Tag Archives: schools

Well what an absolute surprise


Michael Winning

So we are to be told, now, to “put books in the home”… I wonder what we are to be told that the books ought to be about, then? Is not that the crux or nub? Bettre watch out you book-people, for your books may not measure up, all 20 of them.

If they are not about David Beckham or Cerril Coal and called “my life”, then they perhaps arent allowed. And what if you have more than 20? Are you a dangerous conservative?

You’d be forgiven for thinking the State knew all along about how to educate. Thats what they have always said anyway, is it not?

The death of Shakespeare


David Davis

….and one more of the roots of English culture goes with him. Take him out of the schools, and he’ll never return, and nor shall we.

Even as a libertarian, I do not disapprove of schools – merely the scumbags who have got hold of them by the windpipe.

UPDATE: There is a discussion going on on Facebook about this.

Green Paper


David Davis

This is a day of minor observations about small things. I feel I want to say things about education this afternoon.

This matter which I will relate was commonplace in the early 1960s. Even in “State” schools, whose teachers still thought they were there to pass knowledge on, or at least some of them did.

When I was a young teenager at school, if you did a piece of either homework (it was actually called “prep” then by us, and you did some between 6.15 and 7.30 pm at school, before going home if you were not a boarder, to do the rest before tomorrow am) or classwork that fell below your recognized usually-achievable standards – and you were /told/ what these would be as required-  you would be commanded to redo the work on “Green Paper”, perfectly, for resubmission to the relevant master. Otherwise, you would not be classed in your class ratings for the “Tri-Weeklies”. There were four of these per term. If you missed a “Tri-Weekly” in all subjects fully…..

“Green Paper”, which was of a particular shade and was lined and punched and of Foolscap size – so you could not buy it at Pullinger’s “the stationers” in the town – could only be collected, in individual sheets of the prescribed number for the work, from your Housemaster. He would note how many sheets you were commanded to ask for, which master it was for, and which subject, and by when (usually tomorrow) and would note your marks from the failed-piece. You had to sign for these sheets.

If you “got” three Green Papers (over all subjects) in one tri-weekly, you would then go on “Satis”. You might be beaten as well by the Housemaster or the House Tutor, at his or his discretion, especially if you were thought to be “intelligent and lazy”. (Boris Johnson types please note.) Potential officers in the Prussian Army would have jumped over the wall by this time and buggered off to their favourite peasant-girls, in disgust, at their views of this attempted humiliation. “

“Satis” meant that you had a brown _Blauschein_ thingy handed to you, with all the lessons you had to go to marked on it in a grid, for the next three weeks (tri-weekly) and each master (all of them, for all subjects) had to sign it to the effect that you had performed “satis”factorily in his lesson. Each time,  it made you late as you had to queue up to see him at the end-bell of each lesson, before moving on to another building: (The boys moved and the masters stayed put then.) It identified you to the other boys as a person who needed watching. Some would withdraw the hem of their garment from you, especially the clubbable popular convivial not-very-bright-but-politically-able-boys, whom everyone wanted as their friends.These boys, who are now in their 60s all very rich and relaxed in their old age, did not want to be associated visibly with other people’s failures: that is only right and natural. It was a lesson in life.

It bloody made you perform.

If your “Satis” card was in order at the end, and you had not acquired any more Green papers, then the record of the previous Green Papers you had obtained was expunged.

I am not suggesting that a libertarian education system – if that is not indeed a tautologial notion – would invoke such a thing as this system for making people remember things learned. But if there was a Free Market in Schooling, then some places might go for this method, as in a “That’ll Teach-‘Em!” strategy. I fully expcet that the children of people like Tony Blair, the Milibands, Peter Mandelson (he has children, but he is just dissembling for the camerae) and Harriet Harman would go here.

The problem today of course is that there is no failure and no success. Everyone has to be equally “advantaged”, and as well the “curriculum” contains no content of actual factual use or relevance. So I suppose they don’t need Green papers then.

Toby Young and “Free Schools”: help needed here


David Davis

I am naturally interested in this idea, being a sort of amateur educator myself, and thought I’d pass it on to anyone who hasn’t seen his column today.

Wikipedia, the modern British Nazi-State, and children’s learning


David Davis

The internet helps to create the largest library in the history of the world, and then along comes “OFQUAL”.

We’re the government: let’s find out what people want to know and how, and tell them it’s wrong….tell them to use the Met Office and Hansard instead!”

I am already fed to the back teeth with stories of teachers trumpeting “you musn’t use Wikipedia, because anybody can edit it”. This smells to me of British GramscoFabiaNazis being pissed off at the fact that their neoMarxist bedfellows can’t any longer control the content or flow of knowledge and information.

