Arguments in government

Read all about it. Michael Gove and Theresa May have had a disagreement involving an exchange of letters about how to develop a policy and respond to extremism.

This sort of thing should come as no surprise. In any active and lively government Ministers are always disagreeing with one another. Government proceeds by departments and Ministers setting out different views and proposals. These are then honed into an agreed common line which all Ministers stick to in public conversation.

So what is surprising here is not the disagreement, which is common and healthy, but the release of a letter giving one side of the argument, and the briefings about the exchanges. This was quite common under Labour when Ministers and spin doctors often spun their side of disputes, most notably the many disagreements between Chancellor and Prime Minister under Blair. It is not so common under this government.

Mr Gove takes the very sensible view that in combatting extremism you need to deal with its verbal and non violent manifestations in schools before they could become major and violent manifestations outside the classroom and when the students are a bit older. This is also now the general government’s view. The disagreements are not as great as the spin would suggest. The Home Secretary clearly stated in the House yesterday that she is in agreement with the PM and Education Secretary that government has to tackle extremism in speech and teaching as well as extremism with bullets and bombs.

Most of us want to live in a peaceful community where we tolerate each other’s religions and allow a wide range of belief, but where certain human rights and home truths are self evident and inalienable. These include equality for men and women and the right to a decent state education which reflects our democratic values. It was good to hear Mr Gove say there will be a statement of British values to inform schools on the ethos and approach they should adopt to education and looking after children in their care.

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57 Comments

  1. Old Albion
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    No school in England should ever teach any religion to any pupil. All education should be entirely secular. This would bring to an end brainwashing by militant theologists.
    If people insist on following fantasy written hundreds of years ago, they should do it in their own free time and not impose it upon those who have the intelligence to see through religion.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 10, 2014 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

      Indeed is this indoctrination (and even sometimes physical mutilation) not actually a form of child abuse in many instances in more extreme cases?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 10, 2014 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

        The green religion is rammed down them the children too, and it is all and over the exam syllabus. Can we not just teach them reality and how to think, reason and question for themselves.

        • Bazman
          Posted June 15, 2014 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

          Sustainable clean energy and the need for it is a religion? What is yours? The support of ignorance?

    • outsider
      Posted June 10, 2014 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

      Dear Old Albion. I agree that children should not be INSTRUCTED in any religion in their mainstream schooling, particularly if it is funded by taxpayers. But keeping education in religions altogether out of secular schooling tends to throw out the baby with the bathwater. All simple, comprehensible, generally accepted moral/ethical codes – whether for personal happiness and serenity, for how best to behave towards each other in a community or nation and how we should behave to everyone else – seem to be bound up with religions, eg the Sermon on the Mount and the Ten Commandments. In principle, humanists should be able to achieve such codes without what you call fantasy: Julian Huxley had a go nearly 90 years ago. In practice, they have failed to do so. The result, judging from a recent bout of viewing television commercials, is that even the Golden Rule of treating others as we wish them to treat us, which is the most universal of all moral principles, seems to have become culturally defunct.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 10, 2014 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

        Treat other as you would wish to be treated, and try to put yourself in the other persons circumstances – preferably before opening you mouth – are perhaps two of the most important lessons in life.

      • Old Albion
        Posted June 10, 2014 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

        But many people of good intelligence see religion is nonsense and do not want it forced on themselves or their children.

    • acorn
      Posted June 10, 2014 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

      I agree with you. In the US Constitution, Church and State are separated. Schools are not supposed to teach a religion(s), but they can teach about religions, as a component of understanding in a History curriculum.

      Having Governing bodies for State and Private schools is an anachronism (yes, I have been a Chair of Governors). Education should be devolved to local government with the local council education committee being the supervisory board over the Headteacher that they would uniquely appoint; in both State funded schools AND privately funded schools.

      It can be a very lonely job as a Headteacher. Some parents think they can have a pop at you whenever they like; especially if you have dared to discipline a child. A Headtecher has to know that if such troubles arise, he/she can call in a posse of gunslingers from County for back-up.

