Blam! There goes a clanger

There’s a strange headline on the main comment piece in the Times Educational Supplement on this week (23 November, page 28): ‘Politicians, don’t play the blam game.’ I thought this was a play on some new edu-jargon, but either I’m very dense or ‘blam’ was the sound of the TES dropping a clanger. That was a pity when the comment is making the very reasonable point that for all the talk of freeing the teachers from oppressive educational establishment, it’s government edicts, tests and targets that make the real establishment – and the Tories, with their talk of insisting on synthetic phonics, reading tests at age 6 and unannounced inspections, are no better.

A few pages earlier there’s a photograph of a placard with the words: ‘CAPITOL PUNISHMENT’ – which on inspection was a call to hang Ian Brady and Maxine Carr, not to impeach the US President. I suspect the sub-editor selecting that picture felt the mistake offered a silent comment on the placard’s sentiments – a pity that the sub-ed for page 28 wasn’t so self-aware. Unfortunately you can’t see this online as the TES restricts access to a few teaser articles until a week after publication, by which time I expect they will have corrected it.