First they came for the home-schooled….

by Kit

Image source.

There is a war being waged. Not the one in Syria or Yemen. Not the Nazis shelling the Donbass or the warlords selling slaves in Libya. Not America’s drones executing an entire garden party in Pakistan because somebody on that street might have googled “bomb components” and “American Airlines” on the same day 10 years ago. Not even between the ridiculous buffoon Trump, and the equally absurd “resistance”.

A different kind of war.

Perhaps “struggle” would be a better word.

The struggle is eternal in every direction – it has always been, it will always be. It goes to each horizon and both poles and everywhere in between. In every mind and body. A global conflict with a million fronts in a thousand theatres.

People versus power: A struggle between the population and the power to control it, personified through institutions and governments.

People don’t want to be controlled, they naturally resist it.

Institutions know only control, they crave it.

Power is addictive like that, and institutions are true addicts. Give them a little power and they’ll want a little more. Give them a lot, and they want it all. Power tends to corrupt, as the saying goes, but the inverse is also true: the corrupt tend towards power. They are more likely to want it, more likely to be willing to do anything to get it, and more likely to abuse it once they have it.

That’s the point of democracy of course, to keep the soil tilled. To turn over the manure and hope something green can grow. To fight against corruption by giving it no time to ferment. To stop the rot setting in. It doesn’t really work, but it works better than anything else.

Somehow The Guardian has found its way to the vanguard of this war. It’s picked its side in the great conflict, and it wasn’t ours. Every day, in every way, The Guardian shows its support for them over us. Every campaign, every agenda, is about empowering the state and destroying the individual. They want to hand the government the power to control what we eat, what we say, who we say it to, where we go, how we get there. Even what we think.

It is a struggle for control of life on Earth, not on the grand scale, but the specific. Every small decision, every tiny moment, every thought and word and action will need government approval. Global hegemony won’t come via Imperial wars of conquest, but a conglomeration of tiny restrictions of individual freedom. If they don’t want to ban things, they want to regulate them. If they can’t regulate them, they want to tax them. Which is to say, ban it…for poor people.

Ban sugar, because it’s bad for you. Ban meat, because of global warming. Ban sport because it’s violent. Ban air travel because of carbon emissions. Ban alcohol because it exploits addicts. Ban free speech because it’s offensive. Ban alternate medicine because it might not work.

Ban freedom because it’s dangerous.

Don’t like that, don’t watch this, don’t read those.

Don’t do X, don’t say Y, don’t think Z.

In every issue, on every issue, The Guardian is the spokesperson of the authoritarian heart of the state – pleading for more power in the name of the safety of the masses or the grand virtue of the collective.

Today’s topic: this editorial under the headline:

The Guardian view on home-schooling in England: a register is needed

The editorial is anonymous – why The Guardian does this, I do not know. It could be that they are trying to put across a collective identity, it could be that some thoughts are so shameful and absurd that even Guardian journalists won’t cop to them, or it could be they receive written memos from GCHQ or government press offices and simply copy and paste them into their website. It could be some odd combination of all three.

Whatever the explanation, there’s no name on it…so we don’t know who wrote it. We just know they have an agenda and aren’t ashamed to stretch logic to breaking point in order to service it. The agenda is simple – regulate homeschooling into oblivion, ban it if we have to, regulate it if we can. Homeschooling is a problem in desperate need of a solution:

Children educated by their parents must not be hidden from the authorities.”

…shrieks the sub-head. Without ever providing any evidence that a) Home-schooled children ARE hidden from authorities or b) That, if true, this is a bad thing.

It’s all notionally about Jordan Burling, a young man who allegedly lived a terribly sad life of abuse and neglect, and then died at the age of 18. He was also home-schooled.

Let’s be clear about this: Child abuse and neglect happen, they are an unfortunate fact of life for a tiny minority of children. There is no reason to imply a connection with home-schooling and force a causation where only correlation exists.

