Please, sir, I want some more lessons in the Creative Arts
Further to the suggestion in Getting high on Classic FM that, in response to the recent Henley Report into Cultural Education in England, nice Mr Gove had ambitions to play the role of a Victorian philanthropist, All Change Please! is proud to present its own somewhat twisted version of that literary classic Oliver Twist. So, with apologies to the great Mr Dickens, and without further ado…
The Henley Report rose from the table; and advancing to the junior education minister, paintbrush and sketch-pad in hand, said: somewhat alarmed at his own temerity:
‘Please, sir, I want some more lessons in the Creative Arts.’
The junior education minister was a fat, healthy man; but he turned very pale. He gazed in stupified astonishment on the small rebel for some seconds, and then clung for support to the copper. The subject associations were paralysed with wonder; the teachers with fear.
‘What!’ said the junior education minister at length, in a faint voice.
‘Please, sir,’ replied the Henley report, ‘I want some more lessons in the Creative Arts.’
The junior education minister aimed a blow at the report’s cover with the ladle; pinioned it in his arm; and shrieked aloud.
The Secretary of State for Education was sitting in solemn conclave, when the junior education minister rushed into the room in great excitement, and addressing the gentleman in the high chair, said,
‘Mr. BumbleGove, I beg your pardon, sir! The Henley Report has asked for more!’
There was a general start. Horror was depicted on every countenance.
‘For MORE!’ said Mr BumbleGove. ‘Compose yourself, and answer me distinctly. Do I understand that it asked for more, after it had attended the single lesson a week allotted by the EBacc?’
‘It did, sir,’ replied junior education minister.
‘That report will be re-spun,’ said the gentleman in the white waistcoat. ‘I know that report will be re-spun.’
Nobody controverted BumbleGove’s opinion. An animated discussion took place. The report was ordered into instant confinement; and a bill was next morning pasted on the outside of the gate, offering a reward of five pounds to anybody who would take the report off the hands of the parish. In other words, five pounds and the report were offered to any man or woman who wanted an apprentice to any creative trade, business, or calling…
All characters appearing in this work are sadly far from fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely intentional.
The original, remarkably similar text can be read here: