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Biggus Dickus

Malevolent voices that despise our freedoms: Pullman

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Article by Philip Pullman: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/guest_contributors/article5811412.ece

"It is inconceivable to me that a waking nation in the full consciousness of its freedom would have allowed its government to pass such laws as

the Protection from Harassment Act (1997),

the Crime and Disorder Act (1998),

the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (2000),

the Terrorism Act (2000),

the Criminal Justice and Police Act (2001),

the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act (2001),

the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Extension Act (2002),

the Criminal Justice Act (2003),

the Extradition Act (2003),

the Anti-Social Behaviour Act (2003),

the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act (2004),

the Civil Contingencies Act (2004),

the Prevention of Terrorism Act (2005),

the Inquiries Act (2005),

the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act (2005),

not to mention a host of pending legislation such as the Identity Cards Bill, the Coroners and Justice Bill, and the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill.

Inconceivable.

And those laws say:

Sleep, you stinking cowards

Sweating as you dream of rights and freedoms

Freedom is too hard for you

We shall decide what freedom is

Sleep, you vermin

Sleep, you scum."

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Sleep, you scum."

That sounds more like Cactus Jack than Philip Pullman.

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That sounds more like Cactus Jack than Philip Pullman.

"those laws say: .... Sleep, you scum" I think he was putting words into the mouths of Jerkquie Smith, Harriet 'let me wear a stab vest' Harman and their ilk rather than speaking for himself (As I'm sure you well knew you little agent provocateur you!)

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I was attracted to this forum by the "Malevolent voices" sadly you've let me down in that respect. I do however agree with what you are saying...yeah, that's it really.

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"It is inconceivable to me that a waking nation in the full consciousness of its freedom"

There's the problem - the death of history in schools.

Left wing historians got sniffy about "Kings & Queens" and multiculturalists made us embarassed about Empire. History became a mush of "how people used to live".

We war babies may have been fed Our Island Story myth at 8 but by 13 we had at least heard of Pym & Hampden, knew that Cromwell was right (but repulsive), been taken to read the inscription on Grey's monument in Toon, and heard of Tom Paine and even of the Chartists.

I people don't knpw any history you can tell 'em anything, that's the real 1984 message

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"It is inconceivable to me that a waking nation in the full consciousness of its freedom"

There's the problem - the death of history in schools.

Left wing historians got sniffy about "Kings & Queens" and multiculturalists made us embarassed about Empire. History became a mush of "how people used to live".

We war babies may have been fed Our Island Story myth at 8 but by 13 we had at least heard of Pym & Hampden, knew that Cromwell was right (but repulsive), been taken to read the inscription on Grey's monument in Toon, and heard of Tom Paine and even of the Chartists.

I people don't knpw any history you can tell 'em anything, that's the real 1984 message

Has there been a death of history in schools? Do you mean as in less children choosing to take history as a subject? I think the problem lies in this examination type factory farming and although I do not believe for one second that exams these days have got easier, I think the problem is that there is now no time in the day for teachers to have the space to teach 'around' the subject with the result that children have no breadth of knowledge with which to contextualise what they see on the news. That coupled with this celebrity obsessed fashion that tells kids that being stupid is cool-Jade Goody/Big Brother case in point.

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The test results based curriculum has perhaps been the last straw. But the case was lost long ago.

remember Nu labor's attempts to define Britishness??

No English reformation in there, no King vs parliament, no 1688, no reform Bills, no Peterloo, no Chartists or real of the Combination acts

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The test results based curriculum has perhaps been the last straw. But the case was lost long ago.

remember Nu labor's attempts to define Britishness??

No English reformation in there, no King vs parliament, no 1688, no reform Bills, no Peterloo, no Chartists or real of the Combination acts

yeah true enough.

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The test results based curriculum has perhaps been the last straw. But the case was lost long ago.

remember Nu labor's attempts to define Britishness??

No English reformation in there, no King vs parliament, no 1688, no reform Bills, no Peterloo, no Chartists or real of the Combination acts

Although I have sympathy for your views re history teaching, don't forget that citizenship is part of the National Curriculum at Key Stages 3 and 4. See:

http://curriculum.qca.org.uk/key-stages-3-and-4/subjects/citizenship/index.aspx

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Many of Pullman's examples illustrate the old adage that 'hard cases make bad law'. I found this quote from the Times in 2001:

"The restless New Labour government has embarked on a programme of rolling intervention in new areas of life. It now has such an itchy legislative finger that it cannot resist firing off new initiatives in response to daily events. It used to be said that hard cases make bad law. Now the government seems to believe that hard cases make bad headlines, and that a bad law is better than no law if it at least makes Labour appear to care."

