What we desire from politics is that it should support us in creating and maintaining a home. Our home is needed to raise the next generation and to provide each of us with an object for our love. It is the care for each other that we learn in the home that gives us the the ability to be loyal, love and care for our partners and, if we are fortunate, for our children. Home is not just our house, it extends wider than this into the town, county and country in which we live. The home is the ethical and practical foundation of politics, young adults tend to forget this and just assume that their home is a natural part of life. It is the home that teaches us how to love and the home that we create that teaches us how to give love. The past fifty years have seen unrelenting attacks on
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What we desire from politics is that it should support us in creating and maintaining a home. Our home is needed to raise the next generation and to provide each of us with an object for our love. It is the care for each other that we learn in the home that gives us the the ability to be loyal, love and care for our partners and, if we are fortunate, for our children.
Home is not just our house, it extends wider than this into the town, county and country in which we live. The home is the ethical and practical foundation of politics, young adults tend to forget this and just assume that their home is a natural part of life. It is the home that teaches us how to love and the home that we create that teaches us how to give love. The past fifty years have seen unrelenting attacks on the home and no political party has stood up to these.
If we want the future to be better we need to identify what we have lost and restore it.
Over the past fifty years, and for the first time in human history, almost all of our children have been moved into secure indoor accommodation. This is perhaps the most sinister and evil development to have ever happened to our species. Without free and unsupervised play children cannot know freedom and cannot truly know the nature of others. Many things will need to be changed to ensure that children can freely return to the outside world. Each change that moves us towards that goal will be a change for the better. Our home always extended into our neighbourhood, it was never just our house.
It now needs two adults to finance the same house and car as one adult could support fifty years ago. Every economist will tell us that "real" wages have increased but couples struggling to establish their home in the same house as a single adult supported in the past must surely know that the economists are deceived or deceiving. Should one adult lose their job their home is at risk.
The population of the country has been increased deliberately so that it is crowded and stressful. The increased demand for accommodation has increased rental and purchase prices for property so that it is difficult for young adults to establish their own home. The ever growing footprint of towns and villages has erased the countryside around us. New houses have become smaller every decade and are placed on tiny plots of land. Were population growth halted, and even reversed, the cost of accommodation would fall and the country become increasingly sustainable. The "green" revolution has been diverted into a movement that attacks the home, favouring ever smaller and more regulated housing when what is most needed is population reduction.
Most jobs do not need qualifications such as degrees that involve long periods of further education. The requirement for university qualifications for ordinary jobs is related to the commercial needs of universities and the vanity of professions. The need for qualifactions creates a short "qualification window" between the age of 18 and 21 that defines a person's subsequent life. The result of this is that people have only one opportunity to join the employment of their choice when they leave education and all except the rich and very poor leave with large debts. Training for a large variety of jobs from book-keeping to hotel management should be restored to being a responsibility of employers with academic portions of the training supplied through part time attendance at colleges. Indebtedness and missing the qualification window make the creation of a home far harder.
Every person now carries a phone or smartphone so that employers can intrude into the hours of life that should be spent in freedom at home without any payment to the worker. Many employers even use this to issue hours of work at the last moment so that they can minimise their wage bill with zero hours contracts. Markets have been established online that pay no taxes, have no rates, no parking fees and no responsibility to the locality whilst competing businesses in each home town are crushed beneath taxes and charges. Governments must intervene to remove the advantage of the distant online market because our home town is also our home.
Children are exposed to addictive applications such as Facebook, gambling sites and hard porn. Large sums of money are fraudulently stolen from the unwary online and there is often no recourse to compensation or even the punishment of offenders. These intrusions into the home are hugely damaging and can be easily prevented with the introduction of a National Firewall for the Internet and the regulations that other publishers obey for social media.
Teachers and the media are training children to regard identity politics as the principle morality. ID politics has little philosophical foundation and once civil society has implemented equality legislation amounts to little more than condemning the views and preferences of others. Compare this with the deep seated desire of the human being to love and foster their home. This love is as old as humanity and its expression is essential to the well being of the next generation and society as a whole. Teachers will spend little time on love of home, with all that is entailed to build it, such as tolerance, care, loyalty, tenacity, forgiveness etc. They can see the foundation of social morality in the care of one generation for the next and the socialisation of children in front of their noses and yet prefer to teach the latest moralising fad. The substitution of moral judgement for moral practice by teachers and politicians is an evil thing. We should indeed love our neighbours but not hate those who do not.
What has happened over the past fifty years is that the home has been neglected by politicians. Despite the fact that it is where we are born and, after a brief period in our late teens and twenties, is where most people devote all their effort and love, the home has been ignored as of no consequence. How could this have happened? How could the entire machine of politics fail to represent that which we care for most of all?
The key to understanding this is to realise that those who are most successful in business and politics place their careers before their home. They do not share most people's love of home and neighbourhood. They do not hate these things but do not value them. The socialist politician lives in a nightmare world of postmarxist identity struggles and the conservative politician in a world of balancing the needs of big business against the demands and needs of voters. As ideologues they live for the days that they are applauded for inserting another brick in the wall of their ideology. How did they get like this? How did they imagine that they were performing a public service when they had no care for what the public desires?
