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?”

Tories, education and schools: this is all very well, but…


if I was them, then I would not have started from here.

David Davis

“Sink schools” exist because the GramscoFabiaNazis have brought them into being on purpose. The justification to create them was the pressing and fast need to de-educate an entire civilisation. Therefore, the punishments for bringing them into being, and which will be retributed from the perpetrators, will be exemplary. I will not say what here: it will be revealed in due course. But the Enemy Class’s surrender will be unconditional, and we have no peace terms at all, to offer for discussion.

The perpetrators of these “sink schools” are not the current “heads”, nor even probably most of the present or absent teachers, or even the poor robbed children – subjected as they are to the planned secondary assault by “popular culture”. The guilty ones (of which there will an excitingly large number) among these Enemy-Class-minor operatives will merely become people without any job or any future income of any kind whatever until their death. No. The War-Criminals are the “educationist” GFNs themselves, and their lackeys and running-dogs of the Enemy-Class, who deliberately planned for the generation of, and required for their success in domination and tyranny, a populace of uncurious helots to be elected as the New People brought into being.

Why do we think that Kenneth Tynan said “f***” on live Tele Vision exactly when he did? Why was sex invented precisely in 1963? It is because the GFNs were ready with the next, the first-occupation-wave, of the assault.

A whole nation’s schools have been used as machinery for the attempted, and largely successful, de-civilising of that entire nation, for the first time in recorded history. In the 1930s, the NSDAP, while “righting” knowledge to make a similar but craftier “people”, was merely tinkering at the edges: they had a global war to win, and “National Socialist Mathematics” was not going to cut the mustard with people like Stalin and the like, as was borne out by uncomfortable fact. Even with my A-level physics teacher on board for the Allies, it was an effing close-run thing.

It will not do to “close sink schools”: there is not time to resurrect proper ones to take the slack, and the damage will continue to be piled up against us if we do not drain the swamp, cleansing out the Augean Stables of wicked doctrine and “unfit thoughts” on day one.The “Nationalised Curriculum” will go, and knowledge and truth will be substituted.

These schools will have to be operated. But the terms will be initially harsh. The first people to get the point of it – after about Day Three – will be the students, who will be our first adherents and supporters in the plan.

There is such a thing as “political correctness”: and it is not what the Enemy Class says it is. It means being right. And they are wrong, they know it, have done it on purpose, and will have to pay.

How West-stalinist governments destroy education and deliberately de-civilise – part 2942A/-3. Bullying in schools


David Davis

I chanced on this just now.

This government is not content with forcibly occupying schools in the Austro-Serbian-1914 manner. Nor indeed in the manner of that of R3 in post-1933.

I respectfully suggest that this government is determined to exclude from society, and if possible destroy physically even including the use of death, any children whose outlook and innate relpectiveness might prejudice the growth of a population of biddable pro-GramscoFabiaNazi helots.The (a)moral position is halfway achieved already, since today British children are, functionally, State Property.

Hence, “bullying”, a custom long in use by children (until they learn property rights and about liberty)  but hiterto controlled adequately by real schools, is allowed and promoted pro-actively. This is actively accomplished in schools by plans known as “anti-bullying policies”.

“Bullying” is probably a primordial hominid-survival-mechanism, useful perhaps 300,000 to 1 million years ago, and probably co-eval with the reise of language as a skill. It may have had a utility in ensuring that the most aggressive and the most “celebrity-clubbable” juveniles (of either sex but mainly males – and who would be popular on account of their size/outgoing-nature/use of growls to threaten predators/warped-sense-of-humour/…etc) survived better in the presence of scarce gatherable resources, to reproduce, at the expense of the more retiring and noncommunicative ones in a group environment. By either killing the “geeks” or driving them off into the bush to be eaten by Short-Arsed-Bears, the survival of the more clubbable and aggressive juveniles could be helped.

My hypothesis may imply that “bullies” could be quite “intelligent”. This is not a problem for me, for most bullies I have ever met were at least not very much more dim than most normal people, and probably had other useful qualities if only these could be exposed and/or channelled.

Regarding “Policies” …. I relate the story of the Bishop who, when asked what was his policy regarding SIN, replied “I’m against it”. Schools today in the UK, for the benefit of our overseas reader, all have to have “policies” tod eal with “bullying”. these are often highly comples and deliberately unintelligible documents (we don’t want parents detecting that the verbiage means sod-all now, do we) which talk about the appointment of “peer mentors” (which is to say other children) to whom one should go on being bullied. Or that “The School absolutely does not tolerate bullying of any kind, and works with the appropriate practitioners, carers and organisations towards a strategy of agreement on how to co-ordinate the relevant activities, measures and experts’ skills in order to  formulate a pastoral-care-pathway designed to eliminate the ….”...f***-it -  I could go on.

In my day in the 1950s and just after, there was indeed bullying. My parents firstly tried to help me combat it by saying to the bullies: “But I will go to University and you will not!” Poor buggers my parents: they simply didn’t understand the mind of the English young male post-war bully. But schools had a more robust attitude happily. After a little time I was encouraged by the teachers, mostly ex-WW2 RSMs and redundant ex-Imperial ADCs from upper-Jipoopooland, to take matters into my own hands. I was not strong or large, but there were sharp things such as my teeth, fountain pens and compass-points, which it seemed I was not … officially … discouraged from using. So I did.

Injured bullies leaking blood were generally chastised by the nearest teacher and sent to Matron to be sewn up again and given permanganate swabs, plus a stern note to their _Father_ . It stopped after a few weeks, and I was not thereafter troubled.

Bullying will stop if recipients or “bullees” are permitted to retaliate with force. I believe that there are no conditions under which it will stop if the existing “policies” (which expressly preclude absolutely any retaliation by bullees) are allowed to continue. Since the kinds of people targetted as “bullees” are generally either not the product of the Labour-spawned underclass, or else do not generally conform to TV-driven “cultural norms” such as chavs, thugs, hairless-male-youths-who-crash-W-reg-white-Vauxhall-Novas-full-of-girls, and celebs, then “policies” for “anti-bullying”  must be a deliberate attempt to wipe out, by self-harm, the young population of those reflective enough not to conform and agree.

I rest my case.

…sorry…the end of the poll-question should have said “The New Utopia”.

Beware: this is what the Enemy Class does to people…


…on the way to its hegemony. By deliberately fostering antifamilial and atomisational Trash-tv-mediated-policies and cultures, it turns ordinary, perfectible human beings into inchoate barnyard animals.

This is just down the road from here.

David Davis

Beware the Enemy Class, for this is the sort of thing that its activites being about, and which it likes to do on pupose. It does. Believe me, for I am the Director of Northern Affairs for its opposition, and I sometimes watch in horror. It sets out to cause individual humans, who would otherwise behave normally towards, say, new-born-babies, to just ditch them in the attic in a box, if it means having to not watch Big Brother or Top of the Pops instead. And the removal of anything worthwhile from school learning has only a majority-part in this and not the whole blame.

Sunday afternoon thoughts on male aggression, and socialism


David Davis

WE watched, as is usual when we have the time, the Belgian Formula 1 GP, which was slightly less unexciting than normal owing to a good pile-up on the first lap. Perhaps we subliminally enjoyed the implied violence? I do not know….

…There is something wrong with today’s car-racing tracks, which I will deal with in time. But in short, they are (1) too short, (2) have got too many really really sharp corners straight after the start, and (3) don’t allow driver/car-changes midstream if you prang or the driver gets killed, and (4) don’t allow you to jump into the spare car (and where is it then?) while the track is still covered with shrapnel. Peter Davis and I did a nice track nearly two years ago on here, about 26 miles long and rather interesting on Googleearth. We will come back to it. You can serch for it in the meantime.

But…..male aggression. It’s probably one of the things that made Homo sapiens sapiens as successful as (he) is, in the battle for survival against shithead short-arsed-bears bureaucrats, sabre-tooth tigers Soviets, and so on. I have been thinking about this for some time as I find that male students vary considerably in their ability to manage or mask or evince aggression as a statement of attitude, and it does seem to vary corelationally by school. (The Governmint might want to know that.)  Janet Daley today examines what she suggests the fascist PC-left have done to being about the explosion of gang culture and knife crime among young boys and young men. It’s worth a read, even though lots of libertarians don’t like her.

In “New Britain”, youth male aggression is not channelled, and so individual directionless crime is rife: why? Because:-

(1) There are no fathers, only “mums”. Girls are born to “mums”, but boys are born by parthenogenesis to “single partners”. “Fathers” are just devices which prodice the necessary gametes, seemingly on demand (I can’t figure out how or why.)

(2) Young boys have to have their heads shaved at three and watch football all day on the Wireless Tele Vision, and “hang out”.

(3) “Schools” have sold their football fields for the building of “affordable housing”, so there are no “competitive sports” which foster “elitism and “inequality” anyway, and so are bad.

(4) The Naitonalised Curriculum has been voided of content and also femiNazised, in order to render school (on purpose) seemingly useless to boys, so that they can be made to prefer streetgangs as a form of daytime outdoor relief.

Socialism (a fungus) of course needs this machinery to propagate within what is otherwise a highly-ordered civilisation, formed sort of accidentally under liberty.

Is socialism a fungus born out of evolution and natural selection, and which exploits a niche? DISCUSS

Truancy: and the reason is…


…that the “National Curriculum” totally outdoes even the Daily Mirror in the department of uttermost boring triviality, and unfitness to be termed a “knowledge-delivery-system”. It is a self-amplifying socialist outdoor-relief-system for increasing education bureaucracy and spending.

