PETER McKAY: Warped logic of trying to brainwash three-year-olds

Who would attempt to govern modern Britain — where, news-wise, it seems to be April Fools’ every day?

Children as young as three have been asked to sign a ‘Home-School Agreement’ contract pledging not to use racist, homophobic or ‘transphobic’ language at Turnham Primary School in South-East London.

Purportedly to stamp out playground prejudice, we reported, ‘each child must print their name and provide a signature to confirm that they understand their “responsibilities” while attending the school’.

Children as young as three have been asked to sign a ‘Home-School Agreement’ contract pledging not to use racist, homophobic or ‘transphobic’ language at Turnham Primary School in South-East London (pictured)

Children as young as three have been asked to sign a ‘Home-School Agreement’ contract pledging not to use racist, homophobic or ‘transphobic’ language at Turnham Primary School in South-East London (pictured)

Teachers sent a letter to parents which read: ‘We believe that every child can and should reach their full potential. This is achieved when all staff, parents and children understand their responsibilities and work together towards the same goals, as detailed in our Home-School Agreement.’

Turnham Primary School is funded by the Government via Labour-run Lewisham Council, which refuses to comment. As does the ‘executive’ head teacher, Selina Sharpe.

But chairman of governors Robert Mapp promised to investigate the matter, saying: ‘I would like to sincerely apologise for any offence or distress caused to our parents and pupils.’

Might this absurdity be a consequence of the coalition government’s ‘British Values’ campaign, which obliged all schools to teach tolerance of other faiths and lifestyles?

This was introduced after Birmingham’s Trojan Horse scandal, in which Muslim hardliners sought to impose an Islamic agenda at local schools.

Since then, schools say they have been penalised by Ofsted for failing to meet the criteria set down. They say pupils were set ‘inappropriate’ questions on race and sexuality, and deemed ‘intolerant’ when they gave the wrong answers. A ten-year-old girl was upset when asked ‘whether she felt trapped in someone else’s body’.

Every time a political choice is made, there are unintended consequences. When Britain chose to outlaw racial prejudice, no one imagined this would lead to police becoming so fearful of being branded racist that they turned a blind eye to Asian gangs preying on troubled young white girls.

Likewise, it was never anticipated that laws against racism and homosexual/transgender discrimination would be used as a basis for brainwashing school (and now pre-school) children.

DOCTOR THORNE'S ITV DRAMA  

Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes says he’s turning Anthony Trollope’s 1858 novel, Doctor Thorne, into a three-part drama for ITV. Trollope unites two strikingly dissimilar Tory premiers — grand Harold Macmillan and man-of-the-people John Major. Macmillan ‘enjoyed going to bed with a Trollope’. So did Sir John, who was only 13 when the Victorian author became his ‘love for life’.

Gender, race and sexual preference laws intended to protect minorities from being ill-treated, or barred from employment, are supported by the majority of us, but few envisaged that freedom of expression would also be curtailed, even for schoolchildren.

We must all be ultra careful about how we talk when it comes to race or sexual and gender preference.

Yesterday, there was a story about a transgender Liberal Democrat candidate for Parliament, Zoe O’Connell — who is contesting Maldon, Essex — and her two companions, Sarah, who used to be a man, and Sylvia, who was his wife.

‘Father-of-three’ Zoe lives in what is described as ‘a three-way lesbian relationship’ with Sarah and Sylvia. Their tale was presented as ‘the most amazing election story you will ever read’.

On Saturday, meanwhile, Radio 4 listeners had the pleasure of hearing bearded Conchita Wurst, the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest winner, who in private life is Tom Neuwirth from rural Austria. The BBC cautioned that, while Tom/Conchita ‘has become a gay icon to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community all over the world, Conchita is a Drag Queen — not transgender’.

Life has become a semantic minefield which can trap even the well-intentioned. Remember how Benedict Cumberbatch was criticised recently for referring to ‘coloured people’ instead of ‘people of colour’? Offence can be concocted for almost anything, which is why politicians are so terrified of slipping up.

Anti-bullying: The school - led by executive headteacher Selina Sharpe (pictured) - sent out an agreement for all new children to sign before they start in the new academic year

Anti-bullying: The school - led by executive headteacher Selina Sharpe (pictured) - sent out an agreement for all new children to sign before they start in the new academic year

Tick-box bureaucracy: But parents were dumbfounded when it included a demand not to use 'transphobic language', as it would mean explaining something many three-year-olds are not even aware exists

Tick-box bureaucracy: But parents were dumbfounded when it included a demand not to use 'transphobic language', as it would mean explaining something many three-year-olds are not even aware exists

We complain that party leaders won’t face real people any more, that they prefer to be filmed or photographed in private surrounded by adoring supporters. Also, that they talk in politically correct soundbites, never addressing our real concerns.

They all want to avoid Gordon Brown’s 2010 confrontation with 65-year-old Labour voter Gillian Duffy, who quizzed him sharply about immigration. Later, not realising his microphone was still on, Brown was heard calling her a ‘bigoted woman’.

