“Heads are breaking the law if they preach eco agenda, warns Gove: Education Secretary's 'concern' at report that accuses 'activist' teachers” thundered the Daily Mail the other day. Yes, someone speaking on behalf of Michael “Oiky” Gove said that “Schools should not teach that a particular political or ideological point of view is right – indeed it is against the law for them to do so”.
But it would depend on whether they are doing that in the first place, wouldn’t it? So who has made the accusation, and what have they got to back it up? “a think-tank set up by former Tory Chancellor Lord Lawson, warned that ‘eco-activists’ in the education system were urging children to use ‘pester power’ to ensure parents are forced to adopt lifestyle choices dictated in schools”.
Nigel Lawson just set up a think-tank? The last time I looked, he was heading something rather different, a climate change denial Astroturf lobby group called the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), so called because it aims to undermine the foundation underpinning the consensual position on Where We Are Now with climate science. Have things changed?
“We ﬁnd instances of eco-activism being given a free rein within schools and at the events schools encourage their pupils to attend ... In every case of concern, the slant is on scares, on raising fears, followed by the promotion of detailed guidance on how pupils should live, as well as on what they should think” said, you guessed it, a new “report” from the GWPF.
So, for Lawson and his authors, Andrew Montford and John Shade, that’s a straight f*** right off and shove your latest slice of propaganda, then. But the real story here is not that the Mail is – not for the first time – recycling denialist cheerleading as fact, but that it took them more than two days to pick up on the “report”. And that meant they were two days behind the first media source to splash on it.
That distinction goes to the batshit collective otherwise known as Breitbart London, where James “saviour of Western civilisation” Delingpole told readers that “Schoolchildren Terrorised And Brainwashed By Green Propaganda Says Damning Survey”. With Del Boy, there’s no point being less than totally over the top. And he had an equally OTT pal to back him up.
Disgraced former Local Government spinner Andre Walker followed the Delingpole assault with “Teachers Breaking The Law Over Climate Change Bias Says Gove Spokesman”. Except, of course, this wasn’t what “Oiky’s” man said. So the Mail, to its disgrace, lifted Breitbart London’s content, recycled it, and presented it as its own without attribution. Stay classy, obedient Dacre doggies.
The batshit Breitbarts can feel hard done by for once. Credit where credit’s due.