David Davis

If you remove all semblence of interesting knowledge – along with anything that helps one’s ability to marshall facts and opinions, let alone distinguish one from the other – from what schools teach, then you will get pupils deciding it’s less depressing for them if they just don’t turn up any more. Frankly, I don’t blame most of the poor little buggers. With of course 50 years of hindsight, I’d be turned off dead by most of what they have to “learn” today. It’s all dressed up as “child-centred” and “relevant” and “interactive”. But to pass the exams, you have to use the words in the Vulgate and tick the right boxes.

Sean Gabb had something to say about truancy a few momths ago, here.

MATHS: even more scary that a few hours ago


David Davis

So what about that then?

Children, by the age of seven – or eight at the very very latest – ought to be able to do long multiplication and long division. This is a simple hominid brain-skill which merely involves adding, takking away, multiplication, simple division, and “place-value” – which the Hindu philosophers invented fourteen centuries ago. None of this was beyond the wit of average, undernourished English boys and girls in the 1950s, such as myself, when sugar was on-ration and we all had Ricketts and Worms (so we must have been “eating healthily”) to do this thing, when we were starving and still bust. It was not even unavailable to people classified as “Dumb Children”, who were classed as “dumb” by their teachers, their schools and their own perfectly willing  parents, but who still tried hard, because they were given no option. Like D-Day landings, or Dunkirk, or Alamein, which some of their fathers (whom I of course knew as I played with their sons) had of course experienced without complaint.

Why they therefore can’t do it now must be down to the Universal Provider of the “skill-delivery-system” … which has to be  … “The State!” For most of them at least.

And, more worsely, the “Private sector” can afford to mark time and NOT teach cubic factorisation by the age of twelve, because it can still stay ahead even when not doing so.

It cannot be suitable to suggest that the children today are “more dumb” than 50/60 years ago. Therefore, “non-availability-of-skills” has to be down to “non-delivery-of-solutions”.

Instead, they spend seven years, – SEVEN YEARS – in “primary schooling” … and what do they do? They colour in posters about “healthy eating”, and they learn that “The Tudors” were responsible for “Pirates, Smoking and Slavery”, and that Henry the Eighth “had SEX WIVES!!!!”

So….two whole generations wasted… and the best part of a third. And all that time lost. Fred Bloggs, who very kindly sometimes writes for us, asked me the other day about what could be done to rescue the education system in the UK. I had to admit that if I was him, I would not have started from here. And it would take decades, and we probably had run out of time.

More State-tractor-production statistics this Thursday


David Davis

It’s the GCSEs this time.

I’ve found a useful Chemistry/Biology tutor for all you science students out there


David Davis

here he is doing stuff on his site about energy flows:-

And here’s his main blog:-

http://chemicalguy.wordpress.com/

Jeff Randall on the cult of “celebrity” (more about A-levels too)


Read the whole caboodle here.

David Davis

I should perhaps add something here. Jeff Randall’s quotation of a bright young girl wanting “really” to do what he did for a living, but only to be “on” television and for no other purpose, compares interestingly with a Russian girl of 24 whom i met in Moscow in 1993. She was studying “International Journalism” at Moscow University (I forget which one). Over a dinner I asked her idly about her future career direction, as you, er,do.

She replied:

“Oh yes. Yes, the journalism (sic) is good career for me. I will like to meet famous men, I will be in the photograph, and I will make love with them”.

….But this is potentially much much worse…


David Davis

“Traditional” subjects are disappearing from the State end of the schools system.

And so will the GCSEs be even better…?


Same picture for three years running...duuuuuh

Same picture for three years running...duuuuuh

Libertarians generally don’t think the State ought to be allowed much to do with education, specially where content in concerned: this can be fatal to a civilisation as is now being shown:-

David Davis

As I predicted, there has been _yet another_ stright improvement in this year’s A-level results. Always, always, more and more tractors are produced than ever before: incidentally, whatever happened to all those tractors? Why was not the USSR and the Warsaw Pact the breadbasket of the planet?

Paradoxically, the better Universities are forced to ignore largely, the new “elite grade” A*: letting students in on this basis, and distinguishing the best from there merely competent, will lay them open to GramscoFabiaNazi lynchings and spinnings about “elitism”.

Next week, it’s the GCSEs’ turn. I fully expect 75% of everyone achieving A* to C, owing to lowering of the “grade boundaries”…..if the 11-y-o-”SATs” results are anything to go bym they’ll have had to.

Meanwhile, Johnny, the A-level results will be out on Thursday…


David Davis

…and, natch, on Thursday the spin-Doctor will say the following:-

“This year’s record results for A’s and A*’s, reflect the even more outstanding achievements of our dedicated teachers and astonishingly brainy young people, who are even more intelligent and have been working even harder than ever before in the history of the endangered planet, achieving mega grades in these really really hard exams which are the envy of the world.”

I will have more to say when the results actually come out.

Jeff Randall on ZanuLieBorg on Education


Here you go.

Not hard to see that the Enemy Class is setting itself up in a hereditary manner from now on.

I’m all right, Jack, I’ll just pull up the ladder and never mind you!”

David Davis

Front-line education blog added to list


David Davis

Here. Do go read all his stuff, it will scare you even more than what I write here.

A little libertarian end-of-school book-burning ceremony


Not long ago, three of your team of expanding youn g writers got together for a barbecue here in Lancs, and we burned some stuff. The whole video is about 2Gb and won’t load to wordpress, but these exerpts are a bit funny:-

One of our blasts for the past: about education.


Warning: VERY LONG POST!

David Davis

Simon Heffer charitably thinks this death-throe-government is incompetent. I say it is premeditatedly wicked.


…Or should that be “death row”, not death-throe…? LOL [Ed.]

David Davis

The current Bill to make it difficult or impossible for MPs to have paying outside interests and careers may look like a “measure against sleaze”. But all it will do is turn Parliament, as Heffer states in that link, into a further-removed-from-reality Enemy Class – nay, an Enemy Superclass – of professional political hacks – which is to say, GramscoFabiaNazi by definition.

MPs, to be able to be truly representative of The People, should have been an Integral Part Of The People. They can do this by having run businesses such as retailers, and factories, or selling second-hand cars. Or by being employees of these firms. Or they can have been good Classical scholars-turned-General Officers such as Enoch Powell.

For MPs to turn into a political Enemy-Superclass, employed by (which is to say paid only by and through) the State, via machinery set up specifically to ensure they can’t do anything else worthwhile, is to permanently sunder them from those whom they were elected to represent the wishes of. It is so elementary but it needs restating clearly.

There are no conditions under which I believe for a second, that this Bill is intended to to anything other than finally break the link between electing MPs and their being actual, democratic representatives. This is deliberate and pre-meditated wickedness, all over again, and they are always at it and always will be, as long as the socialism meme thingy lasts. It   __must__  be extirpated. They understand fully how to destroy liberalism, by making its concepts unsayable and therefore unthinkable. there musy be a lesson here for us, other than Ian B’s fine suggestion in the comment thread of this post of ours here….

This is what Ian B said:-

The answer is simple, David. There is only one weakness in their fortress, and it is only a slight weakness, but this is the weakness we must exploit. Education.

Every belief system requires control of education. Every authoritarian religion knows this. Every political movement knows this. If we are to triumph, we must take their schools away from them- or rather, take the children away from the schools.

Our task then is to discredit schooling. Not to campaign for better schools, or for private schools, or for vouchers or other wealth transfers. We must fight for no schools. To do this, we must fight for real education; that is, the separation of the concept of intellectual development of inviduals from the system of factory schooling.

Our task is to denormalise schools. Our task is to turn schooling into a thing of horror, like child labour; we must seek a state in the future where people will discuss their forebears forced into schools as they now discuss infants forced up chimneys and down coalmines.

Home education, unschooling, self directed learning, individual development. Private tutelage, community tutelage, voluntary learning.

These are our levers. Think of the children they say, using the children as a crowbar. Well, the children must become our crowbar; but whereas our enemies destroy children, we seek to free them. Where our enemies seek to smother them, we must fight for their right to breathe freely.

Down with skool. That is how the evil will end.

New Labour … Playing into the hands of the BNP


David Davis

Tim Worstall identifies what’s the matter with our “leaders“. And he asks how and why a “possible ban” on them “working in schools” will help to put people off them (a creditable objective, to be sure, since they are a left-wing-corporatist party.) But think of the __paarents__  , of the children so deprived of this controversy – who will they then decide to vote for, eh?

Perhaps our “leaders” are doing all this on purpose, and have some agenda afoot.

In 2004, at the time of the Tsunami, I was driving a white van casually for a hire shop here. The boss – and is still today – was a lib-dem-brown-nozer, aged about 55, and a bit autistic. On the day of the “silence”, he shut the shop and shooed all the customers out, except those he couldn’t, ‘coz they wozz trying to pay the silly-bugger. He said we all had to have 2 minutes’ silence, because ” __the leaders__  had said we should…

…there was a lock-in, and everybody inside had to comply with the silence….

I buggered off, me: pretending to do a delivery of a cement mixer. Sod them. Wouldn’t trust the lovey-dems an inch then if I was you, if they attract people like that. Very unlibertarian.

The (national) curriculum today


Fred Bloggs.