When Labour MP Tristram Hunt asked a Derby schoolboy in front of TV cameras if he knew which party he’d vote for — and was told that it was Ukip — he was careful to say, ‘very good’, but then made the mistake of asking why the boy had made this choice. He was told: ‘To get all the foreigners out of the country.’

A priceless moment of election candour, not least because it was so rare.

France’s late president, Charles de Gaulle, once complained: ‘How can you govern a country which has 246 varieties of cheese?’ So it has increasingly proved there.

The same might apply to a nation with 246 varieties of political opinion, in which nothing of consequence can be said for fear of giving offence.

 

Why Dave may win by a landslide 

The real mystery of this General Election is why the Tories aren’t miles in front in the polls

The real mystery of this General Election is why the Tories aren’t miles in front in the polls

The real mystery of this General Election is why the Tories aren’t miles in front in the polls.

Yes, their campaign has seemed half-hearted. The coalition with the Lib Dems wasn’t popular, but the country seems to be thriving again after being driven into the ground by the previous Labour administration.

As cohorts of the then PM Gordon Brown, Ed Miliband and Ed Balls should have spent at least the past five years in purdah, apologising for their actions in government.

Instead, they have campaigned for office as if they had no responsibility for the state in which they left the UK.

Having done worse before, they now suggest they could do better.

According to the polls, their message is successful. Or is it?

In the end, two things are certain about us as people.

First, we never want to admit things are better.

Second, we don’t like pledging support in advance, not even to pollsters.

So the Tories might well be miles ahead.

If not, I might head north to endure the Socialism of Nicola Sturgeon, in preference to that of Ed Miliband.

 

Marr's in the Leftie gang  

Andrew Marr makes an extraordinary, on-air apology on BBC1 to David Cameron for suggesting the Prime Minister ‘loved’ fox hunting, saying: ‘You may have noticed the Prime Minister looked mildly disconcerted when I put to him a quote about his views on fox hunting. Well, not surprisingly. It turns out he never said it. We can’t expect politicians to apologise and then not do it ourselves, can we? Sorry.’

What’s the fuss about? Cameron wrote a piece for Countryside Alliance magazine promising a free vote on hunting. He didn’t say he loved the sport, but it’s fair to presume he supports it. He’s certainly not on the ‘anti’ side of the argument, which Marr’s apology might suggest.

Maybe it’s because Marr is a BBC Leftie, as Boris Johnson suggested to him yesterday. BoJo said the economy was ‘going gang-busters’; Marr said he meant ‘gang-masters’. Guilty as charged! 

 
Making their debut on the Rich List: Amal and George Clooney 

Making their debut on the Rich List: Amal and George Clooney 

George Clooney throws another party at his Lake Como villa for his wife, Amal, a belated celebration of her 37th birthday on February 3.

Or might it be to mark their first appearance on The Richest Husbands and Wives List, a subsidiary of the Sunday Times’s Rich List, which says they’re worth £121 million?

Clooney, 53, is a big star and must be worth a bob or two on his own. Lawyer Amal might have had assets of her own. If not, she does now . . .

Many moons ago, a friend of mine informed his prospective father-in-law that he had access to £100,000.

The father-in-law-to-be said: ‘That’s marvellous, my daughter’s also got £100,000.’ Caddish friend: ‘I was counting that, actually.’ 

Back in the Sixties, I was sent to see a veteran of the Gallipoli landings who had written to my paper, saying he had served on an ice boat there.

Having heard of the Gallipoli carnage, I thought that the ice might have had something to do with the preservation of bodies. No, he said, his team ferried ice around Royal Navy warships standing offshore.

Why did they need ice? ‘For drinks,’ he said. He didn’t find anything unusual about it.

Neither did my paper, which didn’t print his story. 

A young lady contestant on the National Lottery game show was asked which creature cannot change its spots. Was it the leopard, the ladybird or the hyena? The leopard, she replied, winning £5,000, which she’ll spend on ‘uni’ expenses.

I was reminded of a cartoon featuring a leopard lounging on a sofa, drinking beer from a can and watching sport on TV. Apron-clad Mrs Leopard, at the sink, is saying to him: ‘I’m not asking you to change your spots, just to help out now and then.’

 

Colin's hairy homage to Nietzsche  

Season Two of True Detective arrives on Sky Atlantic in June, with Colin Farrell as a compromised detective and Vince Vaughn as a criminal entrepreneur.

Can the second series match the intense, Louisiana-shot Season One, starring Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson?

Lip service: Friedrich Nietzsche (pictured right) and Colin Farrell (pictured left) with their bushy moustaches

Farrell’s moustache for the role also prompts comment. While not as bushy, it’s seen as a homage to philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, whose pessimistic ideas about humanity inspired Season One of True Detective.

Created by Nic Pizzolatto, the show is described unkindly as ‘Nietzsche for dummies’.

 

 

 

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