Day 72 – Votes

On Thursday SMS received several emails from irate teachers who had been asked to vote “in a suitable fashion” by an email originally sent by Martin Fletcher, Head of Hastingsbury Upper School. The email is reproduced below and was sent to all the other upper school Heads.

SMS have been aware of this poll since Martin made a speech at the official consultation evening at his school during which he stated that 85% of votes were for a change to two-tier.

What Martin forgot to mention was that only 600 votes had been recorded (less than the size of his school), most visitors to school sites are their own pupils, and that individuals can vote from multiple computers and multiple times (once per day per IP address).

Last weekend, SMS added the Hastingsbury poll to its TAKE ACTION tab, tucked away next to Doug McMurdo’s poll.

There was no coordinated effort to spread the news about it widely; no blog about it (until now); no major expenditure of time (as we’ve all got much better things to do).

The results are meaningless – but please do add your vote if you wish – we wouldn’t want Martin to feel the people of Bedford Borough didn’t care – he has a blog too if you want to read his thoughts…

Polls are usually put on websites with amusing and irrelevant questions (eg is Madonna looking her age?) as any intelligent person should realise that their results are worthless as an indication of public opinion.

Martin Fletcher should stand outside the lower schools of Kempston, as SMS have done, and listened to the 60-80% of parents that naturally support our campaign, without any undue influence or manipulation.

The email below smacks of desperation.


From: mfletcher []
Sent: 08 July 2009 15:48
To:; A Lee;;;;
Subject: Two tier debate

Dear all

I wonder if you can help. The SMS campaign appear to have galvanised parents / activists to respond on mass to our website poll on peoples preferences for two tier or three tier. In the last 4 days there have been 400 odd votes in favour of the retention of three tier. To save me the embarrassment of taking the poll off the website and the subsequent flack this will result in could you encourage your staff to visit our website at and vote in a suitable fashion. They will need to scroll down on the front page to the bottom right hand corner to find the poll. It might seem a petty point but SMS clearly think it is worth getting their supporters to vote.
Thanks for your help

Martin Fletcher
Hastingsbury Business and Enterprise College
Mobile – (removed)
PA Jan Gosnell – (removed)


3 Responses to Day 72 – Votes

  1. Ed Thomas says:

    Congratulations to Martin ‘Norman Stanley’ Fletcher. Your email is Guinness – ‘PURE GENIUS’

    I now know who has been writing the GMTV phone competition questions i.e.
    New York is also known as:
    (a) Big Melon
    (b) Little Grapefruit
    (c) Big Apple
    I salute you, Martin!

    I just wished you had asked me for help, the poll could have been written far better for your suitable voting friends. Maybe Martin you could use this poll next time for extra fairness!

    Which system do you prefer?
    (a) Two tiers
    (b) A system which has primary or secondary schools only
    (c) 1 tier + 1 tier = 2 tiers

    By the way if Martin is ‘Norman Stanley’, are there any suggestions for ‘Harry Grout’ or ‘Orrible Ives’.


  2. Sid says:

    No suggestions regarding the previous post. But ever since someone mentioned about a rainbow council I’ve been keeping my eye out for Zippy, Bungle and George.

    Or did I misunderstand?

  3. […] Fletcher’s Hastingsbury poll was taken down yesterday and, whilst SMS has ridiculed this in the past for very good reasons (it allowed multiple voting from the same computer), it did show […]

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