Come school with me

The crisis in the education system. For I know it is an issue that keeps New Statesman readers awake at night.When you and your partner first set up house, life was simple. You were both in well-paid jobs - you were deputy head of human resources with a left-wing council; he/she was a regional organiser with a public-sector union. Naturally you bought half a Victorian house somewhere edgy and cool; the burglaries and carjackings just added to the vibrancy of the place.

Then you had children. Suddenly you were confronted with the challenge of educating them. "Edgy" is no longer so attractive when you send Che
and Rosa off to school with your fingers crossed that you won't be collecting them from A&E.

If you were both in full-time work, you could move from your funky urban village to the sort of suburb you despise: dull places with grass verges, where the schools don't have metal detectors and five GCSEs are the minimum, rather than the maximum, expectation. You've even been having quiet conversations about the merits of private education. After all, it didn't do either of
you much harm.

Luckily for you, I've noted the hole in the market, and I don't mean the empty doorway where your ganja dealer used to lurk. No, I've identified the desperate need for somewhere you sad, conflicted fools can send your children.

That is why today I am taking advantage of Michael Gove's radical project for destroying state education, to announce the setting up of the Alan B'Stard Academy. Why is someone like me deigning to help someone like you? Because I empathise with you and your children. After all, in my youth I was forced to attend a grotesque and ghastly school where I was physically and psychologically damaged - but that's nuns for you.

The B'Stard Academy will offer all the advantages of a public-school education without a formal fee structure. There will be inspirational teaching, unparalleled sports facilities and sleeping accommodation for up to 10,000 children, all in the heart of London.

How have I been able to acquire such a superb site, you're wondering? I'd like to say it wasn't easy, but that would be untrue. Indeed the London Organising Committee was more than a little relieved to receive my offer for the Olympic site. The fee? A mere £50m. They couldn't afford any more.
You'll be glad to know that admission won't be based on the intelligence and potential of the applicant - that would never do. Instead, advised by my good friend Lord Coe, I am holding a ballot.

If you wish to secure a place, send me your credit cards. I will extract a large amount of money, which I will keep for an inordinate length of time, before telling most of you that you have been unlucky, but you have been allocated tickets for the 2016 Paralympic small-bore rifle shooting, in Rio. Now, that's edgy.