wonder how transparent and subject to scrutiny it is? Grant recently went down 50% time. Again the officers didn’t care to explain what proportion of this was a free gift to the NUT so that he could be a NUT NEC member.