#UnitedNations / #WhiteNationalism / #FarRight / #DomesticTerrorism

“The racism committee, part of the UN human rights office, can issue a formal early warning to help prevent “existing problems from escalating into conflict” or to “prevent a resumption of conflict where it has previously occurred”, according to the rights office website.”

Modern AfroIndio Times

UN racism committee issues ‘warning’ over US tensions » Capital News – By AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE, Geneva, Switzerland, Aug 23 – A UN committee tasked with combatting racism has issued a formal “early warning” over conditions in the United States, a rare move often used to signal the potential of a looming civil conflict.

The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination said it had invoked its “early warning and urgent action procedure” because of the proliferation of racist demonstrations in the US.

It specifically noted the unrest in Charlottesville, Virginia, in which a woman was killed after an avowed white supremacist ploughed his car into a group of anti-racism counterprotestors.

The racism committee, part of the UN human rights office, can issue a formal early warning to help prevent “existing problems from escalating into conflict” or to “prevent a resumption of conflict where it has previously occurred”…

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Obsolete phrase: “independence of mind”

“What does “having an idea” mean to a person who has never considered making a distinction between what he thinks and what others, to whom he attaches himself, think?

In the description of independence of mind I quoted above, what would the following phrase mean to a person who is always surrounded with allies who mimic each other’s thoughts: “Privacy grants us the distance and refuge from others necessary to develop views of our own.”

Privacy? What is that? What is it for? Who needs it? Why would anyone seek it?

Therefore, what harm could come from spying on others?

Who stands up for something on his own when he has nothing to stand up for on his own?

In the delirium of the collective, it is always overcast and dim, and the occasional joys come from acts of destruction against the vague “other.”

The first sacrifice by the true believer is the sacrifice of self. From that, everything else follows with dead certainty.

No matter what the state of the culture, independence of mind is a virtue of the highest order.

It is there for anyone who wants to achieve it.”

Jon Rappoport's Blog

Obsolete phrase: “independence of mind”

by Jon Rappoport

August 22, 2017

Like a car with high fins and long protruding tail lights, the phrase “independence of mind” has gone out of style, especially at colleges and universities where it ought to be the most profound ideal. The thugs have taken over.

As recently as 2008, a professor of Jurisprudence at King’s College London, Timothy Macklem, described the phrase in this fashion:

“Independence of Mind [explores] the ways in which the fundamental freedoms help us to achieve something even more profound, by enabling us to arrive at beliefs, convictions and voices of our own, so that we truly come to think, believe, and speak for ourselves in the rich and various ways that the freedoms then protect. Privacy grants us the distance and refuge from others necessary to develop views of our own; freedom of speech calls on us to…

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#LOGIC #FakeFacts #TenCommandments of Rational Debate!

The Ten Commandments of Rational Debate | UNIVERSITY PLACE PATCH | Updated August 6, 2013 

1.  Thou shall not attack a person’s character but the argument itself.  (“Ad hominem”)

2.  Thou shall not misrepresent or exaggerate a person’s argument in order to make it easier to attack.  (“Straw Man Fallacy)

3.  Thou shall not use small numbers to represent the whole. (“Hasty Generalization”)

4.  Thou shall not argue thy position by assuming one of its premises is true. (“Begging the Question”)

5.  Thou shall not claim that because something occurred before, it must be the cause. (“Post Hoc/False Claim”)

6.  Thou shall not reduce the argument down to two possibilities.  (“Fake Dichotomy”)

7.  Thou shall not argue that because of our ignorance that the claim must be true or false. (“Ad Ignorantiam”)

8.  Thou shall not lay the burden of proof onto him who is questioning the claim.  (“Burden of Proof Reversal”)

9.  Thou shall not assume “this” follows “that” when “it” has no logical connection.  (“Non-Sequitur”)

10. Thou shall not claim that because a premise is popular, therefore, it must be true. (“Bandwagon Fallacy”)

I thought this might be useful to some who like to “debate” online.



#Pedagogy: #Education and #Ideology: The case of #Israel and #Zionism!

