Sunday, August 6

An exam in pro-Brussels bias

by Christopher Booker

When "Europe Minister" Geoff Hoon recently wrote to Alan Johnson, the Secretaryof State for Education, urging him to arrange for lessons on the "benefits" of Britain's membership of the EU to be part of the National Curriculum, this was only the latest example of the Foreign Office's tireless efforts to get EUpropaganda into Britain's schools.
In June, in the latest AS Politics paper set by EdExcel, Britain's largest examprovider, the most marks were reserved for this question: "Argue the benefits of further EU integration.''
When the bias of this was queried by the Democracy Movement, EdExcel repliedthat it had tried over the years to keep a balance in the half of its papers now regularly devoted to "European Integration" (with impartial questions such as:"What are the advantages of European integration?").But there are no questions on the disadvantages of integration. The closest itcame to this was asking candidates in 2005 to give arguments both for andagainst the European Constitution.
EdExcel's teachers' guide, recommending helpful sources of information, cites a long list of pro-EU organisations, butnot one that is remotely Euro-critical.The game was rather given away in 2000, when Sir Stephen Wall, then Britain's senior representative in Brussels, wrote in a leaked email to the CabinetOffice: "The EU is only in the GCSE Modern History curriculum thanks to FCOpressure on the DfEE last year, so I suspect there is a lot more that could bedone.Something I plan to pursue in a future incarnation."
Sir Stephen's next"incarnation" was as Tony Blair's chief adviser on Europe at Number 10.
Curiously, despite all the efforts of Sir Stephen and Co, the polls consistently show the most Eurosceptic age-group in Britain to be 18-24 year olds. Perhaps all that propaganda produces exactly the response one might expect from teenagers who suspect they are being told a pack of very boring lies.

1 comment:

Peter Troy said...

"Argue the benefits of
further EU integration."

Benefits to whome, may I ask - perhaps we should discuss !