Stalin Wasn’t All Bad (Explain British Schoolteachers)

Stalin
AP

Stalin wasn’t all bad, you know.

Sure he was a murderous thug responsible for around 50 million deaths, while reducing the rest of the population to a state of misery, poverty, and near-permanent terror. Sure his collective farming policy turned breadbaskets into famine-starved hellholes where cannibalism was rife and his Five Year Plans destroyed what was left of the Russian economy after Lenin.

But let’s not forget the upsides: he “ended the exploitation of peasants by greedy landlords and to rid of the greedy and troublesome kulaks”‘ and he “helped peasants work together”.

This, amazingly, is what children are being taught in British schools. The quotations come from the GCP GCSE Modern World History revision guide and indicate the kind of answers kids are expected to give in their history exams when talking about Stalin’s collectivisation of farms.

Apparently, this is part of a method where they are expected to discuss the Pros and Cons of each issue.

I learned this from an article in The Daily Telegraph by James Bartholomew, the financial journalist and author, who happens to be the guest on my Delingpole podcast this week.

Like me, Bartholomew is an ardent believer in a minimal state. That is, he thinks that whenever government tries to make things better it almost invariably makes things worse – and that the state is, therefore, best cut out of the equation as often as humanly possible.

That history is teaching lunacy is a fairly typical consequence of excess government. In a free education market, where anyone could set up a school, it’s somewhat unlikely that the history curriculum would allow the promulgation of such outrageous left wing propaganda.

Stalin was loathsome – directly responsible for more deaths even than Hitler. Yet schools that – as Bartholomew notes – would never dream of asking kids to talk about the Pros of the Holocaust somehow feel it’s OK to look for some of the positives in this sadistic Communist tyrant. Why?

Partly because in Britain – as in the U.S., where Betsy DeVos has arrived as Education Secretary not a moment too soon – schools have been skewed by the values of the public sector which, like those of public sectors everywhere, are unerringly left wing.

Read the rest at Breitbart.

U.S. College Professors Tell Students: ‘Climate Skeptics Verboten!’

According to an email provided to Kate Hardiman of The College Fix by a student on the course:

The point of departure for this course is based on the scientific premise that human induced climate change is valid and occurring. We will not, at any time, debate the science of climate change, nor will the ‘other side’ of the climate change debate be taught or discussed in this course.

Opening up a debate that 98% of climate scientists unequivocally agree to be a non-debate would detract from the central concerns of environment and health addressed in this course.

… If you believe this premise to be an issue for you, we respectfully ask that you do not take this course, as there are options within the Humanities program for face to face this semester and online next.

Nor, reports Hardiman, does the alarmist zealotry end there…

Read the rest at Breitbart.

Oxford University Special Snowflakes: These Essays Are Killing Us

Cat Jones, of the Oxford University Student Union, told the Times Higher Education (THE) that some students work in excess of 50 or 60 hours a week, with some being set “three essays in one week”.

“At those levels, that’s clearly at the detriment of rigour, welfare and pedagogy,” she told the THE. “At that point, you are very much an essay machine; you are meeting deadlines rather than having time to learn and to reflect on what you are meant to be learning.”

Well I was at Oxford (did I mention this, ever?) and there were definitely periods when we had to write at least two essays a week on the English Literature course, especially in the first year when we were also learning Anglo-Saxon.

Also the stuff we had to read wasn’t Maya Angelou, or The Further Adventures of My Little Pony or My Brother, Myself by Phil Andros, like the English literature undergrads at Yale want to study in preference to Milton and Wordsworth who are too male, white and straight. It was often old and written in archaic language: Gawain and the Green Knight; the Countess of Pembroke’s Arcadia; The Faerie Queene [which is, like, Elizabethan for The Fairy Queen] etc.

This, I recall, interfered quite massively with our drinking, partying, rowing and other distractions. Why, it was almost like the old dudes – the dons, the fellows, the professors etc – actually thought we’d come to Oxford (currently ranked number one for English Literature in the world – just thought I’d drop that one in) to study and expand our intellects.

Anyway, here’s the thing. When occasionally we found ourselves exposed to undergraduates from lesser institutions – my mates Tom, Gary and co down the road at Bristol, say – one thing struck us Oxonian visitors quite forcibly. Even though the Bristolians seemed burdened by a culture of tedious, American-style presenteeism – that is, like schoolkids, they were expected to go to lots and lots of lectures – they were generally given far, far fewer essays to write. Closer to one a fortnight than two a week.

Read the rest at Breitbart.

Yale Students: Shakespeare Is Better Than Maya Angelou, Honestly

Students at Yale University have petitioned their English Department for a change of curriculum. They want fewer “white male authors” and more contributions by “women, people of color and queer folk”.