Education and ideology: The case of Israel and Zionism | Prof. Lawrence Davidson | Redress Information & Analysis | 22 August 2017   HomeHighlightsIsrael

Education and ideology

Ideologically managed education

Education is one of those words that has a positive connotation for almost everyone – usually generating a warm and fuzzy feeling that suggests a richer and brighter future. But that is just an idealisation of the concept. As I have stated before, as far as the state is concerned, education has two major purposes: to fulfil the vocational needs of the economy and the political need for ideologically loyal citizens. It is in the pursuit of this last goal that education can reveal a darker side.

Here are a few stories concerning the interface between education and political ideology. I take them from the annals of Israeli/Zionist education, but one can certainly find other examples worldwide.

Story one

David Sarna Galdi is an American Jew who attended Jewish schools in New York City, went to Jewish summer camps, attended synagogue regularly and often spent his holidays in Israel with his parents. In his own words, he had “a quintessential Zionist Jewish-American upbringing” and, as a result, “I never heard one word about the [Israeli] occupation [of Palestinian territory], or even the actual word, ‘occupation’”. Only after immigrating to Israel did he “become aware of the occupation and all its ramifications”.

The Israeli occupation is 50 years old and ongoing. Can Galdi’s story really be true? It certainly can be true if you grow up within a closed information environment – an environment where elements of non-local reality are simply left out of the educational process. That seems to be the case when it comes to Zionist Jewish-American education.

Story two

Holocaust Memorial Day in Israel, which this year was on 24 April, is a time for remembering the holocaust and learning its historical lessons. Yet there are two ways of approaching those lessons: one is universal and the other particular. Most of Israel’s educational system has chosen to forgo the universal message of the need to promote human rights and stand up against oppression wherever it is practised. Instead, the particularistic message Israeli schoolchildren have always received is that the Jews are eternal victims. Indeed, “Israel and its strong army are the only things preventing another genocide by non-Jews”.

Very few Israeli educators have dared break with this official point of view. Those few have describe a systematic “misuse of the holocaust [that is] pathological and intended to generate fear and hatred” as an element of “extreme nationalism.”

Again, the key to such a process of indoctrination embedded within the educational system is the maintenance of a closed information environment. As one Israeli educator, who has grown uneasy with the propagandistic nature of his nation’s schooling, puts it, “increasingly they [the students] receive no alternative messages in school”.

Story three

Finally, let us take a comparative look at two reports on Israel’s educational system. One is a 2009 Palestinian report (PR) entitled “Palestinian history and identity in Israeli schools”. The other is a 2012 report (IS) produced by the Institute for Israeli Studies at the University of Maryland and is entitled, “Education in Israel: The challenges ahead”. What strikes the reader of these reports is how much they agree on the nature of specific problems having to do with the education of minority groups in Israel.

Here are a few of the problems both reports highlight:

(1) Both the IS and the PR reports agree that the Israeli educational system is at once a segregated and highly centralised affair controlled by the Israeli government’s Ministry of Education. As a consequence, according to the IS report, “Arab schools are significantly underfunded compared to Jewish schools”, and this is reflected in an unfavourable “differential student-teacher ratios in Arab schools” (IS report, p.12). The PR adds the following information: “Public education for Palestinians [one quarter of all students in Israel] is administered by the Department for Arab Education, which is a special administrative entity within the Ministry of Education and under its direct control. The Department for Arab Education has no autonomous decision making authority” (PR, p.(1).

(2) As described in the IS report, because curriculum in Arab-Israeli schools is controlled by the Ministry of Education, sensitive subjects such as Palestinian history are censored (not allowed to be “openly discussed”). The PR elaborates: Israeli textbooks are highly selective in their “choice of facts and explanations, ignoring contradictory arguments, especially facts connected to Arab-Palestinian history”. Ultimately, “they erase modern Palestinian history” (PR, p.1). Arab-Israeli students are forced, at least superficially, to absorb a Zionist interpretation of history because without being able to repeat it on their graduation examination they cannot successfully finish high school. Palestinian students do, of course, know their own version of history, which they get from numerous non-school sources.

However, the Israeli Jewish students also are deprived. They are systematically kept away from this same Palestinian narrative – one ardently believed in by over 20 per cent of their nation’s population. Under these circumstances, as the IS report points out, “national cohesion” is hard to build.

The IS report recommends “strengthening within the schools the democratic and pluralistic view embodied in Israel’s Declaration of Independence, focusing on building shared values and acceptance of diversity. To strengthen communal understanding and build a stronger common identity” (IS, p.21).

