Category Archives: Education

A Word on Teachers

The below is from the comments section of this post by Swithun Dobson. Aside from the layout making it a challenge to read, I found it highly enjoyable. It’s an important article. It’s an important issue. And if articles like this are not written or read or shared then things like this will happen without our even noticing them. I then thought about my own schooling. Not private, but state schooling. I don’t know all that many people who went to private schools, but the general feeling I get from those who have experienced both is that a) private schooling is immeasurably better, but b) that it can succeed in being rather more subtle in its indoctrination or dumbing down than state schooling. The replacement of that subtlety itself may indeed be imminent. Anyhow, what I’ve just said may be rubbish and what I write below actually has very little to do with the article in question. However, Sean thought it warranted a separate blog post and so this is it. I have omitted some of it and expanded in parts. 

Those of a certain age who perhaps attended a grammar school and have done moderately well ought to be forgiven for believing that, while the state system is now grossly inefficient and obviously dumbed-down, the students have never had it so good. They, after all, didn’t get the leisure that children have today. And the computerisation of at least one lesson per week cuts down on the amount of writing they are obliged to do. Not only this, but those on the outside of a state school are under the frequently given impression that the lessons are “fun”, the teachers are “caring”, and that the continual research into the special and varying needs of some students has made all “equal in opportunity”.

Continue reading

Education: Another Step to the Total State

by Swithun Dobson

Independent Schools: Arms of the State

The Proposed New Independent Standards for Schools (PNISS) are a bigger threat to educational liberty than the National Curriculum and will effectively mean all independent schools will become arms of the state.

Here are the most egregious passages with some brief comments. Continue reading

A Good Man Is In Court Today

by Dick Puddlecote

A Good Man Is In Court Today I’ve written about this before, so am encouraged to see someone standing up to a new law applied in an unnecessarily heavy-handed fashion.

A couple who took their children out of school so they could have their first family holiday in five years risk being jailed after refusing to pay fines introduced under controversial new laws.

Stewart and Natasha Sutherland will appear before Telford Magistrates’ Court tomorrow after they took their three children to the Greek island of Rhodes during the school term. Continue reading

The Great Reading Disaster

Book Review by Sean Gabb
The Great Reading Disaster: Reclaiming Our Educational Birthright
Mona McNee and Alice Coleman
Imprint Academic, Exeter, 2007, 341pp, £17.95 (pb)
(ISBN 9781845400972)
(Review published in The Quarterly Review, Winter 2007)

This book narrates and explains one of the great disasters of our time. As is often this case with disasters of our time, it also narrates and explains a scandal that in earlier ages would have provoked incredulity. Its theme is the collapse of educational standards in this country, and how this has been brought on by a persistent unwillingness to teach children to read using the only methods that are known to work in the great majority of cases. Continue reading

The Libertarian Alliance Christmas (sermon): I did want to say something positive, but I can’t. Sorry.

David Davis

Well, this is Christmas, I guess, and time goes around and comes around, and it seems like five minutes ago that I wrote the LA’s first Christmas Message on this blog, six or seven years ago. I’m not sure that there’s much else new to say from that time, but the Chimpanzee Type-Writors in the Blog’s freezing, damp Nissen-Hut must at least pretend to keep up appearances.

On every day and in every way, our rulers (do we need such people, really?) conspire to push us further and further down the outfall-pipe. It’s actually very depressing to be alive in Britain in 2013, knowing that one was being born some number of decades before, in a country which, while less blessed with the planet’s offerings, was at least less unfree in most ways.

All I’d really like to say to Libertarians this Christmas is that I think we are running out of time. It’s slipping by us all fast and I don’t know when there might be another time. I’m certain I said it before, possibly last year and the year before that and the year before that: it’s quite fortunate that statistNazis are rather inefficient and take longer than they might, to do what they need to do. Even Enoch Powell said once: “be of good cheer: for the rot has set in, but it will take quite some time”. There are some choices now open to us, as follows:-

(1) We can continue to try to “influence debate”, by publishing, by some of us (not enough to make a difference) going about having eggs and turned-off-mikes thrown at us in universities and on radio stations and in “Conservative” gatherings and meetings and stuff like that. We can continue to do that thing. But I don’t think anyone that matters, or is on our side, is listening. The ones not on our side will simply delete the file they got sent for airing, or turn off the mike when we get too near the truth.

(2) We can espouse “activism”, but all this will do is get us imprisoned, possibly for ever for we are right, and out families broken up, our computers “taken into local authority-care”, and our children “seized for hard-drive analysis”. As a strategy, this will therefore avail other people nought. The trouble is that we have been shown time and time again that “activism” pays, since people like Nelson Mandela, Gerry Adams, the dead pigs Castro and Stalin, the other dead leftist pig Hitler (he got lucky while young) and Ho Chi Mhinh “got into government”. But I don’t think any living Libertarian conservatives are willing to pay the price or are even young enough to see it redeemed.

(3) Each of us can build an “armoured library”. How you all do this is entirely up to you. It needn’t even be armoured, so long as you didn’t tell policemen, who’d of course tip off scumbag mobsters to come and accidentally burn it as soon as it was convenient for (them).

Sorry to be so depressing this year. It’s no use getting excited that “over 145 people” got to see the lecture at (somewhere or other) by “Dr Human Hope”, the really really articulate and perspicacious founder of the “freedom free thingy”, at some place or other, and which several hundred Libertarians from at least “20” countries attended. Nor, even, that his lecture got “published on the internet.

Merry Christmas: the time has come to face reality. Nobody’s really interested enough in liberty – either for themselves or for others, and certainly not for others – for us to make a difference any more.

I’m not saying we should give up and die. Just that we must not expect victory, for we shall not get it.

Armoured Libraries and survival of culture and law

David Davis

Various prominent British libertarians seem now agreed that The Endarkenment approaches. The signs have been increasingly clear for some time. The fact that liberty is the mother of order and not its daughter is inconvenient for those that mean to boot the vast majority of Mankind – except themselves – backwards, cruelly, painfully and hard into pre-enlightenment misery, starvation, disease and servitude.

Being a scientist myself by training and thought-modes, and therefore by definition not an intellectual –  I have never figured out why humans get to want to bring about – and worse, specifically for others than themselves – what I described above.

It always seems after careful analysis of their plans, that they would like to visit upon the whole of humanity what Churchill described as “the torments that Dante reserved for the damned”.

[Incidentally, I think that "intellectual" (the noun) is is a mere imaginary literary concept, applied by primitive pre-scientific mystics to themselves and their friends who still work according to neolithic non-tribe-male-skull-crashing theories of how to behave towards others, and are driven by emotion and wishful thinking. This may become the subject of another discussion, but perhaps I may accidentally have defined "conservatives" as definitely not these people. We shall have to see, when I have time to try to write something again.]

Various commenters on recent postings here have said things like this, and this, and this. In the darkness however, someone said this, and Continue reading

Diversity by Decree