All of Jack the Ripper’s victims wore shoes. Ergo we need to regulate shoes in order to protect people from serial killers.

The author (whoever they were) is, however, intent on ignoring a basic fact of life – that a factor can be present without being causative – in order to pursue their chosen agenda:

…there is no reason for the government to wait before acting on behalf of other home-schooled children, of whom there are thought to be around 50,000 in the UK – a number that has increased sharply in recent years.

There is nothing to suggest home-schooled children are at risk. In fact, there is no evidence that being home-schooled leads to an increased risk of abuse or neglect. How do I know this? Because the article says so, in the next sentence:

There is no evidence that being home-schooled leads to an increased risk of abuse or neglect.

Literally, the very next sentence. Look…

So, as it turns out, not only IS there a reason to “wait before acting on behalf of other home-schooled children”, the article actually provides it to us. A more spectacular own goal you will not see this side of England’s next World Cup campaign.

The author, to their “credit” (for want of a better word), doesn’t seem to be totally unself-aware, feeling the need to claw back some of their “credibility” (for want of a better word), by adding some more facts to their “article” (for want of a better word):

The government believes most home educators do a good job. But reviews following the death from scurvy of eight-year-old Dylan Seabridge in Wales in 2011, and of Khyra Ishaq, who was starved to death aged seven in Birmingham in 2008, highlighted home-schooling as a factor. Concerns around safeguarding, and what happens when children disappear from the view of professionals who might otherwise support them, are one reason why the government is seeking to tighten and clarify the rules surrounding home education.

That’s it. The weight of the case against home-schooling is three deaths over 10 years. The prosecution rests.

Let’s now put a counter case:

IF home-schooling is the recipient of one The Guardians favorite “crackdowns”, what will the results be?

In the best scenario: nothing. Because…

There is no evidence that being home-schooled leads to an increased risk of abuse or neglect.

But let’s make a wild leap of speculation, and assume that the Tory government which sends men and women dying of cancer back to work, and refuses benefits to thousands of sick and disabled people, may not act either ethically or competently. Maybe, just maybe, they will simply create a bureaucratic nightmare of a system that sees more children taken away from their families, possibly thousands more, on spurious and absurd grounds. These children will then be thrown into the system of foster homes and adoption…a system which definitely DOES lead to an “increased risk of abuse or neglect”.

The Guardian view” is that the state should be more active in protecting children. But our state sells weapons to Saudi Arabia to drop on school buses, and wants to take away free school meals from underprivileged children. Our state doesn’t a give a toss about children – foreign or domestic – and demonstrates this to us every single day.

It doesn’t take much imagination to progress further down this road to hell – paved, as always, with “good intentions”: We already know the government spies on us, they pass laws making it legal, so it’s all fine. But handing the government the power to control home-schooling, coupled with monitoring internet and phone communication, could easily lead to a massive political bias in the way the new home school laws are enforced: Leftwingers, trades unionists, “conspiracy theorists”, all being refused the right to home-school their children based on their tweets, their voting history or their Amazon wishlist.

It’s really not that hard to imagine.

Ask yourself: Why is The Guardian – allegedly a liberal paper in favour of being nice, recycling, tweedy cardigans with leather elbow patches, slippers, refugees and the Antiques Roadshow – in favour of handing the uncaring, even malign state, more power and authority?

The only logical answer is they want to create a more authoritarian state. A cross between Stalinist Russia and Mr Roger’s Neighborhood, where everyone has been successfully Mrs Lovejoyed into obeying Big Brother because he really does know best. A jolly, comforting oligarchy with twinkly grandfather eyes and half-moon spectacles. A nice, friendly dystopia with burning incense and herbal tea and drifty floral print dresses. Where everyone gets a turn and everyone is special and everyone does what they’re told…or else.

A new kind of “progressive” statism. Where our caring authoritarian masters aren’t controlling or dictatorial because they want to be, but because they need to be, for our sake. A kindly overlord child-proofing the world for the betterment of their naive charges.

