THIS week the Tory-led coalition is set to announce yet more changes to the education syllabus, changes designed to further Cameron’s pledge to drive all that is ‘un-British’ out of schools and indoctrinate in children as young as five the ‘morality’ of capitalism – that greed is good.
Writing in the Mail on Sunday, Cameron pledged that all school children will be taught about Magna Carta as part of his drive for a ‘more muscular’ promotion of British values.
This insistence on its importance from a government that is determined to smash up the most basic principle enshrined in it, is beyond irony.
Magna Carta was forced on King John in 1215 by feudal barons determined to limit the power of the king and end the completely arbitrary rule by monarchs – its main provision was that no ‘freeman’ (serfs didn’t get any rights under feudalism) could be punished except under the rule of law.
The concept of legal rights for accused people was further extended by the Habeas Corpus Act forced on King Charles II in 1679. This laid down that the state must produce an accused person before a court and they must be released if the detention is unlawful.
For centuries the working class has fought to extend these rights to everyone. These rights have been under increasing attack by the coalition which has introduced secret courts where not only the identity of the accused is kept secret but even the fact that a trial is taking place at all, on the spurious ground of being a matter of national security, along with the charges.
Only last week the court of appeal blocked the first ever completely secret trial in this country.
While Cameron was writing about Magna Carta being ‘the foundation of all our laws and principles’ he and the capitalist state are hell bent on ripping them up.
With police spies and provocateurs infiltrating every protest group, no matter how legal or peaceful they are, on the grounds that they represent a threat to national security, with trade unions being designated as the ‘enemy within’, and the security services carrying out mass and illegal surveillance on the entire population, these basic rights are under attack in an unprecedented way.
But the Tory plans for education do not stop at this monumental act of hypocricy. On Thursday, Cameron is set to announce sweeping reforms to primary and secondary schools that mean teachers will be required to teach young children about the benefits of capitalism and how they can make ‘profits’.
This radical departure from the old ethos of education is aimed, according to the government, at promoting self-employment and encouraging young people to set up their own companies.
In short, it is saying to children as young as five that profit is the only thing and that when they leave school there will be no jobs for them – the best they can hope for is to try and scrape a living through part time, low paid and very uncertain ‘self employment’, a category that encompasses everything from washing car windscreens at traffic lights through to zero hours ‘contracts’.
For the millions of young children in families forced to survive through the charity of food banks, and living in overcrowded temporary accommodation courtesy of the coalition’s austerity cuts to pay and benefits, these reforms preaching the capitalist values of profit before all else are an obscenity.
Today, when the banks and the entire capitalist system that places the profit of the capitalist class above all considerations of human need, are universally hated by workers and young people, these attempts to brainwash the next generation into believing in the joys of capitalism are doomed to failure.
Workers and youth are not stupid, and no amount of propaganda from Cameron and Gove will convince them that they must passively accept poverty and homelessness as the price to keep this bankrupt capitalist system going. The days of this government are definitely numbered!