Jeremy Corbyn’s desire to scrap Trident has caused some concern among those who see the maintenance of a nuclear deterrent as integral to our national security. The views of the leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition matter even if he does not yet have his own party’s backing, let alone the support of the country. Opinions can change.
Those lacking knowledge, school children in particular, are open to persuasion and can be readily influenced, even brainwashed. The tide of political correctness currently washing through our universities is testimony to the ‘success’ of what now qualifies as ‘best practice’ teaching methodology in our schools.
Should we be concerned, therefore, about school children being presented with unbalanced and one-sided arguments in favour of unilateral nuclear disarmament? The CND website certainly seeks to allay such concerns. “We do not campaign in schools,” it boldly states.
As with so much in the education world of smoke and mirrors, however, little is ever quite what it seems. The CND might not, in a literal sense of the word, “campaign” in schools. More dangerously, however, under the guise of classroom neutrality, it actively promotes its anti-Trident, anti-nuclear defence agenda.
At first glance the CND’s education policy statement appears reassuring:
“The CND Peace Education programme supports independent thinking and encourages debate, enabling young people to form their own opinions.”
From this platform, schools are encouraged to use CND material across a range of subjects.
“Peace Education is particularly suitable for English … Religious Education … Citizenship … History … Science … Government and Politics … Maths/ICT … Literacy … Art & Design …”.
In reality, though, under the guise of an innocuous sounding ‘peace education’, the school curriculum is to be used as a vehicle for promoting the full CND agenda
Just in case any teacher fails to get the message as to what this is all about, the CND website invites teachers and others to, “Find out what would happen to your area in a nuclear firestorm.”
Should there be any concerns or doubts CND is available to give teachers and schools a helping hand:
“We also offer teacher training sessions and CPD [Continuing Professional Development] on teaching about controversial issues such as war and peace.”
The extent to which such ‘training’ promotes ‘balance’ may be ascertained from the nationwide “Creative Writing Competition” that the CND ran for schools last year, the 70th anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It asked children from as young as 7 to imagine, “The Day the Bomb Fell”.
Two typical snippets from winning entries show what the CND’s education programme is seeking. It is most certainly not a balanced understanding:
“Now for some reason they call it America, for me it’s a region within so called world, the leader decided that to bring peace to their own people the only solution is to make the other region of the world suffer.”
“On 6th August 1945,
Very few people could survive
As the American bomber,
Enola Gay, to protect their honour
Dropped their five-ton atomic surprise
“Little Boy” through peaceful Japanese skies.”
I recall a TV interview with a US veteran of the war in the Pacific. He was asked what response he could possibly make to those who, like CND, have so bitterly attacked the use of nuclear bombs in 1945. With tears in his eyes he replied: “But they weren’t there. They don’t know what it was like fighting the Japanese.” Nanking, the Burma Railway, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, kamikaze attacks and much more, stand as testimony to the need for his point of view to be heard.
CND involvement and influence in the classroom is not, as it claims, about “enabling young people to form their own opinions.” Rather, it is about radicalising them towards becoming anti-nuclear ‘warriors’. It is about moulding the opinion of the electorate of the future. It is about closing minds, not opening them.