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What do you think about the IB?

I don't really know enough about the IB to comment. It seems a good curriculum and is very well intentioned. I have friends who sent their kids to IB schools and they were very pleased with them and the kids seemed very happy with the education they received.

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I don't really know enough about the IB to comment. It seems a good curriculum and is very well intentioned. I have friends who sent their kids to IB schools and they were very pleased with them and the kids seemed very happy with the education they received.

My schooling was mostly through the IB curriculum although I spent a couple of years following the standard UK GCSE scheme. I'd rate the IB curriculum over my other experience, it's a shame it's not more widespread in UK comps.

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Article by Philip Pullman: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/guest_contributors/article5811412.ece

"It is inconceivable to me that a waking nation in the full consciousness of its freedom would have allowed its government to pass such laws as

the Protection from Harassment Act (1997),

the Crime and Disorder Act (1998),

the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (2000),

the Terrorism Act (2000),

the Criminal Justice and Police Act (2001),

the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act (2001),

the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Extension Act (2002),

the Criminal Justice Act (2003),

the Extradition Act (2003),

the Anti-Social Behaviour Act (2003),

the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act (2004),

the Civil Contingencies Act (2004),

the Prevention of Terrorism Act (2005),

the Inquiries Act (2005),

the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act (2005),

not to mention a host of pending legislation such as the Identity Cards Bill, the Coroners and Justice Bill, and the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill.

Inconceivable.

And those laws say:

Sleep, you stinking cowards

Sweating as you dream of rights and freedoms

Freedom is too hard for you

We shall decide what freedom is

Sleep, you vermin

Sleep, you scum."

And did you come across the case for defence...??

The title (or some of it is) an accurate representation IMHO

Jack Straw says:

Our Record Isn't Perfect. But Talk of a Police State is Daft...

There was no golden age of liberty. Since 1997, we have done more to extend freedoms than any government before

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/feb/27/freedom-of-information-straw

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Jack Straw was the best of the Home Secretaries since 1997. The only one I felt had any consistent philosophy. Even he succumbed to one issue pressure groups & let through the Protection from Harassment Act (1997).

What he ignores is the loose drafting and the tendency of enforcement to always use the maximum power at its disposal.

Is looking funny a sufficient reason to photograph a policeman?? If not I guess I'm a criminal as I got a shot of a couple of 'em ferretting in a bin for evidence of underage drinking

Edited by akanostromo
proof read

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Has there been a death of history in schools?

Yes frankly. The GCSE History course my lad is taking contains no UK History at all. Shocking!

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Yes frankly. The GCSE History course my lad is taking contains no UK History at all. Shocking!

but we live in a bigger world today.

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It is easy to regard 'civilisation' as a fait accompli, an indication of the superiority of the human race. But actually, it is an ongoing 'process'. It's purpose is to stifle individuality, and enforce conformity.

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but we live in a bigger world today.

Very true, but we also live in Great Britain and it has a lot of history, much of it more relevant to today than, say the Russian Revolution.

When I did History to A level it was 50-50 British and World history. A much better mix and puts Britain into its context in the world.

All this apologising for stuff that happened in the past has made people ashamed of our history. You have to judge events on their context not apply modern day morality to them.

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"All this apologising for stuff that happened in the past has made people ashamed of our history. You have to judge events on their context not apply modern day morality to them."

"Absolutely" - as they say these days.

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"All this apologising for stuff that happened in the past has made people ashamed of our history. You have to judge events on their context not apply modern day morality to them."

"Absolutely" - as they say these days.

Strictly speaking and if you study history as a 'social science' you will see

that this is not possible. This is one of the reason the subject does not fall into the

'objective' sciences (ie physics, chemistry, biology)

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Actually I would disagree with that.

While History is written by the winners generally, if you apply your subjective goggles when reading it there are a million lessons to be learnt from it.

For instance.... recently our beloved leaders "apologised" for the slave trade, however the slave trade was rife across the world for thousands of years until banned in the British Empire in 1807 and slavery totally abolished in the British Empire in 1833. The rest of the world followed suit over time so what have we got to apologise for, we led the world.

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. You have to judge events on their context not apply modern day morality to them.

True.

I think the curriculum must vary between schools with teachers picking which bits they would prefer to teach. Perhaps your son has just got a teacher who's just trying to avoid any UK history for some inexplicable reason?

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Well we all know who to blame for all these laws dont we? Yes its the electorate who in 1997 voted in this bunch of fly by the seat of the pants chancers. And lets not also forget that all these laws were brought in by a government thats chock full of bloody lawyers. Or should I say failed lawyers?

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