Chemistry = Geology and why we shouldn’t mine/ Jolobial Warmin’

Physics = Basic math with nice pictures about Jolobial Warmin’/how we mustn’t use any electricity

Biology = Heathy eating/save the whales/how farmers all cause pollution, all the time, everywhere

English = illitrcy/pretentshoos twiiadle masceradin’ az poemz.

Geography = Anthropology/Evil Capitalists dumping illegal waste (everywhere, ‘coz they want to and it’s what they have to do)/evil TNCs exploiting WEMs in LEDCs to make globalised goods for consumers in MEDCs…

IT = The difference between a keyboard and a Monitor. And how “Ness” organises the fields of her “database” of her members at a “fitness centre”…

RE = How peaceful other religions are.

PE = Dont move! You might hurt yourself!/ Fitness programs for disabled lesbians/obese people.

PSHE = Don’t go there.

“Citzenship” = How great the EU and the UN are.

How strange


How strange.

And now we know we were right all along…


…chocolate should be paid for out of the State Education Budget….instead of bureaucrats, “educationists”, still water, pasta boiled without salt, or “healthy salads”. I expect those nice kind G20 chaps in some glasshouse in Docklands will agree to some sort of “initiative” – Boatang and Demetriou will surely agree.

Better give the poor little buggers proper burgers and chips too, after all.

David Davis

Guns: confiscation of legally held weapons in Germany will be next.


David Davis

UPDATE1:- On second thoughts, perhaps the poor tormented bugger was just deranged and so could not get a girlfriend like we even managed to do, despite being barking and turning into libertarians. See … Here.

…..But….why do the deranged always seem to have access to shagloads of guns? Does the presence of guns actually lead to mental derangement? I’d not have thought so, but I do not know. Do you?

David Davis

I almost can’t watch this saga any more – I really can’t. It’s like a tragic play, in which you always know what’s going to happen in the next scene, but you’re not sure where.

In one civilised Western nation after another, a multiple-fatal-shooting is staged, usually at a school (to maximise the parental anguish involved, and to mobilize a million mums, plus harden public opinion against “shooters”.) 

The Australians were clever: they did it at a popular tourist/beauty spot in Tasmania. The British rather overdid it at Dunblane, using a primary school (really gross, that – you could just about stomach the slaughter of secondary-school pupilas but not little kids, surely?) but I guess they were in a hurry to get all of absolutely everbody’s firearms before the 90s-Tories’ New Labour Project was to kick off properly.

Then, in more or less short-order, “legislation is enacted” to deprive one more section of the law-abiding community of all its guns – category by category, one at a time.

Of course, illegally-held weapons remain untouched. Some “security-theatre” about “amnesties” is staged, for effect, but produces little. In the meantime you can go to a pub in Catford, get to know certain people, and get a shooter, and some food if you’re rich, in the fullness of time, for a wad of cash. I expect this is still the case.

A totally-disarmed citizenry is a pre-requisite for a tyrannical government being able to entrench itself permanently – just look at the Third Reich, and Stalin’s USSR before that, its mirror.

At least the USA still has the Second Amendment, but for how long I wonder?

A libertarian wonders to what extent States are now prepared to go, via the public slaughter of (chiefly and on purpose)  children, to deprive citizens of all the world’s most civilised nations, of firearms. When will they start on kitchen-knives, I wonder, or angle-grinders, or power drills? Or chain-saws? (Perhaps that’s why you can now be fined for doing moderate electrical repairs in your house, like rewiring it yourself, or changing a window without certification….)

Why doesn’t this go on in Africa, which is bursting at the seams with guns? Or South America? Or Saudi-Arabia? Or Syria?

Why the first-world West? Can anybody help me here?

…and I think Mr Underclass quietly agrees with me, about my main hypothesis.

A British State-directed Physics paper for intelligent 16-year-olds


UPDATE2:- It’s no use merely moaning and whingeing as I am doing here. Even by bringing this more to people’s attention, we can change little in a hurry. The State has not only taken Nazi ownership of our children, but has also intellectually cast them adrift at the same time, and it’s all probably deliberate.

The remedy is to live with them in a houseful of books, use the said books liberally in front of them while making sure that these are text books about real stuff and not pretentiously awful Booker-novels, and discuss with them scientific discoveries and the history of same at mealtimes.

UPDATE1:- From Driver Rob, this is fine stuff and I agree totally. I also use “old” O-level (remember that?) text books to support A2-students of 18 in maths, and “old” GCSE science ones from the 80s and the pre-Blair-90s in general, to cover random GcSE/AS/A2 work from the ages of 15-19.

David Davis

I thought I’d already done this but must have left the page-from before publishing it.

http://store.aqa.org.uk/qual/gcse/qp-ms/AQA-PHY1AP-W-QP-MAR08.PDF

Here’s the mark scheme:-

http://store.aqa.org.uk/qual/gcse/qp-ms/AQA-PHY1AP-W-MS-MAR08.PDF

Tom Harris MP: let’s have a cheer for him, sensible man.


Now then….this is the sort of thing our MPs OUGHT TO BE saying!

David Davis

Apparently “marking schoolwork and tests in red ink” …. wait for it …  “could upset children”. Well, I never! What will the Gramsco-Marxian liberal-culture-razers think of next? But Tom Harris joins us in debunking such pointless PC-nonsense. Hat tip The Devil.

The point that Tom I suspect would like to make, but can’t be seen by his mates to, is that all this rubbish is about destroying institutions, and abolishing cultural and folk links with the past (which is evil and anathema to lefties.) It is the “Year Zero” mentality. Until we can get rid of this meme, we are fighting on the back foot.

ITEM:- I remember that, a while back, Tom Harris bravely published a comment thread which was (a) very long, and (b) largely critical of him and his views, on…..er…..I forget what. Ummmm. Oh, here it is! It’s about our growing progress towards being a Police State. But he was brave and fair (Tom Harris, that is.)

Snow sighted: “200 schools in the North West are closed”.


David Davis

Well now, I’m a few miles down-t’road from this place, and I can’t see any snow yet.

In January 1963, in “the big freeze”, I took my 11-plus exam. The A24 out of Ashtead towards Epsom was nearly but not quite impassable. The temperature was minus-11 centigrade, and some cars were able to run. Children couldn’t reach the examination-school except by disembarking and striding across a snowfield a foot deep, of which the crust was frozen solid.

We wore t’coats in t’gym, as it were parky inside, although t’heating was full-on. We sat and did our exams as if nothing was happening.

Libertarians ought to decry the modern Stalinist “health and safety” culture. It breeds sheeple, who are taught by their political masters jailers to quail as the slightest misfortune or obstacle, and who also lap up mindless headlines such as this one.

That’s all very well….but…


David Davis

British schoolchildren are now being taken wholesale to visit “battle sites on the Western Front.

What do I think of this? We are approaching Remenbrance Sunday, and the third part of the ongoing World War – the bit from 1914-1918 – passes finally out of living memory and into a sort of perverted legendary existence, in politically-coorected school history books.

But something about the reasons for which hundreds and hundreds of thousands of perfectly ordinary human beings willingly volunteered to go, must be said in the light of my earlier and frequent calls to consider what a free society would have to do to defend itself from its less-free neighbours. We must remember that until almost 1917, enlistment in Britain was voluntary (I do not care about France, Russia and the Central Powers and the like – they were not free societies in any meaningful sense.)

It’s all very well to go and indulge in emotional catharsis as encouraged by today’s UK school history teachers, perhaps writing some approved formulaic phrase in each cemetery’s visitors’ book, such as “NEVER AGAIN”…perhaps if they are lucky they might get Richard Holmes, one of his officers, or Ian Hislop to take them round at least, and say a few more sensible things about the reasons for these sad battles.

Bit I’m worried that these trips are taken out of context by the teachers on purpose, and the pupils by accident. I fear that nothing today is done to emphasise the willingness with which most of these millions – at least of the British and Imperial soldiers – went to war…and to let the children ask “for what exactly?”

As I keep repeating on here, Free Civilisations go to war for principles. Unfree ones go to war for power, influence and territory – just view the treaty of Brest-Litovsk of 1918: it’s clear that it was really what Imperial Germany thought WW1 was about.

The poor children ought to be told that these men, whose graves they visit, went to war because they freely though it was a good and right thing, and therefore a needful thing to do. They were not “lions led by donkeys” either – this is a monstrous calumny upon the memories of (mostly) devoted and brave officers, who were doing the best job they could in newly terrifying and unfamiliar kinds of war.

If ever a libertarian society emerges, then it will have to consider the possibilities of conflict with unfree outfits surrounding it. Furthermore, its children ought to begin learning the process of deciding things like “why ought we to fight, if it’s needed, and what for?”, as the war will undoubtedly be long. This is because the socialists, Utopians and other Nazis like them don’t take hints about their mortal error easily.

Oh dear…. why?


David Davis

Fast food outlets should be barred from opening near schools.”

Isn’t it enought that socialists have removed the content and taste from the lessons, for the poor little buggers? Do they have to do it to the food as well?

Hat tip Tim Worstall via Obnoxio the Clown.

If you have to turn all people into poor wrteched downtrodden sheeple, who agree with everything you say on Big Brother the Wireless Tele Vision, then at least let them have food which tastes of something.

Child abuse, a Western Socialist government, and a story of destruction…


…of ordinary, non-state, freely created relationships and behaviour-codes favoured by individuals.

David Davis

I am beginning to warm to Gerald Warner in the Quisling-rightygraph. He asks, not unreasonably given the evidence in other areas, whether this government would “fight gun crime by issuing pistols to children”.

