Friday, July 13, 2007
Battle of the Nile or Mortgages ?
The national curriculum is being reduced (but not enough). A man called Ken Boston (the national curriculum gauleiter, tsar or general LordHighEverythingElse) suggested on the radio that children should learn about mortgages instead of the Battle of the Nile and cooking instead of Malplaquet. Naturally several historians argued the contrary. The argument misses the point. There shouldn't be a national curriculum ! The root of the problem lies in Whitehall and its hangers-on. Originally they argued that it wasn't fair that children at schools learned different things. They should all learn the same ! Equality in the hands of politicians and civil servants always ends up as homogeneity, because if people are different nobody can tell if they're equal. Then they argued that the national curriculum would only be a core, but (surprise, surprise !) the core grew and engulfed the timetable. There shouldn't be a national curriculum. As Mao-Tse-Tung said but didn't really believe, "Let a thousand flowers bloom". As the eponymous hero said in Monty Python's Life of Brian, "You're all different". I say, "Vive la diffèrence". Some of us will learn about Malpalquet and some about mortgages.
Or maybe not. But, as Hillaire Belloc says in Lord Lundy, "I'm getting tired and so are you, let's cut this...[posting]...into two."