Wednesday, April 25, 2007

"It's Your Time You're Wasting" by Frank Chalk

It's Your Time You're Wasting isn't as entertaining as PC David Copperfield's Wasting Police Time. There are some very, very funny moments but there is a cynicism borne of the fact that Chalk, unlike Copperfield, leaves his profession at the end. While you will enjoy reading this book if you just want to read an amusing account of public sector bumbling read Copperfield's.

Equally, it doesn't have the profundity of Dalrymple's Our Culture, What's Left of It. I am unaware of any that can match that the depth of that book's account of the cultural problem facing modern Britain. This is no condemnation of Chalk's work but advice for those seeking a 'primer' in modern social conservatism. This isn't the place to look. Chalk's book functions, like Copperfield's, as further, first-hand primary evidence of the problems Dalrymple discusses.

This book is important because education is, and should be, so central to any policy programme which seriously wishes to combat a host of social problems. "Education, education, education" may have come to nothing but Blair said it for a reason. It highlights the problems with modern education. Many of these stem from an unwillingness to properly sanction troublemakers. Other problems emerge from the ability of troubled students to stop the progress of students who behave. The most touching parts of this book are when Chalk discusses bright and pleasant students from poor homes being entirely let down by the system.

If you can cope with the understandable cynicism this book is well worth reading.

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