Indeed, it is quite interesting, that one particular problem – the rise in violent crime involving use of knives and guns by “young people” – is deemed to be dealt with by massive public demos headed by slebs (knives) and the complete erazure (of the very idea of guns) of the existential presence of guns from play or social scenarios. In my wife’s workplace, no “war toys” are permitted, and the very word “guns” is greeted (when uttered by a child) with a firestorm of ultra-honeyed and deeply big-brotherish brainwashing from the “practitioners”. Yet….when it comes to sex and all that….

….school-children are actively sexualised from day one. One really wants to wonder who the pornographers really are – who exactly is the Enemy Class?

Here’s a poll…you may vote for more than one answer:- (apologies for the question being so long: it is supposed to say:

Is the British Enemy Class compulsorily sexualising other people’s children merely in order to have a supply of them for itself to shag, or is this a deliberately hurtful way to do a demolition job in a civilised nation and its culture?

One recalls that, under the tutelage of Baldur von Schirach, there was an epedemic of pregnancies in the Bund Deutsche Mädel, thought to have been caused by the Hitler-Jugend. But if NSDAP policy tacitly allowed this, then arguably it had a point – only the master-race would be allowed to shag and mate and multiply freely, leading to political advantage for the Party. But if the British-State-Enemy-Class is trying to create an elite cadre, then its strategy has got to be the wrong one.

This has got to be a fabricated wind-up…


David Davis

This is…..

…Either created in-house, to artificially boil the blood of retired colonels, so the journo has something to say to the News Editor about having got “initiative-driven results” and being “pro-active” in news-gathering….

…Or it’s been placed by the Enemy Class, is also a fabrication, and is intended to make us all feel that the “State needs to take more control”.

Go down to our POLL about the motivations and intentions of the British Political Class, here.

Do you think parents ought to be able to spank their children, or not?


David Davis

UPDATE: this poll has only been added to this post on 16th November 2008. Wish i’d done it before.

There’s yet another boring go at this nonsense in “parliament”. but some bit of machinery called “Sir” “William” “Utting”, pssibly another robodroid from Pol-Pottistan, which has got accidentally recorded as a human being via good prostheses having been applied, thinks otherwise:-

A recent opinion poll showed that seven out of 10 parents in this country admit to smacking their children – and would oppose a law banning physical punishment.

Sir William Utting, spokesman for the Children are Unbeatable Alliance, said: “This is one of those principled reforms on which politicians must make a stand whatever the pollsters might say.

“It is about being serious about equality and about the human rights of the child. The law must send the clear message that hitting children is as unacceptable as hitting anyone else.”

The problem about young anatomically-modern-hominids (Homo Sapiens and so forth) is that their pups are born and would continue to be, if not trained, functionally unsocialised. We could probably date the need to do something drastic with the little evil buggers as being about the time that “language” came into being. In order to be able to bring about not only post-capitalist liberal civilisations with technology and reason, but also even pre-capitalist barbarian ones (like what is vehemently proposed by some authorities) we need to be able to spank sense into our children.

Don’t get us wrong. We’re not suggesting that we will have to, or want the power to, spank other people’s children (not yet! Mr “Nobody” is currently suggesting it!) – although if socialism continues to triumph, then this measure will have to be agreed and will have to come – we only want to be allowed to spamk our own children for now. This is not “political correctness gone mad”, yet.

And….Sir William….. are the rights of a child REALLY the same as the rights of an adult? I don’t think so, do you? Think about it…….

I like this creative solution. Comments from our blogateriat welcomed.


David Davis

Little Man, What Now? has an interesting suggestion about the British Socialist (= deliberate-education-destroyer) Government’s predicament in which it find itself. this predicament is about how to up-spin this year’s SATS results for the children of the People’s Proletariat – to make it look as if even more non-teaching means even more success than ever before for state schools.

Little Man is a very sound blog: he is much more intellectually rigorous about morality and liberalism than perhaps even we are. I wish I had his patence.

Also interesting


David Davis

I thought this was interesting too, being interested in educating students as I am. I found it quite by chamce on Telegraph blogs…you can get the whole tihng here.

Progressive ideology is bad for pupils

Oh dear. Prof. John White, a former government adviser, has called for schools to stop breaking down timetables by subject. Instead, they should focus on teaching skills like public speaking and team building. He believes that subject-based lessons where pupils develop “an encyclopaedic knowledge” favour the middle class.

Nick Seaton, chairman of the Campaign for Real Education, says that this idea would be completely counterproductive. “Teaching subjects is vital if all youngsters are to operate in the outside world. Without English and Maths, Geography and History, people will be disadvantaged in the world of work. The key skills are learned as a consequence of learning the subjects.”

Mr Seaton is right. Schools should be rounded, offering opportunities to learn team-building and public speaking, but these should come on top of the foundations of subject-based teaching. For example, public speaking can be learnt by making pupils present a history project on Peasant’s Revolt.

Placing skills at the heart of the academic curriculum, conversely, would just encourage the dilution of the knowledge taught in the classroom, and it would widen the social and salary gap between those educated at elite schools and those educated at the schools that follow the advice of Prof. White. That’s not very progressive in my book.

Posted by Alex Singleton on 04 Jun 2008 at 19:01

How to re-engender a love of science and engineering in today’s boys, so that this nation does not sink back into a Dark Age.


David Davis

Nice article about Meccano, a great scientific/mechanical invention, out of Liverpool.

The modern plastic stuff with all the wrong types of dedicated, non-standardised parts, in wacky zazzy colours, is just not gong to do what we want.

Here are the “Giant Blocksetting Crane”, and the “South Shields Assymmetric Blocksetting crane”, both famous models, realised all over the world, for decades.

 

 

OK, OK, OK, we can pay Chindia to build real ones for us, but we lose stature as a people if the knowledge of how to make one is no longer present as embedded in the culture, not as folk-memory but as something which people are proud to know.

When I was a boy, probably about aged 9 or so, I overheard a converstaion between my parents and my maths teacher, Mr Roberts, en ex-WW2 RSM. He was advised by my father that I was building fairly ambitious structures out of Meccano, but said that…

“Well, Mr Davis, here in the school, we don’t really recommend science toys in which the young boys are presented with pre-fabricated metal parts – it kills their initiative, you see. They should learn how to machine the parts themselves!”

Oh well, at least there’s K-Nex. It’s a good toy, but not really a patch on Meccano…

I often think about Mr Roberts, who fought all the way across North Africa, and up Italy, until he fetched up as a maths/Scripture/current affairs teacher at my prep school. If he had seen what was coming in the guise of “education, education, education”, in his nation, I can’t predict his reaction.

STOCKHOLM NETWORK … new press release backs education vouchers


As parents signal willingness to run schools themselves, think tank launches DVD calling for school vouchers FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 02/04/08 In the wake of increasing numbers of parents taking matters into their own hands and setting up independent, no frills schools (The Daily Telegraph, ‘Parents set up their own primary’, page 10, 02/04/08), the Stockholm Network offered its vision for British education in 2020. Launching a new film on the internet, Stockholm Network CEO, Helen Disney said:  “The State should continue to fund most primary and secondary education, but such money ought to follow pupils in the form of a voucher and be spent in a much more competitive and open market of independent providers.  Learning from the Swedish policy agenda which has greatly encouraged school choice, parents and teachers must be allowed to set up their own schools where there is a critical mass of local support.” Launching the DVD: Back to School: How Choice and Competition could make Britain’s future brighter, which explores market reforms in education, the Stockholm Network recommends three key policy changes that it believes will greatly improve school standards and outcomes:  1)      Money to follow pupils via a voucher which can be spent in any school;2)      All schools to be set free from Whitehall control and therefore to be in the independent for-profit and not-for-profit sector by 2015;3)      All schools to initially work to a national curriculum with the possibility of later deregulation and flexible opt-outs. To view the documentary please visit:http://www.dailymotion.com/relevance/search/gregoryjude/video/x4b7ax_back-to-school_politics  Following the example of the New Model School Company, set up to make independent education available to a wider range of families by keeping fees below £5,000 per annum, the Stockholm Network wants to see traditionally over-priced public schools competitively challenged by an influx of new market entrants: “It is vital that the supply of independent schools increases in response to the growing demand, in order to stimulate competition. The independent schools sector should be able to cater for the children of low- and middle-income parents, as well as the rich. The reason that many of the leading independent schools have been able to increase their fees by nearly 100% in the last ten years in that they reside in an essentially ossified market, without genuine competition,” explains Robert Whelan, Managing Director of the New Model School Company, which runs Maple Walk School in Kensal Town.  Commenting on the debate that will be sparked by the new film, Helen Disney concludes: “This DVD fires the starting pistol on the education debate for the next general election. I have no doubt that the idea of state money following the pupil will be attractive to a vast majority of voters. I also believe that once set free from Whitehall, state schools will thrive in a new and universal market of independent provision. The time is now right for politicians to allow competition to drive up school standards and to do so not just for the well-off but for everyone.” - ENDS -

For quotes and commentary on the above, please call Cara Walker, Head of Media and Communications on 00 44 20 7354 8888 or cara@stockholm-network.org

  Notes to Editors: The Stockholm Network is the leading pan-European think tank. It offers a unique network of 130 + market-oriented think tanks across Europe providing access to the best European policy thinking. Tel: 020 7354 8888, Fax: 020 7359 8888  www.stockholm-network.org 

Field Marshall Montgomery “QUOTE OF THE DAY” No: 1


David Davis

   “Let’s make Viscount Montgomery School the best in Hamilton, the best in Ontario, the best in Canada. I don’t associate myself with anything that is not good. It is up to you to see that everything about this school is good. It is up to the students to not only be their best in school but in their behaviour outside of Viscount. Education is not just something that will help you pass your exams and get you a job, it is to develop your brain to teach you to marshal facts and do things.

