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Shining the spotlight on the existential dangers of the insidious and cancerous Trojan Horse creep inherent within Sturgeon’s WOKE agenda

Wokeness: what does it mean and how did it become weaponised?

An American teacher warns about the invasion of WOKE orthodoxy in the education sector

I have been a teacher for nearly two decades. My awareness of WOKE ideology started about five years ago when our schools began to be consumed by “WOKE ideology”. The schools became obsessed with sophomoric and divisive notions of diversity, equality, and justice; increasingly hostile to freedom of expression; addicted to cancelling anything that offended the WOKE movement and prioritised activism over understanding as the goal of education.

The purpose of this letter is to alert the “sleep-wokers”. A sleep-woker is one who has not taken the WOKE creed to heart, but tacitly complies with the linguistic, pedagogical, political, and moral imperatives of wokeness. Sleep-wokers go through the motions; they are like religious folk who say prayers without thinking, attend worship services without engaging, and perpetuate dogmas without believing. I was a sleep-woker. In some ways, due to a combination of timidity and tiredness, I still am.

Sleep-woking, like sleepwalking, is very dangerous. While sleep-woking, an English teacher can unwittingly help cancel Chaucer, Keats and Conrad in the name of decolonisation. A biology teacher might find herself obliged to deny important differences between the sexes. A football coach will not be able to cheer on a player after a strong tackle, as strength and physical violence smack of toxic masculinity.

Wokeness has proven to be oppressive and totalitarian rather than inclusive and liberating

Most of my sleep-woking colleagues are good people. Like me, they were lulled into complacency by a WOKE take-over that was slow and subtle. What’s more, some changes were initially promising and even corrective — of course we should pay more attention to marginalised voices and overlooked narratives, and I am glad that we now do. To bemoan an expanded curriculum is simple chauvinism. In the end, however, wokeness has proven to be oppressive and totalitarian rather than inclusive and liberating.

My objection is to the effect of WOKE ideology on education, not to liberal politics. My grievance is that teachers are increasingly under pressure to adopt the WOKE agenda or be ostracised.

I empathise with the difficult situation that top school officials find themselves in. As wokeness takes over culture, schools face enormous pressure to follow suit. That said, those with the power to stop the degradation of education have a special responsibility to do so, and those of us with less power have a responsibility to remind our superiors of their duty. Here is some of what wokeness introduces:

The Promise and Problems of Being Woke | Psychology Today

Offence in is the Eye of the Offended

Schools are required to teach that if one feels offended, one has been offended. For example, if a student or colleague claims to have been offended by your words or actions, it does not matter if you intended no offence. More troubling is the fact that it does not matter if your words and actions were not those that a rational person should find offensive — you are an offender merely by virtue of the fact that someone claims to have been offended. Since legal norms follow ethical norms, if schools (and societies) succeed in changing the ethical norms of speech and offence, they will eventually have a basis upon which to change the legal norms. As soon as they can show that a normal or typical person is offended by certain language or certain ideas, they will be able to argue that a person presenting such language and ideas is failing to abide by the reasonable ethical cultural expectations. In essence, we are training students how to be offended so that their perceived offence can be used to eliminate anti-woke expression.

Elimination of Non-Woke Student Clubs

Any student group that resists WOKE orthodoxy is forcibly disbanded or prevented from forming with the outcome that free thinking students have trouble officially meeting and inviting speakers. If a non-woke speaker is invited, the wokes mobilise to deny them a platform and they feel righteous for doing so. Few free thinking students openly identify as such because they are afraid of repercussions from teachers and other students. Not only is this unfair, but it is also dangerous. Alienated free thinking students are being pushed away from moderate disagreement towards political extremism.

No Resisting WOKE Slogans

Opposing WOKE slogans or voicing contrary slogans is not tolerated. Since opposing wokeness is thought to be motivated by hate, voicing opposition to WOKE slogans is tantamount to hate speech. A student who challenges a WOKE slogan is bullied and harassed by the WOKE majority. Meanwhile, WOKE slogans and images are hung in school buildings and cannot be removed.

Cultural Appropriation

White or Western students are told not to participate in cultural traditions of non-white, non-Western people — the oppressors cannot participate in the culture of the oppressed. For example, several white students who wore shirts with African designs were reprimanded and forced to change their clothes. The fact that the shirts were a gift from their teacher, a black African man, made no difference. The students wore the shirts to show affection for their teacher and to honour his gift, but that was still cultural appropriation. In another instance, a musician was reprimanded for blending a western and non-western musical style into a new artistic expression. The musician was accused of cultural imperialism.

Cancelling Curriculum

Shakespeare, Homer and other canonical authors are being eliminated from the curriculum. In some cases, schools and teachers boast about cancelling these patriarchal racists. Even at schools that do not officially cancel canonical Western texts, the texts are subtly replaced in the name of anti-racism. The result is that many students move on to university never having read Homer or Shakespeare, though they will have been required to read many texts and attend many lectures on intersectionality and gender identity. They can speak at length about toxic masculinity and a panoply of so-called phobias, but they would not recognise the terms “iambic pentameter” and “dactylic hexameter”, let alone recognise actual examples of the meter.