Homeschooling is increasing, on both sides of the Atlantic, this is unsurprising given the above facts, the decline in the quality of education, the drop in schools funding and a generally unacademic attitude of control, censorship and indoctrination that has taken hold of a lot of Western institutions in recent years.

That same attitude will push, harder and harder, to clamp down on homeschooling – if not to outright ban it, then set a “home school” syllabus. The syllabus will be either impossible to implement, meaning parents can’t homeschool, or so incredibly controlled that it eradicates the benefits of homeschooling in the first place.

The campaign has already started state-side, where certain law-makers leapt upon the convenient Perris case to try push anti-home school legislature through the state, with the assistance of the media of course. Fortunately, it was defeated.

As I said, it is a war with multiple fronts. A war to take ownership of the individual and control of the sovereignty of the self, and it is won by the people when we talk to each other and rely on ourselves. That’s why they want to get a hold on home-schoolers, and why they’ll continue to push at social media to ferret out dissent.

You can see the pattern with vaccination – how, in America, political debate on vaccination was dismissed as a products “Russian bots” trying to “sow division”. Once the law to ban homeschools is put forward, anybody criticising it on Facebook will be a Russian bot.

First they came for the homeschooled, and I did not speak out…because they banned my Twitter.


Kit Knightly is co-editor of OffGuardian. The Guardian banned him from commenting. Twice. He used to write for fun, but now he's forced to out of a near-permanent sense of outrage.

Filed under: featured, Kit, latest, On Guardian

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Kit Knightly is co-editor of OffGuardian. The Guardian banned him from commenting. Twice. He used to write for fun, but now he's forced to out of a near-permanent sense of outrage.

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L
Reader
L

First time on this website.
Enjoying both the article and the comments.
I found the guardian to be offensive in terms of its blatant bias towards groupthinkspeak and opposed to think or speak.

Red Tick Alert
Reader
Red Tick Alert

Soros has now invested in The Guardian, enough said.

manfromatlan
Reader

Welcome, L.

Ross
Reader
Ross

I wonder how many home schooled children are diagnosed with ADHD? Not many I suspect. If you break that piece of high falutin’ psychobabble jargon down to its constituent parts: attention deficit – bored; hyperactive – energetic; disorder – I would suggest the disorder lay with the adults that created the situation which caused the previous two. Like a school for example. But when you consider that two and a half million (two and a half million!) children in the US are prescribed Ritalin what kind of blackguard would want to deprive big pharma of such a lucrative revenue stream?

anon
Reader
anon

This is the final pill you have to take. Global Depopulation Program

https://real-agenda.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/KILLING-US-SOFTLY2.pdf

manfromatlan
Reader
manfromatlan
Reader

Link to “editorial”, sorry.

rtj1211
Reader

Let us put the counter-argument, as it can certainly be constructed: ‘Some children are bullied mercilessly at State Schools, so mercilessly that they commit suicide’. I would undoubtedly have killed myself aged 18 if I had not gone abroad and experienced kindness, superior teaching and a world free of bullying, sneering, taunting etc etc. The primary school I attended was a progressive leftie sort of place, the grammar school rather lower-middle class Tory. Neither interfered in the processes of working class boys beating me up. I might have done it earlier if I had not gone private aged 13, to… Read more »

vexarb
Reader
vexarb

The only home-schooled people I read of were Bertrand Russel and Virginia Woolf — both of them noted for independent views compared to the Main Stream Media of their day. Bertrand received also religious instruction from his aunt: “Thou shalt not follow a multitide to do evil.” (One of my favourite Biblical qu,tations). No wonder The Authoritarian Opinion is against home schooling. Well spotted, Kit! Of course, the experience can also breed resentment. “Virginia and Vanessa Stephen were educated at home by tutors while their brothers and half-brothers went off to the best schools in England. The family had an… Read more »

Lucy Jones
Reader
Lucy Jones

What is the name of the autobiog you’re reading? Sounds interesting.

