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Tuesday, 08 April 2008


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Adam Sutcliffe

Thanks for your thought provoking comment.
I can see your point especially that of "liberalised stupidity". However I firmly believe that the more the youth in our part of the world can do to attempt to pressurise our leaders by understanding the plight of their peers in the developing world the more the leaders ought to do.
Unfortunately each and every one of those 72 million kids has no choice in their situation, and without an education none of them will ever be able to attempt to effect a change in their own countries.
I do not believe that we should be "funding" change in these countries, as real change will only ever come when it is finally desired by the populace. Unfortunately Africa is bedevilled by its history at every turn, slavery having been endemic since before colonisation; colonisation which created false countries with no regard for the existing situations; post-colonialisation dominated by fierce tribal politics which rather than favouring those who cna favours those of the same group.
Activities such as the worlds biggest lesson are a way of getting kids to think out of their immediate situation and to consider the world at large, and yes a commitment to core political education would be fantastic...as would an end to inclusion in its current form.

Nick Hood


I find this stuff difficult. Yes, it's a tragedy that so many in the world miss out but I kinda choke when told that it's my responsibility to do something about it - specifically, to tug at the heartstrings of our impressionable youth without at the same time giving them the full spec on how such conditions came about.

Walking the streets of Salisbury, Rhodesia, one afternoon in 1979, having spent the morning in the terrorist camps, a woman fell to her knees at my feet begging me not to allow the change that eventually came: the destruction of a prosperous economy where education was available for all people. This was not an uncommon plea. This experience and others, in China, Africa and elsewhere, brings one to the realisation that to present the disadvantages of HIV, starvation, famine, education failure, and war without also presenting the avoidable causes - not least the liberalised stupidity that brings us the inclusion we are familiar with - as well as "democracy", government hypocrisy, failure to recognise primitive tribal imperatives and deal firmly with them and dogmatic idealism - is just irresponsible.

I'd rather the billion a year were spent on our own resources: I'd even be happy if half of it were spent on a framework for proper political studies as a core feature of the curriculum from P6 to S6.

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