Friday, 3 October 2008

More bilge from the Mail

I shouldn't be surprised by the Mail's vehement prosecution of its war on truth, because its a nasty little conservative rag just a couple of steps shy of BNP territory. Still, I have to confess to beingimpressed by the effontry with which they try to twist and manipulate information to create some weird little illusion that suits their jaundiced Little Englander world view.

Take this, for example:
Bring back the cane in schools, say one in five teachers
By Sarah Harris
Last updated at 1:50 AM on 03rd October 2008

One in five teachers would like to see the cane brought back in schools to help discipline unruly children, a survey has revealed.

They would back the return of corporal punishment because they have had enough of deteriorating pupil behaviour.

The research comes amid rising concern about poorly behaved children who routinely flout authority both in school and out.

The Times Educational Supplement (TES) survey of 6,162 teachers found that overall, 20.3 per cent backed 'the right to use corporal punishment in extreme cases'. (1)
So, one in five teachers support the return of caning? Which means four in five don't. 80% of those surveyed were absolutely opposed to the idea of beating children. But the Mail tries to emphasise the minority who yearn for the good old days of state sanctioned child abuse.

Bear in mind that teaching is a profession where people don't naturally progress upwards - you can start as a classroom teacher when you are twenty five, and still be a classroom teacher in forty years when you retire. This ensues conservatism is ingrained in the profession, contrary to the popular (i.e. Daily Mail) image of trendy teachers trying to teach five year olds to be gay (2).

It's more than likely that that 20% who support violence against children are - how can I say this - old, reactionary farts. It is noticeable that the Mail interviews one teacher and signally fails to give her age, even though it is almost unheard of in tabloid journalism to omit a woman's age. That's pretty telling.
1 - "Bring back the cane in schools, say one in five teachers," by Sarah Harris, published in the Daily Mail, 3rd of October,
2008. (
2 - "Teach 'the pleasure of gay sex' to children as young as five, say researchers," by Steve Doughty, published in the Daily Mail, 16th of September, 2008. (

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