Unfortunately, these recommendations are impossible to implement, and I suspect that the authors know that this is so. In the case of Israel, education has been subordinated to ideology to such an extent that it cannot promote diversity, shared values and a common identity with non-Jews. Thus, given the Zionist ethic as practised by Israelis and their diaspora supporters, the Palestinian identity and values are anathema and represent threats. Thus, the IS recommendations become the equivalent of taking poison.

Ideology bests the ideal

Any ideology represents a closed information environment. By definition it narrows reality down to a limited number of perspectives. Ideology also invites hubris, rationalised by nationality or religion and their accompanying peculiar take on history. It becomes the goal of an ideologically managed educational system to promote political loyalty and the hubris it seems to justify. The current terminology for this condition is “exceptionalism”.

All of this is a far cry from the way education is idealised:

According to Aristotle, “it is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it”. Thanks to the Zionist educational system both in Israel and the diaspora, there are many otherwise educated Jews who cannot even entertain the thought of shared values and common identity with Palestinians.

According to Malcolm X, “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” However, those being educated are usually passive and someone else has prepared what they will learn, and therefore has prepared their future.

According to Martin Luther King, Jr, “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically.” In an ideal situation that may be true, but in practice it runs against the historical political mission of post-industrial educational systems.

Finally, one might consider this observation by Albert Einstein: “Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.” This is a welcome insight, yet the problem is that relatively few people forget the political and cultural imperatives of their education. Those who do, including Einstein himself, are often considered by their fellows as “social mistakes”.

Now we know why it is so hard for Israelis to embrace the imperatives of peace, or for the rest of us to go beyond our present era of nation-states, be they democratic or otherwise. Our self-destructive stubbornness is a function of a successful, ideologically managed education.



The myth of ‘best practices’ in education

12 Winters Blog

Last Wednesday I began my thirty-fourth year as a schoolteacher. To be sure, teaching has changed in those years, kids have, too — although neither as much as one might think. There is one thing, however, that has been amazingly consistent: the number of people who, year upon year, insist that I and my peers adopt a method which they bill as a “best practice” — some technique that they know will improve my teaching because, well, how could it not? It’s a best practice.

Not once — in all those innumerable workshops, inservices and presentations — has a purveyor of a best practice offered a shred of evidence that what they’re promoting will actually lead to better (let alone, the best) teaching. It’s always offered under the implied guise of common sense. It’s the epitome of the logical fallacy of begging the question: Dear Teacher, accept the…

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#CriticalThinking #Pedagogy: Mahatma #Gandhi on #Education

Mahatma Gandhi on education |Barry Burke | infed

Mahatma Gandhi on education. His critique of western, particularly English, education was part of his critique of Western ‘civilization’ as a whole. Barry Burke explores his vision.

Gandhi - picture believed to be in the public domain

contentsearly life · swaraj and swadishi · on education ·references · links · how to reference this piece

The real difficulty is that people have no idea of what education truly is. We assess the value of education in the same manner as we assess the value of land or of shares in the stock-exchange market. We want to provide only such education as would enable the student to earn more. We hardly give any thought to the improvement of the character of the educated. The girls, we say, do not have to earn; so why should they be educated? As long as such ideas persist there is no hope of our ever knowing the true value of education. (M. K. Gandhi True Education on the NCTE site)

In a piece published some years ago, Krishna Kumar, Professor of Education at Delhi University, wrote that ‘no one rejected colonial education as sharply and as completely as Gandhi did, nor did anyone else put forward an alternative as radical as the one he proposed’. Gandhi’s critique of Western, particularly English, education was part of his critique of Western civilization as a whole. There is a story that, on arriving in Britain after he had become famous, someone asked him the question: Mr Gandhi, what do you think of civilization in England?’ to which he replied ‘I think that it would be something worth trying!’