Normalising Fallacies

Ad hominem attacks are presented as the cornerstone of critical thinking rather than as a fallacious form of argumentation. Teachers educate students to evaluate texts and arguments by primarily attending to the author’s race, gender, and sexuality.

Mandatory Training

Students attend mandatory training sessions in which experts teach them how to identify and report microaggressions. And since to a student with a hammer everything looks like a nail, the students begin informing on each other and on their teachers. White teachers are told to attend racial-political re-education workshops in which they strive to overcome their whiteness in the classroom. (It has long been accepted that “whiteness” is a meaningful category.) Teachers who claim to not be a racist are seen as the worst, most unredeemable kind of racist and labelled heretics who will not admit heresy. Suffering from something called “white fragility”.

Trigger Warnings

Before introducing any new activity teachers are required to compile lists of trigger warnings for it. The warnings which are shared with students alert them to any and all things in the subject that could cause them stress, frustration, anger, or sadness.

Manners and Dress Codes

A side-effect of the WOKE attacks on tradition, authority, and hierarchy has been the revocation of dress codes. So long as their genitals are covered and no profane words are visible, students can and do wear anything they like. Many students eat meals with headphones in their ears while watching videos on their phones. The less respectful students don’t bother with headphones. “Sir” and “Ma’am” have long since disappeared as too authoritarian and gendered. The terms “master” and “headmaster” cannot be used as master might connote slavery.

Elimination of Objective Assessments

Exams are being eliminated for two reasons: first, because exams are apparently inherently racist, sexist, classist, heteronormative, or otherwise unfair; second, because exams cause students stress, and stress makes students feel bad, and feeling bad negatively impacts their well-being. Additionally, some students do poorly on exams, and this has the potential to result in a situation that is inequitable.

Pronouns

Schools are increasingly pressured to identify their pronouns. Failure to identify one’s pronouns is seen as transphobic or cis-centric or both. Students can reassign their own pronouns at will. If a teacher mistakenly does not use the student’s preferred pronoun, the teacher is accused of misgendering. Misgendering a serious offence, even a kind of violence.

In Summary

The unchecked advance of wokeness results in two major failures. First, teachers and students lose the ability to freely read, write and speak as pupils and teachers. Second, the education provided becomes unrecognisably impoverished. The second effect is probably the hardest to accept. In place of free-thinking young scholars, the education system churns out generations of woke activists who believe that feelings matter more than facts, that perception is reality, and that it is more important to judge a text than to understand it — where “judging” means anachronistically interpreting the author’s words in light of the most recent WOKE orthodoxy.

Students claim to be proud practitioners of social justice yet they have only an elementary command of grammar and geography. They struggle to write complete sentences and are unable to locate Turkey on a map. Some question the need to take maths seriously given that maths is apparently grounded in Western patriarchal rationalism. Wokeness has been achieved at the expense of education. Reason has been subordinated to passion. Plato’s charioteer has been replaced by the horses he was meant to reign in. To not be woke is to be asleep: unconscious or ignorant of what is really going on.

Perhaps some of you are disturbed by some of the woke excesses at your schools and in your communities, even if, like me, you readily support appeals for greater diversity, genuine inclusion, and a multicultural curriculum.

There are some who instinctively to dismiss the excesses as isolated incidents with sayings like “The pendulum will swing back” or “That will never happen at my school.” But the pendulum will not swing back because the WOKE movement is not a pendulum; it is a steamroller.

One of the canniest bits of WOKE linguistic manipulation has been appropriation of the term “WOKE” itself. To not be WOKE is to be asleep: unconscious or ignorant of what is really going on. Either one is Woke or one is not aware of reality. Or, as in the words of a WOKE student “if you are not WOKE, it must be because you are uneducated or hateful — or both. Such is the WOKE reality. (The Critic)

Cancel culture, and the toxic rebranding of the 'woke left'
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Not a Lot of People Know it But Brexit Included the UK Withdrawal From Membership of the The Union for the Mediterranean

President Sarkosy’s Legacy – Recruiting the Southern Mediterranean Countries to the EU Cause

Oct 2007: In a major speech near to the start of his term of office President Sarkosy proposed the setting up of a “Union of the Mediterranean” mirroring the EU but including only states with the Mediterranean as a common border. The group would be led by France. Although not rejected immediately the proposal was recognised as having the potential to create major difficulties. If taken forward it would replace the 1995 Barcelona Process & Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) and place at risk many of the major policy initiatives implemented from that date. Turkey, whose application to join the EC was well advanced, rejected the proposal claiming it to be a subterfuge designed to deny Turkey it’s place within Europe. Chancellor Merkel, who had not been consulted on the matter said the idea was non-starter so far as Germany was concerned since it would force Germany to turn to Eastern Europe for expansion of markets and France would be drawn to the Mediterranean for the same purpose. Effectively bring the EU to an end. Other members of the EU also rejected the concept on the basis that the change would result in a massive expansion of the number of administrative institutions and associated costs. The outcome of prolonged discussions was to remit the Sarkosy idea to the 1995 Barcelona Process & Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) group for development within that structure. The group’s initial response was that the absence of any tangible moves towards democracy in the states to the south of the Mediterranean precluded any significant expansion of the existing agreement but every effort would be made to develop the policy.