      Having Education run Soviet style from Westminster / Whitehall creates more problems than it solves. I suggest the current Birmingham situation, would not have been allowed to occur with the above management structure.

      PS. Out of the 24 Ministerial Departments we have, shutting down the Education Dept and the Communities and Local Government Dept at Soviet level could save a few bob. The both have some useful Quangos that would be worth keeping mind you.

      • Richard1
        Posted June 11, 2014 at 10:23 am | Permalink

        But the model of governing bodies seems to work very well in many private schools?

        think the problem in state schools, when they are subject to LEAs, is the governing bodies have no power. I sat on the governing body of a state school some years ago. I don’t remember any substantive discussions on anything educational or relating to standards in the School. It was window dressing.

        • Narrow Shoulders
          Posted June 12, 2014 at 7:33 am | Permalink

          I would suggest that says more about the governing body you sat on and its relationship with the head teacher than the governing body model.

          The body I sit on has wide ranging discusions and holds the Council’s education department to account regularly. A representative is invited to our committees whenever appropriate.

          Educational standards and pupil welfare are our main concerns.

          • Richard1
            Posted June 12, 2014 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

            practice may have changed. I sat on 2 primary school governors > 20 years ago. Both were the same. Staff were present throughout meetings which precluded any discussion of educational standards or performance in the schools, even had the governors power to do anything about it (which at that time at least they didn’t).

  2. Lifelogic
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    “Most of us want to live in a peaceful community where we tolerate each other’s religions and allow a wide range of belief”

    Well indeed tolerate, but I do not want to pay for (often evil) indoctrination of young minds through my taxes. Have we learned nothing from Northern Ireland? Nor should one be prevented for saying what I might think about these religions if I choose to. If you cannot offend people you have no rights to free speech at all. Someone will always be offended by almost anything. If you just state the fact that women study physics A level less often than men you will offend many.

    “These include equality for men and women and the right to a decent state education which reflects our democratic values.”

    Well Cameron does not seem to belief in equality of men and women he want to distort the employment market, the insurance and pensions market and it was reported he wanted a woman (regardless of merit one assumes) to head the BBC trustees rather than a man. To join the far too “BBC think” Diane Coyle. You cannot get equal pay for men and women without positive discrimination against men (this as Women sensibly make different work life balance choices). Women with no children already earn more than men. I see the chairman of the BBC trustee gets £143,000 for the part time job of one assumes ensuring the BBC stays on message on the EU, green crap, ever bigger government and the likes.

    A state education! why “a state education” a good education yes indeed. It would be far better with some voucher system and little state involvement beyond that.

    We may have democratic values but we do not have a democracy. The EU, the power of the parties, say one thing do the opposite and the FPTP voting system ensure that. Cameron’s fake recall proposal show that very clearly.

    “Tolerate religion” indeed but the problem is we give is many special advantages in Taxation, on the hilarious BBC’s usually crass, simplistic or daft “thought for the day”, Bishops in the Lords, token people of religion in the Lords, in religious schools, in freedom not to be questioned or criticised by law however daft their views, in freedom to mutilate the genitals of children even.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 10, 2014 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

      A toned down version:

      “Most of us want to live in a peaceful community where we tolerate each other’s religions and allow a wide range of belief”

      Well indeed tolerate, but I do not want to pay for (often evil) indoctrination of young minds through my taxes. Have we learned nothing from Northern Ireland? Nor should one be prevented for saying what I might think about these religions if one chooses to. If you cannot offend people you have no rights to free speech at all. Someone will always be offended by almost anything. If you just state the fact that, women study physics A level less often than men you, will offend many.

      “These include equality for men and women and the right to a decent state education which reflects our democratic values.”