Does anyone want to hazard a guess as to why I’ve linked these two stories?

Yes, that’s right. It’s because I am sexist, racist, homophobic pig.

Also because I am a shameless elitist.

I actually believe that whether you’re talking international sport or you’re talking about literature then it is quality – not how many gender or diversity boxes it ticks – that should be the criterion that counts.

What this means, in practice, is acknowledging that Shakespeare is better than Maya Angelou, English literature is better than Nigerian literature, Pride and Prejudice is better than Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Paradise Lost by straight dead white male John Milton is better than anything by lesbian Poet Laureate Carole Ann Duffy (or indeed, probably, by any other lesbian poet in history, ever, including Sappho) and that all women’s sport (apart from showjumping, the only one where girls can compete with boys on equal terms; and possibly women’s beach volleyball) is basically a waste of space.

This doesn’t mean, as far as sport goes, that women should be discouraged from playing it. On the contrary, anything that gets women out of the designer shoe and hand bag emporia, away from internet victims’ groups and onto the playing fields where they can work off the rage, bitterness and insecurity which would otherwise be vented against men has got to be a good thing.

Plus, if any of our daughters were to become a top international sporting champion (which by the sounds of it is pretty easy, if you choose something like football: you just need to shift a spherical object vaguely in the right direction with your foot, taking care to avoid any 15-year old boys) then obviously it would be fantastic news because they’d probably make enough to pay for their own weddings instead of asking their impoverished, long-suffering parents to stump up.

That apart, though, there really isn’t much to be said for women’s sport. As a hobby, yes. But not as a thing to be taken seriously at an international level. Not even tennis where, frankly, they grunt very unattractively, the rallies go on for way too long, and the hottest looking ones almost never make it to the highest levels.

Read the rest at Breitbart.

The Ugly True Story of #rhodesmustfall: Oxford University’s Answer to #blacklivesmatter

Who will join my campaign #Rhodesmustrise?

The idea is to build in the middle of Africa a gigantic golden statue of the mighty British imperial hero Cecil Rhodes – a really big one, about four miles high, so that Kilimanjaro doesn’t get in the way – to remind all the locals for miles around what a complete and utter toilet their malarial, tsetse flyblown continent would have been if it hadn’t been for all the 19th century explorers, miners and pioneers and nation builders and District Commissioners in their white pith helmets who brought them civilisation, the rule of law and economic progress.

Some readers, I know, will be squeamish about the ethics of such a campaign.

“But won’t all that gold be very expensive?” they’ll want to know.

“And mightn’t such a statue be offensive in the way it privileges Cecil Rhodes? What about all the other great figures from African history who have done so much to enrich the world? Towering figures such as the explorer David Livingstone, the military hero Gordon of Khartoum, the orientalist Richard Burton, the explorer John Hanning Speke, and that amazing rugger player Francois Pienaar who was played in the movie by Matt Damon?”

Well I can answer the first question at least and the solution is very simple: all we need to do is get the Africans to give us back the $1 trillion in aid money we in the West have given them over the last 50 years.

This debt repayment scheme – I call it #AidJustice4Whitey – will serve at least two very important purposes.

1. We’ll be able to buy enough gold to build the Cecil Rhodes statue. (Probably. I haven’t done the maths)

2. It will teach an invaluable lesson to chippy, ungrateful, hoity-toity Africans like the students at Oxford University currently leading the #rhodesmustfall campaign for the removal from Oriel College of a statue of one of its benefactors Cecil Rhodes.

Read the rest at Breitbart.

Brainwashing of Our Children: Britain’s schools Are Force-Feeding Pupils Politically Correct Dogma about Sexuality, Climate Change and British History

The result will be a nation LESS tolerant than before.

‘When I get married — whether it’s to a man or a woman…’ my 11-year-old niece told her grandpa the other day. But I don’t think she thinks she’s a budding lesbian (would she even know at that age?).

It’s just the way she has been taught to think at her impeccably right-on school in the People’s Republic of Brighton.

It reminded me queasily of another niece’s experiences — this time at an overwhelmingly white, Christian state school in Worcester. Her dad had wanted to know why when she said ‘Mohammed’, she automatically added the phrase ‘Peace Be Upon Him’.

‘Oh, it’s what we’re taught we have to say in RE,’ my niece replied.

Did the schools ever consult us on whether we wanted our children’s heads to be filled with such politically correct bilge?

After 25 years’ ongoing exposure to this nonsense, I suppose I should be used to it by now. My elder son’s headmaster explaining to me airily how it just wasn’t the modern way to punish children for not doing their homework; my daughter coming home with the news that her primary teacher had advised her to ‘go veggie’ for a week; my younger boy being co-opted into some grisly global sustainability club, so that his school could win more eco-star ratings from an EU-sponsored green scheme.