It’s no use giving essay-writing projects to average British State-(dis)Educated schoolchildren, not to say even University students, in this centuryas things stand. they have not been given, and I say this is on purpose, the thinking and thought-planning skills needed for constructing arguments and explanations in the first place.

For example, the entirety of the British-State-Primary school years are wasted. This is functionally from age 4 or 5 to about 11, when these particular skills, based on rigorous grammar and the meaning of words, should be put in. Designing and colouring posters about “healthy foods” and “slavery”, using keywords and zazzy pictures, is no good at all. they are reading about “Floppy” who is a dog that lives in a multicultural rural village community, and the child-owners of which dog are of indeterminate gender by name and by appearance. The dad wears a polo-neck a lot of the time, (like Carl Sagan in the 70s when this was respectable.)

Here is an illustration of what I think I could achieve…By age 11, and faced with the question /Was Haig the Butcher of the Somme? Use sources C to F to explain your view, in four paragraphs of six lines each/, they should be able to not type in to Google /was haig the butcher of the somme/ but these sample phrases I have crafted instead, in order, and have in fact tried on an intelligent 11-year-old after about two hours in total of instruction in how to think:-

(1) /Somme military “grand strategy” – [ = as in 'minus' or excluding the word] butcher/

(2) /Verdun relieve pressure French 1916 – [ as in minus] “General John French”/

(3) /Haig attrition “trench warfare” “modern industrial nation” + artillery/

(4) /New army kitchener “civilian soldiers” Accrington/ (or + “pals” as an additional search)

I ask readers who are old enough to come up with either confirmation or refutation of the idea that averagely bright State-educated children in Britain in the 1950s could have understood what the above engine-strings meant (on being told how Google works for about 5 minutes) and would have been able to effectively craft their own.

The enmity on the part of the State (dis)educationists is IMHO based on their full knowledge of what they themselves have been doing. They have on purpose hollowed out and degraded (and corrupted what was left of) the the body of knowledge which ought to be part of everybody’s folk-inheritance – as Brian Micklethwait often says – “IN A GOOD WAY”. They have replaced it with a set of beliefs which the structure of learning of which they approve compels one to conform to, as there are no other answers allowed. To me, this is Nazism applied to education, as described by William Shirer in “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich”, in his fairly-early-on chapter about the subversion of the schools and universities there.

Obviously, it would be clumsy and gauche of a student to simply copy and paste a tract from somewhere, without even bothering to format it correctly to his/her document style. Even I am not this bad here on the blog, as that! The poor bastards only do that because, as they explain sorrowfully to me often, they “DON’T KNOW WHERE TO START”…That to me and you says they have not been shown how to think about how to ask for, then to sift, data. Perhpas they even have no data… (and who’s fault is that then?)

Instead of one-dimensionally-punishing untrained pupils (for that is what they are – untrained – and whose fault is that then?) for this, simply explain that it is _/OK/_ to get stuff from other sources, _/IF/_ you (a) say where from, and (b) you understand the content of what you have put up. (Oh, and we will test you on it next week to make sure you do understand it!)

Ken Clarke rubbishes Harriet Harmperson rubbishing George Osbore


Michale Winning

You couldn’t make it up if you tried.

I’m holding the frot today for the Boss who is doing chores he has to do sometimes.

The trouble with Labour’s reversion to “class war” in the coming election campaign is that it WILL work as a strategy. People are brought up under the school system to believe all that tosh.That’s why Labour are playing the class card because they know it will get them lots of votes.

You have to believe it’s deliberate. Just one look at what the poor blighters in schools, the childrenm of my farming colleagues, have to learn for English GCSEs and exams, tells you what theyre supposed to come out believeing. In two ticks you can persuade people educated like this that the Tories and toffs and Labour are “on the side of working people”. All that twaddle.

There’, Ive tried to write an intellectual essay. I hope its worked!

Parks of terror: how to nationalize land by stealth, through crying “beauty”


David Davis

The “South Downs” has just joined the Litany of Lands nationalised in the name of “jobs”, “local people”, and “ramblers”.

The idea of the “rambler” was created by Jim Hegel, (or it might have been Rickie “the people’s person” Engels”) as we all know, as a proposed form of entertainment for his friend Marx, for the times when Marx was not fathering boys on his wife’s serving-maid, in North London.

Nobody who lives there will from now on be able to do anything at all, except supplicate to “Natural England” about the particular shade of white paint to do his windows and doors in. They’ll also have to host thousands and thousands and thousands of parties of comprehensive-school “learners”, doing “Geography Projects” about “Are the South Downs a Honeypot?” and “What is the effect of traffic congestion on the South Downs?”