Broad Oak: your emotional support animal

Saturday, February 20, 2010

"Consumer choice" and liberty

A letter to the Spectator magazine, emailed to them today:

Sir: Your editorial (“People Power”, 20 February) welcomes Conservative proposals to extend consumer choice in schools and hospitals, and I hope this will open a wider debate about these imperfect and possibly outdated reifications of learning and health. For example, might we see less bureaucratic resistance to, and more financial support for home education?

But if the Conservatives have rediscovered their appetite for freedom and democracy, why, as Greece, fons et origo of those principles, lies tormented on the Procrustean metanarrative of the EU, are we denied a voice in the ultimate political question, that of national self-determination? Absent a referendum on membership of the Romantic and revolutionary project, we shall be limited-list libertarians, like council house dwellers selecting the hue of their front doors from officially-compiled colour charts.

Are we to be consulted, or must we refuse to vote at all in the coming General Election?

10 comments:

OldSouth said...

Well-said!

When all else fails (and all else has), try freedom!

OS

Paddington said...

Unfortunately, as I've said before, the home schoolers underperform state schools.

Sackerson said...

Not all; and I'd introduce a list of (perhaps newly-commissioned) recommended texts, plus a variety of online and paper-based tests. Parents would be challenged to do better with their children than the schools they refused to use.

James Higham said...

"lies tormented on the Procrustean metanarrative of the EU"

Wow!

Paddington said...

Sorry Sackerson, but you have to look at Statistical measures to get a picture, not individuals. In the US, the tiny (about 5%) of home-schoolers who take the ACT perform slightly better in the verbal scores, but underperfom the national average by over a full standard deviation in the quantitative skills. It is also very well-established that these latter skills are the most robust measure of success in college coursework.

Whether the idiotic changes being made by the ideas that I describe in my post yesterday change that relationship will have to be seen.

Sackerson said...

Perhaps most of those who are home-schooled would have underachieved as much or more in school, and more unhappily. Are we comparing similar populations?

Paddington said...

That's some of it, I'm sure. A lot more (in the US) is because most choose to home-school due to fundamentalist religious views, which are notoriously anti-science.

James Higham said...

I've just had a stoush with the leader of LPUK over this. Why, when people get to be leaders, do they relinquish the people's right to a voice?

Wolfie said...

Because James when they grasp the wheel of power they soon learn who is in charge and bow before the idol that will grant then entry to the inner sanctum.

Just look at what our intellectuals will do for it

Sackerson said...

Wolfie - you're saying this chap did this for career reasons? Another reason looks pretty obvious.