Joseph Harker, Guardian (London), March 13, 2010
BNP’s march into the mainstream moves forward. Fresh from their top-table seat on the BBC’s Question Time (which marked International Women’s Day with an all-female audience; it marked last year’s Black History Month with an invite to Nick Griffin), party members have now been told that it’s OK for them to teach our children.
In a review which will shock many members of the teaching profession, not to mention ethnic-minority parents, Maurice Smith, former chief inspector of schools, concludes: “I do not believe that barring teachers or other members of the wider school workforce from membership of legitimate [sic] organisations which may promote racism is necessary.”
He reaches his decision because, in the last seven years, only four teachers, and two governors, have been found to be BNP members, and only nine incidents of teachers making racist remarks or holding racist materials have been uncovered. Banning BNP members would, he says, therefore be a “taking a very large sledgehammer to crack a minuscule nut”.
Two things here are breathtaking: one is that a man who held such a senior position in the running of Britain’s schools has such a one-dimensional and uninformed view of the issue of racism in our education system. Is he not aware of the underachievement statistics for many of Britain’s racial minorities, widely believed to be party fuelled by low teacher expectations? Is he not aware of the massive rates of exclusions and disciplinary procedures against black boys?
Does he really believe that racism is all about making offensive remarks, rather than promoting, openly or covertly, a system of inequality and injustice? If that’s the case, then, with people like him in charge, no wonder so little has been achieved in improving these statistics over the years.
He lists a number of bureaucratic “safeguards” to prevent racism in schools, but this is utterly unconvincing. Schools equal-opportunity policies are notoriously ineffective in making real differences, merely satisfying the box-ticking mentality which pervades the education system. And the “duty to promote social cohesion” is equality easy to subvert, the term often being used as a cover for anti-Muslim propaganda.
The second shocking development here is that his recommendations were immediately accepted in full by the schools secretary, Ed Balls.
Actually, given that all three parties are crawling over each other to win the votes of the “white working class”–whom they now subconsciously equate with racism and bigotry–it shouldn’t be a surprise.
Let’s be clear: the BNP is a racist party. It is anti-migrant and defines those of non-white racial origin as permanent second-class citizens, regardless of whether they were born here. It has been forced against its will to admit ethnic-minority members, but that doesn’t mean it’s suddenly become a party of race equality. In fact, the handful of minority members the party may attract will be fellow Muslim-hating extremists.
So when Ed Balls, in his reply to Smith, begins, “There is no place for racism in schools”, he shows himself to be a complete hypocrite by then going on to agree with BNP teachers.
If he’s OK with the party in the classroom, then he should be honest at least and say: “Yes, there is a place for racism in schools.” And, to black and Asian families in particular: “Yes, parents, when you leave your five-year-old at the school gates, we don’t care if you’re handing them over to someone who despises your race, despises your faith, and who wants to terrorise you and run you out of the country. As long as they don’t say it so anyone can hear.”
The complacency, as the BNP gains council seats and could possibly even gain its first MP this year, is staggering.
It is often said that for evil to flourish, all it takes is for good people to do nothing. As the BNP’s message of hate moves onwards, it is time for good people to take a stand.