11 November 2007

Coercion, regulation, compulsion (contd.)

Dr Gordon Brown: (my emphasis)

My Government is committed to raising educational standards and giving everyone the chance to reach their full potential. … A Bill will be introduced to ensure that young people stay in education or training until age 18.
My Government is committed to providing a healthcare system organised around the needs of the patient. … Legislation will be introduced to create a stronger health and social care regulator.
My Government will bring forward proposals to help people achieve a better balance between work and family life. … A bill will place a duty on every employer to contribute to good quality workplace pensions for their employees.
My Government will take further action to create stronger communities and tackle terrorism. … My Government will seek a consensus on changes to the law on terrorism so that the police and other agencies have the powers they need to protect the public …

Mr David Cameron:

Re the counter-terrorism Bill: “we welcome it”.

Re proposals to coerce adults to receive ‘education’ or ‘training’ (as defined by the government): “the Government are going backwards [by] abolishing the A-level”.

Media puff for the coercive education of adults:

“Important … genuinely radical”
The Independent

In a parallel universe:

Leader of the Opposition:

We are suspicious of the right hon. gentleman’s proposed counter-terrorism Bill. We suspect he has no real respect for well-established principles of liberty, and merely seeks to increase state powers in line with his ideological commitment to boosting collective rights at the expense of the individual. We are not convinced there is a case for doubling to 56 days the period during which a British citizen may be held by the police without charge.

We regard it as a wholly inappropriate response to declining state school standards that individuals should be forced to attend them for even longer. Such a breach of liberty would — if it were to be acceptable at all — require a long drawn-out period of debate, and very strong evidence that it is a sound remedy for a serious problem, and we have had neither. On the contrary, the Professional Association of Teachers have already expressed their strong objections to criminalising the non-attendence of seventeen-year-olds.

Further reading: (see esp. the comments)
Stumbling & Mumbling
Liberal Conspiracy

10 November 2007

Marching towards a glorious future

Crossposted from DSTPFW, some sterling satire from George Szirtes.

A Statement from The Ministry of Truth: Education (Schools) Department

We are living in glorious times. Our children are ever better qualified, their future – and ours – ever brighter. 99% of all school leavers have four A levels or more. The numbers of those claiming benefit after leaving school have gone down and down. We confidently look forward to a time when everyone goes to university and no one is claiming benefits. The super-heads we have appointed to rescue the very few schools that were failing have utterly transformed those institutions. Their students come to school enthusiastic and leave enthusiastic. Our policies have empowered such wonderful dedicated heads and their extraordinarily talented and hard working staff, who have received the best training, training of hitherto only dreamt of standard, to maximise their potential, to turn chaff into wheat, to feed the hungry, to top league tables and to put this country at the very head of academic achievement.

There remains, however, an almost insignificant minority of failures: schools where the heads are weak, where they fail to sack their incompetent teachers, and, as we know, there are few people more incompetent than incompetent teachers, teachers under whom little or nothing of value gets done. Indeed it is worse than that. This tiny minority is a drain on our resources: they damage your children, they ruin our figures. We have to extirpate these parasites, weed them out, drag them kicking and screaming from the soil they are bent on holding on to and destroying. If we do not act now this country will go to the dogs. They, and they alone, are responsible for the upbringing of our extraordinarily talented and hard working young people, and we must make an example of them. As the first step in this process one in every five teachers in all schools will be taken out and shot. Once this is done the country can go forward and enjoy the fruits of our brave and radical policies, including, I am delighted to announce, the new school-leaving age of twenty-five.

George Szirtes

6 November 2007

English Educational Conscription

In addition to my diatribe yesterday on educational conscription, something has just occured to me - this law will apply only in England. Only English children will have to stay in school until 18. Only English children will be deprived of their liberties and their freedom.

As such, when this law comes before Parliament, not one MP for a Scottish or Welsh constituency had better vote. This does not apply in their constsituencies, so I do not want to see them force two years of extra schooling onto English children but not those in Scotland and Wales.

That they even could do it illustrates the issues with our current devolution system.

Cross-posted from The ThunderDragon

5 November 2007

Educational Conscription

I written what is pretty much a diatribe against this new policy of our statist government. I would post it here, but I have rather littered it with swear words so it isn't really appropriate to do so.

Go here to read it.

4 November 2007

"State owns your ass for a further two years"

Harry Haddock fron Nation of Shopkeepers writes:

So, Blinky Balls is going to increase, by two years, the amount of time the government can tell you what to do with your life.

Now, these illiterate, qualification free teenagers that are seen as a ‘problem’ to be solved by the state are clearly not going to learn anything in these extra two years that they have been unable or unwilling to learn in the previous 11. They are highly likely to be dysfunctional to such an extent that they will be un-employable, so on the job training is an unlikely outcome. So, what exactly are the state going to do with them for this period? Stuff them into schools and colleges against their will, where they can disrupt those who are their voluntarily? Force them on to unwilling employers? Or throw money at trendy, expensive schemes in the hope that they suddenly realise the error of their ways and reform over night?

I have a friend that works in exactly this area. The answer is, I’m afraid, a combination of 1 & 3 above. Oh goody.