The Father of Conservatism

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Herein lies the Ghost in the political machine of the Rt. Hon. Edmund Burke. Much like Max Weber arguing with the Ghost of Marx, this blog seeks to make relevant and where appropriate support or reject Burke's 'Reflections' against the backdrop of the disastrous New Labour experiment.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

What a load of Balls?

Of all the Labour MPs that should be sent to the scaffold, ‘Herr E. Balls’ should be at the front of the queue. His new Children, Schools and Family Bill, which he is hoping to pass both Houses before he’s ‘hopefully’ dumped in the unemployment line, is disastrous for children from working class backgrounds. Balls’s boldest statement of intent is to abolish traditionally taught subjects such as Maths, English, History and Geography and roll them into 6 ‘themed lessons’ based around issue based topics, as opposed to the tried and tested methods of teaching rigorous fact and figures.

They will fall under these new ambiguous areas:

Understanding English, Communication and Languages; mathematically understanding, understanding the arts; Historical, geographical and social understanding; physical development, health and well-being; scientific and technological understanding.

Mr Balls is noted for saying he is not “abolishing traditional subjects but reforming the curriculum so teachers have more freedom.” I’m sorry, but this is absurd. ‘More freedom’, coming from his Government, which takes great joy and pleasure from infantile-ling the whole of society, I don’t think so. With youth unemployment at almost half that of the full dole figures; the mythical idea that all can/should go to university and the State will pick up the tab; to dumbed down multiple choice science GCSE’s - this Government needs to be brought to its knees over its abject failure of young Britons.

How on earth can any of these whimsical and wooly-headed thematic lessons allow for freedom, if you ask a teacher to teach History or Maths, they will know where they stand and have no problem understanding what's asked of them. The same goes for the pupils who when asked upon what they learned that day can easily quantify and qualify English from Geography. Riddle me this: What on earth is ‘social understanding’?

They do not need lesson on how to use Google Earth, Twitter or learn how to blog - this they learn for themselves (I learnt it well enough) As kids often are, they appear well ahead of the curve on all things technological and do not need time taken out of official school time to try and condense the meaning of Shakespeare or the reasons for the outbreak of World War II to 140 characters in a tweet.

One prime example of these well-being lessons already happening is one go my friend’s primary school aged children who has to keep a record throughout the weekend on how they were feeling from happy, sad, angry and laughter etc. What happened to real teaching not empathy lessons. Another similar story is that pupils now take ‘big writing’ as opposed to a straight English subject.

What is also strange is how a public educated school boy like Ed Balls knows about struggling comprehensives and how to turn them around? Well, the commonsensical answer would be that he feels they should mirror private primary schools, however these schools stick rigidly to traditional teaching methods and focus not one jot on emotion, just a neat balance between competition and camaraderie. I would know I personally went to one. Although, Mr. Balls thinks it relies in constant tinkering with the system.

It is therefore right that Prince Charles and his chief educational aide, Bernice McCabe, has got involved in denouncing Balls’s latest educational malaise. If the King Elect feels ‘his majesty’s Government is failing children he has a right to voice concerns despite the assertion that the monarch is above politics. This is negated as this isn’t politics, it is a generation of children’s education that Labour’s socialists policies are wrecking.

Mrs. McCabe has said: 'Sometimes there are too many shortcuts into theme-based teaching. That's not what gets children learning.” She is completely correct as are the Prince’s opinion on a ‘cultural disinheritance’ that is occurring under New Labour. It is well known that Labour spends most of it’s nefarious time dreaming up ways to undermine a sense of British History, as it is embarrassed at Britain’s former greatness. But denying a child a right to know the truth about their background is a savage act of mal-governance.

I urge Michael Gove to repeal and outrightly scrap this bill is it ever makes it into law. We need a Conservative administration to public come out against Labour’s latest educational bankruptcy. This should big a flagship element of Tory policy to reclaim the moral authority from Labour to show that it is able to look after the nation’s most vulnerable, be they young, old or in social difficulty - we owe it to great Britons that came before us.