      Well Cameron does not seem to believe in equality of men and women he want to distort the employment market, the insurance and pensions market and it was reported he wanted a woman (regardless of merit one assumes) to head the BBC trustees rather than a man. To join the far too “BBC think” Diane Coyle. You cannot get equal pay for men and women without positive discrimination against men (this as Women sensibly make different work life balance choices). Women with no children already earn more than men anyway. I see the chairman of the BBC trustee gets £143,000 for the part time job of one assumes ensuring the BBC stays on message on the EU, green crap, ever bigger government and the likes.

      A state education! why “a state education” a good education yes indeed. It would be far better with some voucher system and little state involvement beyond that.

      We may have democratic values but we do not have a democracy. The EU, the power of the parties, say one thing do the opposite and the FPTP voting system ensure that. Cameron’s totally fake recall proposal show that very clearly indeed.

      “Tolerate religion” indeed but the problem is we give religion many special advantages in Taxation, on the hilarious BBC’s usually crass, simplistic or plain daft “thought for the day”, Bishops in the Lords, token people of religion in the Lords, in religious schools, in freedom not to be questioned or criticised by law however odd their views.

      • Roger Farmer
        Posted June 11, 2014 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

        Could not agree more with your 2nd paragraph. This diary prevents one expressing the truth both historical and current about the religion in question. It only goes to prove that the discussion of anything contentious where this particular religion is concerned leads to censorship. It never seems to occur to the present incumbents of Westminster that the strength of UKIP is that it does not shy from such discussion. It therefore connects with the electorate. Not yet completely with me though.

      • Bazman
        Posted June 15, 2014 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

        Whole argument falls down of the fact that the employment market and equality is already distorted by other factors that you are to ignorant and myopic to see. Going to Eton becuse you are male and being rich does not make you superior and born with the right to rule, or in your case believing you own the facts.

  3. Richard1
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    The Labour party are of course blaming this erroneously on the fact that some of these schools are no longer controlled by local authorities, ignoring Labour’s own responsibility for the many failing schools within local authorities and of course the whole disasterous multiculturalism policy, promoted by the Labour government, which has made this behaviour by extremists in schools possible. It is extraordinary when you think of it. Imagine if a school had been found to be propagating e.g. white supremecist theories to pupils, it would rightly have been closed and the teachers prosecuted. It is very unfortunate that those self appointed spokespersons for the Muslim community who have so far taken to the airwaves have to date denied that there is a problem rather than said something needs to be done about it.

    Whilst the main issue here is dealing with extremism, lets not allow Labour to pursue the red herring that its free schools and academies that’s the problem. Every private school in the country is supervised only by its own governing body, subject to the law and to inspection. They work so well because of parental choice, so people send their children to UK private schools from around the world. There is no reason the same shouldn’t happen with state schools. We don’t need the return of the dead hand of local education authorities.

  4. JoeSoap
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    The end of your post is quite worrying. It looks as though you’re being dragged into the concensus multi-culti view that we have no set of key national values but have to subscribe to the doctrine(s) of whichever other religions enter the country.

    “Most of us want to live in a peaceful community”
    – self evidently true

    “Where we tolerate each other’s religions and allow a wide range of belief”,
    -yes, but does tolerate mean to encourage them and allow them to dominate our national institutions, fill our town and city centres, even if they don’t follow your principles?

    “but where certain human rights and home truths are self evident and inalienable. These include equality for men and women”
    -well, this is incompatible with your previous statement, as not all religions include equality between men and women. So where are you going with that contradiction?

    “and the right to a decent state education which reflects our democratic values.”
    -decent means different things to different people in different religions

    In summary you are trying to pretend to be tolerant to all religious persuasions, so long as they follow your principles. Very Cameronesque. There is a choice to be made here, isn’t there?

    • Kenneth R Moore
      Posted June 10, 2014 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

      Just tell it like it is please Mr Redwood – the last paragraph sounds like you have copied and pasted from some New Labour handbook of politically correct acceptable opinions.
      The allegations include white women being labelled as ‘prostitues’ , non-muslims being banned from school assemblies and school trips and children being taught about the virtues of ‘holy war’……. These are serious allegations and even if partially true demand the strongest condemnation not weasel words.

