Thursday, 21 January 2010

UK government funding for Pető Institute

Continuing questions?

For years and years I have been reading nonsense, fielding questions and correcting misapprehensions about the UK Government's financial contribution to the rebuilding of the Pető Institute's building in Villányi út in Budapest. I have experienced three examples only this week.

Perhaps it doesn't matter now. Perhaps it never did! Perhaps there is no one left on the planet who cares tuppence about the issue..

For the record, however, presented herewith are two concrete public documents. If having read these you have specific questions or comments on this matter then I shall try to respond them. You may do so by using the COMMENTS facility at the foot of this posting. Or you can write a private email to:

1991: original treaty (English version only)

1997:  final treaty (in English and Hungarian)


  1. Too late at night for detailed reading and digestion.

    However, I note dates of original treaty & final treaty were during Conservative Government, before New Labour won election in 1997.

    Is there any significance in that?

  2. By the 1990s it was apparent that government backing for CE was wholly for foreign-policy purposes. The only exception to this came from the then Minister for the Disabled, Nicholas Scott, who really did seem personally committed to the idea that CE was something that would offer lasting benefit to disabled children/adults and their families.

    As the nineties progressed I gave up on expecting anything from 'the government'. Shadow ministers, though, had said bold things (for example Frank Dobson's promise of money if or when when he would be in charge of health), and it was cheering to think that our problem might be the Conservative government and would not therefore last for ever.

    In 1997 Labour came in, promises were brushed aside by the demands of office, and things proceeded to get progressively worse for CE in the UK. It became apparent that the problem was 'government' in general, not least perhaps a of its dependence upon the existing established system in order to get anything done.

    The problem was exacerbated by the self-styled education and disability 'progressives' whose causes and careers were significantly advanced in the opening years of the Labour government, and whose ideas provided the ideological basis for some deeply reactionary and repressive policies and practices. They certainly did not favour Conductive Education!

    Over those years, however, in the days when it was my job actively to lobby, Conservative politicians in opposition often took intrigued and intelligent interest in Conductive Education. Inter alia John Bercow comes to mind, but the prime example was Iain Duncan Smith. One day it could be thought, things will be considerably different.

    To me, the significance of what you write is that we are now again in the dying days of a deadening Government. It is so easy to hope for better things to come with a new regime. The question is whether history will now be repeated as tragedy or farce! Will again the problem prove government on general, or are circumstance in general now so very different that things cannot possible be permitted to continue as they were?

    Maybe I should unretire and get lobbying again. That's the significance for me.

  3. Andrew

    Did it not make you sick at the time, that this money was offered to Hungary and that the British Government were not investing the money in projects in UK?

    I had this question in mind as I fell asleep last night and perhaps it comes a bit late now, you sort of answered it already in your comment this morning.

    But I will ask you anyway, you may have more to say on the subject!