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Thursday, October 01, 2009

Labour do not get democracy

This morning's Guardian reports that the Schools secretary, Ed Balls has ordered a review of provisions to tackle racism in schools that will consider whether to ban BNP members from becoming teachers. In my view, for reasons I have explained before, this would be a retrograde step:

Objectionable as they are the BNP are a legitimate party. We must fight them by exposing the bankruptcy of their ideas, by putting in place solutions to the problems they exploit and by campaigning hard on the issues in the communities they are targeting. Their creed has no place in the classroom but teachers must be judged on their behaviour and their teaching methods not on the labels they wear.

The sort of purge of public service employees being promoted by some is not just un-British but undemocratic. As ever in these things one should judge the appropriateness of our views and actions by imagining the situation being reversed. Would we be happy if the BNP were in power and using our actions as a precedent to sack those on the left from employment? No we wouldn't and nor should we be content with this idea to treat the BNP membership in that way either.


I took issue with the NASUWT at the Liberal Democrat Conference for their campaign to prevent members of the BNP working in schools but I had hoped that a Government Minister might take a wider view. It seems that the essentially illiberal nature of new Labour has struck again.

If Ed Balls goes ahead with this ban he will be opening up a can of worms and giving the BNP even more credibility as the anti-politics, anti-establishment party.
Comments:
this people brain wash people anyway i cant see children being able to form their own decisions as they are to young
 
It's not about brainwashing, it's about potentially marginalising pupils; victimising them or denying them the opportunity to achieve.

The BNP website recently said that it would propose banning all Muslims from UK airports.

No sensible parent would want their child taught by someone that ascribes to such views. But a Lib Dem would it appears.
 
I did not use the word 'brainwashing'. If you are going to start excluding people from jobs because of their views then you are instigating a facist state. What somebody believes and how they act are two different issues. If a teacher acts professionally and respects his or her work colleagues and pupils irrespective of race or religion then there is no reason to stop them working. If they cannot act professionally then they exclude themselves.
 
These proposals are a PR gift to the BNP.

What an idiotic idea
 
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