Home Secretary David Blunkett said he had despaired for the results when he had glanced through the A Level exams before students wrote. Now he can look at their achievements with no little pride. Allegations that the exams wouldn't test a monkey, have been laughed off by the teachers and New Labour as Tory opportunism.
Michael Howard was less than gracious in accepting New Labour's success. "Right! From the history paper - 'Describe your grandparents (10)', I mean what is the point in testing these morons if that is the type of bollox you set!!??"
Tim Collins Conservative Education spokesman was less flattering. "If their idea of Latin is to ask : 'Is Antonio Banderas Latin? (5)' then we are breeding a new standard of genius. What about Latin translations, the great writers, the wars, the hard stuff frankly?"
New Labour were as smug as a bug in the French Embassy. "Just because our kids are finally coming into their own these right wing bastards are up in arms. We took a decision this year to move away from marking on a curve because quite frankly we felt that a curve around 8% was an embaressment to the whole country. So we did IQ tests which confirmed they didn't have any and plumped for this and It worked!!"
The exams are slightly easier than one would feel comfortable with. Herewith a sample of questions :
Geography : What city, village or town do you live in?
Mathematics : 12x7x8x8x9x0 = (think of the number of French war heroes)
American Studies : Do you know anyone from Al Quaida? Do any of your friends? (insert names if yes)
How many Muslims live in your area? (Bonus points for addresses.)
Social Studies : Do you know that murder, armed robbery, rape and kidnapping are wrong? Are you armed (if yes put up your hand)
English : Do you an' all agree with outsourcing?
Science : Can Durban Poison be bought in this country? If yes, where? If details furnished, please set out how much per kilogram.
Philosophy : What do you think of Kylie's bum?
A spokesman for Brussels who read through a number of the exams said that it was possible that a fence may have to be erected around Britain. The standard being pitched at, in his opinion, was best suited to around one and a half million years ago just prior to man's learning to walk upright.
The Teachers Union denied that standards had fallen that low. They said that most students were better suited for training rather than teaching but that did not mean they were beyond salvage.
He confirmed that the new policies of no smacking, no sporting competition, no sports fields, sex education from 3 years of age and subjects like advanced cooking had made all rounders of them all.
Asked how many engineers, architects and the like Britain would be producing over the next ten years he confirmed that they were concentrating on explaining breathing to them at present. "They have the inhaling down pat but as soon as....."
The last word goes to an exhultant New Labour : "We may not be building the next generation of Einsteins but we are now the proud owners of a brand new set of decent education statistics and who could ask for more?"