A bit of the old spirit

I’ll confess that I’ve been less than impressed with the Economist lately. With their full swallowing of the climate change kool-aid, their backing of Obama and their recent drift towards big government, they’ve not been hitting the right buttons with me.

However, I’m still in the middle of a subscription, so I still read it. And I hope against hope that they may recover some of their former common sense. Or even explain why they’ve changed track so much; I’ve not seen any explanation for their changes of opinion, and where they have tried to justify their choices (for example, they claimed to back Obama because McCain wasn’t centrist enough) it either hasn’t made sense or hasn’t rung true.

My hopes are, most weeks, dashed. Yes, they’re still talking sense about Zimbabwe; yes, they’re much more realistic about Iraq than most outlets. But they’re still considerably to the left of what they were only five years ago, especially with regards to the banking crisis.

This week, however, my hopes have been rekindled. By a leader that is very atypical of the recent Economist; it’s very reminiscent of the Economist of old that I used to rely on. And it ends like this:

So, children, here are some crunchy facts. Spending on education has more than doubled in a decade, but standards have stalled as New Labour has conspired with its friends in the teachers’ unions to dumb down exams and meet performance targets. One in five pupils still leaves primary school unable to read and write effectively. Britain is sliding down the world’s literacy league tables (it does better at maths, which thankfully remains ringfenced). You cannot teach children everything. But that is no excuse for teaching them nothing much at all.

Look at it; marvel at its beauty. It’s critical, it’s unequivocal, it’s targeted. It is also sensible, and tells a truth that is plain to all.

It would appear that the old paper is still there. It’s just been buried beneath nonsense…

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