Early life

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born in 1869 in Porbander on the West coast of India. He had a reasonably conventional middle class Indian upbringing. His father (Karamchand) was the senior official (dewan or prime ministerof a small Indian state (Porbandar) before moving on to be the chief karbhari (adviser) in the principality of Rajkot. He looked to his son to follow in his footsteps. Gandhi went to school, did not particularly excel at anything but learned the things that were expected of him. He married in 1882, aged 13. His wife, Kasturbai Makanji who was also 13, was the daughter of a local merchant and was chosen for him. (Gandhi was later to speak strongly of the ‘cruel custom of child marriage’). At the end of his formal schooling he decided that he wanted to be a lawyer. To do this he had to come to England to enroll at the Inner Temple. He was called to the Bar in the summer of 1891. On his return to India, he found that he could not make a successful career as a lawyer so he moved to South Africa in 1893.

His experiences in South Africa changed his life. While he was there, he came face to face with blatant racism and discrimination of a kind that he had never witnessed in India. The humiliation he felt at the hands of officials turned him from a meek and unassertive individual into a determined political activist. He had originally gone to South Africa on a one year contract to work for an Indian law firm in Natal Province. There he took up various grievances on behalf of the Indian community and gradually found himself first as their advocate on civil rights issues and finally as their leader in a political movement against racial discrimination and for South African Indian rights. His methods were unusual. He launched a struggle against the authorities which in keeping with his strict Hindu beliefs was based on a strict adherence to non-violence. This meant that it consisted of passive resistance – the peaceful violation of certain laws, the courting of collective arrests (he urged his followers to fill the jails), non-co­operation with the authorities, boycotts and spectacular marches. These methods were later to be perfected back in India in the fight for independence from the British Empire.

Gandhi’s ideas were gradually perfected as a result of his South African experiences. Throughout his life, the ideas he formed in these first few years in South Africa were to be developed to fit various changed circumstances in the fight for Indian independence. They were, however, set within a global context of a total rejection of modern civilization. His rejection of ‘modern’ or Western civilization was all encompassing. He described it as the ‘Kingdom of Satan’ polluting everyone it touched. Modernization in the form of industrialization, machinery, parliamentary government, the growth of the British Empire and all the things that most people regarded as progress, Gandhi rejected. In opposition to modern civilization he counter posed ancient Indian civilization with its perceived emphasis on village communities that were self-sufficient and self-governing. He was concerned with the stranglehold that Western civilization had over India. The materialistic values that the British Raj imposed on India had to be countered by the spirituality of Ancient India. Time and time again throughout his life he would return to this theme of the need to revert to what he called their ‘own glorious civilization’ which was far superior to anything modern society could offer.

Swaraj and Swadeshi

What Gandhi was looking for was what he called swaraj and swadeshi. These two terms taken together represent the type of society that Gandhi was looking for. Swaraj, very badly translates as independence/autonomy/home rule/self rule. Swadeshi can be translated as self-sufficiency or self-reliance.

Swaraj for Gandhi was not simply a question of ousting the British from India and declaring independence. What it implied was a wholly different type of society. He did not want the British to be replaced by Indians doing exactly the same. If that was all they achieved, they would not have achieved true freedom but merely the same type of government run by a different set of men. He wanted the value system and life style of the British Raj to be done away with and totally replaced by a simpler, more spiritual, communal life. This new type of society, reflecting the old values of pre-colonial days, was to be based on the village. He stated that:

[I]ndependence must begin at the bottom. Thus every village will be a republic … having full powers. It follows, therefore, that every village has to be self-sustained and capable of managing its affairs. Thus, ultimately, it is the individual who is the unit. This does not exclude dependence on and willing help from neighbours or from the world… In this structure composed of innumerable villages, there will be ever-widening, never-ascending circles. Life will not be a pyramid with the apex sustained by the bottom.

Gandhi’s vision for a new India entailed that ‘every religion has its full and equal place’. (He was totally opposed to the partition of India). Equally, ‘there would be no room for machines that would displace human labour and that would concentrate power in a few hands’.

