New PDF release: Free Radical

By Tony Benn

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Post Office workers feel that the government is apathetic about the 30,000 jobs that may be lost if the privatization plans for the GPO go ahead, the police feel the same when they face worsened conditions under the plans the Home Secretary is introducing and the teachers cannot understand why they have been singled out for an attack by the Education Secretary. Labour members feel the government is apathetic about the party and their policy role at conference, while special advisers with no connection to the party are hired to invent policies for No.

Globalization requires small elites to be educated to run the world, while the rest are just to be trained to obey orders and not ask questions, and that is the role allocated to second-tier comprehensive schools, which are in effect to become secondary moderns for those who fail to get selected by aptitude or ability. Church schools and schools for other faiths are divisive, as they can easily become the means by which selection is reintroduced, given their generous funding. The situation is made much worse by the fact that in our multicultural society all faiths should be taught in all schools, in order to prepare the new generation for the complex world in which we live.

In short, parliamentary democracy and Cabinet government have been quietly abandoned in favour of a king and his courtiers, sustained by ministers and MPs who are expected to fall into line or get the chop, almost as if we have a president without even a House of Representatives to keep him in check. There are, of course, a number of good MPs who are doing an excellent job in the Commons, and many others who are uneasy about individual policies, but those who do speak out are either ignored or denounced by a media that desperately wants to retain the confidence of those in Downing Street who control the flow of news upon which they themselves depend to retain their jobs.

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