Chris McGovern: Echoes of Hitler in our schools’ transgender diktats

In yesterday’s Conservative Woman, Andrew Tettenborn offered some advice to Eton College as it plans teaching about ‘the problems of sexual equality’. He warned the school not to rely ‘on the incomplete, distorted and at times frankly naive approach to the subject’ adopted by certain experts it intends to use. How right he is and how easily even the most prestigious of organisations can fall into that trap!

Many readers will be puzzled, though, as to why Eton is going along this path at all. The answer, it seems, is that the school has an ‘intelligence’ deficit. That, at least, is the opinion of Simon Henderson, the school’s headteacher and the youngest ever. He took over the reins in 2015 at the age of 39. I wonder if the governing body that appointed him is part of the ‘intelligence’ problem he has discovered.

Mr Henderson has told The Guardian that pupils at Eton need to up their game in the grey matter stakes:

‘I’m very keen that we are very aware that as an all-boys school there’s a responsibility for young men to be gender-intelligent.’

This, apparently, includes a willingness to accommodate transgender pupils at Eton if ‘we thought this was appropriate for their particular circumstances’.

This gender-intelligent stance should open the door to children labelled as ‘female’ wishing to apply for entry to the all-boys’ school. Whether in good faith or in bad, they need only declare themselves to be ‘male’. The right to choose one’s gender is now widely accepted in our educational, religious and political establishments. So, no lack of intelligence on Simon’s part when it comes to staying in tune with the siren song of political correctness.

It would be wrong, however, to conclude that Eton is trailblazing in this area. Indeed, it has been something of a slow starter. Brighton College, for example, has already given the green light to a non-gender-biased uniform. A belief that ‘boys’ should be free to wear skirts is de rigueur at the College.

Nor are girls’ schools excluded from this new Age of Enlightenment. London’s esteemed St Paul’s Girls’ has introduced a ‘gender identity protocol’ which allows pupils to use boys’ names and to wear boys’ clothes. Pupils may identify as female, male or gender neutral. ‘We are moving to the point where your gender is a choice,’ announced Clarissa Farr, its headteacher, in true Enlightenment mode. Meanwhile the Girls’ Schools Association has called on its members to use only gender-neutral words such as ‘pupils’, ‘people’ or ‘students’ in place of ‘girls’.

What we are witnessing, of course, is a social revolution. All revolutions, though, need enforcing. As a child of the original Enlightenment, Maximilien de Robespierre showed how it could be done. In our more sensitive times, ‘terror’ comes in a more disguised form – the order of the boot. This is the fate that might now await teacher Joshua Sutcliffe of Cherwell Comprehensive School in Oxfordshire. He has been suspended for saying ‘Well done, girls’ to a group of female pupils that included one child who identifies as male. Mr Sutcliffe, a devout Christian, made an immediate apology for what he described as a slip of the tongue. He has fallen prey to political correctness.

It is to be hoped that the head of Eton will avoid such heavy-handed policing and enforcement of gender intelligence at his school. He has, after all, described himself as ‘a normal sort of guy’ – his own public school education and Oxbridge background notwithstanding. His gender-intelligence initiative at Eton is, certainly, part of the ‘new norm’ in education. Sadly, it is now producing casualties of battle. Mr Sutcliffe is unlikely to be the last.



The Conservative Party has embraced the current frenzy of political correctness with enthusiasm, but the Tories remain hugely unpopular in the educational world. Through toeing the Blob’s philosophical line the party clings to a vain hope that its position is recoverable. In the short term, at least, it is not. The battle for hearts and minds in schools has been lost to Jeremy Corbyn, to Momentum and to Labour.

At some future moment, perhaps 20 or 30 years down the line, there is likely to be a reaction against much of the social and educational revolution of this age. A detoxification process will be needed. How will our times be explained away? As a child in Germany in the 1930s Alfons Heck, too, suffered from a process of indoctrination and brainwashing, becoming a Hitler Youth officer. His defence of how it happened offers a clue to what our current younger generation might be saying in the 2040s.

