Back in 1950, a 24-year-old first-time candidate for public office (in this case, the British parliament) named Margaret Roberts came up with a slogan she hoped would help her campaign unseat not just the entrenched incumbent, but the majority then held by the U.K.’s Labour Party.
“Stop the rot; sack the lot,” she declared during her stump speeches.
It didn’t quite work – Roberts as expected lost her race and the Labour Party, albeit narrowly and briefly, held on to its parliamentary majority. But we like the sentiment.
When it comes to the Fairfax County School Board, whose seats all will be on the ballot in 2023, the time is now for those dissatisfied with the performance of incumbents to start planning, raising funds and recruiting candidates in an effort to clean house.
The School Board, Democrats all at this point, is a mixed bag. There are some conscientious members, but they are being drowned out by colleagues’ unbridled arrogance, distorted world view and willingness to make students, student achievement and student health (physical and mental) pawns in political shenanigans.
Since it would take determined effort to uncover which incumbents are truly worth keeping and which need the heave-ho, perhaps “stop the rot; sack the lot” should be the rallying cry of those who seek a return to a rational, student-centric School Board that leaves its partisan politics at the door.
If it requires throwing the baby out with the bathwater, to jumble up metaphors, so be it. Start fresh.
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And to tie up a loose end – whatever happened to that young political neophyte Margaret Roberts? Well, it took her a while to find a footing on the political scene. But she eventually won a seat in Parliament in 1959 after, in the interim, having become a lawyer, married (a fellow named Denis Thatcher) and giving birth to twins.
The rest, as they say, is history.