This was by the Great General himself, on opening a school in, I think, 1951.  ‘Nuff-said, I think, about the Stalinazified “education” which is supposedly dispensed in British “State” “Schools” today.

There will be others by him, from time to time.

This is absolutely great, and there is now hope for the West, but it is not what….


….the peace-loving Danes who invented LEGO intended!

David Davis

I was idly scavenging up stuff from the Grandest Library in the History of the World, without which we would all be intellectually poorer and even less free than now, when I came across this on Boing Boing (stupid name for a blog, sorry, it just is. Change it while there’s time.)

Samizdata alerted me to the fact that the Grauniad had published a list of the Earth’s 50 most powerful blogs. As the “Huffington Post” came top, and I have to confess to not regarding that, er, Miss Arianna Stassinopoulos in quite the positive light that the rest of the world does (I heard about what she got up to at Oxford and sort of er later), I skipped number 1 and went to number 2. So you got a story instead.

As a Lancashire man, I have often been saddened at two things about LEGO – (1) its later-lifestage in which it degenerated into loads of pre-fabricated parts that killed the creative initiative, being already moulded to look like people, trees, aerials, propellers, headlights etc, and (2) its total lack of military hardware. This has now been remedied in part by the bits now available from this third-party source!

The same degeneration happened to Meccano in the 1970s-onwards, the Great Imperial Science and Engineering Toy of Man, first made a couple of dozen miles south of here, about 90 years ago.

Since the degeneration of Lego is now probably complete, but others have cottoned on to what boy-Legoers require, I soon expect tank-track-links, turrets, 120mm smoothbore artillery, and a 7-barrel-rotary-machine-cannon in steel-colour, with authentic depleted-Uranium rounds.

The almost complete elimination of WORDS to describe guns, let alone the items themselves if even in plastic, from British nurseries and schools, is a source of worry, since it presages a world in which people look to the State to defend their lives and property against evil-doers, criminals and other socialists. I cannot forsee this ever being an effective defence strategy, as we all know.

Finally, fraternal and collectivistically-liberal congrats to our fraternal Brothers and sororical Sisters at Samizdata, for being rated as a world-blog – even if it’s by the lefties themselves.

The British “national curriculum” syllabus for “Geography” … Have you ever wondered what it contains?


David Davis 

This evening I went with my boy (year 9) to discuss “options” for his GCSE years. below is some exerpts of what the school’s batty-chatty moonbattery leaflet says about this grand and formerly rigorous subject, in which we learned where everything was, how to use (proper) maps, how to draft same, and how the surface of the planet got like it did.

I quote:

….. Geography tackles the big issues ; (1) Environmental responsibility, (2) Our global interdependence, (3) Cultural understanding and tolerance, (4) Commerce, trade and industry (but not in the way you think, people…)

…. Geographers can ;

Make a consice (SIC) report; Handle data; Ask questions and find the answers; make decisions about an issue; analyse material; manage themselves; solve problems; independent thinkers (what does this mean here? sic, again). The results show (source: AGCAS):

* 40.6% “management and administration”

* 24.8% “further training” (inc PCgE/teaching)

* 11.4% “financial sector”

* 10.4% “retail”

* 10% “other professional inc “media” “

I leave you all to decide what part of the Public Sector socialist salariat each of these percentages corresponds to!

In fact very little “classical” Geography is now taught at all. There is a token amount of “map reading”, in which you find the 100-m OS reference for the wind-turbine, and you still have to know what an oxbow lake is. You’ll never visit one (you might fall in, “Health and Safety!”) You may even do a project about “How effective are the new (expensive!) flood defences in York” (but you don’t know where York is, because you were just bussed there) or “How effective are the congestion control measures round Beatrix Potter’s house?”, or “Is Kirkby Stephen a “honeypot destination?” (you don’t know where that is either nor care what its “CBD” is, for you were just bussed there too…I’m sure its august residents would not agree, and I’d support them – it’s very nice – but your lot just think it’s a boring little hole coz’ you are 15-y-o-cool-dudes.)

You also learn about “TNCs” and how they exploit “local labour, often women and children” for “low wages” in “LDCs”, where “social legislation is not strong”, making stuff like “NIKE trainers” (whatever those might be) for sale for “profit” in “MDCs”.

‘Nuff said.

Sean Gabb on Truancy


Free Life Commentary,
an independent journal of comment
published on the Internet
Issue Number 126
18th August 2004
http://www.seangabb.co.uk/flcomm/flc126.htm
postCount(‘flc126′); postCountTB(‘flc126′);

Truancy: A Personal Perspective
Sean GabbMost writing about truancy—indeed, all that I have read—is about people who play truant by people who have not. Inevitably, therefore, discussion of the issue lacks the degree of introspection that one requires in any discussion of—say—drug use, or membership of the Communist Party. My purpose in writing this article is to help supply that lack.

I have two main qualifications for writing. First, I played truant at school. In saying this, I do not mean that I occasionally failed to attend. I was a truant in the fullest sense—I was told once that I had the worst attendance record of anyone in my year. Second, I have been involved for over a decade now in some of the most comprehensive truancy surveys ever conducted in the English-speaking world. Directed by Dr Dennis O’Keeffe, who is currently the Professor of Sociology at the University of Buckingham, and conducted in both England and the United States, these have involved handing out questionnaires to tens of thousands of schoolchildren, and interviewing several hundred, and they have resulted in several books and in a report commissioned and published by the British Government.

Against these qualifications must be set the passing of time. It is now 30 years since I played truant. No one can be expected after so long a time to recall every detail. There is also the possible defect of what I have learnt from looking at the truancy of others. Am I likely to be imposing on my own experiences a scheme of explanation suggested by later research?

These are possibly serious defects—especially the second. What I am writing is only incidentally autobiographical. My main intention here is to contribute to the research on truancy, and it will be a useless exercise if I shall turn out to have recalled only those facts that tend to confirm a theory that must continue to rest wholly on other evidence.

However, while 30 years is a long time, I do have an excellent memory. Not only have I a clear recollection of events, but I am able to place them in chronological order and to place reasonably accurate dates on them. I have kept a diary of sorts since I was 15, and I have many diary entries made in my early 20s that contain much fresher recollections of my earlier life than I could supply from present memory. Also, I still have many of my old school exercise books and much marked homework, and a few of my old school reports. I am convinced that my own recollection of facts from my middle teens is at least as reliable, even today, as that of most people questioned in their late teens—and this in truancy research is considered a valid means of obtaining information. This being so, let me begin with the facts.

The Facts

I first played truant on the second Friday in September 1972. It was entirely by mistake. In my first year at secondary school, Friday afternoon had ended with a French lesson followed by Mathematics. In my second year, that afternoon ended with Mathematics followed by French. On this occasion, I forgot that a new timetable was in operation, remembering the new one as I got off the bus going home, when it struck me that I was the only schoolboy in sight.

From this beginning, I soon proceeded to deliberate truancy. By the spring term of 1973, I doubt if I was attending an entire week of lessons. During the next three years, I was a blanket truant – that is, I did not go in at all to school. I have a diary entry from 1974 in which I confess to not having been to school once in February, and only for one week in March. Since I thought it worth recording, this was an exceptional run of absences. I am trying to discover from the Southwark Education Authority if my attendance records have survived. I they have not, I am not able by myself to say exactly how often I failed to attend. Even so, I believe I was more often than not absent during these three years. My oldest friend was at school with me. He is unable to recall dates and frequency, but is able to confirm that I was hardly ever at school.

I was also a post-registration truant—that is, I would go in to school and register myself in the morning; then I would disappear for the rest of the day. Otherwise, I would absent myself from specific lessons.

I stopped playing truant in January 1976. At the end of the spring term, my Headmaster called me into his office and complimented me on a perfect attendance. For the rest of my time at school, my only absence was the rest of the week following the 11th October 1976, when I was knocked down and nearly killed by a drunken driver. Despite bruises that took weeks to stop aching and a set of gashes on my body that made dramatic or embarrassing stains on my shirt, I went back to school as soon as I had been fitted with a new pair of spectacles.

Explanations

These are the facts so far as I can recall them. I turn now to the possible explanations.

Opportunity

First, I was able to get away with playing truant. On that first occasion in September 1972, I arrived home worried that the school had telephoned ahead, and that I might have rely on the feeble but true reason of absence of mind. As it was, I had gone to the local library rather than directly home, and so arrived later than if I had gone from school at the proper time. I said nothing, and I soon realised that nothing had been said from school. The following Monday morning, I was similarly worried, and I passed the morning in a double Mathematics lesson waiting for a call to the Headmaster’s office. Again, nothing was said. My absence had not been noticed—or it had been ignored.

Certainly, it was noticed when I began to vanish for weeks on end. But a few lectures about my naughtiness aside, nothing was ever done to me. No one from the school ever thought to telephone my parents or to buy a postage stamp for any letter. Instead, I was used as the messenger between school and home, and it was easy enough to open letters given to me to deliver and to suppress anything that might be to my disadvantage. I made a point of delivering invitations to open evenings a day after the event, and grew rather good at censoring end of year reports.