BigB
Reader
BigB

The highest accolade one can bestow on Mr Russell’s philosophy …is that he taught Wittgenstein! 😉

vexarb
Reader
vexarb

@BigB. Or “discovered” Wittgenstein by keeping him on at Cambridge; the way GH Hardy claimed his greatest contribution to pure math was that he “discovered” Ramanujan by inviting him to Oxford. But I think Wittgenstein developed into a more interesting philosopher after he had shaken off Russell’s Logical Atomism. His little book on Word Games was a revelation to me: we learn the meaning of a word by joining a game in which that word is used; and it seemed to me, that game is The Game of Life.

Gary Wilson
Reader
Gary Wilson

My son did not attend school when he was six years old. Where I live a child must attend school between six and sixteen UNLESS… There are several exceptions after the word “unless”. One is unless the child is receiving satisfactory instruction at home or elsewhere. When my son was six I informed the local school board that my son would not be attending school. The school board sent me a letter to sign requesting permission from the school board for my wife and I to home school our son. I laughed at the letter and sent them back a… Read more »

rilme
Reader
rilme

“The Guardian – allegedly a liberal paper in favour of being nice, recycling, tweedy cardigans …”
Not really. Look closely at Jonathan Freedland. That’s what Guardian is all about these days.
https://www.counterpunch.org/2015/02/13/why-jonathan-freedland-isnt-fit-to-be-the-new-editor-in-chief-of-the-guardian/

Tic-tac-toe
Reader
Tic-tac-toe

Manumit….dont be silly – state school mind rape is good for you… .
anyway, to homeschool, need to head for the wilderness, bring the kids up in a cave, minimal footprint,can feed from natures harvest, the children can aquire woodworking skills, carve totems, learn to hunt and kill – but most important, they do naughty things with the local animal population, because i’m certain that’d be considered acceptable… it’d be seen as empowering, liberated etc – and just think, later on, would assuredly assist them to a job in politics.

Tic-tac-toe
Reader
Tic-tac-toe

the post was a designed to mock the hypocrisy and sleaze that we’re expected to so obligingly ingest – so am interested, if the down thumbers didn’t notice that, missed the Irony of it ?….which I thought was reasonably obvious.

Red Tick Alert
Reader
Red Tick Alert

Glad you said that, I was going to post exactly the same thing; looks like the Guardian readers are no in force tonight.

Arrby
Reader

“The editorial is anonymous…” That’s standard. Editorials are always unsigned. For which reason I don’t read them. I don’t give a crap about their rules. And it’s not only editorials in major media. Many articles and reports in alt media (which doesn’t automatically mean progressive media) are anonymous. So many in fact, that I am forced to overlook my rule about ignoring unsigned articles. Otherwise, I would shutting a lot of info, which, in the case of alt media, is often clearly good. (RT News, which I don’t consider to be alt/progressive, but is anti West establishment, is a big… Read more »

Francis Lee
Reader
Francis Lee

This is somewhat off topic but I feel compared to draw attention to the massacre of the 40 Yemeni children by the Saudi air force, equipped, trained and refuelled by the US/UK. Of course Yemeni children, like Palestinian children, ‘don’t count’ in the geopolitical calculus of mass murder of the innocents. Herewith the usual squirming response of the US proxies after this latest outrage: Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have admitted that the bombing of a school bus in Yemen last month – which killed 51 people, including 40 children – was “unjustified”. Translation: Oh dear we… Read more »

Norman Pilon
Reader

Harold Pinter’s last valediction in print (I’m assuming it was his Nobel lecture): HERE

Francis Lee
Reader
Francis Lee

Thank you. A real tour de force on Pinter’s part. Unmissable and unmistakable.

