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The government stands up for free speech

Alan Forrester is none too impressed with the evident wish of the state to stamp out any alternatives to state directed indoctrination

The government has recently published a review on home education written by Graham Badman in which he expresses a laudable concern for free speech for children:

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) gives children and young people over forty substantive rights which include the right to express their views freely, the right to be heard in any legal or administrative matters that affect them and the right to seek, receive and impart information and ideas. Article 12 makes clear the responsibility of signatories to give children a voice:

“Parties shall assure to the child who is capable of forming his or her own views the right to express those views freely in all matters affecting the child, the views of the child being given due weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the child.”

Yet under the current legislation and guidance, local authorities have no right of access to the child to determine or ascertain such views.

What remedy does Mr Badman recommend? He recommends that all home education families should be registered with the Local Education Authority and:

At the time of registration parents/carers/guardians must provide a clear statement of their educational approach, intent and desired/planned outcomes for the child over the following twelve months.

Guidance should be issued to support parents in this task with an opportunity to meet local authority officers to discuss the planned approach to home education and develop the plan before it is finalised. The plan should be finalised within eight weeks of first registration.

Of course Mr Badman really has no interest in free speech and is just a political hack hired by the government to write crude propaganda for their campaign to destroy home education and he can’t even do that properly. Mr Badman is quoting a definition of free speech from the United Nations. Many of the UN’s member governments are tyrranical kleptocracies run by thugs who murder or torture anyone who dares to openly oppose them. Seems to me they don’t really like free speech too much and quoting them is a big giveaway.

Mr Badman takes their advice because he worships the power of the state and feels the need to have people who like to play at being an international state dictate what he says about fee speech. Free speech is freedom from having your speech dictated by anybody else, including the British government. The British government violates free speech rights on a massive scale by imprisoning children in schools in which they are not allowed to speak or go to the toilet without permission. Instead of solving this problem Mr Badman proposes to secure a child’s right to free speech by forcing parents to dictate what their children what their children will think in twelve months and if they fail to indoctrinate their child the child will be locked up in one of the government’s prisons for children schools.

A new, pathetic low for the British government.

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14 comments to The government stands up for free speech

  • Cyclefree

    I have 3 children, all educated privately. At no point have I told the local authority about them, there being no reason for me to do so nor has the local authority ever asked me about any children I might have. So if I were minded to educate mine at home I would just go ahead and do it and ignore the state.

  • James

    Surely this falls under the scope of Protocol 1, Article 2 of the ECHR, which would prevent the Government from forcibly educating children according to its agenda?

  • William

    Sorry to post about something off topic, but while on my lunch break, at work, I went to read your website and it had been filtered under the “Weapons” category. Really pissed me off.

  • Surely this falls under the scope of Protocol 1, Article 2 of the ECHR, which would prevent the Government from forcibly educating children according to its agenda?

    Probably not in practice. Compulsory school attendance is fairly mainstream on the continent. If schools are not always state run, they are usually state approved.

  • guy herbert

    And where there’s a freedom there’s an interest group trying to curtail it. The state is not rigorous enough for some in merely attempting to control parents who educate their own children:


  • Paul Marks

    I sometimes strongly disagree with Mr Peter Hitchens – but he is correct on this one.

    The idea that the government in charge of perhaps the worst “eduction system” in the Western World is to set itself up as the judge of home schooling is absurd.

    And the idea that this is to prevent “child abuse” is a lie.

  • Paul Marks

    More generally this “draw up plans – meet with officers…..” approach is the way of operating that has destroyed so much in Britian (from manufacturing industry to social events in Church halls).

    If people have to fill in endless forms and deal with Civil Servants and Local Government Officers they will just give up.

    The ordinary British people are just no good at such things – no matter how good they may be at such little things as educating their children, inventing and manufacturing new products, and so on and so on.

    Once the paper work and the officals come in, the activity (social, economic, or educational) is doomed.

    As for freedom of speech.

    Of course this whole policy (by the aptly named Mr “Badman”) is about CRUSHING free speech and freedom generally.

  • John K

    Badman is a bureaucrat. His report recommends more bureaucracy. Why is anyone surprised?

    The mindset of Whitehall was revealed by a civil servant at the Home Office at the time of yet another futile crackdown on the legal ownership of firearms: “Controls are good.” That’s what they think. That’s what they all think, at all times and in all circumstances. If they did not think that, they would not be able to function in the mind numbing, brain dead, intellectual wasteland of the British bureaucratic state.

  • RayD

    While I completely agree this is an unwarranted imposition on homeschoolers, the internet greatly ameliorates that imposition. All that is necessary is for the brave pioneers that negotiate the labyrinth to post their experiences and documentation. Subsequent applicants can then download boilerplate docs to submit and answers to memorise.

    That’s how we expats cope with the demands of the local immigration authorities and it works fine. Remember bureaucrats want an easy life like anyone else. Supply them with complete documentation and all their boxes ticked so they can show they did their job and everyone’s happy.

  • Rich

    We just this year beat a scheme in New Hampshire to try to impose regulation on Home Schoolers.

    It was my first trip to the Capital, after moving as part of the Free State Project (http://freestateproject.org/). There were a couple thousand people at the state house, giving testimony and submitting cards showing their opinion of the new legislation. Almost none of them were in favor.

    I concluded, upon seeing the crowd and hearing their passion on the subject, that my decision to become a Porcupine was a good one.

  • Paul Marks

    Rich you must be using the word “Porcupine” in a different sense to the old libertarian sense of someone who has given up on other people and just hides out in a stronghold (secret or not).

    What you are saying is that many people still believe in liberty – and that they can cooperate together to defeat statism.

  • Laird

    Paul, the FSP has adopted the porcupine as their logo or mascot, not precisely in the sense you meant but more along the lines of “I’m non-threatening but don’t touch me”. See the logo at the top of their website. Their annual gathering is called a “PorcFest”.

  • I’m still stunned that Mr. Badman isn’t a fake name.

  • Paul Marks

    Many thanks Laird – I had forgotten.

    I apolgize for my error.