Once in 1973, my Head of Year turned up at the front door to complain about my absence. However, on that day, my grandmother was the only adult in the house, and, bearing in mind what I had told her, she had so little regard for my school, that it was easy to ask her to suppress that message along with all the others.

However, though necessary, opportunity is not sufficient explanation. After all, I did sometimes go to school, even though I suspected my absences might be even less noticed if I never went at all—and I did eventually stop playing truant entirely, even though there was no improvement in my school’s administrative competence. So that administrative incompetence can be regarded as merely enabling behaviour that was prompted by other causes.

Bullying

I was bullied at my secondary school with moderate persistence. I was fat. I wore spectacles. I spoke with an accent half Kentish, half middle class. I was popular—when present—with the teachers. I came from a family that was at the time in straitened circumstances. Had it not been for this last, I doubt I should have been sent to that school. But I was there. My secondary school was a boys-only comprehensive in South East London, about a mile from Tower Bridge. Many of the other boys there were the sons of dock workers, and their current pursuits and general ambitions were generally physical. One boasted in class that he had no need of education. Once he was 16, he assured us, his father would have him sponsored to join the relevant union, and this would get him a job in the London Docks, where he could obtain a total rewards package that included impressive cash earnings, further cash and goods had from institutionalised pilfering, and much time off through industrial action. He would be doing better than the teachers, and was only marking time till the end of his compulsory education.

It would be hypocritical if I now lamented the closure before the end of that decade of the London Docks, and the strong probability that this boy is now at best one of the porters sitting in the entrance to one of the blocks of expensive, serviced flats that have replaced the docks, and at worst in a prison or a lunatic asylum—or just dead. 30 years ago, he and his friends hated and despised me. They held against me my appearance, my poverty, and my conservative politics. This penultimate defect was evident from my shabby appearance and my inability to join in the mutual admiration of the material goods the other boys brought in to school. The last defect became sharply apparent in January 1972 when the coal miners went on strike for higher wages, and their own industrial action and picketing of the power stations, and the sympathetic action by other unions, led to power cuts and a three day week. I think it was in February that my class was taken on a trip to a local museum. I cannot remember the museum, but we passed by a groups of picketers. The other boys in the class shouted slogans of solidarity. I sniffily denounced the strikers as Moscow-inspired wreckers. This prompted a very heated debate that continued in and out of class for several days. One of the teachers joined in against me, explaining that I was a “deferential Tory”. I do not recall the phrase “false consciousness”, but it was assumed by all that someone of my evident poverty had no business to be other than a radical socialist. It was most galling to have my circumstances dragged into an argument over political ideology.

The other boys mostly showed their dislike by mockery and exclusion from any activities in which they were able to choose who took part. Whenever sides had to be picked in games for a football match or some other sport, I was always the last one standing in the middle, and had to be assigned to one team or the other by the teacher; and my presence—admittedly useless—was resented. But there were also bursts of unexpected violence. It was never the armed, unlimited violence that has now become normal in such schools—I was never in danger of serious hurt. But it was upsetting to be hated, even if it was a good preparation for the rest of my life.

“Bullies are all cowards” my grandmother once insisted. “Hit one and the others will run away”. I can say from experience that this is an untrue observation. I never went to extremes of retaliation, but I was a large youth, and could hit very hard if I tried. All I discovered was that the bullies I encountered were not cowards, and were only encouraged by resistance. They also had no sense of honour, and were not ashamed to help each other by coming at me from behind. Since the teachers were unable—though not always unwilling—to do anything on my behalf, I found that the best response was to avoid the bullies. Of course, the most effective means of avoidance was truancy.

This being said, bullying is not a sufficient cause of my truancy. I was bullied at school from my first arrival in London at the age of six. I well remember when I was nine how almost every boy in the class once surrounded me in the playground, and how I avoided worse than a black eye only because there was no room for anyone to do more than poke at me. I also had books stolen or defaced. But I did not then play truant.

Of course, I have said that I discovered that I could play truant only several years after this. But the bullying continued long after I had stopped playing truant. Indeed, for a while, it became almost dangerous at a time when my attendance was at its most reliable. In April 1977, I got into an argument with a Turkish boy over an umbrella. One of his friends had borrowed this from him and broken it while hitting me with it. The Turk was almost speechless with rage and expected me to buy a replacement. When I tried to explain the obvious difference between cause and instrument of his loss, he responded with his fists. “Don’t give me none of that poof talk” he yelled at me as he punched me in the face. Since I absolutely refused to hand over the £1.50 he demanded, he stalked me for the next few months with two very large and brutal friends. I was now in my upper sixth year, and my school had joined with a local girls’ school for the A Levels. I had the great indignity one day of having to rely on two black girl friends—I have always been popular with black women—for my preservation. My History teacher was absent from the class, when my three stalkers burst into the class room. “Come outside”, the Turk snarled at me. The girls jeered at him, and one put her arms around me, suggesting he should deal with her brother if he laid hands on her. The teachers did nothing about any of this, and the ordeal only ended when its authors left school without qualifications. Again, I hope I shall not be thought uncharitable if I reflect on their probable lives since then.

However, none of this prevented me from going to school. Its only effect was to make me get up earlier, so I could be out of their reach inside the school buildings when the bullies arrived.

Curriculum and Teaching

So far as I can tell, my true reason for playing truant was the curriculum and teaching at my school. I found most lessons boring or frustrating. In particular, I hated Games and Mathematics. The first I hated because I have always disliked most physical activity. For me, football was nothing more than an opportunity for getting dirty and wet or cold. Athletics were an opportunity for picking up sprains and bruises.

I disliked Mathematics for other reasons. I told myself at the time that I had no aptitude for it. I later discovered that I did have at least a modest aptitude, and now able, tough not usually willing, to teach it at a rather basic level. Really, it was the teaching. For my first three years at secondary school, I was taught by an old man from one of the non-English West Indies. He had, I was told, once been a headmaster in his own country, and had been an admired teacher of Mathematics. By the time I met him, though, he was in his late sixties, and was at least past his best. Certainly, his false teeth and thick accent prevented me from understanding a word he said about mathematics or much else. He would scribble a demonstration on the blackboard while mumbling an explanation. This done, he would turn back to the class and ask in a tone that did not invite denial if we had followed him. I would look around the room, wondering if it was worth putting my hand up. I now realise that no one had followed him. At the time, I thought I was stupid. I responded by avoiding his lessons. Even when I bothered attending school, I used to make a point of keeping away from his lessons.

It was different with other subjects. I avoided History and English and the sciences because I thought the teachers were useless. More than ten years of teaching in various universities and schools have given me the professional authority to say that they were useless. Even at the time, I could see they were incompetent. One of my English teachers was illiterate. My oldest friend used to sit beside me and sneer at the spelling mistakes on the blackboard. None of my English teachers was inclined to teach even the elements of grammar and composition. I was once thrown out of my History class for arguing with the teacher about the chronology of the Trojan War. A Physics teacher once had me permanently excluded from his class for arguing about the speed of light. He said it was 399,000 miles per second. I insisted it was 186,000. He was Brazilian, and I now realise that he had confused miles with kilometres, but the English system was still then largely used in science teaching, and our argument, I clearly recall, was about miles. In any event, he was a useless teacher of the sciences. He believed in witchcraft and sympathetic magic, and once scandalised me by teaching this in a lesson about variable resistance.

Even then, I loved music, Sadly, I despised the Music teacher; and I cannot actually remember hearing the records of Berlioz that he played to us. I do remember a lesson he gave about microtonal internals, but this was neither preceded nor followed by anything that would have given it the context to be called teaching.

French was an ordeal. I had three years—rather, I should have had was I there—of copying down tables of irregular verbs from the blackboard. No one who even bothered attending could at the end of that time read a newspaper in French or order a meal in a French restaurant.

Another of my teachers—it would be kind not to specify the subject, as he may still be alive—had what I now realise was a drinking problem. When we paid him no attention, he would shout himself into a frenzy: we were all useless swine, and he would get his salary regardless of whether we paid attention, and so on and so forth. Then he would go into a large stationary cupboard in the classroom and shut the door, leaving us to ourselves for a few minutes. He would then come out in a better state of mind and continue with what passed for a lesson. At the time, we would make lewd comments about what he was up to in there. It now seems obvious what he was doing. I suppose I should have some sympathy for the man. It was a dreadful job to teach at that school. On the other hand, no one forced him to teach there. And I learnt nothing from him.

The End of Truancy

From the September of 1974, I found myself with generally better teachers. One of my English teachers was a published writer and was enthusiastic about the subject. Another was one of those rare people who can inspire his students with a will to learn. He eventually moved to a school in Cornwall, and we corresponded on and off until I graduated from university. My Mathematics teacher was an Armenian Marxist with a beard and boots spray-painted green. We used to argue in class about politics. In the intervals, he managed to persuade me that Mathematics was a useful subject that gave true knowledge about the physical world. History teaching continued rather poor, though there was a six week period during which a wonderful supply teacher took over. His preferred manner of instruction was to read long patches from original sources. I shall never forget his reading on the murder of Rasputin from the Memoirs of Prince Yussopov. Sadly, he left at the end of his six weeks and never returned.