‘My defence . . . is that even at sixteen, few of my comrades had any inkling that they were pawns of an evil empire. Bombarded by incessant indoctrination from kindergarten on, and surrounded by adults who were either captivated themselves or lacked the suicidal courage to tell the truth, they never had the luxury of any choice. To expect a child to be that discerning was ridiculous!’ (The Burden of Hitler’s Legacy, 1988)

Chris McGovern

  • David R

    “the Girls’ Schools Association has called on its members to use only gender-neutral words such as ‘pupils’, ‘people’ or ‘students’ in place of ‘girls’.”
    Why not ‘children’ to emphasise the fact that they are not old enough to make adult choices like driving or voting?

    • Paul Robson

      When I was teaching years ago, I had two verbal ticks, one was starting every single lesson with “Right …..” and the other one was calling groups “chaps” even when they were all girls.

      Oddly, none of the girls ever took offence, they thought it was a hoot and took great delight in pointing out the error.

    • Copyright101

      Looks like the Ffestiniog in your pic. That’s got to be worth an upvote!

  • Colkitto03

    ‘The right to choose one’s gender is now widely accepted in our educational, religious and political establishments’.
    Same people that support the EU, and hate grammar schools. Same people that support £11 billion foreign aid budget and hate border controls

    So less than 15% of the population use their privileged positions to enforce their dogma on the rest of society, ably supported by media lackeys.
    What happened to the last elite that was this detached?

    • Paul Robson

      Trump

      • Colkitto03

        Best one word response I have seen on this site!

        • Royinsouthwest

          If you want to go further back how about Cromwell?

  • Labour_is_bunk

    “Mr Sutcliffe, a devout Christian” – I suspect that’s part of the problem in this instance.

    I know nothing about Mr Sutcliffes’ case, apart from what’s been said a couple of times on this site, or his past, but I’d like to think he’s a “traditional” type and rejects the trendy guff spouted by Justin(e) Welby.

    • shred

      Whether Mr Sutcliffe is a Christian, agnostic, aetheist or worhips the Duke of Edinburgh is irrelevant. The fact that the education blob is totalitarian enough to suspend a teacher for mistaking a female student who calls itself male and using the forbidden word ‘girl’, as used by the rest of society, is truly frightening. A look at the new gender dictionary will give readers some idea of the degree to which the gender benders have taken these insane ideas.

      • shred

        https://lgbtqia.ucdavis.edu/educated/glossary.html
        My favourites are ‘aromantic’ which is not someone who uses too much aftershave when trying to pull but an person who is not romantic, such as most English, Scottish and Australian men. The ‘bear’ community seems to mean those big bikers with beards who have sex with themselves, thankfully, and not other people.

        • CRSM

          What about Winnie and Paddington?

      • Labour_is_bunk

        Maybe not relevant in the bigger scheme of things, but being a mainstream traditionalist Christian is rather uncool these days (compared to certain other religions).

        • Haha, yeah…but don’t forget there’s nothing more uncool than trying to be cool! 😉

  • The_Mocking_Turtle

    Considering that the Nazis persecuted homosexuals, making them wear pink triangles, putting them in concentration camps and killing them in large numbers, makes the conflation of Hitler and transgenderism, inside British schools or elsewhere, entirely inappropriate. Pull your socks up for goodness sake.

    • Paul Robson

      It’s not conflating the Nazis and Transgenderism ; it’s conflating the tactics used by the Nazis and the Tranny Mafia (amongst others).

      The nutjobs are trying to establish stuff as an automatic given fact that is nothing of the sort. So they will howl down claims that you are either male or female and that’s it. But they will also howl down discussions of whether chromosome variances XXX/XXY and so on count as “don’t know” (the vast majority don’t)

    • JabbaPapa

      ah, it’s the cretinous turtle again …

      Homosexuality was a very common state of life at up German High Command

  • paul parmenter

    I wish people would use clear, sensible language that actually describes what is in their minds; so we can be in no doubt as to what they really mean. And if they invent a new term, please explain and define it exactly – for the avoidance of doubt at least, if not for the avoidance of our thinking that the person who coins the new term is too muddle-headed, cowardly, or dishonest to tell us what they are really driving at, and does not want to be challenged.

