Loony Left: Antonio Gramsci's "long march through the institutions" continues
The week's madness courtesy of WWF and Enviroschools, the Blairite education system, the Guardian, NICE, PC PC, Owen Jones and the Forest Stewardship Council
1. LOCK UP YOUR KIDS – PANDAS ON THE PROWL
And so Antonio Gramsci’s “long march through the institutions” continues apace.
WWF-New Zealand has welcomed this week’s announcement that the New Zealand government is to reinstate “much-needed funding” for the Enviroschools initiative that “helps” (yes, I used danger quotations) children learn the importance of sustainable lifestyles.
According to its website, the Enviroschools programme’s aims include “creating future leaders who understand how to make informed decisions and take action” (my emphasis); the initiative currently works across early childhood centres, primary, intermediate and secondary schools.
Call me a cynic – hell, go ahead and call me a conspiracy theorist if you like – but this is terrifying.
Think about it for a second; imagine the boot was on the other foot. There are worse hypothetical scenarios, for sure, but imagine that a team of Gordon Gekkos, or Dagny Taggarts, was teaching children at early childhood centres the virtues of dog-eat-dog capitalism. How successfully would that navigate through the Left's ethical code?
Yes, fine; sustainable living doesn’t necessarily have to split a Left-Right divide. But consider the political implications of this precedent – after all, sustainability is not simply a goal for eco-warriors. With its associated conditions of increased taxation, heightened regulation, and more government control, sustainability is a convenient target for the Left too.
Hence, while Enviroschools may well focus on local Maori issues, and may well have a positive impact upon community lives for all I know, as a precedent – as a blueprint – Enviroschools is a dangerous trap.
Get them while they’re young; control the language, control the debate.
2. SPELLING? ALL RELATIVE
Sticking with schools, I read a story in the Metro on my commute this morning which claimed that "Teachers at a secondary school will put corrections on a maximum of three spelling mistakes for fear of damaging pupils' self esteem".
That is a wonderful idea. I'm sure the pupils' cotton wool-wrapped egos will come in handy when the unsuccessful job applications start piling up. And when they realise that they've already seen that episode of Homes Under the Hammer. And, of course, when they're cycling down to the Job Centre for their Tuesday, 3:00pm appointment to sign on.
And...I give up; too easy.
3. FSC CONFERENCE IN DUSSELDORF
I spent a combined total of around 12 hours with forty-odd paper industry reps and ten or so Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) activists in an out-of-town, Dusseldorf conference centre last Thursday and Friday.
Yes, it was that boring.
Take a look for yourself:
If you're unfamiliar with the FSC, they're the guys who work with the likes of WWF to slap a whole range of trade disincentives down in front of producers, particularly in developing countries. In turn, that pushes the premiums on paper products over to your pocket so you end up paying a small fortune to blow your nose on a piece of tissue that feels like Velcro.
But that's a sacrifice we make for the environment, right?
Well, perhaps. But, amazingly, Uwe Sayer, Executive Director for FSC Germany, brazenly confessed on Thursday that FSC struggles, scientifically, to prove that it even has an impact in conserving the environment.
NEXT PAGE FOR THE GUARDIAN'S TAKE ON THE ROCHDALE EIGHT AND PC PC...
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