    • Mark B
      Posted June 11, 2014 at 5:07 am | Permalink

      Good post with some very prescient observations and comments.

      I think because they are now no longer our law makers, they have styled themselves as some sort of benevolent moral guardian of the nation. The trouble is, they lack morals.

      That is why I resent being patronised by these people.

  5. me
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    We’re going to “tolerate” ourselves into oblivion.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 10, 2014 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

      The problem with tolerating religions is that many religions are extremely intolerant. So you are often tolerating extreme intolerance.

  6. Mike Stallard
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    One of the most damaging things which Mr Blair (personally?) did was to shift the power of government away from the Cabinet into Downing Street. The Cabinet now has so many people that it has ceased to be a place of informal debate and become a place for announcements of policies which have been decided outside the Cabinet Meetings. Speaking out against a Policy is, surely, political suicide.

    So people go their own way regardless, no doubt hoping that they will not be found out. And as with any organisation where there is no real discussion of problems and challenges, disagreements are leaked instead of discussed freely with all points of view represented fairly.

    Add in a bitchy and gossipy press and – Bingo!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 10, 2014 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

      The most damaging thing which Mr Blair personally did was to enter into pointless, unwinnable wars on a blatant lies, with poorly equipped forces and then lose them at vast expense to the nation in lives, risk and financial costs.

  7. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, you write that we want to live in a peaceful , tolerant community but the political class in general are more tolerant of minoritites when they are intolerant and extreme.

    A case of treating the inequal inequally to equalise the game perhaps but let us not forget they chose to come here (or their parents) so they knew the rules and therefore need no further advantages. Treat us all the same please.

  8. john malpas
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    “Most of us want ” really? Most want the old britain back before it was sold for a pot of message.

    • outsider
      Posted June 10, 2014 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

      Dear John Malpas: True but impossible. I wonder whether the promised “Statement of British Values” will bear some greater resemblance to my own than the unrecognisable formulation under Gordon Brown. I doubt that it will mention that the justly famous tolerance of the English is the counterpart of our equally traditional narrow-mindedness, turning that less than attractive trait into a pragmatic virtue. Mr Cameron’s brief outline, as reported, sounded fine but has already been lost. Valuing freedom implies an understanding that almost every new law (apart from abolishing old ones) restricts and reduces freedom and should only be enacted if really important, not just someone’s jolly good idea. Yet all parties now compete for the most jolly good ideas for new laws/assaults on freedom. And fairness used to be an overriding English legal principle but after Lord Denning’s solo attempt to reassert it, British fairness has been abandoned altogether in favour of justice according to the law, which is not the same thing at all.

    • BobE
      Posted June 10, 2014 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

      Absouloutly

  9. acorn
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    It has been yet another Punch and Judy week in parliament. The hyperbole was bouncing off the walls like shrapnel. “Gross misconduct” and “broken ministerial code”. You could have been fooled into thinking there was something serious going on; but, as usual, there wasn’t. It did keep the mainstream media occupied, but even they were stretching the story gossamer thin to fill all those broadcast hours.

    I think they should bring back that old kids TV programme, “Jackanory”. Bernard Cribbins reading Hansard. That would put the kids to sleep at bedtime.

    • stred
      Posted June 10, 2014 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

      And yet the MSM has largely ignored the new war in Europe, with heavy weapons being used against counter rebels by the legitimated rebels in Ukraine. Civilians are apparently being killed, yet this receives no coverage, unlike the original fighting, which happened using rocks, molotov cocktails and hand fighting with a few unidentified snipers. Curious.

  10. margaret brandreth-j
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    This is the UK. If I were to travel to other countries I would have to adhere to certain dress codes and behaviour. Iwould be severly reprimanded if I tried to practice western ways of doing things.We on the other hand are liberal in that we allow many practices. When those practices impact on the general well being of our country ,those practices should not be allowed.

