Please sign this petition to help a persecuted Home Ed. family:
With the Government`s recent failure to clamp their iron-fist on home education, many home educators are re-realising their rights, their right to privacy and their autonomy. Yet this menace of government to invade our lives and take away our cherished liberties is merely put on hold. There is no real liberation, no change of conscience by government and certainly no evidence that their thinking could or would include insight into the dangers of their one-track-mind solutions to issues of child abuse.
I have talked about this subject in earlier blogs, but I really want to revisit it here because the message of home education is still not getting through. Most of the media have followed government propaganda on the issue, with only a few T.V. programs or articles representing a balanced picture.
Why is this? Clearly, as with the Government`s psychological tactic that whipped up paranoia about terrorism and Muslims, the witch hunt of home education is created. That is to say that it doesn`t just happen out of thin air, so to speak, someone, some department or agency has to propel a witch hunt. Now, we have spent considerable time in my blogs talking about the hows and whys of demonisation, but I want to gather together these ideas here so that we can see it at work right in front of our eyes.
In order to witch hunt someone, or some group, you have to use fear. Fear is the way to control the people you want to help you in the hunt: folks are more likely to respond if they are frightened by something. I think though, that fear begets fear and therefore we should look to the fear that the pursuer of a witch hunt feels himself, what has caused his fear, and track his actions from there.
We know that the Government, because of the failings of the Social Services in cases of child deaths in recent years, felt pressure to prevent further cases of child deaths so that it could diminish its guilt and protect its position in the eyes of the media and the public. Obviously, a government that does not prevent child deaths will be seen in a negative way and will fear for its political survival. Political shame or embarrassment, loss of votes and loss of power for politicians, causes huge fear!
Because of this need for political survival, the Government needed to show that it would do everything to prevent further child deaths. Where it was seen to be preventing child abuse or death, didn`t matter, just the visibility of its earnestness. There then took place a classic psychological tactic to recruit all and sundry to the mission of preventing child abuse: find someone or some group, a minority, and whip up a demonisation drive. Simple and classic, it`s been used in every society over millennia !! The great thing about it is that it works every time!
The group this time is home education!! Not Jews or Muslims or Gypsies,but home educators !!! Brilliant. So home education was to be the perfect way to bury the guilt of the Social Services and get rid of those nasty fears about losing political votes!
So let`s see what Graham Badman (assigned the task of conducting a Review into home education) did to create a universal fear of home ed. that would be swallowed whole by most of the media.....
The single most important factor in the Review was to manipulate the statistics so that home education would look like a den of child abuse. Rule number one, make sure you drum up fear by using untruths about the people you want to demonise and make the fear as big and powerful as you can !!! The other vital tactic is to trap your new recruits in your demonisation drive with a guilt manoeuvre !!!! What I mean is, your potential allies will join you if you make the fear big enough, certainly, but just incase some of them wont follow you on just fear alone, you make them guilty if they don`t !!! The message is, "if you don`t help me in targeting home education, you will be guilty if any child dies" !!! The combination of these two components makes for the most powerful group drive. We saw it in the Muslim demonisation drive, for example, and let`s also not forget that the very same group psychology resulted in the death of Jean Charles de Meneses.
So, in summary, the need to shift guilt onto home education was the reason why government locked into a relentless persecutory drive. The method for it was classic fear-guilt psychology. Where the media might have defended home educators in the same way that some spoke up against the creation of terrorist paranoia to justify the Iraq war or Guantanamo, the guilt component of the strategy largely prevented them from doing so. Few in the media will want to side with a tainted group where, they are made to believe, there may be child abuse, because this would bring accusations of collusion or complacency in child abuse.With the dual operation of fear and guilt the Government managed to manipulate most of the media, and with such a small voice, home education had little chance of getting mass-media support.
More on home ed. later.......