Month: January 2017

New Labour education was not a success story

A letter to The Morning Star from Dr Richard House, Educational Consultant

“It was good to see much-respected Independent Education Editor Richard Garner’s new book reviewed in The Morning Star.

However, it contained one statement that cannot go unchallenged. The assertion that New Labour’s “big literacy and numeracy push” was a “success” (whether it be Richard’s assertion, or the reviewer’s own view) is very far from being the case.

The mechanistically imposed “Literacy and Numeracy Hours”, for example, were an educational catastrophe in a host of ways, not least the institutionalisation of a “too much, too soon” ideology, which in turn has served to legitimise and pave the way for an ever-earlier start to quasi-formal learning in our schools – which now have an effective school starting age of just 4.

Such developmentally inappropriate learning experiences for young children are storing up all manner of grave health problems for the future, as the US Longevity Research Project has compellingly shown.

It is vital that Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour doesn’t make the same educational policy-making errors as Blair’s government and the Tories, but instead moves towards a dedicated kindergarten stage for three to six year olds that privileges play and social-emotional development rather than premature cognitive-intellectual learning.

If Labour will just have the courage to address this issue, they will get widespread support from across the sector from both early-years practitioners and parents alike.”

Dr Richard House, Educational Consultant.

How terrorism created modern Israel…

“State of Terror” – Thomas Suarez

Since British Foreign Secretary Balfour fraudulently signed away Palestine for a Jewish state in 1917, Zionism has been the driving force behind the decades of violence, subjugation, displacement and dehumanisation forced upon the Palestinian nation.

As this year’s centenary of the Balfour Declaration approaches this book is a timely reminder that a European land-theft movement based on ethnic nationalism, which hijacked Judaism and historic Jewish persecution, is the ideology behind Israel’s ruthless and perpetual expansionism.

Zionism created the mythical narrative of a covenanted “race” whose entitlement to Palestine was supposedly guaranteed by an ancient religious text and reinforced it with a fanatical, shocking and indiscriminate programme of murder and destruction.

By focusing upon the Zionist terrorism campaign of the 1940s and 1950s, Suarez has produced a comprehensive catalogue and analysis of the carnage from which Israel was born. With alarming symmetry to Nazi atrocities, Zionist violence was targeted against anyone who challenged its goals. This included the British, who by 1947 had openly recognised that no-one was safe from the terrorists, indigenous Palestinians, and even Jews. Most victims of targeted assassinations during this period were in-fact Jewish.

Such was the ferocity of this insurgency it is surprising that the daily reports of murderous attacks on British armed forces and civilians, recorded in detail by the UK government, have not had more influence on foreign policy. Even high-profile incidents such as the murder of Lord Moyne in 1944, letter bombs sent to Churchill, Bevin and Eden, and even, heaven forbid, the bombing of London’s Colonial Club seem forgotten.

The “peace-seeking democracy” of Israel still uses the same tactics, albeit now state-sponsored, to enforce its occupation and siege of Palestine and Britain remains wedded to this well-documented campaign of terror. As Suarez points out, the personalities and circumstances have changed but, criminally, nearly 70 years after Israel’s birth Zionism continues with its lethal attempts to create a racially pure state to which it claims messianic entitlement.

Originally published in a slightly edited form by The Morning Star.