    The objective approach where both sides of an argument is put forth and decisions made from all views has not beem my experience in many years.A collective lynch mob type of culture with those in influential positions initiating the’ hanging’ is the way things have worked out. Lies , deliberate complaints and putting down of any reasoned argument has been the general sway .It is the only method the less gifted intellectualy and emotionally can get their own way.

  11. Iain Gill
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    When did it say in your manifesto that you would allow faith groups to take over and run non faith schools? Whether they are extremists or not, or whatever religion, where?
    Must be the same place you said speeding fines would be increased to ten thousand pounds?
    Or that you would print uncapped ICT work visas for non EU nationals to come in with skills already in oversupply?
    Plot lost completely.

  12. alan jutson,
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    Agree internal discussion is healthy.

    Problem is some SPADs and spin doctors often push their own agenda for whatever reason.

    Surely up to the Ministers concerned to keep their own personel in their house/departments in order.

    Back room staff should be exactly that, not seen or heard in public.

  13. Bert Young
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    This is a Christian country ; it has tolerated other religions and practices for centuries . Extremism – in all its forms , has been regulated by our laws and punished when necessary . Whether an exposure or infringement of our laws has been brought to the public notice by one means or another , is neither here or there ; the important thing is to investigate and , where the facts are proven , bring the offenders to justice and administer punishment . Gove vs May is not the issue , Islamic extremism is and should have no place in our school system .

    • Mark B
      Posted June 10, 2014 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

      We have not been tolerant of other religions. Just ask the Jews or the Catholics.

      If people wish to believe in a God or Gods, that is their affair and they should not be persecuted for it.

  14. Posted June 10, 2014 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    Everybody agrees that “something needs to be done”, as indeed they do about numerous other problems affecting immigrants into this country such as forced marriages and female genital mutilation. The problem is that no-one seems to have the foggiest idea about what that “something” is!

    • Max Dunbar
      Posted June 10, 2014 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

      The first ‘something’ is to speak out, but in order not to be arrested and prosecuted for Thought Crime the law has to be changed and the judiciary directed accordingly. Until that happens we live in what is effectively an open prison.

  15. John Bracewell
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    The problem in the schools concerns religions which appear to be getting in the way of the major purpose of schools which is to teach pupils what they require to be part of life in the UK. It would be better if religion was left to parents to decide how they wish their children to be involved or not with the religion of their choice and to pursue that choice outside of school. That does not mean that Religious Studies should not be taught in schools, along with basic social skills and financial management, i.e. Life Studies, but that sort of study would involve all religions and thus not be the catalyst for the advancement of any one religion. Schools could then concentrate on their important first purpose of equipping pupils with the basics of Maths, Science, (and in this country)English and a foreign language, add Geography, History and Physical Education and there is the Core
    Curriculum. Pupils, teachers and parents can then get together to decide what extra curriculum subjects/activities (non religious) they wish to participate in. Faith Schools were and still are acceptable, if they are not infiltrated with extremists, but the modern trend to accept and try to tolerate people who are hell bent on overthrowing our culture means that new rules governing faith schools are urgently needed. If religion was removed from the majority of schools as suggested above, then only Faith Schools would need to be inspected regularly to ensure extremism is not being encouraged.

  16. Bob
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    I see that Ofsted has denied an “outstanding” rating to the outstanding Payhembury Primary school in Devon because the pupils are all white.

    That sounds like the definition of racism to me.
    They would not have done the same to a school where the pupils were all non white, I’m pretty sure of that.

  17. John E
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    Off topic, but returning to a previous one:
    I see in the Telegraph that “Britain readies ‘last resort’ measures to keep the lights on”.
    But not to worry because Mr Davey thinks we’ll be OK this winter as long as it doesn’t get too cold – it will be the winter after the election that things get really bad and obviously he won’t be in office by then.
    Is there a more useless minister in office at present? I suggest in the event of power cuts his department is the first to be cut off.

