Charlie Taylor, the government’s "behaviour tsar", advises that the parents of truanting children should have their child benefit docked. His announcement is great news for three reasons.
Firstly, although truancy exists through the social spectrum, it is most damaging in areas infested by worklessness where child-benefit is most needed. Dcoking it would provide one of the adminstration’s beloved "nudges" to persuade parents to reign their children in.
Secondly, this would recoup money from child benefit minus the leftist message that aspiration is good but achieving that aspiration – even if one earns but a fraction of Tony Blair’s wealth – means you are no longer "one of us", and your children are priveleged. This is precisely the message given by proposals to remove child benefit from higher earners.
Thirdly, the proposal comes from somebody who has walked the walk. Charlie Taylor was headmaster of The Willows School in London for pupils with "behavioural, emotional and social difficulties": in other words, kids whom other schools couldn’t cope with.
Taylor, as a behavioural expert, is presently a government advisor. I hope he runs for election as an MP, in whichever party he chooses, alongside his fellow senior teacher Katharine Brabalsingh (who was suspended by her politically correct head-teacher for daring to question the state-school system).
Plato would have approved of our modern House of Commons, where increasingly MPs study law or politics (rapidly-converging fields) at university then work in either before standing, hence the widening disconnect between the political class and those they purport to represent.
Minister for Agriculture Jim Paice was a farmer. As an example of somebody who did the task he now oversees, he is increasingly isolated. We need teacher-MPs; fishermen-MPs; nurse-MPs (like Nadine Dorries - left); soldier-MPs; labourer-MPs; and all the rest.
Dare we hope for a revolution of competence in politics?