A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves

“A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves.” Edward R Murrow

Thursday 4th July 2024 is General Election Day, and it is important that all people entitled to vote do so. It is particularly important that women vote – as I frequently tell people, women died to win this right. I cannot believe that a woman able to vote in 2024, does not want to have her voice heard. People must vote for a better nation and to give hope to our young people.

I am sure that many schools have held hustings and debated the policies of the parties taking part. Sadly, the mainstream media are not reliable conveyors of accurate information. It’s perhaps fortunate that young people do not engage with mainstream media. I have been very disappointed, probably angry is a better definition of my emotions, with the publicity provided for The Reform Party and Nigel Farage. The Reform Party is racist and fascist. When asked how Fascism starts, Bertrand Russell said:

“First, they fascinate the fools. Then they muzzle the intelligent.”

As many writers point out, Reform is full of racists because it is a party for racists. Extreme anti-migrant positions are racist. We all know this, and we need to speak out. Farage dismisses it as pub banter – it’s not. If people are voting for Reform, because they feel ignored, this is a loud wake-up call for other parties.

I do not believe that education has featured sufficiently in the campaign. I agree with Lord David Puttnam’s view that: “…education is the one key driver in enabling people to fulfil their potential, and therefore the sole means by which we can hope to deliver equality and social justice…Our future and that of every child on the planet rests on our ability to invest every scrap of time and resource we have in building the type of educated global society of which we can be proud.”

It is a sad indictment of our politicians that we need reality checks on statements – we cannot trust our politicians to tell the truth. That should be the basic requirement of public service. I thought the remarks about Rishi Sunak were disgusting, but he had accepted donations to the Conservative Party by Frank Hester, who made racist and misogynistic comments about Diane Abbot. Our leaders need to be authentic leaders with genuine principles. I have enjoyed watching Sir Ed Davey doing fun activities and was genuinely moved by his life as a carer. The debate between Biden and Trump in the USA election showed how difficult it is for a decent person to counter lies.

The value of an apology – if you can get one – is not enough nowadays to right a wrong. It is not right to stay silent when actions are blatantly wrong – we have had too many examples of this – Postmasters’ scandal, Infected Blood scandal, Hillsborough, Barnard Castle. We must demand honesty and transparency from our leaders. If they do not meet the standard – they go.

I do not want a government of wolves, but a government of lions and lionesses determined to make life better for everyone, and to provide a bright future for young people.

Leave a Reply

You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

What are the key priorities for primary teachers and leaders?

1 July 2024

Inclusive Education: A national treasure

3 July 2024

NEW Associate Membership

Want to receive monthly education news, updates, tools and resources? Exclusive invitations to interesting events? And did we mention it's free? Sign up to our associate membership eNewsletter now.