Jul 2008: Major Progress on EU & Mediterranean Cooperation

The Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) was created by 43 Euro-Mediterranean Heads of State and Government on 13 July 2008 at the Paris Summit for the Mediterranean. The Secretariat of the Union for the Mediterranean, based in Barcelona and the first permanent structure dedicated to the intergovernmental Mediterranean partnership, is the operational institution that empowers this regional dialogue between the UfM Member States and stakeholders, fostering synergies among them and promoting cooperation projects and initiatives with a direct impact on the lives of people. The UfM constitutes a framework for political, economic and social relations between the European Union and the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean countries and is inspired by the goals set out in the Barcelona Declaration, namely working towards the creation of an area of peace, stability, security and shared economic prosperity, as well as full respect for democratic principles, human rights and fundamental freedoms and promotion of understanding between cultures and civilizations in the Euro-Mediterranean region. http://ufmsecretariat.org/who-we-are/

Will the UK be Excluded From Membership after Brexit Bites??

The EU has invested in excess of 20billion Euro’s in the partnership since 1995 and there is tangible evidence of a positive outcome in the future. But the UK will play no part in it. An negative  is the loss of financial investment, to date and in the future.

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Alba – Independence Referendum 31 July – Nations Split 31 Dec 2021

 

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Establishing an Independent Scotland

Whitehall mandarins, Unionist politicians and their Luddite supporters will tell you it will be a long and torturous process over many years and it must be this way because the relationship Scotland has with the rest of the UK is too complex to untangle in a shorter period. But if Czechoslovakia could be split up in six months in 1992, why should the process of establishing an independent Scotland be such a hardship?

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The Velvet Revolution

World War 1 lasted four years, World War 2 lasted six. So is it easier to conquer then lose an entire continent than to separate two jurisdictions peacefully? Czechoslovakia, not only transformed from a socialist republic and a Soviet satellite to liberal democracy, but it also successfully split peacefully into two nations in 6 months.

The pivotal elections that took place in 1992 saw an even split of voters in both of the constituent parts of Czechoslovakia. Tensions arose and the leaders of both constituent regions agreed the federation should be split.

An agreement was signed on 26 August 1992. By 13 November 1992, a law had been enacted as to how the federal assets were going to be divided and twelve days later, an act was passed that set the dissolution date on 31 December 1992.

Complex matters such as the continuity of government, laws, and arrangements for courts and so on were all swiftly determined by December 1992.

A new Czech Constitution was passed on 16th December  1992. Czechoslovakia was dissolved at midnight on 31 December 1992. When  people woke up on 01 January 1993, they had new nationalities.

Within a mere six months, a comprehensive settlement had been agreed and activated. Immobile assets were distributed to the country where they sat, mobile assets and assets abroad were distributed according to the rough population ratio.

Amendments to international treaties signed by Czechoslovakia were negotiated and signed very quickly by both new republics, confirming the continuation of such treaties.

In 1996, the two countries signed a protocol specifying the distribution of duties enshrined by treaties signed as Czechoslovakia.

All of this happened whilst Czechoslovakia and its constituent countries were undergoing a massive economic transformation. Czechoslovakia was privatizing on an unprecedented scale and at an unprecedented pace.

In a way, it was like Brexit and the UK’s 1980s privatizations combined, only a lot more complicated. Whereas the 1980s UK privatized two companies a year, the early 1990s Czechoslovakia privatized two companies an hour.

Taken together, these companies’ accounting value was a big share of GDP. The voucher privatization alone (there were other methods of privatization) privatized companies worth one-third of Czechoslovak GDP.

And let us not forget the fact that Czechoslovakia was also a currency union. The original idea was that the currency would continue after the separation, but the Czechoslovak koruna outlived Czechoslovakia by a mere six weeks. All of this was taking place at the exact same time the republics were being separated. Where there is a will, there is a way.

 

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Two things made this possible:

The leaders’ insistence that it must happen fast before organized business interests and/or government could mount a successful defence of the status quo. 

Then the fact that the two newly-created governments, for all the tension between them, successfully worked together to apply current or previous arrangements in good faith. 

Wherever questions or differences arose, they sought an amicable solution where none of the parties would score a win for their side but rather one where future cooperation would be maintained.

Nobody was proposing divorce bills or ridiculous notions of planes not flying, trucks stuck at the border, licenses not being recognized, or one country continuing to have jurisdiction over the other for the next 100 years.

Time and good faith were of the essence. If Czechs and Slovaks were able to separate in six months, surely Westminster and Holyrood will be able find a way to extract one the other in a similar time period?

Credit this article (paraphrased a wee bit here and there)  to Martin Pánek, Director of the Prague-based Liberal Institute.

 

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