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Training Thatcher Youth

Aotearoa/New Zealand

new internationalist
issue 180 - February 1988

Training Thatcher Youth
Maggie Thatcher's new Fatherland calls for a new Thatcher Youth.
Disciplined, obedient, patriotic must they be, with respect for power
and authority. They will know the difference between Right and Wrong
and be ready to defend the Fatherland from the Enemy within. The new
education bill will shape the future Thatcher Youth. Robin Richardson
unveils the education manifesto of the New Right.

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1. We hold this truth to be self-evident: that human beings are created unequal.

2. There is amongst us inequality of talent, intelligence and virtue; of capacity to enjoy freedom and create wealth; and of the ability to rule, lead, organize and contribute to an ordered, harmonious and decent society

3. Grave threats are posed to our civilization by those who preach the pernicious gospel that inequality is neither right nor inevitable. They include not only atheistic and communistic states on the international scene but also certain people within our own society. Their ideas gain plausibilitv amongst the idle, the envious and the unlettered. They must be vigorously suppressed.

4. The country's education system has a vital role to play in hallowing, protecting and furthering inequality. We therefore propose the 9-point plan which follows. Its goal is to return the British education system to its historic and essential task, which is that of preparing the young to take up their rightful places in society as either leaders or led, and to accept, appreciate, and enjoy their inequality.

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1. National Curriculum
We will ensure that all schools teach the same basic subjects. We propose 10 such subjects, to act as foundation stones for the society which we wish to build and maintain. The subjects will, of course, be kept entirely separate from, and therefore uncontaminated, by each other.


2. Testing
We will ensure that all children have their memories for each of the foundation subjects tested at the ages of seven, 11, 13 and 16. The results of these tests will be published, so that inequalities of talent and memorizing ability are entirely plain. This will also ensure that, from the earliest stages, children are groomed for competition.


3. Local Control
We will ensure that each school is controlled by a Board of Governors. This Board will supervise the local introduction of the national curriculum, and the local publication of test results. Its members will be drawn from groups sympathetic to the ideals and principles of inequality: in particular from the senior management of large-scale industry and commerce but also, of course, from local police forces.

A note on terminology
We recognize that the term 'local controllers' may not have the friendly image which we wish to project. Accordingly we propose that the local controllers and supervisors of schools should normally be referred to as 'parents'.


4. Controversy
We will ensure that, so far as possible, teachers avoid teaching about controversial subjects. Most of the time the new national curriculum will itself prevent controversy arising. But certain teachers may lack the competence and expertise to avoid controversy completely. Such teachers will be expected to follow carefully the following guidelines:

(i) Sex: The proper place for women is the home, and the education of girls must always bear this in mind. Sexual activity, other than within marriage, is usually immoral, frequently deviant and invariably regrettable.

(ii) Religion: Christianity is clearly superior to all other religions, or so-called religions.

(iii) Politics: There is no place in schools for extremist political views, for example views which question the principles in this manifesto.


5. Culture
We will ensure that British values are paramount. The curriculum and ethos of our schools, the textbooks that are used, the displays, everything, must reflect and sustain pride in our nation and all things British. Immigrants must be made very clear about this. The term 'education for racial equality', incidentally, is highly inflammatory and implies an aggressive campaign designed to brainwash people: it must not be used.


6. Removal of Opposition
Our only remotely significant opponents are certain locally-elected politicians, aided and abetted by various unrepresentative members of the teaching force, and by a number of misguided education officers and politicized advisers. We will ensure that their influence is severely curtailed and, if possible, removed. We therefore

intend a package of measures to achieve this, including delegation of financial decisions and appointment of teaching staff to local controllers (known as 'parents' - see item 3 above), and central Government support for individual schools which have been particularly successful at promoting inequality. This latter measure will be known as 'opting out'.


7. Ladders to Success
We will ensure that a number of carefully selected children from poor homes, including perhaps even some children or grandchildren of immigrants, are allowed to succeed at school, and to go to university. This will demonstrate to everyone that our educational system is fair and just, and will help generate gratitude, loyalty and affection.


8. The Arts
We will ensure that access to literature, religion and the creative arts is limited to those few children who are capable of appreciating them, and whose parents can afford to pay the extra costs involved. We will guard vigorously against the danger of allowing immature minds to 'express' themselves or to be 'imaginative', 'playful', 'prophetic' or 'satirical'.


9. Complementary Measures
We will ensure that our educational reforms are strengthened by other legislation which we are introducing to increase inequality - in particular, our measures to reduce public expenditure on health, housing and welfare benefits, and to curb the powers of trade unions. Insofar as our educational reforms are not immediately successful we shall be happy, indeed keen, to introduce the following:

(i) Compulsory military service, to complete the education of those who fail at school.

(ii) Reduced taxes on alcohol, tranquilizers and burglar alarms.

(iii) Humane psychiatric treatment for members of the teaching force who are unable to cope.

(iv) A much enlarged police force.


This draft manifesto has been issued for public consultation. However, the closing date for the receipt of your comments has unfortunately passed.

Robin Richardson was advisor on multicultural education in Berkshire and is now principal advisor in the London borough of Brent.

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