A Martian tries to understand the incredible Lyndale School situation (episode 2)

A Martian tries to understand the incredible Lyndale School situation (episode 2)

A Martian tries to understand the incredible Lyndale School situation (episode 2)


Marvin the Martian from Disney's Looney Tunes
Marvin the Martian from Disney’s Looney Tunes

The below is a fictional interview with Marvin the Martian about Lyndale School. Marvin the Martian is trademarked to Warner Brothers Entertainment. Our legal team point out their trademark doesn’t actually cover its use on blogs but in case they try to argue this blog is an “entertainment service”, it isn’t, so no laughing! Yes I mean it, not even a smile! We also point out it’s not an infringing use of class 9 of this trademark as that refers to its use on goods rather than virtually.

We rely on s.30 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 and class this as “fair dealing” due to the acknowledgement above. When the The Copyright and Rights in Performances (Quotation and Parody) Regulations 2014 come into force in October, we’ll probably rely on them too and the new section 30A on parody.

Continues from A Martian tries to understand the incredible Lyndale School situation (episode 2).

JOHN BRACE: Thanks for agreeing to talk about Lyndale School (again).

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: You’re welcome, but I must admit we’re even more confused today.

JOHN BRACE: Why’s that?

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: Well we just listened from our spaceship to the BBC Radio Merseyside broadcast.

JOHN BRACE: Ahh, I see.

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: The way Lyndale was described it’s a hospital, not a school.

JOHN BRACE: I see why you’re confused. It’s both in a way.

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: Well thanks for clearing that point up. So now we can say the red politicians want to close a hospital?

JOHN BRACE: No the red politicians will say they invented free hospitals, that hospitals are very dear to their heart and that they don’t want to privatise them as it doesn’t fit with their socialist ideals. They’ll tell you that hospitals aren’t safe in the hands of the blues or the yellows (or any other colour than red).

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: But the blues, yellows and greens want to keep this “hospital” open! The reds keep voting at every stage to close it!

JOHN BRACE: The reds will say they just voted for “consultation”, won’t call it a hospital and if pressed, they’ll just blame it on the blues and the yellows.

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: Right there’s another point I want clearing up now too. The bureaucrats who work for the reds, say that the blues and yellows are giving the reds an extra £260,029 this year for special educational needs.


MARVIN THE MARTIAN: But the blues and the yellows say that it’s not £260,029, but £364,135 and that the reds were told in January that they can spend this SEN Reform Revenue Grant to “choose how to spend the money in order to best meet local need” and that its purposes is (according to the blues/yellows) to “improve outcomes for children and young people with SEN; increase choice and control for parents; and promote a less adversarial system.”?

JOHN BRACE: The reds would prefer you didn’t mention that.


JOHN BRACE: Well their whole argument is blaming the blues and yellows for giving them less money, not more. It’s an “inconvenient truth”.

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: And in politics you don’t talk about the inconvenient truths?

JOHN BRACE: Yes, it’s not diplomatic or tactful to do so. If you try that with a red politician they’ll call you “political”.

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: And why is that a bad thing?

JOHN BRACE: Because like unravelling a ball of string, once you start plucking away at one bit the whole thing starts falling apart.

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: So the reds believe if they repeat enough that the blues and yellows are giving them less money that people like BBC Radio Merseyside will repeat it?

JOHN BRACE: Yes, they’ve been on a media training course you see.

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: Oh, in how to deal with people like you?

JOHN BRACE: Partly, but anyway your arguments about money are pointless.


JOHN BRACE: Because Wirral Council has been given the money referred to above (at least the first two instalments), but they don’t officially have it.

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: What kind of double talk is that?

JOHN BRACE: It’s not part of the budget that Labour agreed back in the Spring of 2014.

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: Was that deliberate?

JOHN BRACE: You mean they’d deliberately try to close the school, then suddenly magically find money they knew they had all along but tried to keep quiet and then use that to keep it open to make themselves look wonderful?

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: No, did they deliberately set a budget knowing they had this extra money?

JOHN BRACE: I don’t know, you’d better ask them.

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: Going back to the radio show, they said it should be about the children.

JOHN BRACE: Yes it should.

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: So why do they keep getting talked out of the discussion?

JOHN BRACE: Because politicians would rather score political points.

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: I listened to the parents, they referred to a “David versus Goliath” battle.

JOHN BRACE: It always is with Wirral Council, see the battles I had with them over filming meetings (until central government stepped in).

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: So they were worried you’d film them “scoring political points”?


MARVIN THE MARTIAN: Oh so they were worried you’d film them trying to close a school?


MARVIN THE MARTIAN: So what were the reasons then?

JOHN BRACE: Health and safety.

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: Well that’s ironic in a way isn’t it? They’re bothered about the health and safety implications of you filming meetings but not the health and safety of the Lyndale children?

JOHN BRACE: You might put it that way, I couldn’t possibly comment.

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: Well, the parents seem to think it’ll affect their children’s health if the school is closed.

JOHN BRACE: A lot of people think it would.

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: And if the school closes all the staff are out of a job too.