  18. They Work for us?
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    Sadly the time has come in which me must take a firm stand against Islam and set boundaries that cannot be crossed because they would affect traditional British values, our historic culture and way of life.
    When a religious or ethnic group seeks to impose a change on our society because is “their culture, their religion or belief , we must say no! And mean it, pointing out that “” we do not do that here “. Such demands are often made on the basis is that there is no harm in asking /demanding and that attempts at conciliation are a sign of weakness. Overall Minorities should be treated as such.

    • Bazman
      Posted June 15, 2014 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

      This will apply to other religions to such as the C of E, Catholics and Jews one presumes or just Islam?

  19. Aatif Ahmad
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    There is no right to state education. Education is not a right. It is a good, which like all goods costs money to provide and people should have to pay for it. Why should I pay for someone else’s education? State-funded education leads to waste, inefficiency and low standards. Let parents pay for their children’s education and let them choose the best provider of education. I’m sure if parents had to pay, they wouldn’t send their children to a school teaching extremism. In South Asia, where the state-funded education system is disfunctional, almost all middle-class parents send their children to private English-medium schools, which teach children Shakespeare and Keats.

    • Dr. Sok
      Posted June 11, 2014 at 8:25 am | Permalink

      From the OED;
      ‘dysfunction n. abnormality or impairment of function; hence-AL a. [ f. DYS-+FUNCTION]’
      -Sorry to be a pedant!
      :>)

  20. The PrangWizard
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    I’m sick to the back teeth of being told that I must tolerate this, tolerate that, understand this, understand that when at the same time I am censured and censored for my beliefs and opinions. I place my cultural and religious beliefs and my English nationality first and I will not be told by anyone that it is wrong to do so. England needs more people who have the strength to promote and vigorously defend those values. And I mean English values.

    There is no such thing as ‘British’ in this context, since each nation has it’s own cultural and religious base from which identity grows. We, the people of England, and the English, should use the words England and English, instead of subsuming both under Britain and British. We must stop apologising for being English and stop patronising others who can and do defend themselves when needed.

  21. Elliot Kane
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    The thing that shocked and disgusted me was the number of politicians and pundits who seemed to think that the real news was ‘Tory Splits’ rather than ‘Extremists Brainwashing British Children’.

    What SHOULD be happening is that all sides of the British political spectrum should be up in arms at the idea that (certain people ed) can take over British state schools and run them to their own (word left out ed)agenda.

    We should be hearing talk of lengthy prison sentences (if serious offences are committed ed) and making new and very tough laws, should they be needed. It distresses me that so far we have not.

    The very least a British parent should be able to expect from a British school is that their children should not be subjected to this kind of thing.

  22. rick hamilton
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    Based on decades living and working abroad I believe the UK has possibly the kindest, most tolerant and charitable indigenous people you could hope to find. The fact that our police are still usually unarmed says a great deal, as does the existence of so many charities and voluntary groups.

    However there is a very thin line between being tolerant and being used, or taken for a ride. It is not in our interests to bend over backwards to accommodate grievance-mongering minorities from alien cultures whatever politically correct numbskulls may think clever or desirable. There are no prizes for being world-class goody-goodies. Despite their constant bleating that the UK is now a multicultural country, our way of life is obviously Christian based. Adherents of other belief systems are welcome to live within that framework and adjust to it as best they can.

    There are plenty of people in the world who want our standard of living but who are just out for what they can get and to hell with the values, ethics or morals of others. These types only understand strictly enforced rules and need to be put in their place relentlessly. Unless we wake up to the danger posed by intolerant minorities we will end up ruining our own way of life for their benefit. Which is just plain stupidity.

