5. I Reply to Councillor (E) Vasey (ive)’s Magnum Opus E-Mail

September 29, 2008

Somewhat puzzled by her reply of, “=” I fired off another e-mail to Councilor Claire Vasey on 25th November 2006 as follows:

Dear Councillor Vasey,

Thank you for your e-mail, containing the single symbol, “=”. I am now racking my brains as to its significance!

As I expected, David Ford has appropriately rplied, in his customary succinct fashion, robustly defending his position. I would have expected nothing less from him.

David’s twelve point reply and its associated explanation, raise even more questions, in my opinion, but it would appear that both Officers and members of DCC are united and supportive of this “initiative” and so further discussion on the matter would appear to be fairly pointless.

However, I do find it stretching my credulity somewhat to accept that the extremely politically (both p and P)astute Chief Education Inspector chose to use the word “trial” and equally that Fraser Davie et al in the DCC Press Office apparently went along with this. That, it seems to me, is where the trouble started.

I can think of three possible explanations to account for what happened:

(1)
The word “trial” was used, perhaps naively, in its broad Englsih sense of something that was being tried and DCC was genuinely surprised when the furore surrounding its use blew up.

(2)
It was obvious that this was not a trial in the scientific sense of the word, but the word trial was used to give apparent respectibility to the project and the extent and strength of the hostile response from sections of the scientific community was somewhat unexpected, requiring immediate damage limitation initiatives.

(3)
The word “trial” was deliberately used, knowing that a furore was bound to erupt as scientists and peoploe who care about integrity and truth, naturally challenged the ethics and methodology of the project, thus gaining even more publicity for Equazen.

Naivety or cynicism?

It seems to me that the loser is Science – the quest for truth and knowledge.

The winner is Equazen – laughing (all the way to the bank!)

DCC, it seems to me, has ploughed its own furrow, constructed its own reality and is sitting in its ivory tower, sticking to its “principles” – whatever they might be.

What an opportunity lost for the advancement of knowledge in the effect of Omega 3 on children’s educational performance. What a waste of money and what priceless advertising and profits for equazen.

Only time will tell what effect this has had upon the reputatiuon of DCC, but one of the saddest things I have discovered when talking to people, including teachers and head teachers, is that they know nothing about it and basically don’t give a damn either.

Asavid Ford will tell you, I have always spoken my mind at Director’s and Chief Inspector’s meetings with head teachers and I have done so in this case because I felt that it needed saying. Whilst I have to accept the response I have received (from David Ford) I still think the whole thing stinks and david will know that I do, too.

So, thank you for your response to my second e-mail, which should go into the Guinness Book of Records as perhaps the shortest and most unintelligible reply, in history, from a local government politician to a genuine request for her personal views, from a resident of her county.

You never know, I may well meet you and David at XXXX XXXXXXXX’s leaving party next Wednesday. I shall wear a badge saying “FISH OIL” so you can either come and talk to me or studiously ignore me.

Yours etc etc

(This e-mail has been checked and is guaranteed to be free of viruses and fish oil)

Of course I met David Ford, but not Councillor Vasey, at the leaving “do” as I described in the previous post. He was not amused! It was a pleasant evening with lots of people there, including Keith Mitchell, the recently retired Director of Education. His predecessor, Keith Grimshaw gave the address. There was no official photographer, but I had taken along my Sony R1 and flash gun and took a large selection of pictures for the departing lady. Keith Mitchell asked me if I was the official photographer! I put him straight.

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2 Responses to “5. I Reply to Councillor (E) Vasey (ive)’s Magnum Opus E-Mail”

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