Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Worries about the Petition

I have lifted this directly from Sally at Happy@Home as I have been too upset and angry to pull together such a superb summary.

I’m suspicious for a number of reasons:
  • The website won’t allow you to read the petition before signing to coordinate it in your constituency.
  • The page gives no author and doesn’t link in from anywhere that would give you insight as to who the author is.
  • I have heard that signing up generates a thank you from an EO trustee and that the page origin is EO owned.
  • I don’t like the potential inference that registration is acceptable.
  • I especially don’t like this inference in the light of no Tories being willing to say outright that they will not impose regulation.
  • There is only hear-say to indicate that Graham Stuart MP is anything to do with it.  There is nothing on his own website to indicate anything about it.  There is nothing on the petition website to indicate his involvement.
  • What’s the sudden hurry?  It is putting pressure on people to sign and coordinate before they have had time to discuss and think about it.
  • It was said that AHED were involved.  Apparently they were not, but maybe members of the list (who didn’t have remit to speak on behalf of members) were?  Maybe the same with other organizations such as HEAS.
  • The only info people are working from is a release made by EO on the EO list and pasted wholesale into Dare To Know, and onto other lists.  There is no opportunity given to scrutinize behind this release because the petition wording was being kept secret so that people didn’t take it upon themselves to print it off and duplicate it within constituencies without someone coordinating each constituency.  Well, that’s what we are told.  The release by EO doesn’t give the contentious parts of the petition that have come out on lists subsequently.  Dare to Know (which I’m used to trusting and relying upon) didn’t give the whole petition wording, but that wasn’t obvious until I saw the whole of it on a list.
  • There is too much scope for duplicity.
  • The petition leaves the route open for another review.  We don’t want/need another review.  We’ve had so many.  We need to work with the 2007 one.  Maybe some research would be useful, but I wouldn’t trust anything from the Government, who are out to suppress and undermine home education.
  • Is it John Holt who said about lifting plants constantly to see if the roots are growing?  Maybe research is also intrusive?
There is some talk about simplified or improved wording on Ahed and Brag but would Graham Stuart be accomodating with that, do we need him to be or do we approach it more independently?

This could have been such a good thing if handled in a different manner, at the moment I am just so sad about it I feel almost like giving up.


Firebird said...

Unfortunately it's a bit out of date because the exact wording is now all over the place and Graham Stuart has said directly that he was involved, just check his Twitter feed or Facebook page.

You don't NEED Graham Stuart's say so to draw up and submit a petition. Maybe a differently worded one would be useful, but the HE community being what it is how long exactly do you think it will take to agree on that wording? THEN you'll need agreement on how it's to be submitted, multi-constituency again or ONE national one and if that, well, let's just say that it's hardly going to be one person handing it to their MP! Lots more organising and agreement required.

Hey, don't get me wrong I'll sign it, even co-ordinate local collection if necessary (if I agree with the wording of course) but realistically I'd be amazed if anything manages to get going before the new year and presented to parliament before the general election and that's assuming the bun fight stops for long enough for someone to start the ball rolling.

The petition as it stands, accepting all the problems with its inception and announcement, and questions about the exact wording, is a chance to reject the Badman report and raise the profile of HE among MPs in time for it to make a difference and prevent compulsory 'registration' being introduced in the CSF bill.

Some people think that the govt isn't going to be able to get anything through before the GE anyway. A new government will mean a new campaign, new battle lines to be drawn, maybe you'd feel better focussing on that?

Maire said...

I think new wording is pretty much agreed on already on Ahed and Brag, I have seen amazing things done democratically in very short time this last year on both those groups and on AEUK and the facebook group.

I think what you call the bun fight has stopped already, but we are individuals, if we agree to act as if we agree just because we are frightened then we have lost what we are home edding for.

Hopefully the government will not be able to get anything through before the sink into obscurity for a few years but no doubt there will be more battles to be won.

I am still waiting hopefully for a reworded petition that i can accept to be taken up democratically. There is no need for secret groups to organise our affairs without our permission and those that took it on themselves to do this have done nothing but harm.