    This term “gender-intelligent” is so much gobbledegook. What does it mean? Is there an opposite, gender-stupid? Or degrees of awareness that form a spectrum between the two? From the article, I have to guess that Chris thinks it means “fully accepting the decision of a biological boy that thinks that he really should be a girl, and insists on acting accordingly”. But then again, in the context of “sexual equality” (another undefined term) it could mean “accepting the sexes are equal in all respects”. Or maybe just accepting homosexuals. Or maybe a number of other things, including the concept that there are more than two sexes. Or does it mean Eton is being prepared to go co-ed, whether by the introduction of girls whose gender identity matches their biology, or just those whose gender identity apes that of normal boys?

    It’s getting very messy.

    • Paul Robson

      People speak gobbledegook for two reasons.

      1) They are talking about a complex subject at a high level and assume the listener(s) has a high level of understanding.

      2) They are talking utter cr*p and want to hide it.

      • Groan

        Oh dear I’d thought I’d resist my urge to point out the underlying theory. There is a third and that it to deliberately mislead and confuse. To this end many in the “trans blah. blah. community” are being “used”. I’m sure many fight and push for this for the stated reason to enable them to feel “normal” and “accepted”. And of course others will comply in order to be nice and not hurt feelings, But the real importance is it forms part of the larger project to “de-construct” kinship and tradition. Confusion is the objective. For all the hoo ha and heat the actual numbers are vanishingly small. Just as following an initial rush the numbers of gay marriages tails off, unsurprisingly as census show at max 1 in 50 adults are “gay” Just as quotas for female MPs or Directors of Boards are a tiny number of actual people. The point is to create mayhem and confusion. Hence “racism” includes Europeans who could not be another race by any definition, beliefs that can be held in fact by any race or even the same race with different beliefs. The objective is : 3) Create confusion through confusing the meaning of words and concepts.

        • Tricia

          You are right. It is put forward as anti bullying in schools and then the storm troopers are allowed in to start the LGBTQ clubs, you have rainbow wrist days when you are like the Jew who stands out but this time because you are not wearing the symbol. It is about controlling the language and getting control of young minds. You become non descript – you are a pupil not a boy or a girl. You must remove mother and father from birth certificates and have parent 1 and parent 2 (non gender specific) and also make legal documents figments of authoritarian imagination and no longer factual.
          Then follows the sexualisation of the young via the PSHE syllabus where all s’x acts are described in graphic detail, with consent being the only proscribed action. Recreational activity and no morals – get them so degenerate and dependent on the state that they become brute beasts only fit to labour for the elite.

    • wisestreligion

      “Gender-intelligent” means anyone who does not follow our Progressive view on gender is stupid.

  • 39 Pontiac Dream

    At the top of your article, you have quoted Andrew Tettenborn who ‘offered some advice to Eton College as it plans teaching about ‘the problems of sexual equality’.

    When I began my teaching qualification in 2007, I expected to teach my subject and nothing else. Teaching nowadays is a completely different minefield. Teachers are expected to be social workers, state mouthpieces, parents, confidantes. They’re expected to (as they were back in 2007) give a transcribed view of the world without debate or argument and tow the line in accordance with social norms.

    I finished my teaching qualification in 2008 and chose not to teach due to the achingly lefty liberal practises exhibited even then and the, frankly, dictatorial methods of teaching and learning. I look at what teachers have succumbed to now and I’m glad with my choice.

    • shred

      The Iranians have their Iranian Revolutionary Guards. The Chinese had their Red Guards. The UK has Blob Guards

    • JabbaPapa

      Sexual equality is a reality of human nature, not some sort of magic political agenda to be achieved by cretinous Leftards

  • gs_schweik

    ‘He has, after all, described himself as ‘a normal sort of guy’ – ‘
    That is uncomfortably similar to Blair’s ‘straight kinda guy’

    • martian-onlooker

      Exactly!
      Is it a coincidence that such “gender intelligence” guff is spouted, not by a mature and seasoned headmaster, but by a head that must have been in sixth form when Blair started his mis-rule of this country? Furthermore, the head must have studied through university and teacher training during Blair’s indoctrination of our youth.
      One might say that Blair’s policies were years ago. However, Brown, Cameron and May seem to have followed the blue-print exactly.
      Someone, somewhere is pushing this agenda. It almost seems as though our government has become certifiably mad.

  • SimonToo

    To quote a former pupil of Eton, “How many fingers am I holding up?”.