JOHN BRACE: Yes, but the reds are the “party of the workers”.

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: What does that mean?

JOHN BRACE: It means they side with the unions and the workers.

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: Ahh, so the unions want to close Lyndale?

JOHN BRACE: No, the unions are against closure. See UNISON’s response starting on page 37 which states the consultation was “misleading” and compared to Children’s Centres that there is no “equality or fairness” for Lyndale staff. NUT (National Union of Teachers) also states the consultation was “misleading” and that if Lyndale was closed “some of our most vulnerable pupils will be left without access to a local school.”

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: This whole politics thing is starting not to make any sense!

JOHN BRACE: Now you know how people feel about the whole thing.

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: So to recap, the blues and yellows gave the reds more money for this sort of thing that the reds won’t spend (yet). The reds say the blues and yellows are giving them less money.

The blues, yellows, reds and greens all say they’re on the side of the people and the reds say they’re the party of the unions. The unions seem to be on the same side as the blues, yellows and greens?

JOHN BRACE: No because a lot of those involved with the unions to put it mildly dislike the blues.

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: Your whole political system makes no sense whatsoever!!!

JOHN BRACE: That’s “democracy” for you.

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: Don’t people get frustrated having to live under such a system?

JOHN BRACE: Yes which is why they get a vote.

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: And what does a vote do?

JOHN BRACE: It allows people to pick the politicians out of the reds, blues, greens, yellows, purples et cetera.

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: So if your political system is as it is it’s the public who are to blame?

JOHN BRACE: Well no, our system ignores a majority of their votes. Let’s give an example. This year in Pensby and Thingwall 4,086 people voted.


JOHN BRACE: Roughly one in three of those voted for the red party, the rest (two in three) voted for someone else.

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: So someone else won?

JOHN BRACE: No the red party won, although most people voted for someone else.

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: So you’re saying the red party is now in charge making the decisions, even though most people who voted in Pensby & Thingwall didn’t want them in charge?


MARVIN THE MARTIAN: So your voting system means you ignore the wishes of most people and then just pick someone that most people don’t want?

JOHN BRACE: Sometimes.

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: Well doesn’t that mean whoever is in charge is unpopular?

JOHN BRACE: Well that’s the weird thing about our political system, since the red party have been in charge, they’ve become slightly more popular with the public.

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: Well according to what you just told me they weren’t very popular to start with!

JOHN BRACE: Indeed, but if you look at that election I just mentioned it was between a red and a former red that had switched to the blues. The reds really really did not want their former colleague to win.

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: So the public were asked to vote to choose between a red and a former red who is now a blue!


MARVIN THE MARTIAN: So let’s get this straight, the reds are in charge not because they’re terribly popular but because of your voting system.


MARVIN THE MARTIAN: And most people don’t vote or when they do vote often their vote doesn’t count (which is why they often choose not to vote)?


MARVIN THE MARTIAN: And that’s called democracy?


MARVIN THE MARTIAN: But the children of Lyndale are not allowed to vote?



JOHN BRACE: I don’t make the rules here.

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: So Lyndale School can be closed by a bunch of red politicians that most people never voted for and in some places a majority don’t want, that claim to be the party of the unions (who are against the idea), claim to the party of the people (who are also against the idea) and the ones who will be affected (the children) don’t even get a say in whether the politicians are red, blue, yellow, green (or something else) this year?

JOHN BRACE: You left out the bit about the reds blaming it all on the blues and the yellows.

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: Oh yes, the red politicians say they don’t have any money because of the blues and the yellows, but the blues and the yellows say well that’s the reds’ fault but they’ve given the reds more money anyway?

JOHN BRACE: As usual it is more complicated than that.

MARVIN THE MARTIAN: And you call that “democracy”, sounds like disorganised chaos!

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Author: John Brace

New media journalist from Birkenhead, England who writes about Wirral Council. Published and promoted by John Brace, 134 Boundary Road, Bidston, CH43 7PH. Printed by UK Webhosting Ltd t/a Tsohost, 113-114 Buckingham Avenue, Slough, Berkshire, England, SL1 4PF.

5 thoughts on “A Martian tries to understand the incredible Lyndale School situation (episode 2)”

  1. Think outside the box, whilst inside it. Why would they want to close a school other than for closure sake, when it can pay it’s way and there simply No other Reason

    1. The official reasons for the recommendation are given as follows:

      “Having looked at all the options, and applied the SEN Improvement Test, it is our opinion that, while we recognise the special place that The Lyndale School has in the affection of parents and children, the continued operation and maintenance of a school of this size will not meet the future educational needs of the children, nor is a financially viable option, especially when there are good alternative options available.

      The Council has a responsibility to ensure for the sustainable provision of education for the pupils of The Lyndale School. In addition, we have to manage resources effectively for all schools and the school population.

      This has been a difficult decision to make, and we would like to affirm our continued intention to work positively with the families and the children affected, and reassure parents of our continued commitment to their child’s wellbeing and education.”

  2. 🙂 Brilliant piece of humour. Perhaps next you could write “Alice lost in the Wirral lanyrinth” 🙂

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