We all have our weaknesses, even those at the top of the pile

I watched the film ‘Hyde Park on Hudson this weekend.

FDR in 1933

FDR in 1933

It was about an episode in the life of Franklin D. Roosevelt, arguably one of the top 3 American leaders, held in the same regard as Abe Lincoln (about whom I have blogged) and George Washington.

Reviews when the film came out in 2012 were not particularly favourable, perhaps because some saw it as a character assassination of a beloved US President. I won’t explain the plot, suffice it to say that FDR is revealed to be a mischievous womaniser who liked playing practical jokes on royalty. Personally I found it simply an amusing story which showed that even great men or women have their frailties.

After all, democratic world leaders are just human beings, with all our positive and negative characteristics  (I have different views on those who run North Korea and similar undemocratic  states). The difference is that they are prepared to stick their head out above the parapet and express their political views openly to all – in fact they need to do this,  otherwise they get kicked out of their jobs pretty brutally, assuming the system is functioning properly …

I just wish they and other politicians wouldn’t get too involved in education policy debates, which are inevitably coloured by an individual’s personal experience of their schooling and not necessarily by an objective analysis of the evidence.

We need a different mechanism for that.