Monday, April 21, 2008

'Cold war' fear of Britain's race watchdog chief

Uncontrolled immigration has led to a "cold war" between ethnic communities, according to the head of Britain's race watchdog. Trevor Phillips, chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), believes the policy failures risk engendering racism among millions of educated professionals.

Mr Phillips will set out his concerns in an address to mark the 40th anniversary of Enoch Powell's notorious "rivers of blood" speech - in which the Tory frontbencher warned of disastrous social consequences if immigration levels were not reduced. While Mr Phillips is expected to stress that the dire predictions have not come true and immigration has not been too high, he will say the influx has had worrying effects. "Powell predicted 'hot' conflict and violence. However, we have seen the emergence of a kind of cold war in some parts of the country, where very separate communities exist side by side... with poor communication across racial or religious lines," Mr Phillips will say. "In essence, Powell so discredited any talk of planning or control that it gave rise to a migration policy in which government knew too little about what was going on. Ironically, Powellism and the weakening of control it engendered may have led Britain to admitting more immigrants rather than fewer."

Mr Phillips is expected to warn ministers that they are boosting anti-immigration parties such as the BNP by failing to respond to reasonable concerns from large sections of the "settled" population. He will say: "For every professional woman who is able to go out to work because she has a Polish nanny, there is a young mother who watches her child struggle in a classroom where a harassed teacher faces too many children with too many languages between them."

Shadow home secretary David Davis said: "Mr Phillips raises a brave and timely warning and points out the consequences of a disastrous loss of immigration controls. "It has had adverse consequences for public services, housing and community relations. Whilst managed immigration is for the benefit of the country, uncontrolled immigration can lead to serious problems for the whole nation."


'Moral panic' and 'policy hysteria' harming British primary schools

Schoolchildren are reduced to the status of 'targets'

Primary school education has been damaged by "prescriptive state nationalisation", which has taken all the fun out of children's learning, the biggest review of primary education in 40 years has concluded. A mixture of "moral panic", "policy hysteria" and "fad theory" has had a devastating effect on primary schools in England, according to the latest reports of the Cambridge University-led Primary Review. The three reports published today examining teacher professionalism, training and leadership followed 22 earlier reports that have delivered a damning indictment of the Government's record on primary education.

Children had been reduced to the status of "targets and outputs" in a school system ruled by political "whim", researchers from Manchester Metropolitan University said. Their report, part of the ongoing Primary Review, warned that teachers had been de-skilled and demoralised by the constant Government interference and that the relentless focus on targets had created an "impersonal" system. The study, by Liz Jones, Andy Pickard and Ian Stronach at Manchester Metropolitan University, concluded that many older teachers felt demoralised by lack of freedom to run their own lessons in the face of government "micro-management of their work".

Centralised control over primary education has increased in the past 15 years as ministers introduced new targets, more testing and league tables. Initiative overload, hysterical response to media scares and scapegoating of schools and teachers had become "a permanent feature of contemporary modernisation by New Labour", the study warned.

A second study, on teacher training, for the Primary Review warned that ministers' strict control of training courses had created a "culture of compliance" among teachers and pupils. The report, by Olwen McNamara and Rosemary Webb at Manchester University and Mark Brundrett from Liverpool John Moores University, warned that successive governments had "progressively increased prescription and control", which had left schools subject to "political whim".

The third report, by Hilary Burgess, from the Open University, examining staffing reforms, warned that children with special needs were missing out on time with their class teacher because they were being left in the care of classroom assistants.

The Liberal Democrats accused the Government of treating teachers like robots. David Laws, their education spokesman, said: "There is a danger of the Government squeezing the life out of education and preparing teachers in a robotic way to deliver a very prescriptive curriculum." Andrew Adonis, the Schools minister, defended the Government's record. He said: "We make no apology for policies which are delivering the highest standards ever."

The problem areas

* A narrowing of the curriculum - primary schools are increasingly focusing on literacy and numeracy to boost their league table positions but at the expense of children's wider education. "The remorseless pursuit of grades had unhealthy effects on other educational goals."

* Loss of self esteem of pupils and teachers - pupils are being demoralised by the "impersonal" education system with its excessive focus on targets and tests. Teachers, particularly older staff, feel deskilled by government "micromanagement" of their lessons. "The reconstruction of the child in terms of targets and outputs... has impersonalised education in ways that are now being recognised."

* A reduction in creative pedagogy - government interference in teacher training has led to increased focus on preparing teachers to deliver government strategies rather than developing them as thinking professionals. Teachers are under increasing pressure from politicians and the public to be more accountable and raise standards. "There is evidence teachers are being deskilled and their work intensified."


Exodus from UK shows little sign of slowing: "Any idea that the exodus from Britain of those settling abroad might be waning appears wildly premature. The latest survey predicts 1.8 million Britons retiring abroad by 2025 and 3.3 million by 2050. The survey, on behalf of NatWest International, provides further evidence that the majority of those making the lifestyle change do not look back. Nine in 10 expats said they enjoyed better quality of life and six in 10 said they did not intend to return to the UK."

1 comment:

Henry the Pirate said...

The last one out of Britain turn the light off. Who can blame anyone for upping and running from a country that seems to exist purely to rob its people of their wealth and dignity.
Every day I get up to see what new law is being enacted to remove further freedoms in the name of my protection – hey, I’ve got nothing left to protect.
Britain is a confused, frightened and frightening place to live. This is a genuine quote from a friend desperate to leave the country “I’d rather be strangled on a beach in Spain than stay here”. The guy is in his sixties. He’s got a pension, having lived in a time when you could build one – not a time when jobs are either temporary, or contract or ephemeral.
The lack of confidence begins in childhood. If I were a kid today I’d have the biggest knife in the play yard. Why? There is no-one there to protect me. Teachers can’t lay a finger on the bullies and are scared themselves; parents are terrified and vilified if they chastise their children and so there are no rules. And when the atrocities occur, the government blames a lack of parental control, even though they have taken those controls away. Children learn to survive in the environment they find themselves in.
The whole population is confused and directionless. Take recycling. I worked in a hotel that was charged by the council to take their bottles – even though the bottles were taken by us to the dump. The TV says that one recycled bottle saves enough energy to light a bulb for several hours. The inference is that recycling is therefore cheaper than new production and thus is a money generator. So the council is making money out of us recycling at the same time it is charging us to do it. Make sense? No, nor to me.
Taxes are rising to pay towards helping the environment even though councils are making money out of our rubbish. Not so far in the past the councils paid people to sort the rubbish. Now, everyone sorts the rubbish. They have taken a job operated by a few and turned it in to the most labour intensive process known.
Global warming from exhausts? Here’s an idea. Why not have one vehicle, say a dustcart, travelling an area and picking up rubbish instead of hundreds and even thousands of cars travelling to depots to deposit trash like bottles and cans – but not, say microwaves, “sorry sir. Yes we do take washing machines and cookers but microwaves and TVs have to go to the other dump”?
Make sense? No, nor to me.
And when the lunatics start taking over the asylum it’s best to get the hell out of there. But don’t forget to switch off the light. After all, the world’s about to end.