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Will you be obeying the diktat?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by monicabilongame, Sep 27, 2020.

  1. monicabilongame

    monicabilongame Star commenter


    The government has ordered schools in England not to use resources from organisations which have expressed a desire to end capitalism.

    Department for Education (DfE) guidance issued on Thursday for school leaders and teachers involved in setting the relationship, sex and health curriculum categorised anti-capitalism as an “extreme political stance” and equated it with opposition to freedom of speech, antisemitism and endorsement of illegal activity.

    Former shadow chancellor John McDonnell said the measures effectively outlawed reference in schools to key events in British history, and that it symbolised growing “authoritarianism” within the governing Conservative party.

    The guidance, part of lengthy guidelines for implementing the statutory curriculum, said: “Schools should not under any circumstances use resources produced by organisations that take extreme political stances on matters. This is the case even if the material itself is not extreme, as the use of it could imply endorsement or support of the organisation.”

    It listed examples of what were described as “extreme political stances”, such as “a publicly stated desire to abolish or overthrow democracy, capitalism, or to end free and fair elections”; opposition to freedom of speech; the use of racist, including antisemitic, language; the endorsement of illegal activity; and a failure to condemn illegal activities done in support of their cause.

    McDonnell said: “On this basis it will be illegal to refer to large tracts of British history and politics including the history of British socialism, the Labour Party and trade unionism, all of which have at different times advocated the abolition of capitalism.

    “This is another step in the culture war and this drift towards extreme Conservative authoritarianism is gaining pace and should worry anyone who believes that democracy requires freedom of speech and an educated populace.”

    Economist and former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis said the guidance showed “how easy it is to lose a country, to slip surreptitiously into totalitarianism”.

    He added: “Imagine an educational system that banned schools from enlisting into their curricula teaching resources dedicated to the writings of British writers like William Morris, Iris Murdoch, Thomas Paine even. Well, you don’t have to. Boris Johnson’s government has just instructed schools to do exactly that.”

    Barrister Jessica Simor QC suggested that the government has on occasion not complied with the guidance itself, after it admitted the new Brexit bill would break international law (“endorsement of illegal activity”) and continued selling arms to Saudi Arabia for use in Yemen following a court ruling that it was unlawful.
  2. Katzenjammer

    Katzenjammer Senior commenter

    This is Boris Johnson's "Section 28": it is aimed at a non-existent phenomenon and will be, as it deserves to be, ignored.
  3. colacao17

    colacao17 Lead commenter

  4. LondonCanary

    LondonCanary Star commenter

    If the phenomenon does not exist, it will be complied with. Non-compliance would be impossible.
  5. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    Taken in its entirety, https://www.gov.uk/guidance/plan-your-relationships-sex-and-health-curriculum#choosing-resources the guidance seems reasonable to me, particularly as it refers specifically to Relationships, Sex and Health Education and not to subjects such as history - something which John McDonnell appears to have overlooked in his rush to get his fading influence into the press. :rolleyes:

    Schools should not under any circumstances use resources produced by organisations that take extreme political stances on matters. This is the case even if the material itself is not extreme, as the use of it could imply endorsement or support of the organisation.

    Should schools use RSH materials which, for example, promote the ideal that all abortion is wrong, that homosexuality is a sin, that women should be subservient to men or that sex should not take place outside marriage?

    I would suggest that posters read the original guidance (link above) rather than the Guardian's leftist take on a tiny part of it before establishing an opinion.

    Since I no longer teach RSHE, no. But as a clerk to governors, I will be advising the governing board to refer to the guidance as published and not the press.
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2020
  6. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    On a slightly separate matter, the author of that Guardian article Mattha Busby (based in Sarajevo) does not know the difference between guidance and a directive.

    The DfE has published guidance which means, of course, that the government has not "ordered" schools (as in the article) and nor is it a "diktat" (as in the title of the OP).

    It should be noted that the guidance, to which both the Guardian and the OP refer, is not the same as the statutory guidance which was published earlier (BIG difference!) and can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publi...ps-and-sex-education-rse-and-health-education
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2020
  7. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    I won't be adhering to the political aspect of this.

    Dangerous nonsense.

