Friday, 30 January 2009

Closer to fine?

I’ve had a few days of wanting to listen to the Indigo Girls and not engage with people. But I have, in fact, been going to work and so on, so I must have managed not to succumb to this desire.

So, what’s brought this on? Several things, I guess. Culminating in that feeling of being in a bubble.

Personally, I was dismayed to find Peter Hitchens leaping to the defence of home education as I find the man’s view generally objectionable and I loathe the Daily Mail. In fact, on the same day that Hitchins was writing about home ed, Melanie Phillips (that fount of all bile) was contributing this piece to the world’s understanding of lesbian and gay parents. This bit really put me back in touch with who I am, I must say.

“The prevailing argument that all types of family are as good as each other as far as the children are concerned simply isn’t true. While some children emerge relatively unscathed from irregular households, children need to be brought up by the two people ‘who made me’ - or, in adoptive households, in a family which closely replicates that arrangement.
Where that does not happen, the child’s deepest sense of his or her identity as a human being is at some level damaged.”

What a relief, to find that I am still a malign influence in the eyes of the Daily Mail. Not much of an accusation really - that D and I are damaging our children’s deepest sense of their identity as human beings! Maybe I need to keep in mind that my enemy’s enemy is not always my friend.

The thing is, I imagine that some people home educate partly to keep their children free from the corrupting influence of material that would tell them about people like me and families like mine. Some home educate because they think that schools are a hotbed of ‘political correctness’. So I guess they’re happy to get the Hitchens seal of approval. But I know that when Hitchens says,

“What the modern left really don't like about homeschooling is that it is independent of the state, and threatens its egalitarian monopoly from below. If it became a mass movement, it would be very dangerous to their project of enforcing equality of outcome, while using the schools to push radical ideas on sex, drugs, morality and politics.”

he has no idea that he’s being read by a ‘homeschooler’ with ideas on sex, drugs, morality and politics that are way more radical than anything the Nu Labour state schools teach. I take it he thinks that this govt is the “modern left” but I can’t quite imagine what it’s left of these days. But then, maybe I’m just one of those “few retired hippies and eccentrics”. Guess so.

Back to Indigo Girls, I think.


peri said...

Home ed must be a hot topic because (sadly) Ma reads 'The Express' and there was an article (acutally a fairly 'fair' one) on the subject, yesterday I think, looking a 3 families and the how's and why's of it all. I read it out of curiosity and it was more positive than many but still the same old, same old.

mamacrow said...

I think home ed is one of those things that's so individual - I thought I'd finally fit in when I finally opted out (of the mainstream system) but of course I didn't because the one shared charateristic of home edders is that we all are so different!

It's such an individual experience, maybe you don't even begin to 'get' it until you do it? Then it becomes your experience?

I dunno. newspapers tend to generalize, sterotype and try to make one size fits all rather to often for my liking...

Sharon said...

I'm glad you wrote this Allie. I didn't like his article much but didn't want to start on about it as I feel like I spend so much time complaining these days! I find Peter Hitchen's views on so many important issues to be utterly abhorrent and unfair that I can't celebrate if he sides with me on something else. When the Daily Fail supports you, you have to worry.

Even in his supposed supportive article, he made a few assumptions about the type of people who HE and bemoaned the separation of church and state in the US, something I wish was copied in Ireland and the UK.

My ideas of morality would be considered radical by Hitchens, thank goodness!

Allie said...

Thanks to you all. Sharon, I'm so glad to read your comment as it chimes very much with what I have been feeling. I also feel that there are many other issues - important to us all and important to me personally - some of which I think are more important than HE.