Anonymous said...

your wasting your time on those fool M,P's in Westmister! who care what they think just say no and make a complaint about that crazy reply you got from DCSF its done to scare you we had those type of replys make sur you tell the DCSF!

Maire said...

Oh I definitely going to complain about that letter Anonymous.

Maire said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Yep, I'm glad that our concerns have been answered in this way. It shows someone is listening to us.

You'll notice my post predates when they added the info page at FFEorg and before most of us became friends of Graham Stuart on facebook. I don't tweet, so don't know about that (my account got wiped for some misdemeanor I know nothing about! Probably saying stuff against the government LOL±!)

I also got an email from Graham Stuart today which I will blog.

@ firebird (calmly and kindly)
Hang on a moment ... just have to contest the term 'bun fight' regarding our concerns about the inception of this PP and it's wording. I think it devalues our concerns and our liberty to disagree ... just as the media often do. It is using a weapon of derogatory words that is used against us consistently from without the community. I know it is heated sometimes and folks feel attacked, but can't we just try to not take each others disagreement personally and leave the idea that serious concerns and discussions are something as petty and frivolous as a 'bun fight'?

How does 'make sur you tell the DCSF!' not equally involve wasting your time with MPs?

Generally again.
It's a Europe wide movement and of course we are going to have to keep fighting new battle lines. That doesn't mean that we won't manage to defend liberty in home education in our country and that that cannot move outward, rather than the outside trend moving over us like a wave.

Regarding the all important democracy in the HE community:
Luckily, recently, in response to the review, we have a number of really proactive groups who are working extremely well, and democratically together ... without the workings of the machinery being as you describe, Firebird. Take heart, we can get stuff done fast and have the most fantastic resource in the internet and our ability to keep in close contact at all times. It is unprecedented in history!
I'd certainly have had nothing to do with politics within the community if I had no voice worth hearing and am just to follow the lead of a few oligarchs.

That's exactly what we are fighting against!

Can't you see that in desperation we could end up subjecting our own community to the very stuff we are fighting against.
That is why folks are so angry with what is happening over at EO headquarters! (no offense intended to anyone there personally.)

Grit said...

i hear what you are saying maire. i have concerns about the petition too.

from my pov, i want the general public - many of whom know nothing about the varieties of home ed available to them, and even less about badman - to see there is a real anger deep down about the government's approach to education.

i worry that the non home ed community simply will not understand the frictions within the home ed community around EO.

I have enough difficulty with it myself, and i do not want to spend time going back through EO discussions to find out the history of friction; personally, i find that process emotionally troubling!

instead, i want a big blast of NO and 'this is the simple easy to understand reason' that can be heard and understood by the general public.

i'm supporting the petition for this reason. it draws attention to the attitude of this government to us all. it draws attention to their mentality and strategies regarding children and education. and those affect us all, home educating, flexischooling, or school choosing. and for me, education in all its forms has to be the point of pressure.

Maire said...

Thanks Sally, I totally agree with what you say. Grit of course we must all do what we think best, it just a shame that the marvellous potential of the internet and the amazing ability of home edders to work together for consensus has been sidelined by a few people who for some reason consider themselves above the democratic process and better able to decide what we should do than we are ourselves.

Maire said...

All the things that have gone on this year, the picnics in the park, the mass lobby and right to reply, the detailed consideration of the issues involved in the consultation questionnaire, the group submissions to the select committee, the many blogs that helped people consider the issues and pointed out things the I certainly would not have thought of before.

The facebook group and Brag, new groups to fight this assault, all working openly and towards consensus, all fabulously successful, achievements to be proud of; and then EO come along and stick their finger in or rather keep everyone else out, and the result; poison, ill feeling misunderstanding and the throwing away of an opportunity for standing shoulder to shoulder against the review, and an embarrassment for the home educating community.

Is this accidental, if it is they are blundering fools, if not ...

FEEDJIT Live Traffic Feed