    I consider the govt itself to be extreme and dangerous on the basis of clear evidence for such a view. See Brexit and climate change, putting Dacre and Moore into important positions, being happy to break international law, and the amount of lying the PM and his cronies do, etc.

    I think I'll do the opposite.
  8. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    What do you adhere to? You seem anti government no matter what they publish?
    Kandahar, FormosaRed and nomad like this.
  9. Burndenpark

    Burndenpark Star commenter

    Hmmm - from the link above- my emphasis:
    Schools should not under any circumstances use resources produced by organisations that take extreme political stances on matters. This is the case even if the material itself is not extreme, as the use of it could imply endorsement or support of the organisation. Examples of extreme political stances include, but are not limited to:

    • a publicly stated desire to abolish or overthrow democracy, capitalism, or to end free and fair elections
    • opposition to the right of freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom of assembly or freedom of religion and conscience
    • the use or endorsement of racist, including antisemitic, language or communications
    • the encouragement or endorsement of illegal activity
    • a failure to condemn illegal activities done in their name or in support of their cause, particularly violent actions against people or property
    Well that's the current internal market bill out of the window... Can we expect the UK Govt to start supporting BLM in the states? And I wonder what they will have to add to their position on the late Mr Khashoggi?
    I guess we could just accept that as an "organisation that takes extreme political stances on matters" it could be argued that anything from the UK Govt should be ignored... presumably including this guidance?

    At least he's not biased then- you only seem to oppose one party when in government - is that any better?
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2020
  10. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    The expressed will by referendum.
    Something this government has acknowledged and carried on prior government's work on.
    Ooooh... dangerous centre right individuals...
    Only if the EU breaks it first... and as the EU is perfect then that won't happen...
    Agreed... he's lying about lockdown, lying about the first lockdown, lying about this one.
    Kandahar, xmal and alex_teccy like this.
  11. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    I admit it... I laughed... good one.
  12. Burndenpark

    Burndenpark Star commenter

    I don't think he had much good to say for Labour- I know it's a while ago.
  13. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    I am not aware of any teachers using material produced by extremists. I'm sure there must be some somewhere.
    Doesn't mean you can't teach about Fascism, communism or BLM, you just have to be careful about your sources.
  14. Burndenpark

    Burndenpark Star commenter

    Off that definition any one supporting "freedom fighters" or failing to condemn them is technically an extremist- Extinction rebellion- have broken laws haven't they for example. Any one who public supported the terrorist Nelson Mandela would have fallen foul of such a description as this in the 80s. Many organisations break the laws they are protesting about or have had their rallies banned.

    This looks like one of those good intentions that paves the road to hell.
    ajrowing and monicabilongame like this.
  15. NoseyMatronType

    NoseyMatronType Star commenter

    I can’t speak for Scintillant but would suggest that he might just possibly be a critic of neoliberalism and would be in favour of a more restrained, regulated and climate conscious version of capitalism. If that is not the case, then it applies to me as someone who ‘liked’ his post.

    This survey article might help to give you an understanding of where some of us are coming from:

  16. ajrowing

    ajrowing Star commenter

    They are funny.
  17. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    Many things have been done in the name of Brexit. The Vote Leave campaign itself was illegal,

    Yes, but action is on a scale as to cause huge amounts of suffering and problems for the planet. To oppose their stance on this is good science and should not be seen as political.

    Unsuitable candidates for the respective roles.


    Your output on Covid has been poor, very poor. Wrong, Wrong, Wrong. You've been on those dodgy websites again, haven't you?

    How was the march yesterday?
    monicabilongame likes this.
  18. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    That would be fine by me.
  19. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    Have you seen them lately?

    They are a shambles. Beyond compare. Completely out of their depth. They have caused a mess of quite incredible proportions in this country and are now introducing measures regarding media control that I find would be at home in the 1930s Germany.
    Nellyfuf2 likes this.
  20. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    And how, precisely, would you fit that into teaching about Relationships, Sex and Health Education (which is what the guidance relates to). Do Communists have sex in a fundamentally different way to Fascists? (Maybe Reds do it under the bed whereas others do it on top! :D)

    The guidance is quite specific and you appear to be making the same error as that fading nobody John McDonnell.
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2020

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