Education Secretary Gavin Williamson was put on the back foot over his plan to force disadvantaged black and minority ethnic children in England to sit exams, despite the disruption of Covid-19 – and racists across the UK supported him.
Interviewed by the BBC’s Naga Munchetty, he gave an incoherent performance in which he tried to say that disadvantaged children always fare better in exams than when their results depend on teacher assessments.
Was he basing his claim on the fiasco that he himself caused last summer – when a Tory government-created computer algorithm automatically assigned higher grades to pupils at public schools and artificially lowered those of pupils considered to be disadvantaged, without any reference to the grades that had been predicted for them, if they had been able to take exams as normal?
I think he was.
Look at this:
“Are you saying kids in Scotland & Wales will be more disadvantaged because they won’t sit exams”
“Poor, disadvantaged, black & ethnic kids need exams”
Live In a different fucking world these MPs don’t they
— kerry Hooper 🥀 (@hewitson10) December 3, 2020
” Children from the most disadvantaged backgrounds and children from Black and ethnic minorities communities are given the best advantage by sitting examinations and having that test.”
Because it means they won’t fall foul of Williamson’s brutally biased algorithm?
Munchetty interrupted, setting him up for a fall: “I understand from that point then that those disadvantaged children in Wales and Scotland are going to be more disadvantaged because they’re not having exams.”
This should put an obvious further question in viewers’ minds: What if, when it happens, they’re not? What if the Welsh and Scottish systems provide accurate assessments of these pupils’ abilities?
Won’t Williamson – and the government he represents – then appear to be attacking children who are trying to work their way out of the disadvantages that their social positions have forced on them, simply because he can?
Sadly, our thickie Education Secretary didn’t even realise he was walking into a trap, and carried on blithely: “Every study that has been carried out that’s looked at this has shown that predicted grades most disadvantage children from the poorest backgrounds.
“Predicted grades and teacher assessments disadvantage children from Black and ethnic minorities so we do believe exam assessment is the best form.”
His predicted grades, maybe. Teacher assessments were overridden by his predictions, as the huge scandal over school exams last summer made clear.
This Writer thinks we’re going to see a shocking contrast between exam scores for disadvantaged and BAME children in England and those in the rest of the UK next summer.
The kids in England – whether they sit exams or not – or likely to fall far behind those in the other countries, where their abilities will be assessed using a fair system that has nothing to do with Tory algorithms that falsely weight results in favour of kids who are already absurdly privileged.
And Williamson – along with his corrupt Tory pals – will be exposed again.
Of course the gammons in the BBC Breakfast News audience were incensed at Munchetty for daring to hint that their Tory minister might possibly discriminate against people of minority racial backgrounds and the poor (as they have throughout history):
— HMF_UK🏴🏴🏴 (@hmf_uk) December 3, 2020
Every time I see 'Naga' trending on Twitter, I know a Tory has been asked a reasonable question on breakfast TV and people with more flags than sense are furious about it.
— Paul Carnahan (@pacarnahan) December 3, 2020
Why is Naga Muncheti so rude!!!! Let the person who you are interviewing speak, talk about trying to come across as knowing it all
@BBCBreakfast for goodness sake Naga, stop interrupting & give the education secretary chance to answer your question!!!!
— Wendy Smith (@wendyteagle) December 3, 2020
Naga, why don't you ask The Education Ministers in Wales and Scotland why they're not confident about their policies. I'm not here to listen to you score points. I'm here to be informed. Again, interrupting to ask stupid questions is not clever.#BBCBreakfast
— James Hack (@Cheesygatsby) December 3, 2020
I know Gavin Williamson is a wet blanket, but could Naga Munchetty actually let him finish his answer to her questions. RUDE.
— Helen Retallick (@hretallick) December 3, 2020
Naga trending on Twitter
Can only mean Tory voters are furious a Tory MP has been challenged to answer a question on TV
Which has sparked a furious reaction!
— THE BLACK SALTIRE#FBSI (@80_mcswan) December 3, 2020
If you check the critics’ bios, you’ll see that most of them are anonymous, with few followers – classic signs of trolls or paid bots.
And it seems they flooded Twitter after the interview in the hope that they could fool you into thinking Munchetty was in the wrong.
She wasn’t. I trust Vox Political readers can think for themselves, rather than be guided by people who are paid to lie to you.
Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.
Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:
Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.
1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.
2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical
3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/
Join the Vox Political Facebook page.
4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com
And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!
If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!
Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.
The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:
Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:
The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here: