IN CASE you missed any of our ten most read blogs of last week, here they are for you again – and well worth the read.
My pick of the week is Will Jones’s article on England and Wales’s death rate, which, according to ONS figures, has been below average for the sixth week in a row. He draws attention to Covid-19 deaths, which again dropped by almost twenty-five per cent from the previous week. This raises the question as to why the lockdown (‘partial’ though it may now be) continues.
Responding to the claim that an impending Covid resurgence will lead to many more deaths, Will writes: ‘Is it not much more likely that the epidemic is over, and we should be swiftly getting back to normal? Not cowering behind our muzzles but abandoning social distancing and getting on with building up any outstanding deficit in population immunity during the summer months when influenza is in abeyance?’
You can, and should, read Will’s article here.
Kathy’s pick is Chris McGovern’s blog, ‘We don’t need to worry about “racist” teachers!’ written in response to the BBC’s reporting of high rates of black school children exclusions, an opportunity they took to remind schools that they have ‘a statutory duty not to discriminate against pupils over race’.
It’s not just that when ‘it comes to the enforcement of political correctness, the UK sits alongside the United States as world-beating’, what stuck in Chris’s craw was that the assumption of prejudice as the explanation for any differences sidesteps the real problems – of teaching quality, low academic standards, poor pupil behaviour and inadequate parental support.
On the basis of research and checking that the well-funded BBC, once again, chose not to bother with – so sure is it of its own rectitude and so keen to tell us we are all prejudiced – Chris exposes the speciousness of their reasoning: ‘The official data on which pupil exclusion rates are based, has a different category for the group topping the exclusion table. Children on free school meals, including blacks and Roma, are four times more likely to be excluded than their classmates. So it is back to a predominance of less well-off, white working-class pupils who are mostly excluded from school.’
You can read his excellent article here.
Margaret’s choice outside the top ten is Janet Greenwood’s ‘A cathedral choir is for the glory of God, not church officials’ on the controversial decision of the Sheffield Cathedral authorities to disband their choir after 400 years with a view to restarting next year in a ‘more diverse’ format.
She writes: ‘You can have excellence, or you can have quotas. The minute you start with quotas (which is what ‘diversity’ means in this context), you can forget excellence. And what’s the point of having a cathedral choir if it is not excellence?’ She adds: ‘As the shortest verse in the Bible, John, Chapter 11, verse 35, reads: Jesus wept.’