Wednesday, June 03, 2015


Excellent column by Ed West over at Express Online. Mr West rightly laments the fact that recently, OFSTED, which stands for Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills (Ofsted), and which is a non-ministerial department of the UK government, refused to give a top grade to a well-performing primary school in Market Rasen, Lincolnshire.

The reason?

The school was too British.

Ik kid you not:

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"THIS week it emerged that high–performing Middle Rasen Primary School missed out on Ofsted's top grade because pupils lacked "first–hand experience of the diverse make–up of modern British society".

Gosh, the poor little things! According to the education watchdog the children did not get to see the "cultural diversity of modern British society" or have "first–hand interaction with counterparts from different backgrounds".

In other words the school was too white and too English, despite being in the multicultural melting pot that is rural Lincolnshire.

This is, bizarrely, part of Ofsted's new drive to impose "British values" in response to the "Trojan horse" scandal in Birmingham where it was discovered that hardline Islamists had attempted to take over a number of schools and indoctrinate pupils with their views.

Birmingham was at the very forefront of a particular government policy of the 1980s – multiculturalism, whereby the state dealt with people from various minorities through self–appointed community leaders.

Multiculturalism was a practical way of dealing with large numbers of people from ethnic minorities but it also stemmed from a psychological self–hatred among Britain's elite who did not wish to celebrate "our" culture above anyone else's, a sense of moral equivalence that took on grotesque proportions with their failure to deal with forced marriages and female genital mutilation.

(In a nursery near my home there is now an ad warning about FGM – what would a time traveller from 1955 make of that?)

ALSO there was a sense that religious and cultural diversity would "enrich" British life, to use one of those euphemisms now applied almost entirely ironically (along with "vibrant").

Ofsted's ruling on Middle Rasen Primary reflects this strange idea among white liberals that there is something offensive about Englishness.

Would they berate schoolchildren in rural Nigeria or Vietnam for their lack of diversity? What about Shanghai, top of the PISA education world rankings but – offensively – 98.8 per cent Han Chinese?

The immigration debate has never really been about economics, since the financial benefits or costs are small and transient, but about the cultural effects.

It's whether you believe that greater diversity makes people more spiritually enhanced, tolerant and kinder or whether you think it causes people to feel more isolated, unhappy and likely to segregate.

What grates is that those in a position of power are most likely to benefit and feel few of the downsides.

By every available educational measure multiracial London schools are ahead of the rest of the country and there is a fair bit of evidence that not only do the high scores of Chinese and Indian pupils raise the average mark but they may actually have an impact on pushing up the standards for white British pupils.

But these high–achieving schools tend to be concentrated in the wealthier areas.

In London young liberals who cannot afford those catchment areas where house prices insulate the schools from social problems tend to move out.

They don't send their children to the inner–city schools where none of the parents speak their language (for example Newham in east London where this month a 15–year–old boy was stabbed to death during a lunch–break mugging).

In fact recent research by a leading think tank found that people with liberal views on race were just as likely to move out of diverse areas as anyone else.

Multiculturalism has been a disaster, encouraging religious separatism, the surest symptom of this problem being the fact that there are believed to be more UK–born fighters for IS than there are Muslims in the British army.

But the "British values" that have replaced it are just as dubious, being in effect a way for the liberal–Left to impose their view of society on everyone else.

This is what Labour started to do under Tony Blair, creating a citizenship test that "defined Britishness" with questions about immigration, diversity and the EU.

Likewise Labour's citizenship classes, introduced in 2002, while one of the assumptions of the national curriculum is that all students should be prepared for "life in a multicultural society".

Equality chief Trevor Philips at one point even decreed that schoolchildren should learn "race relations and multiculturalism with every subject they study – from Spanish to science", a common practice of totalitarian states where the values of the ruling party are imbued in every aspect of education..."



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