Unsupervised outdoor play
Outdoor play rested on the assumption that the whole of society would protect children from dangerous behaviour by adults. This attitude must be re-instated. Returning childhood to children will make the whole of society happier. The loss of play drives society insane:
|Responses from children aged 14-16 yrs in the USA. P. Gray 2011|
Although the figures above are for the USA there is no reason to suppose that the UK is any different. Numerous studies have documented the rise in mental illness in UK children in the past 50 years. Hillary Clinton noticed what had happened:
“We were so independent, we were given so much freedom. But now it’s impossible to imagine giving that to a child today. It’s one of the great losses as a society. But I’m hopeful that we can regain the joy and experience of free play and neighborhood games that were taken for granted growing up in my generation. That would be one of the best gifts we could give our children." (“An Idyllic Childhood,” in The Games We Played: A Celebration of Childhood and Imagination, ed. Steven A. Cohen (2001), 161–65.).
Yet Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, David Cameron etc. did nothing.
Children are happiest when playing and relatively unhappy at school (Csikszentmihalyi and Hunter 2003). Unsupervised play is of huge importance because it provides children with a deep knowledge of other people. By historical standards the relative imprisonment of children has produced a high rate of mental illness such as anxiety and depression in children and, later, in adults. We now have a society that contains large numbers of individuals who do not understand playfulness and whose only reference point from childhood is the control of adults. This leads people to treat social contact as a contest of moral appropriateness.
The most important policy that any political party can have is to promise a return to unsupervised play for children. To make this pledge it will be necessary to control the three main enemies of independent social development: traffic, predators and over-protective parents.
Only children under five years of age should be kept in protective custody, children from five to seven years should be allowed out with friends or older siblings. Older children should be free to roam. Although unsupervised play is the objective the number of community support officers should be increased to monitor predatory adult behaviour and truly dangerous behaviour by children. The CSOs would perform a similar function to that of the police who walked the beat in the days when children played freely.
A new attitude of the whole of society to protecting the freedom of the child to roam outside is needed. If a child is harmed by traffic or deliberately harmed by adults the penalties should be severe.
Any corrective education of children under five years of age for the purpose of social engineering should not occupy more than two hours a day unless there is a medical reason for prolonged teaching.
The imbalance in the gender of school teachers is a matter for national concern. Historically there have been a large number of male teachers at all levels of the education system but now about 70% of teaching staff are female. This is clear evidence of institutional gender bias.
The other huge problem for schools is that the examination system has been changed to test rote knowledge rather than ability. If a test of ability were intended then an examination would have a pass mark that was adjusted to allow, say, 60% of the students to pass. If a test of rote knowledge is intended then the examination will have a preset pass mark. In a test of ability the questions would probe the use of knowledge as well as memory. The A Level exams should be returned to an ability test and the structure of GCSEs should be reviewed. The use of ability tests is much fairer than memory tests because it automatically adjusts for events such as hot summers, COVID, class etc. as well as providing universities with a better indication of the ability of applicants.
The introduction of coursework into the examination system is no more than gender bias. It cannot be adequately policed for fairness and it should be stopped. Teachers like coursework because it allows them to control classwork. Teachers should also always be kept away from the final assessment process in examinations because teacher assessments are famously incorrect (See references at end) and do not seem to be adjusted adequately by external reviews. This is why we have examinations.
|Males perform worse on coursework Ofqual|
Teachers are currently working partly for the children and partly for the school and their own careers because schools are ranked by examination results. A measure of school success should be devised that incorporates other factors than examinations into the ranking of schools; school psychological services might be employed to produce figures for anxiety, depression, ability of students to work in part time jobs, drop out rates from further education, performance relative to social background etc. to add to examination performance when ranking schools.
The next big step is to re-introduce adolescents to society. The success of such a program depends on the removal of drugs from the street (See "The control of drugs" below). Each town should provide youth centres that encourage socialisation through music, sport and the arts. Such centres must be adequately supervised. Local employers should be encouraged to issue invitations to youth centre attendees for lunch or evening snacks with staff who can explain about the world of work. The budget for such facilities must be ranked as a priority and not put at the bottom of public spending lists.
Secondary schools should place students in a commercial setting for two weeks during their final two years. The minimum wage would be paid by government for these placements.
The control of drugs
Alcohol and cannabis should be sold in off-licences but not in groceries or supermarkets. Cannabis should only be available to over 21 year olds because it can undermine concentration and motivation. The provision of alcohol to under 18 year olds outside the home should be a prison offence as should the provision of cannabis and any other listed psychoactive substance to under 18 year olds in any setting. Adult addicts should be treated medically with the free supply of narcotics if necessary. The penalties for supplying drugs to minors must be draconian and involve the seizure of most assets from offenders as well as obligatory prison sentences, this, coupled with the legalisation of cannabis should make it unprofitable to supply minors.
Happiness in Everyday Life: The Uses of Experience Sampling. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi & Jeremy Hunter. Journal of Happiness Studies volume 4, pages185–199(2003)
Eckert. T.L et al (2006). Assessment of mathematics and reading performance: An examination of the correspondence between direct assessment of student performance and teacher report. Psychology in the Schools Volume 43, Issue 3, pages 247–265, March 2006
Bentz. J.L. and Fuchs. L. (1993) Teacher Judgment of Student Mastery of Math Skills Assessment for Effective Intervention January 1, 1993 18: 219-232
Kilday et al. (2011) Accuracy of Teacher Judgments of Preschoolers’ Math Skills. Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment August 1, 2011
Begeny, J.C. 2011, Teacher Judgments of Students’ Reading Abilities Across a Continuum of Rating Methods and Achievement Measures School Psychology Review,2011, Volume 40, No. 1, pp. 23–38
Sari Mullola, Niklas Ravaja, Jari Lipsanen, Saija Alatupa, Mirka Hintsanen, Markus Jokela and Liisa Keltikangas-Järvinen (2012). Gender differences in teachers’ perceptions of students’ temperament, educational competence, and teachability. British Journal of Educational Psychology Volume 82, Issue 2, June 2012, Pages: 185–206,