Following up on a Political Scrapbook report from July, the new issue of Private Eye features an interesting angle on Michael Gove’s relationship with high level directors in Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation.

Last year, News Corp purchased Wireless Generation, a company which makes teaching assistance software, and hired former New York schools Chancellor Joel Klein to head it up. In a June interview with the Times, Murdoch seemed almost giddy at the prospects made available by his new acquisition:

“You can get by with half as many teachers. The teachers can be a lot better and a lot better paid.” As well as cutting back on teacher numbers, there would be a big reduction in textbook budgets. Mr Murdoch joked that he hoped to put textbook publishers out of business.

As we reported in last month, Wireless Generation was awarded multi-million dollar no-bid contracts to provide these very systems to the New York school system. Interestingly, almost as soon as Gove had taken over the Department for Education, the government announced the abolition of BECTA – the quango which oversaw IT procurement in schools.

Klein, now in charge of NewsCorp’s post hacking clean up operation, has visited Gove’s department on two occasions, and describes the education secretary as a “friend”. Prior to the release of Gove’s media meeting lists, he was referred to on the DfE website simply as “former Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education”, without reference to his current position at NewsCorp.

  1. Using computers (or even better, a tablet) instead of textbooks could save a bunch of money and also give kids more room in their backbacks.

    Now, replacing teachers with computers… that’s a whole issue in and of itself. While I’d love to see teachers get paid better (one nice thing Rupert Murdoch said), that should not be at the expense of replacing half of them with computers. I would not trust a computer to teach a kid.

  2. Gove is as rotten and corrupt as the rest of this nest of thieves, crooks, chancers and Tory spivs. The odious slack-lipped little brown-noser would sell his grandmother in order to suck Murdoch’s *****.

  3. In regards to MB’s comment: you wouldn’t trust a computer to teach a kid?

    I personally would trust a computer to not sexually abuse a child.

  4. Solomon Hughes says:

    I’m the author of the Private Eye piece, and can I add (for Mike above) , I’m not feeling at all ripped off, as this piece clearly credits ours – plus also , I think I did actually read the Political Scrapbook thing on Gove and Murdoch – I think (can’t 100% remember) it may have been part of what got me thinking about the whole Klein/Murdoch/Wireless
    Generation stuff

  5. I am citing this post and the 18 July post on Mr. Gove’s relationship to Murdoch Inc. and Mr. Klein. Any author info? Is it Stew Wilson? I think I can find the original Times interview without your help, but if you have that it would help. Btw, the tracebacks go to a private blog . . .

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