Norman Pilon
Reader

And this, too, is a real ‘tour de force,’ as Pinter rightly said of it, ” . . . nowhere in contemporary poetry have I read such a powerful visceral description of the bombing of civilians:” Quote begins: I’m Explaining a Few Things You are going to ask: and where are the lilacs? and the poppy-petalled metaphysics? and the rain repeatedly spattering its words and drilling them full of apertures and birds? I’ll tell you all the news. I lived in a suburb, a suburb of Madrid, with bells, and clocks, and trees. From there you could look out over… Read more »

bonami
Reader
bonami

Thank you, I had never heard of nor read this poem. I am the richer, thank you again

vexarb
Reader
vexarb

“The best time to make money is when there is blood on the streets”. — AZC financier Rockefeller, a jackal that the jackals would despise.

Norman Pilon
Reader

retrospin
Reader

I cannot understand this; I know for an absolute certainty that I clicked on “Off-Guardian,” so how in the world did I end up at freerepublic.com?

manfromatlan
Reader

Perhaps it’s you that’s confused if you expect OffGuardian to be a proponent of authoritarian statism, like the Guardian. Here, you’ll find supporters of conspiracy theory, 9/11, anti-vaccination, no regime change disguised as ‘humanitarian intervention’, and critical thinking before we swallow anything the media dishes out 🙂

Seamus Padraig
Reader
Seamus Padraig

A new kind of “progressive” statism. Where our caring authoritarian masters aren’t controlling or dictatorial because they want to be, but because they need to be, for our sake. A kindly overlord child-proofing the world for the betterment of their naive charges.

Move over, Big Brother … say hello to Big Sister!

Norman Pilon
Reader

Home schooling is a locus of possible resistance. By enabling a more direct and sustained contact between the generations, beyond the three Rs and other academic specialties, lessons learned by the previous generation in social, political and economic terms are more likely to be transmitted to those ensuing. The capitalist establishment has long been well aware of this fact. As deteriorating social and economic circumstances incite greater restlessness and dissent among the majority of the adult population, the danger of an intragenerational radicalization increases. To attenuate that possibility, compulsory schooling becomes a weapon deployed against the general population, precisely in… Read more »

bonami
Reader
bonami

I would add that access to grandparents is especially dangerous, especially if they are able to bring to life and discussion earlier days and crimes such as WW1, the Depression, the Influenza epidemic, McCarthy and much more.

Michelle
Reader
Michelle

I homeschool my two children in the UK. The potential for resistance is very high. Because I am at home a lot I have time to grow my own food, bake my own bread, repair things, buy from small local businesses etc. During meetups with other homeschool families, we actually have time to discuss things you often can’t discuss in a workplace. You will inevitably end up supporting your child to learn a lot more than they would at school, in part because you have time to finish things. I sometimes suspect this too is seen as a bad thing… Read more »

Norman Pilon
Reader

I homeschooled our twins. Since I worked evenings and nights, I was available to them all day, every day, with my wife being at home in the evenings (she being, of all things, a school teacher 😉 ). Each year, we gave them the choice of attending school or staying at home to do their academic learning and so much more. It wasn’t until high school that they decided they wanted to attend a formal setting. They did quite well, academically speaking, and both have only recently graduated from university. Both are very aware of the kind of society in… Read more »

rilme
Reader
rilme

That’s the second time I’ve seen the idea of “spacing out the generations” this year. A New Scientist (very good mag, if you ignore the zionism in every issue) story about space travel to the nearest star (about 6,500 years one-way) said: “The pair chose a ship capable of carrying at most 500 people, meaning strict social engineering would be necessary to enforce a population cap. Women would be allowed no more than two children each and be limited to procreating between the ages of 35 and 40, to space out the generations.” And I wondered why? Why space out… Read more »

Jen
Reader
Jen

Believe it or not, some societies in Africa do grade their people (or their male members actually) into age classes. Each class consists of the sons of the men of a higher class. The class performs duties appropriate to its age-based cohort level, and enjoy certain rights and privileges associated with that level, and as its members mature, they go into the next class where they train for and accept new responsibilities and enjoy new rights and privileges. The classic example of a people who use age classes is the Oromo who use the Gadaa system. From birth, every male… Read more »

rilme
Reader
rilme

I see. So there don’t have to be gaps between the age groups: decades when no people are born.