For the rest of that year, however, I continued to play truant as much as in the past. Once established, habits are hard things to break. This said, I suppose I can justify the absence. I had spent two years avoiding school, but not education. When I played truant from school, I used to go to the local library and read. I read hundreds of books there and turned over thousands. I went through encyclopaedias. I studied history and the non-mathematical parts of the sciences. I read about law and politics. I read masses of historical novels and most of the English classics. I taught myself Latin and basic musical theory. I bought a telescope and sat up all night looking at the stars. I learnt how to build and repair wireless sets. It was an undirected, patchy kind of learning, and I arrived at the critical time of my education erudite in some areas, utterly ignorant in others. I could explain the atomic theory of Epicurus, but could not divide seven by four.

But I did eventually give up on truancy. Just before the Christmas of 1974, my Armenian Mathematics teacher got hold of me and read me a tremendous lecture about the need to pass my O Levels, otherwise I might end up like the other boys in worthless careers. He told me I should be thinking about university—no one else from that school ever had gone to university, nor ever did, but he was sure I could. I rather liked him. More importantly, I respected him. And, though he was full enough in class about the equality of man and the horrors of the existing class system—the Soviet Union, he once assured me, would overtake America economically in the 1980s! -, he put me into a terrible of snobbery —so much that I stopped playing truant and began to apply myself to the approaching examinations. It was now that I moved to the top in every class, even in Mathematics.

The first result was that I confused the other teachers. They had been used to regard me as an occasional presence in their classes, but did not expect anything of me. When in the April of 1975, I handed in a 30 page analysis of the rise of German national socialism, I was accused of plagiarism. Even after I had produced my sources and made a long oral presentation, the teachers remains suspicious. It was only after I did well in the examinations of that summer that they decided to put effort into my education at school. By now, as said, my attendance was exemplary, and so it remained to the end of my time there.

What Truancy did for Me

What does all this say about truancy? I am speaking here only for myself, but several conclusions seem clear. The first is that I played truant in the first instance because I did not feel there was much point in being at school. I much preferred the education I could get for myself in the library or at home. I stopped when I found I had teachers who were not ignorant of their subjects, and did not have to learn beside other children whose time would have been better employed crawling up chimneys or picking oakum. I then continued to play truant for a while because of habit and because I positively enjoyed being in charge of my education.

The second conclusion is that truancy may often be not merely a rational but also a wise choice. It would be false modesty to deny that I have done well since leaving school. I owe this success overwhelmingly to the fact that I was hardly ever present for nearly half the time I was enrolled there. I dread to think what would have become of me had my school possessed the efficient administration and powerful means of coercion that most writers on truancy regard as desirable. It is a serious defect of most writing on truancy that schooling and education are regarded as one and that same thing, and that to miss out on the first is necessarily to miss out on the second. They are not necessarily the same, and in many more cases than mine, they are not actually the same.

Speaking purely for myself, I found that there were benefits and disadvantages to the education I had. The chief benefit was that it developed parts of my character that might otherwise have remained less developed. I arrived at manhood with a strong belief in my own judgement, even when I was in a minority of one. I distrusted official authority, and had no respect for opinions just because they were held by those in authority. I also found learning by myself the easiest approach to knowledge.

This helped me greatly at university. I went to York University, where self-teaching was regarded as the norm. In those days, attendance at lectures was optional, and the lecturers saw their whole duty as encouraging students to fine things out for themselves. At the beginning of each term, lecturers would publish lists of recommended reading, then would hand out essay titles. Throughout the term, students would be called individually to very long tutorials and expected to justify every controversial statement. Many of the students fount it hard to adapt to this system. They had attended schools where they had been taught in class. I spent three wonderful years in the J.B Morrell Library there, reading whatever I liked, whether or not relevant to my course—though I could usually persuade that it was relevant.

Another advantage is that I have become a very good teacher. I am good in a conventional class room, because I remember all the teaching faults that helped drive me away in my own time there, and try to avoid them. But I really specialise in the private tuition of clever children who have done badly in school. I know what it is like to hate school, and know how to get students to learn and to write without making it look like work. There are several of my old students on my mailing list, and they may care to respond to this claim.

The main disadvantage was that learning by myself magnified an already existing tendency to personal coldness. I have always had trouble making friends. I often repel people with my dead eyes and flat voice, and by my inattention to the usual niceties of friendship. For example, I seldom call people, instead waiting to be called. Every so often, I make an effort to overcome this defect, but it has become second nature and is not easily to be thrown off. This comes, I am sure from having spent so much of my teenage years in frequently intense communion with dead writers and with almost no one else. The dead, after all, may continue giving richly of themselves for millennia, but, unlike the living, do not observably demand anything in return.

Is Truancy to be Encouraged?

Returning to my second conclusion, just given, and speaking more generally, I am inclined to think compulsory state schooling a bad thing. I do not believe that education is in economic terms a merit good—that is, something that will be under consumed relative to its utility. I grant there are positive externalities to be had from education. But most parents will want their children to have some education simply for its direct benefits to the children. We know this from those poor countries in which parents will make heavy sacrifices on behalf of their children. Professor James Tooley is the main expert on this. We know also from the history of England that most children received an adequate education long before the State intervened with its own subsidised and then free schools and with compulsion to attend them. The late E.G. West is the expert on this. We know that state education is grossly inefficient and horribly wasteful of resources. Professor Bruce Cooper is one of the relevant experts on this. Then there is the wider libertarian claim that compulsory state education is an assault on the rights of those compelled to attend and on those compelled to pay.

I also believe that compulsory state education is an evil that goes beyond these objections. If education itself produces positive externalities, the addition of the two adjectives compulsory and state balance and even overbalance these with negative externalities. There is a strand of neo-Marxist thinking— Samuel Bowles and Herbert Gintis are the main experts here – that claims schooling to be the means by which capitalism reproduces itself: it instils in working class children a set of values hostile to their true interests. In its specifics, this is an absurd claim. It is true, however, in its generality. As with most neo-Marxist theory, it says little about what is being attacked, but much about the intentions of those making the attack. State schools do not turn out adults who believe in the rule of law and in free enterprise. But they do turn out adults who are inclined to believe in the opposite. Though state education has now been so thoroughly ruined that little seems to be taught either good or bad, and the Establishment media has largely taken over the job, state education has for as long as it has existed been the reproduction mechanism for various kinds of statist ideology. Until the middle of the last century, it was the means by which people were made into good nationalists: would ten million young men have marched semi-willingly to their death in the Great War without the prior conditioning of state education? Since then, it has been captured by the radical socialists.

I read John Stuart Mill’s essay On Liberty when I was 17. One of the passages that most struck me then was this on state education:

A general State education is a mere contrivance for moulding people to be exactly like one another: and as the mould in which it casts them is that which pleases the predominant power in the government, whether this be a monarch, a priesthood, an aristocracy, or the majority of the existing generation, in proportion as it is efficient and successful, it establishes a despotism over the mind, leading by natural tendency to one over the body.
(Chapter V, “Applications”)

I had a very frosty response when I quoted this in an essay for one of my teachers. I will now say that the homogenising effect of compulsory state education is so dangerous that truancy should not be regarded as wholly a bad thing. Certainly, when children absent themselves from school and make a nuisance of themselves in shopping centres, that is a problem. But when a child is getting something that approximates to an education outside formal schooling, I do believe that the authorities should at least connive at the absence.

Concluding Remarks

Now, I could leave my readers with the impression that I attended a comprehensively dreadful school in the company of violent barbarians. This is not so. As said, I did find good teachers, and I shall be forever grateful for all they did on my behalf. And, in Mario Huet, I found as good a friend as anyone could wish for. We have spent the past 30 years swapping moral support that has made us closer than brothers. And the contempt of intellectual things was not universal. I got on very well with the girls from the neighbouring school. We spent one very happy afternoon reading by ourselves through Antony and Cleopatra. I took the part of Cleopatra to general amusement. It is worth noting here that these were working class South London girls. They had trouble neither with the verse form nor with Elizabethan grammar and vocabulary. Unless ethnic patois and MTV have had a more corrupting effect than I can imagine, I do not understand those teachers who say Shakespeare is above the heads of modern children.

However, I must conclude. Had my school bothered with a curriculum that involved subjects worth learning, and had it employed teachers able or willing to do their jobs, I might not have played truant so often. But I return to the beginning of this article. For over a decade, I have been involved in a research project that is trying to establish that truancy is neither delinquency nor illness, but a response to bad curriculum and bad teaching. That is what we have learnt from looking at the results of our questionnaire surveys and from the interviews we have conducted. That is what I know to be the case from my own experience.

“How to make a chemistry set”


David Davis 

Let knowledge drive out your fear, as will always be the case, here and for ever.

We’re working on it.

More on the chemistry set. I invite comments from anyone about what ought to be done about the preposterous British GCSE “science” “syllabus”.


David Davis 

See title, and please feel free to comment!

Today, I tore up my afternoon lesson plans for my students (they are rather hypothetical anyway, it depends what I feel like educating them about after a morning think and a read of the papers) went out with a new cheapo German microscope by a firm called Bresser (I don’t know anything about this firm yet, but I could not leave the machine in a Lidl store for £39.95 just sitting there) and taught.

I used a collection of slides made by my father in the late 1930s when he was a botany/insect-physiology student at Imperial College, and the boys and girls were wowed. None ever imagined that small things in the Natural World could look the way they do.

The machine comes in a kit with a digital camera-thingy, a USB cable and software for Windows/Mac – you can display the image on-screen as well as shove optical eyepieces in and look at it traditionally.

Chemistry in British schools is similarly emasculated, and we need to change this fast, or we as a nation will sink into a new Dark Age of fear, un-knowing and credulousness, much-to-be-desired by wicked socialist politicians and “movers/shakers”.