  • I just wonder how we used to manage when we had far more all boys schools than we have now.
    I can’t recall any need for special lessons on the subject and any girls that I knew at the time were quite capable of defending themselves verbally and probably physically as well.
    One thing we didn’t have was all today’s snowflakes of either sex.

  • Schools are places of education, not psychiatric hospitals. If a child believes themselves to be a member of the opposite sex, or a tree, or Joan Collins, then they deserve special care in a dedicated institution. They shouldn’t be disrupting the education of normal children.

    • JabbaPapa

      Schools are places of education

      This has been a false statement generally since at least the 1970s, I’m afraid …

    • paul parmenter

      Except that there is no concerted drive by adults to make children believe that is is not only OK to be a tree or Joan Collins, but quite desirable and an inalienable right.

      But since there is most definitely such a drive to make children believe it is OK to be a member of the opposite sex, I would suggest it is those adults who need some kind of treatment rather than the children they have been allowed to get at.

    • Baron

      Get real, Hugh_Oxford, please, this is the 21st century enlightened Britain, schools are no longer places of education, indoctrination more like, luckily for us, the Grand Project of the progressives is far from finished yet, more is to come of the re-engineering of our souls, brace yourself for it.

  • Coniston

    Eton – ‘the school has an ‘intelligence’ deficit’. Cameron?

    • JabbaPapa

      Have you ever actually **met** any of the more moronic Etonians ?

  • UKCitizen

    “The Conservative Party has embraced the current frenzy of political correctness with enthusiasm, but the Tories remain hugely unpopular in the educational world. ”
    When will they learn that they will never be accepted no matter how much they appease and conform. Be honest and stick to conservative principles and you will get a landslide every time.

  • UKCitizen

    There will be some show trials and examples made but by and large the vast majority of students will ignore this for the insanity that it is, keeping their heads down and moving on to the real world. If they want to help then record your professors if they are spouting ideology and shame them online.
    Meanwhile. the public need to start identifying the zealots and enablers and if your mp is one of them, don’t vote for him. If it happens at schools, protest and make a point that this is ideological indoctrination and has no place in schools.

  • More than just “echoes of Hitler”! The ideology of progressivism is at its core fascist. Both use mass propaganda to psychologically manipulate the masses and government sanction & coercion to silence dissenters! The West needs to urgently wake up to this new face of an old evil!

    • JabbaPapa

      hmmm, I think you’ll find that there are more than just subtle differences between fascism as such, and on the other hand the various different forms of national socialism, totalitarian or otherwise.

      The SNP has more in common with Naz!ism than with the ideologies of Benito Mussolini or Francisco Franco.

      Fascism at its core is founded upon the social core of the Family, and the social core of the army unit, as its delusional axis for a political order.

      Progressivism is antithetically opposed to both of these values, that fascists are obsessed with on their part to an extremist degree.

      • Can’t go with you there unfortunately Papa. I do not believe that fascism is defined by the advocacy of strong family units more than it is defined by the extreme centralisation of the political, economic, moral and social affairs of a nation, all enforced by mass propaganda and government coercion…just like progressivism!

        I take your point that the fascism of Nazism and Mussolini was different than the progressives of today in certain aspects (such as in their fierce nationalism) but I believe the core defining characteristics are based around extreme centralisation rather than family and army. Just like there is national and international socialism I believe the “new fascism” is international rather than national and is going by the name of “progressivism”.

        • JabbaPapa

          I think you’re actually agreeing with a position of mine, poorly expressed.

  • Baron

    This calls for another party to adjudicate, we should ask the Muslim diaspora to enlightened us, tell us what’s what, there must a Mullah somewhere who knows the Quran by heart, the Prophet, peace be upon him, must have pondered the issue, he may furnish the definitive answer, no?

    • JabbaPapa

      The “prophet” ? The Judgement of God be upon him, and I await my own with trust and love, but some trepidation too …

  • mudlark1

    What silly Simon Henderson seems to have failed to realise (despite his marvellous education) is that the logical consequence of his so called reforms will be to destroy one of Eton’s obvious attractions – its’ single sex status. In the long term of course it will also put paid to the very notion of single sex education altogether. One has to question the future financial viability of some private schools which depend on the fees of overseas pupils from parents who demand a single sex education for their children. Far more frightening though is that these lunatics are trying to destroy the very notion of male and female altogether.