In his Collected Works there is a passage, written in 1942, that amplifies his ideas on the role of the village. He states that ‘my idea of village swaraj is that it is a complete republic, independent of its neighbours for its own vital wants, and yet interdependent for many others in which dependence is a necessity’. He continues:

Thus every villages first concern will be to grow its own food crops and cotton for its cloth. It should have a reserve for its cattle, recreation and playground for adults and children. Then, if there is more land available, it will grow useful money crops, thus excluding ganja, tobacco, opium and the like. The village will maintain a village theatre, school and public hail. It will have its own waterworks, ensuring clean water supply. This can be done through controlled wells or tanks. Education will be compulsory up to the final basic course. As far as possible every activity will be conducted on the co-operative basis. There will be no castes such as we have today with their graded untouchability. Non-violence with its technique of… non-cooperation will be the sanction of the village community. There will be a compulsory service of village guards who will be selected by rotation from the register maintained by the village. The government of the village will be conducted by a [council] of five persons annually elected by the adult villagers, male and female, possessing minimum prescribed qualifications. These will have all the authority and jurisdiction required. Since there will be no system of punishments in the accepted sense, this [council] will be the legislature, judiciary and executive combined to operate for its year of office.

Gandhi was quite certain that any village could become such a republic straight away without much interference even from the colonial government because he beleived that their sole effective connection with the villages was the collection of village taxes. All that was needed was the will to do it. He referred to his ideal state as one of ‘enlightened anarchy in which each person will become his own ruler’. It is interesting to see that throughout his writings on the autonomous self-sufficient village communities we see echoes of the anarchist lifestyles proposed by such writers as Tolstoy or Thoreau in the nineteenth century.

On education

Given Gandhi’s values and his vision of what constituted a truly civilized and free India, it was not surprising that he developed firm views on education. Education not only moulds the new generation, but reflects a society’s fundamental assumptions about itself and the individuals which compose it. His experience in South Africa not only changed his outlook on politics but also helped him to see the role education played in that struggle. He was aware that he had been a beneficiary of Western education and for a number of years while he was in South Africa he still tried to persuade Indians to take advantage of it. However, it was not until the early years of this century, when he was in his middle thirties, that he became so opposed to English education that he could write about ‘the rottenness of this education’ and that ‘to give millions a knowledge of English is to enslave them … that, by receiving English education, we have enslaved the nation’. He was enraged that he had to speak of Home Rule or Independence in what was clearly a foreign tongue, that he could not practice in court in his mother tongue, that all official documents were in English as were all the best newspapers and that education was carried out in English for the chosen few. He did not blame the colonial powers for this. He saw that it was quite logical that they would want an elite of native Indians to become like their rulers in both manners and values. In this way, the Empire could be consolidated. Gandhi blamed his fellow Indians for accepting the situation. Later in his life he was to declare that ‘real freedom will come only when we free ourselves of the domination of Western education, Western culture and Western way of living which have been ingrained in us .. . Emancipation from this culture would mean real freedom for us’.

As we have seen, Gandhi had not only rejected colonial education but also put forward a radical alternative. So what was this alternative? What was so radical about it?

First of all, I need to say a word about Gandhi’s attitude to industrialization. He was, in fact, absolutely opposed to modern machinery. In his collected works, he refers to machinery as having impoverished India, that it was difficult to measure the harm that Manchester had done to them by producing machine-made cloth which, in turn, ruined the internal market for locally produced handwoven goods. Typically of Gandhi, however, he does not blame Manchester or the mill owners. ‘How can Manchester be blamed?’ he writes. ‘We wore Manchester cloth and this is why Manchester wove it’. However, he notes that where cloth mills were not introduced in India, in places such as Bengal, the original hand-weaving occupation was thriving. Where they did have mills e.g. in Bombay, he felt that the workers there had become slaves. He was shocked by the conditions of the women working in the mills of Bombay and made the point that before they were introduced these women were not starving. He maintained that ‘if the machinery craze grows in our country, it will become an unhappy land’. What he wanted was for Indians to boycott all machine-made goods not just cloth. He was quite clear when he asked the question ‘What did India do before these articles were introduced?’ and then answered his own question by stating ‘Precisely the same should be done today. As long as we cannot make pins without machinery, so long will we do without them. The tinsel splendour of glassware we will have nothing to do with, and we will make wicks, as of old, with home-grown cotton and use hand­made earthen saucers or lamps. So doing, we shall save our eyes and money and support swadeshi and so shall we attain Home Rule’.