A Home Edder
Reader
A Home Edder

Countering a weak, hyperbolic argument with a weak, hyperbolic argument benefits no-one, least of all it’s suthor.

CoramDeo
Reader
CoramDeo

Got as far as ‘ridiculous buffoon Trump’ and decided this was not worthy of my attention.

Frankly Speaking
Reader
Frankly Speaking

Not a Trump supporter at all, but I expect he and Republcans are fine with home schooling whereas the unDemocrats are not.

A Noteworthy Thinker
Reader
A Noteworthy Thinker

So, you choose to ignore what threatens our rights and societies because you love The Leader so much. I get it.

CoramDeo
Reader
CoramDeo

No, little one, you REALLY don’t.
It got you some ‘likes’ though – sure that made your day.

JHV
Reader
JHV

Very good! Punchy article and to the point. Thanks.

Paul X
Reader
Paul X

The Guardian cultural war is as you say in their pages every day. But personally I think unregulated home schooling isn’t necessarily a good idea. It’s not so much abuse and neglect as religious extremism that is the problem. Religion should be left at the classroom door as they used to say. It is divisive and socially damaging. For the same reason Faith Schools are a terrible idea. Private education should be priced out of existence. Our comprehensive schools need all of those kids.

A Noteworthy Thinker
Reader
A Noteworthy Thinker

It is divisive and socially damaging. All differences (language, religion, ethnicity) might be ‘divisive’, and they can be made ‘socially damaging’. The task of a successful schooling system is to make sure people can respect each other over such differences. Telling them at the door that something is bad and should be left out acts contrary to this aim. Many secularists want to believe that religion is the source of conflict, even though no historical evidence backs this up, and the history of modern West, secular ideologies, and anti-religion regimes have shown given the last death strike to this myth… Read more »

manfromatlan
Reader

So, no — religion should not be excluded from schools, neither philosophy, art, or intellectual and cultural history. Human culture, including religion, is the telos of humankind. Excluding any part of that would be a step towards seeing humans as a production machine the rich can exploit.

Well said!

Seamus Padraig
Reader
Seamus Padraig

Good point. Many people still naïvely think that getting rid of religion is going to somehow change human nature, with all of its narrow-mindedness, clannishness and wishful thinking. But history has shown over and over that replacing church-worship with state-worship serves no good end.

Jen
Reader
Jen

I’d prefer freedom of worship and a strict separation of religion and state. The state having no business meddling in affairs of religions except where religious rituals and administrations harm or exploit people (especially vulnerable people like children, abused women and the elderly) physically, mentally and financially; and religious organisations having no business meddling in politics or seeking to influence and lobby politicians and political parties, and creating political parties to represent their interests and ideologies. Religious organisations should not be exempt from paying taxes, especially property and land taxes. Owning property historically is where they gained their power and… Read more »

Tracy Hilliard
Reader

I homeschooled because my son was being treated like crap for ‘not having a diagnosis that indicates he needs extra help’. He was five and being sent to the princepals office (or forced to sit in a chair and not participate) for having a meltdown once or twice a day (usually close to the end of the day) because he didn’t want to stop certain activities he enjoyed. His teacher called him names in front of his friends, him and me, because she felt that a five year old shouldn’t ever have an emotional crisis. He didn’t hit. He didn’t… Read more »

Antonyl
Reader
Antonyl

UK / EU deep states: home schooling is suspect. Returning from Syria is fine: extra curricular activities are encouraged.

balkydj
Reader

“extra curricular activities are encouraged,” always, for any budding Agents of Mossad .. 😉

Vlad the Inhaler
Reader
Vlad the Inhaler

Great article.