Tuesday, January 05, 2010
Balls to Badman
Regular readers will know that I am implacably opposed to the pernicious Badman Review, which recommended to the most control-freakish member of the Cabinet that he arrogate to his office yet more power over families, by imposing a registration and inspection regime on home educating parents. Ed Balls leapt at the review's conclusions and promised to implement them in full. Surprise, surprise.Sensing the nearness of the time, the Government is, apparently, expediting its State Interference in the Lives of Children and Families Bill 2010 (link) in order to get it through before it
finally gets kicked out goes to the country: second reading is happening this coming Monday. Going so quickly has involved cutting short a consultation — which, as we know, is only ever a fig leaf for the Government to do what it was planning anyway — and ignoring the genuine concerns of the relevant Parliamentary Select Committee (src). This adds political malfeasance to outright illiberalism.If you've ever wanted the chance to say 'Bad man!' to Balls and 'Balls!' to Badman, here it is. There are two petitions on the Number Ten website which would be worth your attention.The first is in favour of the principles of parental priority in education, and the freedom to educate without interference unless there is reasonable suspicion of wrongdoing. It is a very positive petition and in fact doesn't mention Badman directly at all. You can sign the petition here.The second is calls directly for the rejection of Badman's recommendations, particularly in its insistence on registration and a 'minimum standard'. You can sign it here.I have signed both, and encourage you to do the same.