Within this context of the need for a machine-less society, Gandhi developed his ideas on education. The core of his proposal was the introduction of productive handicrafts in the school curriculum. The idea was not simply to introduce handicrafts as a compulsory school subject, but to make the learning of a craft the centrepiece of the entire teaching programme. It implied a radical restructuring of the sociology of school knowledge in India, where productive handicrafts had been associated with the lowest groups in the hierarchy of the caste system. Knowledge of the production processes involved in crafts, such as spinning, weaving, leather-work, pottery, metal-work, basket-making and bookbinding, had been the monopoly of specific caste groups in the lowest stratum of the traditional social hierarchy. Many of them belonged to the category of ‘untouchables’. India’s own tradition of education as well as the colonial education system had emphasized skills such as literacy and acquisition of knowledge of which the upper castes had a monopoly.

Gandhi’s proposal intended to stand the education system on its head. The social philosophy and the curriculum of what he called ‘basic education’ thus favoured the child belonging to the lowest stratum of society. in such a way it implied a programme of social transformation. It sought to alter the symbolic meaning of ‘education’ and to change the established structure of opportunities for education.

Why Gandhi proposed the introduction of productive handicrafts into the school system was not really as outrageous as may appear. What he really wanted was for the schools to be self-supporting, as far as possible. There were two reasons for this. Firstly, a poor society such as India simply could not afford to provide education for all children unless the schools could generate resources from within. Secondly, the more financially independent the schools were, the more politically independent they could be. What Gandhi wanted to avoid was dependence on the state which he felt would mean interference from the centre. Above all else, Gandhi valued self-sufficiency and autonomy. These were vital for his vision of an independent India made up of autonomous village communities to survive. It was the combination of swaraj and swadeshi related to the education system. A state system of education within an independent India would have been a complete contradiction as far as Gandhi was concerned.

He was also of the opinion that manual work should not be seen as something inferior to mental work. He felt that the work of the craftsman or labourer should be the ideal model for the ‘good life’. Schools which were based around productive work where that work was for the benefit of all were, therefore, carrying out education of the whole person – mind, body and spirit.

The right to autonomy that Gandhi’s educational plan assigns to the teacher in the context of the school’s daily curriculum is consistent with the libertarian principles that he shared with Tolstoy. Gandhi wanted to free the Indian teacher from interference from outside, particularly government or state bureaucracy. Under colonial rule, the teacher had a prescribed job to do that was based on what the authorities wanted the children to learn. Textbooks were mandatory so that Gandhi found that ‘the living word of the teacher has very little value. A teacher who teaches from textbooks does not impart originality to his pupils’. Gandhi’s plan, on the other hand, implied the end of the teacher’s subservience to the prescribed textbook and the curriculum. It presented a concept of learning that simply could not be fully implemented with the help of textbooks. Of equal, if not more importance, was the freedom it gave the teacher in matters of curriculum. It denied the state the power to decide what teachers taught and what they did in the classroom. It gave autonomy to the teacher but it was, above all, a libertarian approach to schooling that transferred power from the state to the village.

Gandhi’s basic education was, therefore, an embodiment of his perception of an ideal society consisting of small, self-reliant communities with his ideal citizen being an industrious, self-respecting and generous individual living in a small co­operative community.

For informal educators, we can draw out a number of useful pointers. First, Gandhi’s insistence on autonomy and self-regulation is reflected in the ethos of informal education. Gandhi’s conception of basic education was concerned with learning that was generated within everyday life which is the basis on which informal educators work. It was also an education focused on the individual but reliant on co-operation between individuals. There is also a familar picture of the relationships between educators and students/learners:

A teacher who establishes rapport with the taught, becomes one with them, learns more from them than he teaches them. He who learns nothing from his disciples is, in my opinion, worthless. Whenever I talk with someone I learn from him. I take from him more than I give him. In this way, a true teacher regards himself as a student of his students. If you will teach your pupils with this attitude, you will benefit much from them. (Talk to Khadi Vidyalaya Students, Sevagram, Sevak, 15 February 1942 CW 75, p. 269)

Lastly, it was an education that aimed at educating the whole person, rather than concentrating on one aspect. It was a highly moral activity.


Chadha, Y. (1997) Rediscovering Gandhi, London: Century.

Gandhi, M. K. (1977) The Collected Works, Ahmedabad: Navajivan.

Gandhi, M. K. (1997) Hind Swaraj and other writings, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Kumar, K. (1994) ‘Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi’ in Z. Morsy (ed.) Thinkers on Education Volume 2, Paris: UNESCO.