Such indoctrination never fails to irritate. More than that, though, I am genuinely terrified about the kind of havoc these brainwashed mini-revolutionaries may wreak in the future.

Read the rest at the Daily Mail.

Treating Islam with Special Reverence Is Cultural Suicide and Just Plain Wrong

My brilliant niece Freya was talking to my brother the other day about the religious education curriculum at her predominately white, middle-class state school in a pretty English cathedral city. She happened to mention ‘Mohammed, Peace Be Upon Him.’ ‘Eh?’ said my brother. ‘It’s what we’re taught at school. After we mention “Mohammed” we have to say “Peace be upon him”.’

Now I know what you’re thinking: that Freya must surely have got the wrong end of the stick. ‘If this were a madrassa in Bradford, well maybe,’ you’ll be thinking. ‘But at a white, middle-class state school in a pretty English cathedral city? No way. Things aren’t that bad. At least not yet, anyway…’

But Freya is not stupid. That’s why, at the beginning, I referred to her as my ‘brilliant’ niece as opposed to my ‘incredibly thick’ one. Apparently, she assures me, they’ve been taught to use the ‘peace be upon him’ formula since Year 7 and though they’re allowed to shorten it to PBUH, they’re definitely not supposed to call him just Mohammed. ‘There’s sometimes the odd snigger when the phrase comes up but we’ve been conditioned pretty much to accept it as normal,’ says Freya. ‘It’s a bit weird, given that there’s only two Muslim kids in my year of 100.’

I find this scary for at least two reasons. The first is what it says about the death of our national identity. When Freya’s father and I were at school, we had to go to ‘chapel’ once a day, and twice on Sundays. In our scripture classes we were taught all the key bible stories, even to the point of having to learn the names of all the apostles. It didn’t turn us into religious freaks — anything but. What it did instil in us, however, was a sense of history and tradition. Like generations before us we were members of the Anglican Church, familiar with the same tales, the same liturgy, the same hymns and psalms, the same rituals, the same boredom.

Before the 1980s, I suspect, this was the experience of most British children, regardless of their race or religious background. It wasn’t a question of forcing Christianity down anyone’s throat — merely an accepted part of the fabric of British life. You went to church (at least occasionally — Christmas at any rate) in the same way you watched Top of the Pops and Morecambe and Wise, or you had roast beef and Yorkshire pud for Sunday lunch. It just was what you did.

Not any more. Sure, the old religion is still covered in RE classes, but at state schools like Freya’s only as an equally valid and certainly by no means preferable alternative to Judaism, Sikhism, Islam and the rest. ‘Jesus was the son of God! Do you agree?’ asks a sample Key Stage 3 question from Freya’s school website. Well, what a bloody stupid question to ask an 11-year-old. How are they possibly going to be intellectually equipped to produce any kind of meaningful answer?

(to read more, click here)

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Conservative Blacks Are Fed up with Being Patronised by Liberals and Bureaucrats

A friend who teaches at an old-fashioned Sussex boarding school has a zero-tolerance approach to racism. The moment he hears one of the foreign boys claiming to be a victim of it, that’s them chucked out of the class for the rest of the lesson. ‘Well I’m sorry,’ says my friend Duncan, quite unapologetically. ‘But they’re bright kids and they’re enjoying the best education money can buy in a multi-ethnic school where racism just isn’t an issue. I think it’s an absolute bloody outrage that they should try that line…’
Had he been working in the state sector, of course, he would be out of his job by now. Which is an awful pity because people of Duncan’s courage and robust convictions are what the world sorely needs. That overused ‘r’ word has done more to stifle open political debate and poison social cohesion than perhaps any other word in the English language. It’s time we stamped on it and stamped on it hard. But how? To appreciate the scale of the problem, you only had to observe the way an incident involving attacks by locals on over 100 Romanians in Belfast was reported last week. What wasn’t at all clear from any of the initial reports — neither in the BBC, nor, more surprisingly in the right-leaning newspapers — was what had brought the natives of Belfast to this unfortunate pass. Other than their disgusting, abominable and thoroughly to-be-condemned racism, that is.

I first heard the story myself on the Today programme. In the news report, the victims were all carefully described as Romanians, with no clue offered as to their ethno-cultural identity. But then, a Belfast race-relations worker interviewed by the BBC let the cat out of the bag by referring to them more accurately as ‘Roma’. At which point, I swore a lot at my radio then blogged about it for the Daily Telegraph. My main complaint was that we listeners were being treated here like children: children who could not be trusted to be told the whole truth lest they reach the ‘wrong’ conclusions.

(to read more, click here)

Related posts:

  1. What the BBC didn’t want you to know about the Belfast ‘Romanians’
  2. The Right to Swear is Integral to Being a True Conservative
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