Here’s your starter for ten: what’s the biggest problem with our education?
Could it be that a fifth of all Brits struggle to read a medicine label or use a chequebook? No, of course not.
Then what about the almost £100 billion a year that this illiteracy costs the UK economy in lost tax revenue and higher welfare spending? Don’t be silly.
Well then, is it the fact that Britain ranks 22nd in literacy and 21st in numeracy among the top 24 developed countries? Wrong again.
The biggest – nay, just about the only – problem with our schools is homophobic bullying in primary school.
Hence, announces Shadow Education Secretary Tristram Hunt, should his party win this year’s election, it’ll introduce compulsory sex education in primary schools.
Tots as young as five will be taught that sex between two men or two women is as normal as, well, normal sex.
Elevated by that epiphanic knowledge the children will then refrain from poking fun at the effeminate boys and boyish girls among their schoolmates, thereby not inflicting lifelong trauma.
Mr Hunt explained that the use of homophobic language “is damaging the life chances of so many young people.” I couldn’t agree more.
Had the past generations of five-year-olds been properly educated in the delights of homosexuality, God only knows what heights would have been scaled by the likes of Cecil Rhodes, Laurence Olivier, Field Marshal Montgomery, Michael Redgrave, General Kitchener, Alec Guinness, Lytton Strachey, Denholm Elliott, John Gielgud, Virginia Woolf, John Maynard Keynes, Lawrence of Arabia, Noël Coward, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Francis Bacon and – very much in the news – Alan Turing.
As it was, they all had to settle for their modest attainment, no doubt thinking how much more they could have achieved if the benefits of sodomy had been responsibly taught in their kindergartens.
Predictably, these plans have caused much impotent rage among those who fail to comprehend the true role of education in modern British society.
Those fossils still harbour nostalgic illusions that the purpose of education is to educate. This voluminous word, the way the reactionaries use it, covers not only teaching pupils such basic skills as reading, writing and adding up – this used to go without saying – but also easing them into our civilisation.
This process should involve providing the key facts of history, philosophy, theology, literature, science, mathematics etc., explaining their significance, and how they all fit together.
This used to be regarded as essential to preparing youngsters for grown-up life. ‘Used to be’ are the key words here.
For that civilisation has fallen by the wayside, to be replaced by strident anomic neo-barbarism, with its attendant ethos. Hence the purpose of education is no longer to educate – it is to indoctrinate.
The new ethos couldn’t even find an original slogan to kick itself off. Instead, it had to borrow the Masonic motto of liberty, equality and fraternity.
Extrapolating from the articles of a secret and subversive club to society at large, the centre piece of the triad, equality, is bound to destroy the other two desiderata.
So it has proved. All modern countries founded on Enlightenment principles, which is to say all modern countries, have become tyrannies whose aim is to cut every person to the stencil of the new ethos.
This is what all modern societies have in common, and they differ only in the tools they favour. The toolbox offers a rich variety of implements, whose functions fall into two broad categories: brainwashing and coercion.
The difference among various totalitarian, authoritarian or democratic countries of modernity lies only in their preference for some tools over others.
Brainwashing is widely used by all, though ‘democracies’ tend to be more subtle and patient in enforcing it. They also differ from their totalitarian cousins in the ferocity and scale of violence they unleash to correct failures of indoctrination.
While the differences are mainly tactical, the similarities are all strategic, reflecting the universally shared and keenly felt need to bend individual personalities to the collective ethos.
Should human nature or millennia of tradition interfere with this strategy, the former has to be suppressed and the latter ridiculed.
Assorted socialist parties, either of the national or international variety, are in the vanguard of this onslaught, but none of the mainstream parties is ever far behind. Again, they only ever differ in their view of how rapidly and violently should the new ethos be hammered into people’s heads – not in their general attitude to the ethos.
From this it follows that the old system of education has to be destroyed. The state simply can’t afford to teach pupils the essentials of the civilisation the state wishes to destroy.
That in the process our schools disgorge millions of corrupted, sociopathic, brutalised illiterates is of no consequence whatsoever. It’s more important to cut away everything that sticks out of the stencil of modernity.
The strongest competition the state can possibly face comes from the traditional family, which is started with normal sex and undermined with the abnormal kind. Logically then, children have to be brainwashed to believe that there is no such thing as normal or abnormal sexuality.
Never mind that the biggest study of its kind has found that only 1.4 per cent of our population are homosexual. Numbers don’t affect the principle, and the remaining 98.6 per cent must accept – on pain of punishment! – that a deviation must have exactly the same social, legal and cultural status as the norm.
This explains the reaction to the Labour plans, both in the pro and con camps. The supporters of this monstrous idea rejoice, and the opponents fume. But neither evince any surprise – both realise that this is all par for the course.
Alas, even in our progressive times some five-year-olds may not fully understand what homosexuality means, in practical terms. Hence they won’t know which group they aren’t supposed to disparage, making a damp squib of this Labour initiative.
As a former teacher, I feel qualified to offer pedagogic advice: you can’t overestimate the importance of visual aids. DVDs of homosexual pornography would work a treat for the little ones, and a live demonstration would work even better.
Perhaps Stephen Fry and his new wife/husband would take upon themselves the charitable task of travelling the country to provide appropriately inventive illustrations – assisted by the staff of PinkNews and cheered on by the Labour front bench.