Gandhi On Education: excellent collection of quotes from the National Council for Teacher Education

Mahatma Gandhi: The Complete Information – provides information on his philosophies, struggles, biography etc. Also has the beginnings of an net edition of his collected works.

Burke, B. (2000). ‘Mahatma Gandhi on education’, the encyclopaedia of informal education. [http://infed.org/mobi/mahatma-gandhi-on-education/. Retrieved: 23/08/2017].

© Barry Burke 2000.


New report finds too much discrimination in the ‘system’

“Source: The Children’s Society Date: 17 August 2017

Unaccompanied and migrant children

The Children’s Society in partnership with the University of Bedfordshire has published a report looking at the impact of excluding separated and migrant children from legal aid. The report finds that the safety net Emergency Case Funding is not working, stating that there is ‘too much discrimination in the ‘system’:

There is too much discrimination built into the system and not all unaccompanied and separated migrant children in local authority care, care leavers, or even those supported under Section 17 of the Children Act (1989), have equal opportunities to access the legal advice and representation they need. In many ways, there are no significant surprises or shifts in the findings since our last report. Importantly, however, the context of these findings is new. The post-LASPO environment is no longer new and the responses of local authorities cannot simply be explained as transitional.
It concludes with the following recommendations to government:

Recommendation 1: The Government should reinstate legal aid for all unaccompanied and separated migrant children in matters of immigration by bringing it back within ‘scope’ under the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012.

Recommendation 2: If Recommendation 1 is not ful lled, the Government must provide a full timeline and complete its intended ve year review of LASPO, with appropriate consultation of stakeholders that support unaccompanied and separated children in immigration proceedings. As part of this review, the ECF system must be examined for its suitability in providing access to justice for children. The Government should fully consider recommendations made about improving access to justice for this cohort and implement them.

Recommendation 3: The Government should formalise the role of local authorities in relation to immigration advice for separated children given the ambiguity that exists around whether a local authority is under any obligation to secure legal services for separated or unaccompanied children that it is either ‘looking after’ or ‘assisting.’
Recommendation 4: If Recommendation 1 is not ful lled, social workers and independent reviewing o cers should be trained in the identi cation of children that are out of scope and how to best support their legal needs within this new and complex territory.

Recommendation 5: All children suspected of being tra cked, whether they have been referred into the National Referral Mechanism or not, should have access to legal aid either by being brought within ‘scope’ under the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of O enders Act 2012 or by clear exceptional funding guidance.

Recommendation 6: Until legal aid is fully reinstated for children in immigration cases, local authorities should develop written policies that o er clarity to their social workers, and the children they support, on their decision making process in relation to securing immigration advice for children.
Recommendation 7: Outreach work should be undertaken in schools and colleges to inform children and young people about immigration and the law, routes to regularisation and their importance.

Recommendation 8: The Government should commission external independent research into the existing capacity and number of practitioners available with specialist expertise in children’s immigration law cases.

Recommendation 9: The Government should waive application fees and the costly immigration health surcharge for unaccompanied and separated migrant children and young people (up to the age of 25) in their immigration applications.

Read the full report at source: Cut off from Justice: the impact of excluding separated and migrant children from legal aid (PDF)”

National IRO Managers Partnership

Source: The Children’s Society  Date: 17 August 2017

Unaccompanied and migrant children

The Children’s Society in partnership with the University of Bedfordshire has published a report looking at the impact of excluding separated and migrant children from legal aid. The report finds that the safety net Emergency Case Funding is not working, stating that there is ‘too much discrimination in the ‘system’:

There is too much discrimination built into the system and not all unaccompanied and separated migrant children in local authority care, care leavers, or even those supported under Section 17 of the Children Act (1989), have equal opportunities to access the legal advice and representation they need. In many ways, there are no significant surprises or shifts in the findings since our last report. Importantly, however, the context of these findings is new. The post-LASPO environment is no longer new and the responses of local…

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Rotherham, Race and “White” Paedophilia

“You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic.”
― Robert A. Heinlein, Revolt in 2100/Methuselah’s Children


rotherhamNothing scorches the mind more than the news of innocent children being subject to abuse, be it psychological, physical or sexual.  It is a scarring which remains with the child for the rest of his or her life, impacting their ability to form relationships and inhibiting development of their mental faculties.