These people hate us, for showing the world the Door Out Of Hell, pointing the way to it, and teaching the world How To Live.

PS (update) I am now convinced that ALL good chemistry sets should contain a small phial of Mercury (metal), say about 50 to 100 grams,  plus the apparatus needed for its proper handling and use to make stuff like small barometers etc – also for it ot be used as a mobile cathode in electroylsis experiments.

Do we want children to smoke or not? I think of Auberon Waugh here sometimes.


Today, outside the tobacconist/sweetshop near my boy’s secondary school, I observed the usual groups of schoolchildren, lounging about in that studiedly televisual way (you know the attitudes and body-positions) pretending to look at nothing and nobody in particular, which the bored mass of today’s British teenagers adopts when it thinks it is performing something…..coool.

Obviously they were smoking. Currently this activity is still legal. There are no state strictures (yet) on who can smoke at what age in the only place left, which is the “street”. I was sorry for them; I would not smoke you paid me, taking as I do the Chris Tame line that smoking is a disgusting smelly habit that makes you like kissing an old ash-tray, and could make you ill (but it’s your body not mine. you are not my Farm Animal. I cannot, and I may not, do with you as I wish; that is called rape.)

You can legally buy tobacco products. (But since 1st October only if over 18….so how come you can shag or leave school at 16, and drive cars at 17 – all activities which “could cost the taxpayer” shagloads of dosh via the “healthcare budget”?)

You can legally own tobacco products – as much tonnage as you like too - provided you have not gone to the trouble of enriching the State’s coffers even further by buying lots of fuel to get them elsewhere, such as Calais, where the state-take on them is a smaller %.

For all I know, you can even grow plots of Nicotiana variations in your garden and manufacture your own (bet you can’t sell it as spunk or even tobacco though…) the flower-seeds are sold for ornament; ergo it must be possible, in these days of global warm-mongering, and ice ages as of now,  to grow your own. 

However, let is now turn to the GCSE “science” parts of the nationalised Curriculum, in particular the Biology syllabus. Here you can find one example. These days, it is quite interesting in a sociological kind of way, for it bears little resemblance to formal biological science. This is because, as we all have rumbled, the “New Science” GCSEs have been craftily designed so as to be able to be “delivered” by non-science graduates in schools. This in turn is because there are now no Formal Science Graduates, much, in the UK, who want to work as teachers of what now amounts to what my boy labels as Marxism.

The “New” Biology is all about socialising the behaviour of the “kids”. Not content with PSHE (more Marxism) and Citizenship (yet more – I told the youngfella to tell his mates all either tot ext each other or to go to sleep in the sessions, so they do) the DFEE or whatever it’s called this week has injected yet further enlargement of the parts about Smoking and Health; Alcohol and its effects; Drugs and their status/effects/penalties/results for your body and brain. I paraphrase – the language used is just too patronizing and portentious for words.

For instance – you have in one exam question (I bet you 5p it will be set) to classify some “drugs”….Alcohol, Nicotine, Ecstasy, Cannabis, as one of the following; Recreational….Addictive….Illegal….Harmful….there are no marks for ticking the wrong box in each case.

Other questions focus on “obesity”, and “heart rate” before and after “fitness training programmes” (the participants featured in these exam questions are always and invariably “athletes” and “female”……and a “student” is always “she”…… Sometimes they are called “Samina” or “Preethi”.) I don’t object to this at all, for women sometimes are athletes (Poor girls! Whyever?) and also sometimes are called this sort of thing (there may even be more Preethis and Fatimas on the planet than Kerry-Annes and Jades) but then I am not a child living in Slaidburn or Hawes or Benbecula; not all the children of the UK reside in Leicester or Tower Hamlets or Bradford, only a few.

For the scientists reading this, there is almost no Classical Biology at all. Hardly any biochemistry, except for the fine details of hormonal changes and physical structure of the uterus-lining versus days-after-last period, in the female menstrual cycle (which is well-tested, and boys have to know it too) plus stuff about how contraceptive pills can “help a woman to regulate her fertility”. There is also stuff about IVF and hormone-treatment to “facilitate planned pregnancy”. (Yep, if you’re a hard boy, who’s into the footy and yer X-Box, you have to learn this stuff too or you will not do well and you will get a “D”!)

But back to smoking, and why do these poor children do it? I mean, it smells bad, and it means you have to carry baggage about like fags and matches or lighters, and it costs a bomb coz’ of socialism whan it does not even need to, and it’s utterly disgusting – only ameliorated in totally and utterly-disgusting disgustingness by the axiom that Hitler, who brought in the first State anti-smoking laws in the world, was not someone you’d have wanted your daughter to marry. At least the smoking of fags went up every year in the Third Reich until 1945 (probably after it too, the poor sods. wonder where they got the tobacco – and what exactly was it made of by then? I mean, I’d never wish the poor Germans all the deaths they all got, but they imho were morally liable as a nation for what then occurred, having  failed to not vote for Hitler in 1933.)

They do it, I believe, because they are dinned and drummed, every day, in pshe, citizenship, and now in science (and probably in “English” lessons too if the truth be told) that they must not. That’s even worse than “ought not to”. Any child of six with a degree from a jumped-up-socialist up-the-road-Poly in psychology, would tell you that what you are told not to do, you will do. The more? The more.

Ciggies are easy to get. You just either threaten the shopkeeper if you are a big male Y11, or else you get yer-mum to get you some, or else you steal them from her bag hoping she can’t count, or you go out aged 13-dressed-as-19, on Saturday, if yoo izz a chick or a babe. (I know they do; they tell me. They know I won’t grass them up.) Then, you peddle them at 50p (the going rate) a fag.

Mr X—-, the deputy-Head, doing fag-patrol outside the shop at 3.30, can do nothing. they’ll just wait till he’s gone in freezing to death in the rain, and carry on. Their role-models, on the Wireless Tele-Vision every evening, on “Corrie” or “Eastenders“, will continue to tell them how to behave.

Once more, we have a scenario in which the Hegemonic Mediarati prescribe behaviour with one hand – and even enshrine in  the state “Curriculum” as “Science” (I mean, for f***’s sake!) enforcing draconian laws so to do, while yet allowing themselves to make an opinion-forming climate of beliefs that glorifies the very sort of habits that they purport to want to extinguish. In the meantime they collect billions in taxation, mainly from the constituency that’s least able to afford it, and in which smoking represents one of the few pleasures left to the poor. 

This leads me onto foreign aid, a probably-large and gaping orifice of state-resource-swallowing, which Peter Bauer described as wicked and immoral, in that money was hoovered off poor people in rich countries, to be given to rich people (mercs-4-jerks) in poor countries. But I’ll “do” foreign aid another time,  maybe tomorrow, maybe not.

There’s no wikipage for “Mercs for Jerks”. Would anybody like to write one? I think it should be done!

Why does Waitrose exist


I loved that, sorry.

 It was a search-engine-string to us, from yesterday. I might even examine the proposition myself, and ask Sir Terry Leahy the same question in a letter!

Bet it was another female British primary-school teacher, having a go with her charges, at Tesco, where I expect the majority of her charges’ parents shop.

Rewriting the british “National Curriculum”, to help stamp out Nazism


David Davis

I have decided to re-write the whole of the UK’s National(ised) Curriculum (except languages, about which I know nothing except for Latin and Greek. )

It will give me slight amusement in my old age, when, my alternative version being published, many, many thousands of UK primary school teachers will riot (sorry, I meant “demonstrate”) and say “we can’t teach this”. The extrinsic reason will be that they don’t agree with its thrust; for many are trained Marxist destroyers of Western liberal Classical knowledge, and do what they do right now on purpose. But the intrinsic reason will be that they mostly don’t know anything, much, at all, as a result of their Marxist-oriented training. I shall take sad pleasure in being able to say, to many thousands of them: “Well, and, I am so sorry. Go, and go now.” Many of the larger teachers, and there are many, could go…….and break rocks…………..perhaps in China, whose pants are so on fire that rocks still have to be broken, here and there, even in 2007. They could build some of the 562 coal-fired power stations, of which one a week is opening until 2012, as fortunately for China and for us too, it did not sign the anti-liberal Kyoto scam. China is even building a Ground Iron-Rail Way , to, I believe, Tibet. That ought to tell the poor old Dalai Llama something, about where both his real, and his imagined, friends, could now be.

This was brought on today, by my boy, who on coming home, said that science homework this week is a “2-minute “POD CAST” about a science topic in the NEWS”. Firstly, I had no idea what a “Pod Cast” is, and had to take a few seconds out to learn it, as the teacher had not said anything. Then, we had to “Down Load Soft Ware” from the school’s “Web Site”, including, may I add, the homework-brief (I do know what a brief is, altough they did not call it that!)

What is the situation, in all this, of socialistically-overdeprived children whose parents do not know how to interpolate opaque instructions, let alone those who do not possess computers or even internet connections? If they have to pay the electric bill with funny cards in grocery shops, what do they do about internets, I wonder? (Not their fault IMHO – I blame Fabians, Napoleon, Lenin and the Kaiser.) How then can they “access the school web site” and get programmes with which to do the homework and re-upload it ??? We will manage, but I have been just gifted a good laptop with “features”, by the kindness of a friend.

No, this homework was symbolic of new Labour. It was nothing about science, at all, and everything about presentation. Not only is the homework itself a work of presentation, and no more and no less, but it has to be about something else “in the news”. No attempt whatever in the last few weeks has been made to actually teach any science to these poor children.