Jon Ashworth and the Class(room) Struggle

Earlier this year the Leicester Mercury published what should be taken as a cautionary tale about Jon Ashworth’s political trajectory, which was titled “MP takes up class struggle.” This is because instead of being about the socialist struggle for justice, the story was more in line with a corporate press release.

Thus rather than fighting for the political interests of the Labour Party’s former constituents (the majority of the public) the article was about Ashworth’s ongoing determination to promote the ruling classes intensifying exploitation of the working class.

The setting for Ashworth’s privatisation puff-piece was the Samworth Enterprise Academy, located just off Saffron Lane — a school that boasts of a “specialism of Business and Enterprise, with a focus on food,” but not necessarily upon pies. Ashworth’s visit having been “organised through Teach First’s campaign Every Child Can,” which apparently “aims to inspire in the classroom.”

Like most corporate profiteers, Teach First’s affable rhetoric stands in stark contrast to their contribution to the further demise of the British educational system. With Brett Wigdortz, the man who has led Teach First’s operations since their launch in 2002, having come to this position  after serving as a management consultant at the ubiquitous McKinsey & Company.

For the record, Mr Wigdortz also currently serves as an advisor of something called the Education Endowment Foundation — which was formed a couple of years ago as a result of a well-funded partnership between the Impetus Trust (a “pioneer of venture philanthropy”) and the dubious educational charity (with a dislike for teaching assistants), the Sutton Trust.

Much like Mr Wigdortz, Teach First’s chief operating officer, John Colenutt, has a similarly “useful” corporate background, as prior to joining Teach First he had been an investment banker at JP Morgan Cazenoze.

Ashworth’s intimacy with such corporate front-groups typifies New Labour’s approach to the class struggle; which of course saw their very own privatising prophet, Tony Blair, join the ranks of JPMorgan Chase after dispensing with the British public.

This is precisely why it is so important to help build a political working class alternative to all three of the main political parties, with one prominent example being the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition.


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