    • stred
      Posted June 10, 2014 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

      The UK may be Christian based, but in reality is is secular and a happy agreement has occured between faiths and non-faiths. It is only when a particular faith starts to take a self righteous stance that problems occur, and the rest of us should not be afraid to tell them where to get off. ( including non-faiths)

  23. Kenneth R Moore
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    What is shocking is that Conservative’s are now so weak and liberal minded in they’re character that Dr Redwood needs to announce that the home secretary disapproves of teaching kids to hate and murder in schools. |Just in case there was any confusion. It’s hard to know these days what loony Blairite ideology Mr Cameron is following. How long before they cave in and allow the extremists to take over in the name of ‘tolerance’.
    If it was Christians employing such bully boy tactics as has been reported in Birmingham then feet wouldn’t touch the floor.
    Professor Redwood must feel like he is walking over quicksand sometimes – constantly being dragged into the mud by the stupidity and weakness of his own party.

  24. Cheshire Girl
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    I don’t agree that no school in England should teach religion to any pupil. I am 75 years old and there has been Roman Catholic and Church of England schools as long as i can remember. Many parents chose them for their children.
    Why on earth should we have to change now! I am all for being ‘tolerant’ but we have taken it too far. Sir Michael Wilshaw said on Newsnight last night that the Secretary of State was told there was a problem in some of the Birmingham schools two years ago, but chose not to have unannounced inspections. I cant help feeling that they did not act for fear of offending those of other cultures and religions.

    • Max Dunbar
      Posted June 10, 2014 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

      Afraid the word ‘tolerant’ is just another weapon in the arsenal of the Left similar to ‘phobic’ and used in order to suppress debate, discussion, free thought and any opposition to marxist-multiculturalism. ‘Tolerance’ has limitations which were reached quite some time ago in this context – bin it.

  25. Max Dunbar
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    Well, the government had better get their act together and quickly. Last night thousands demonstrated against the spate of rapes and alleged gang rapes which have been taking place in the Govanhill/Queenspark area of Glasgow, (etc ed).

  26. Mark B
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    Did not the ‘wets’ brief outside Cabinet during Lady Thatchers time in office ?

    There is no such thing as ‘extremism’. Those with a religious agenda are just following what their God has taught them. I suggest that our kind host and fellow posters read both Christopher Hitchens and Lord Tebbit’s articles – very illuminating.

    ” . . . government has to tackle extremism in speech . . . “

    And prey tell what is that ? If it tells someone that an justice can be sought through an eye for an eye, is that extrem or, just following one’s religious belief’s.

    And who is to say what is extreme to one ear but not another ? Who is to decree what is, and what isn’t acceptable. Already we have climate change protagonists demanding that those who challenge their views are dangerous and should be locked up.

    WARNING !! Be very careful where you go with this. You do not know what the future holds, particularly with a Socialist Government looking likely.

    Control of the press, and now control of freedom of speech. Not very libertarian are we ?

    So, Mr Gove MP wishes Britishness to be taught in all schools. Does that also apply to his home country, where devolution means he has no say, but a say on English one’s only ?

    http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/visitandlearn/25488.aspx

  27. Anonymous
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    Not so much a ‘Trojan horse’ as a Gove/May panto horse with the two of them fighting over who is going to be in the arse !

  28. Javelin
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    This should be Gove’s moment. He needs to use this to crush the “politically correct” group think in the education department.

  29. Javelin
    Posted June 10, 2014 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

    What’s Worrying about Mosul being taken over in Iraq is that terrorism will become conscription as Northern Iraq becomes as Islamic state. At a historical level the rise of Islam is worrying in the context of the rise of China and a power stand off with the US.

    The world seems as volatile as the mid 20th century. There are states who have forgotten the horrors of war. There are people in this country who are trying to undermine the British state. It’s all looking very messy and volatile.

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 11, 2014 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

      All of this taking place on a small, confined island.

      My grandparents (wartime heroes) simply would not have believed it were they still around.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood has been the Member of Parliament for Wokingham since 1987. First attending Kent College, Canterbury, he graduated from Magdalen College, and has a DPhil from All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.
    Published and promoted by Thomas Puddy for John Redwood, both of 30 Rose Street Wokingham RG40 1XU
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