An interview with Education Minister Anne Tolley
Imperator Fish: Thank you for agreeing to be interviewed, Minister. So tell me why you think National Standards are so important. Is it worth all the drama and grief you're getting?
Anne Tolley: I don't know what you mean. Everyone is in favour of them, apart from a few disgruntled teachers.
IF: There's a perception people don't clearly understand National Standards. Can you shed any light on that?
Tolley: Look, they are perfectly simple. The people of this country aren't fools. Why do you and others continue to treat parents like imbeciles?
IF: Well perhaps you could explain to me how they work.
Tolley: Oh, ah... right then...well...um... there went in two and two unto Noah into the ark, the male and the female, as God had commanded Noah.
Tolley: Riverrun, past Eve and Adam’s, from swerve of shore to bend of bay,
brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle
IF: Minister, you're making no sense...
Tolley: What? Did not that most illustrious man, Publius Scipio, the Pontifex Maximus, in his capacity of a private citizen, put to death Tiberius Gracchus, though but slightly undermining the constitution? And shall we, who are the consuls, tolerate Catiline, openly desirous to destroy the whole world with fire and slaughter? For I pass over older instances, such as how Caius Servilius Ahala with his own hand slew Spurius Maelius when plotting a revolution in the state. There was—there was once such virtue in this republic, that brave men would repress mischievous citizens with severer chastisement than the most bitter enemy. For we have a resolution of the senate, a formidable and authoritative decree against you, O Catiline; the wisdom of the republic is not at fault, nor the dignity of this senatorial body. We, we alone,—I say it openly, —we, the consuls, are waiting in our duty.
IF: If you're not going to answer a simple question-
Tolley: Home had never been a very pleasant place to me, because of
my sister's temper. But, Joe had sanctified it, and I had believed in
it. I had believed in the best parlour as a most elegant saloon; I
had believed in the front door, as a mysterious portal of the
Temple of State whose solemn opening was attended with a sacrifice of roast fowls; I had believed in the kitchen as a chaste though
not magnificent apartment; I had believed in the forge as the glowing road to manhood and independence. Within a single year, all
this was changed. Now, it was all coarse and common, and I
would not have had Miss Havisham and Estella see it on any
IF: Minister, I must insist-
Tolley: From a lofty perch Tarzan viewed the village of thatched
huts across the intervening plantation. He saw that at one point the forest touched the village, and
to this spot he made his way, lured by a fever of curiosity
to behold animals of his own kind, and to learn more of
their ways and view the strange lairs in which they lived.
IF: None of that makes any sense. Can you explain them to me in layman's terms?
Tolley: I just did. But here's the dumbed down version, since you clearly don't get it: "God be praised," said the Reverend Commandant, "since he is a
German I will hear what he has to say; let him be brought to my
arbor." Now do you get it?
IF: Please stop.
Tolley: Reason Defined
Out of all which we may define, (that is to say determine,)
what that is, which is meant by this word Reason, when wee reckon it
amongst the Faculties of the mind. For Reason, in this sense,
is nothing but Reckoning (that is, Adding and Substracting) of the
Consequences of generall names agreed upon, for the Marking and
Signifying of our thoughts; I say Marking them, when we reckon
by our selves; and Signifying, when we demonstrate, or approve our
reckonings to other men. Have you had enough yet?