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As A Dodo: The Home Office 1782-2007

The truth about British education

As I predicted, New Labour is using the Celebrity Big Brother hoo-ha as an excuse for the compulsory re-education of the masses. Compare and contrast with this story about maths and English standards in our schools. We should have no doubt about New Labour's "educational" priorities. Just as it sees the police as a Cheka to enforce its political ideas so it sees our schools as venues for agitprop.

Racist abuse is no better or worse than any other kind of rudeness. Racist violence is no better or worse than any other kind of violence. When you say it is (as the whole concept of "racially-aggravated" offences does) you are insulting other victims of violence or abuse; saying that their suffering is less; in effect that they are lesser beings.

Teachers have always encouraged children to be polite and considerate to each other. Of course they should do so. With parents, they should be helping to build up the social conventions that, far more than the blunt instrument of the law, make civilised life possible. If you are educating children to treat each other well, you do actual damage to the concept of equality and fair play when you condescendingly single particular groups out for special protection.

You damage the future prospects of those privileged groups, as they will see every bad thing that happens to them as the product of racism. After last year's Summer holidays, my daughter compared notes with an Asian schoolfriend about our experiences at the same hotel in the South of France. We had been unhappy with the poor, rude service and had complained vigorously to the management (and received an apology). They had asumed the same experience was due to racism. Even the members of this rich, successful family saw themselves as "victims".

Equally, when you teach this nonsense, you damage community relations. They see the racist witch-hunts around them (I am waiting to see Jade Goody on the ducking stool) and they learn only fear. We are teaching children to be afraid of those who can destroy them with a casual accusation. They are less likely to seek them out as friends in future.

Jade Goody may not have been educated, but she has been politically indoctrinated. She responded to the suggestion that she had made racist remarks like a well-trained dog to the word "heel." She may have no culture and little understanding of the world around her, but she certainly knows that to be called a racist is social death, whether or not it's true or fair.

She is of mixed race herself. She has a "get out of jail free" card unavailable to most, but still she was visibly afraid. Is that fear one of the "British values" Mr Johnson wants our children to be taught? How ironic that a stupid TV show named for George Orwell's "1984", should advance us a step further towards the society the book depicted.


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Jade Goody's treatment reminded me of the case a few years ago of Sheryl Tweedy, the Girls Aloud band member. She had punched a black toilet attendant in the face, allegedly calling her a 'black b***h'. When the case came to court, she was found guilty of assault, or something similar. On the charge of racially aggravated assault, she was found Not Guilty. You should have seen her relief. She didn't mind being found guilty of assault; but racism? No way. We are encouraged to think that an offence is somehow worse if racism is involved. Personally, I would have thought the fact of the assault would have been enough to finish her career. But what do I know? All the tabloids pronounced solemnly that her career was still in tact; she was a thug, but mercifully, not a racist one.

The same with Jade Goody. In her self-abasing interviews, she has declared herself a bully with anger problems, in need in psychiatric help, anything, but not a racist. At this stage, she will own up to anything, except the charge of racism. You are right, Tom, when you say that she has somehow, against all odds, been indoctrinated. She knows that, in today's Britain, nothing will make you a pariah faster than being labelled a racist.

As to your point about the damage to community relations, that is so true.

"We are teaching children to be afraid of those who can destroy them with a casual accusation. They are less likely to seek them out as friends in future."

I hadn't thought of it that way before, but you are absolutely right.

Welshcakes Limoncello

Yes, ironic indeed, when put like that. You have put into words my own unease when I saw JG's interview today, whether it was an act or not: I hadn't realised it till I read your post, but what we saw there was fear. [This is not to say that I in any way excuse her - I don't.]


Even more scary is the line I have heard trotted out this week several times from the PCers that "it is racism if you think it is racism" Whaa?! Is a dog a cat because you think it is? What a free pass for the thought police. Whim and subjectivism and perceived slights are now to be the criteria of offence?

james higham

...Equally, when you teach this nonsense, you damage community relations...

Hit the nail on the head.

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