Those three words above were spoken by Tony Blair during his spell as Prime Minister. It didn’t seem, at the time, like an unreasonable premise.
In truth, Blair and New Labour were not entirely responsible for the problems associated with education today, although the massive expansion of Universities has not proved a good thing - neither was the introduction of tuition fees to pay for them (yes, you read that right; New Labour introduced tuition fees, not the Tories). By definition, education is primarily aimed at the young; those of school age and at University. There are some who wonder today just what is being taught in schools and why (as I intimated in my last commentary) it is that so many University students seem unable to cope with modern day life.
Having suggested why already, there is another factor at work and one that should be of great concern; both schools and universities have been, for years now, the home of those with, at best, left-leaning views, and at worst, outright hostility to anything remotely perceived as being right wing. Whilst there are some teachers in schools who vote Conservative, even fewer will ever admit to so being. Their fear – because that it what it is – is that they will be driven out of teaching by a blatant enmity to them from their colleagues.
The most worrying result of this is that a huge number of students leave school with one viewpoint and one only firmly implanted in their young minds – that of socialism and with no regard for any other. Having emerged from school with that mindset, the young then attend University where the left is even more dominant, their education is then completed and the Socialist Citizen emerges, convinced that utopia can only be found through that single avenue and any other thinking must be crushed.
It is thus entirely unsurprising that Jeremy Corbyn has been reported as proposing that school children must be taught about Britain’s role in slavery and colonialism, to the exclusion of anything positive about British history. Along with that are accusations that Labour wishes to impose a new rule book on schools and are thus putting ideology before anything else – including the natural inquisitiveness of the young.
The Education Secretary, Damian Hinds MP, has urged Labour to ‘Leave our kids alone’ and has warned that Labour’s plans amount to ‘dangerous control freakery’ over education.
Yet Mr. Hinds is still somewhat wide of the mark; his comments are designed to demonstrate that the Conservatives are on the side of teachers in an attempt to win over those who are viscerally opposed to his party and have been for years. As such, he is probably wasting his time. Whilst Corbyn’s plans for education may well amount to brainwashing the young in a more blatant way, such action has been present in schools and universities in a more subtle way for some time.
This is also why so many first-time voters, still in their teens and early twenties, voted Labour in the 2017 General Election. Seduced by empty promises to ‘deal with’ tuition fees, and still fresh with the result of what amounted to ideological indoctrination of their minds while at school, those young people’s support enabled what is a dangerous assault of freedom in the UK to gain momentum.
This is also why there are so many instances these days of complete intolerance of any viewpoint other than that of the far-left wing in universities, the ‘no platforming’ of visiting speakers; the attempts to eradicate hundreds of years of history, and the propagation of one-party socialism in institutions that are supposed to be open-minded, places where the young are challenged and encouraged to follow their natural instincts if wanting to know things.
There is indeed a revolution needed in British education, but not that espoused by the left and Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour. Instead, it is a revolution that most return education in the UK to what it once was; a system that encourages the young to make up their own minds, rather than have a single viewpoint imposed upon them.
As I wrote in my book, ‘Comments of a Common Man’, an open mind can make up its own mind. A closed mind can’t.
Comments of a Common Man is available from Amazon at £12.99
© Kevan James 2018.