Curriculum Cop 5

Art is Money

9 am A bit of an arty morning.  Visit to the Damien Hirst Business Academy (motto: 'Art is Money, Money is Art'), recently opened by the Prime Minister. As he said at the opening: 'Modern Britain has artists as good as the best that the EU has to offer. Today great artists like Damien Hirst, a giant talent and phenomenally rich, outshine the likes of Michelangelo, Dante, Goya, Rembrandt, Van Gogh, and Picasso. We can all be proud that he is helping to produce a new generation of money-making artists.'

The curriculum is very interesting. The students are actually involved in helping produce Hirst masterpieces for the mass market. The idea is that while he has produced work for the rich and super rich, now he will share his genius with ordinary folk who haven't got any money. These people can't possibly afford one of Hirst's spot paintings, so he has the students mass-producing individual spots! Now everyone can have a fish in formaldehyde:  the rich a shark, everyone else has a goldfish. I watch students making plastic versions of his For the Love of God jewel-encrusted skull for the Christmas market. They might not learn anything about art, but they are certainly ready for low-paid assembly work.

11 am Next the Tracey Emin Business School (motto: 'There's one born every minute'). As the Prime Minister said at the opening: 'Modern Britain has artists as good as the EU has to offer, Today great artists like Tracey Emin, a giant talent and phenomenally rich, outshine the likes of Michelangelo, Dante, Goya, Rembrandt, Van Gogh and Picasso. We can all be proud that she is helping to produce a new generation of money-making artists.'

There has been a serious problem here with a number of students involved in producing near perfect forgeries of Emin's  master work, but apparently it was all sorted when their mums told them to stop pissing about and make their beds. Hear the head address an assembly: 'What I want you all to remember is that the whole ethos of your school is that anyone, no matter how little talent, how little ability they might have, how personally unpleasant they might be, can still become a seriously rich artist/celebrity and win all sorts of critical acclaim from a thoroughly corrupt art establishment. Con-art is a career that anyone can aspire to.'  Stirring words. Just can't understand why people like Grayson Perry and David Hockney turned down the chance to sponsor a Business Academy and as for telling the Prime Minister to go fuck himself, well there was no need for that.

12 am Have had to postpone inspection of the Lord Lucan Free School because the head has skipped bail and done a runner. Third this week! Instead, I prepared a press release for the new LPEAMLOM think-tank report: TACKLING INEQUALITY: TOWARDS A FAIRER BRITAIN.' Knuckles Morgan is very worried about this. 'My God, that's not what we want. What are these people thinking? I thought they were on our side.' I reassured her. 'Minister,' I said, 'no report from the Let's Privatise Education And Make Lots Of Money think-tank is going to make Britain fairer. Relax. There's some really good stuff here. The pay as you go teaching proposal, where students pay by the lesson, is absolutely inspired blue skies thinking.' Now about the press release: 'State Education Is In Safe Hands . . . '

3 pm  Lot of press fuss about the head of the Durand Primary Academy head getting both a knighthood and a 56% pay rise, taking his salary to over £200,000.  Of course this sort of pay rise is inevitable because you can't drive down teachers' pay and attack their conditions without increasing rewards for heads. They have to be compensated for all the hatred and contempt that their staff  feel for them.  All in all though, it's a bit awkward because the Prime Minister wants education out of the headlines at least until after the next general election when privatisation can go full steam ahead. That's why Gove was disappeared, after all. He got too many headlines. Morgan, 'a safe pair of knuckles' as the PM put it, was placed in charge to keep things quiet. Looks like the scheme of heads' bonuses will have to be put on hold. There are going to be a lot of unhappy, money-grabbing, greedy, selfish, kiss-up and kick-down heads out there.

5 pm A star-struck Knuckles is going to a reception at No 10 for the rock band, Me2 and their charismatic lead singer, Bonus. It's to celebrate the release of their new album, 'Save The World (Without Paying Any Tax).'
 Ministers are humming its catchy anthems all over Whitehall.


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