It is without doubt emblematic of human depravity of the extreme kind.

The right-wing, anti-Muslim racists however are doing their utmost to attach the horror that is the case of Rotherham to race (Pakistani) and religion (Islam). In the comments section of a Spectator article on the topic, commenters called for Islam to be proscribed, mosques to be bulldozed and British Isles to be cleansed, Spanish inquisition-style.


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#ArbitraryStatePower #Intolerance #Council criticised for not consulting woman before banning relative from visiting care home!

Council criticised for not consulting woman before banning relative from visiting care home | COMMUNITY CARE | August 10, 2017 in Adults

Nottinghamshire council also failed to undertake a risk assessment despite the ban lasting two years, the Local Government Ombudsman found.

A council has been criticised for failing to consult a woman before banning her daughter’s partner from visiting her in a care home.

The woman moved into the care home in November 2013 when her daughter and her daughter’s partner decided they could no longer care for her at home.

The Local Government Ombudsman found that in the same month social workers asked the man not to visit the care home “at least for the time being” because he had disclosed almost losing his temper physically with the woman.

The man agreed with this restriction, but the council did not ask the woman if this was what she wanted and told the care home to call the police if he tried to visit.

What followed was what the ombudsman called a “confused sequence of events”.

The man contacted the council to ask if he had been banned from visiting the care home for life. He was told to speak to the council’s safeguarding team, but the ombudsman found no regard of him doing this.

In April 2014 the council recorded that the man had not been barred from visiting and a risk assessment had been put in place if he visited but did not comply with the care home’s rules.

However, the ombudsman found this was not true and in fact the ban had not been lifted and no risk assessment had ever taken place to justify the ban.

Over the next two years the man tried to visit and on some occasions had been told to leave and became angry, but on other occasions had been allowed in, the investigation found.

‘Not robust’

The man then raised concerns on two separate occasions with the Care Quality Commission about the woman’s care.

The investigations which followed his second complaint revealed the council had lifted the visiting ban in March 2016 but had failed to inform the care home of this.

On discovering the ban had been lifted, the care home undertook its own risk assessment, which concluded the man was a risk to other residents and staff and should be banned.

However, the ombudsman concluded there was no evidence that the man posed a threat to residents and that the risk assessment undertaken was not robust enough.

“The timing of the risk assessment, following the man’s complaint to CQC, raises the prospect that his complaint prompted the care home to reinforce its ban,” the report said.

“This is supported by the record of the council’s visit to the care home on 20 May 2016, when it [the care home] told the council that the man’s false allegations were a reason for the ban.”

‘Best interests’

Michael King, the local government and social care ombudsman, said that the care provider had made some inaccurate statements and could not be “a reliable broker” when asking the woman if she wanted to see her daughter’s partner.

He said the visiting restriction should have been based on a specific request from the woman, or a risk assessment and best interest decision if she did not have the capacity to make the request. The arrangement should then have been reviewed regularly.

“The council could have avoided many of the problems experienced here if they had either asked the woman’s wishes or carried out a proper risk assessment at the earliest opportunity,” he said.

He ordered the council to appoint an independent advocate to seek the woman’s views about seeing the man outside of the care home and pay the man £300 compensation.

The council has agreed to the recommendations.

Sue Batty, adult social care and health director and Nottinghamshire council, said the council and care home “could clearly have improved how these visiting restrictions were considered and made, which we recognise and apologise for. The report emphasises that the resident is happy in the home and wants to stay there.”



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The Council Tax Liability Order

Guy Debord's Cat

Is there anything more pointless than the Council Tax Liability Order? If you’ve failed to pay your Council Tax for whatever reason, your local authority will threaten to apply to the court for a Liability Order. The reason, they claim, is to ascertain liability for the tax. Well, duh, so I’m liable to pay Council Tax but liability and the ability to pay are two separate things and, as far as local authorities are concerned, if you can’t pay, that’s just tough. In fact, local authorities don’t care if you starve. They just want their money, so they will either demand payment in full or lock you into an arrangement that you cannot possibly meet.  So that takes you back to square one.

The Liability Order is simply another way to dump more debt onto those people who are least likely to be able to pay full Council Tax in…

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