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Simon Cowell resumes war of words with British politician over education

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Dec 23, 2013 | 3:45am EST

Music mogul Simon Cowell has resumed his education debate with a top British politician, accusing him of shunning youngsters who fail to do well at school. Cowell became embroiled in a war of words with the U.K.'s Education Secretary Michael Gove last month (Nov13) over their different views of schooling and success. The talent show boss mentioned in an interview that his secret was being "useless at school" and getting "lucky", but Gove took offence at the comments and branded the star "irresponsible and stupid" for dismissing the importance of education. The music boss has now resumed his stand against Gove, insisting the politician did not bother to hear his side of the story. Cowell tells Britain's LBC Radio, "He didn't bother to call, he didn't want to hear my side of the story and, stupidly, he didn't see the positive side of what I was trying to say. Not everybody who leaves school is going to get great qualifications, or maybe they just don't have that kind of brain. "But that doesn't mean that they should be ruled out, or not given a chance, because I don't run a company where I hire people based on their qualifications, or have they gone to university (sic). We hire people from the age of 16 up, 17, whatever it is, who want to work hard and want to make a career for themselves. "So, if anything, I thought he was irresponsible, because he was basically saying, if you're not qualified we're not going to back you, and it's like, how crazy are you for saying that?" A spokesman for Gove has since responded to Cowell's remarks, telling Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper, "Michael was criticising Cowell's view that 'the secret is to be useless at school and then get lucky'. Obviously qualifications aren't everything, but we think celebrities should encourage kids to work hard at school and achieve as much as they can. Not everyone gets lucky like Simon Cowell."

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