Saturday, 22 August 2009

Helpful comments from 'Just Law'

Baroness Helena Kennedy has produced a hum-dinger of a book called 'Just Law.'

Here are two snippits from it.

'Sir Peter Heap, a former ambassador, suggested in an article in the Guardian on 2 October 2003 that 'the whole system of intelligence gathering is all too often prone to producing inadequate, unreliable and distorted assessments, often at considerable cost...''

'Sources that claimed to be reliable were often being paid substantially and had incentives to lie.'

Of course, in law, these sources would be totally discredited. Their testimony would be struck off and overlooked. The sources' reputations would be finally and absolutely tarnished and soiled, and no one would even think of asking their opinions on anything, probably not even something as trivial as how long to boil an egg.

Would that the government followed the rules.

Here we have a huge document, the Home Education Review by Graham Badman - paid for by taxpayers' and condoned by the DCSF. The Secretary of State for the DCSF accepted all of the recommendations on the same day that the report was released to the dismay and detriment of home educating families who had no right of reply at all. The old email address used by home educators to send material to the DCSF was, apparently, staffed by people who were unconcerned that a minority group was being flayed alive and couldn't even raise a voice, let alone a finger, to defend themselves. The DCSF staff didn't want to know. No one seems to have thought anything through. No one seems to have checked the obviously flawed statistics. No one seems to have realised that the recommendations will cause a fundamental shift in the relationship between person and state with the state irreparably damaged at the end of the earthquake (or maybe they have).

With Tanya Byron's 'review' into the availability of inappropriate digital material available to young people costing £275,000, are we truly to believe that the Badman review (as it is unaffectionately called) will roll in at the comparatively miniscule price of £72,000?
I think not.

As Walter Sobchak in the movie The Big Lebowski says to the funeral director who wants him to pay a huge amount for 'our most modestly priced urn',
"GOD DAMN IT! Look, just because we're bereaved, that doesn't make us saps!"

So, look, just because we're home educating, that doesn't make us saps!

Has the government learned nothing from the years of trying to lassoe home educators, attempting to run them in the same deep grooves as school families follow, to smear and blacken their reputations, to call them abusers and only in it to avoid truancy fines? Do you not know I would shovel shit in hell to pay truancy fines if it saved my children from one moment of discomfort, of the torment that they endured in those swill houses called schools? Do you know nothing? You know nothing, nothing.

You don't know me. You don't know all the 'me's' who make up 'us' - the home educating community. You know nothing; you know absolutely nothing.

Once again, a quote from 'Just Law' : 'The principles of equality before the law and of fairness demand that we extend the same rights to everyone. Whenever we deny to one class of suspects rights that we treat as essential for others, we act unfairly. especially when that class is politically vulnerable, or identifiable racially or by religious or ethnic distinction.'

With a little tweaking, that quotation could apply to home educators. We are being denied rights that are extended to other parents: rights that are treated as essential for all other parents (parents of schooled children) and thereby politicians are acting unfairly, and there is no doubt that home educators are politically vulnerable, and we are certainly identifiable because our children are out and about in the free air and not cooped up in some noisy, horrid-smelling classroom prison.

We are vulnerable but we have the hearts of the strongest lions, those most mighty fighters. We are militant in defense of our young. We are determined not to see our children's lives morph into some freak show to please an ever-greedy-for-circuses populace and their masters.

You do not know us and our strength. Our might. Our force.

But you will.


  1. I suspect we are thinking along the same lines, Danae. A policy of non-cooperation seems to me to be in order .

  2. Too right, Danae and Carlotta! I've always said that if you removed the words "home educator" from any of the review documentation and inserted in their place the name of any other minority group, the political outcry would be massive. Guess we'd better get ready to shovel shit in hell!