Wednesday 5 November 2003

Give Glasgow positive help

Glasgow has come bottom in an exam league table. Many politicians want these tables to be scrapped. I think that's entirely wrong. Parents - and taxpayers - have the right to know this information. Listen to a typical politician:
A local Glasgow SNP councillor John Mason said he was glad league tables were being scrapped.

He said: "It is completely wrong that the tables judge on academic achievement alone and place Glasgow at the bottom. More money is needed to address unemployment and social work issues as without that you could still find Glasgow struggling."

Of course it's true that social conditions will affect school performance but that's no reason to censor educational information. Why not think about ways to positively help Glasgow? What the city most needs is a huge expansion of entrepreneurialism and for that Glasgow needs to get government off its back.

I was at a meeting of the Policy Institute on Tuesday. Business leaders and politicians from different parties recognised that Scotland's companies are over-taxed and over-regulated. That's why our economic performance is so dire. Why not scrap part or all of Scottish Enterprise and use the money to abolish business rates in Glasgow? A thriving economy will lead to better performance in schools.