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Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Will freedom of thought and speech be victims of new Tory ideological approach?

It is becoming clear that the new ideological crusade being launched by the Tories goes beyond trying to take over the BBC and OFCOM. As the Independent reports, new guidance issued by the department of education for English schools has banned them from using teaching material that calls for the end of capitalism because it is an “extreme political stance”.

The paper says that this guidance puts groups wanting to replace the economic system on a par with those endorsing racism, antisemitism and violence, or the overthrow of democracy. Even material that is “not extreme” has been outlawed if it has been produced by organisations on the banned list, because that could “imply endorsement.”

Amnesty International attacked the instructions, issued by the department for education, for undermining “freedom of speech”:

Issued last Thursday, the guidance reads: “Schools should not under any circumstances use resources produced by organisations that take extreme political stances on matters.

“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.”

Other examples are “the use or endorsement of racist, including antisemitic, language or communications”, it goes on.

Also outlawed is “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.”

That section prompted the leading QC Jessica Simor to ask, witheringly, if that meant “schools should not accept government money?” – following the Brexit bill that breaches international law.

Allan Hogarth, Amnesty’s head of policy and government affairs, said: “It’s a step too far to ban materials which question an economic model such as capitalism.

“The only extreme view here is the one which suggests that it's somehow illegitimate to even consider the validity of socio-economic systems other than the prevailing one – a system that has of course only been in existence for a comparatively short period of time.”

At best this guidance is ridiculous and undemocratic, at worst it is sinister. When politicians start to interfere in the education process then they are embarking on a very dangerous course indeed.
Look up https://secularhumanism.org/2003/03/fascismanyone/ (Free Inquiry vol23 no2 Fascism anyone? by L W Brit)
No 9 powers of corporations protected (capitalism is great!?
No 13 could lead to rampant cronyism and corruption (hides the truth)
No2 undermining the freedom of speech.Disdain for importance of human rights
By restricting the freedom of speech can also develop them able to do
No 14 their own fraudulent elections (Trump restricting Black voting via 'manipulating'data.

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