A group of children were asked to take a pledge to be "nice to" gipsies on a school visit to their local council offices.‘Local Democracy Week’..? You’ve got to be kidding me…
The pupils, aged six to 11, were told to stand up and promise to "welcome newcomers" and not bully them.
The incident happened at one of a series of workshops for children, hosted by South Norfolk Council as part of Local Democracy Week earlier this month.
Children at the talk, run by the Norwich and Norfolk Race Equality Council, included 15 pupils from Spooner Row Primary School near Wymondham, Norfolk.I can’t believe that they arranged for ‘workshops’ to be run on their premises, and for their selected event, without having a say in exactly what goes into them. So their protestations ring a little hollow, there.
Villagers in Spooner Row are fighting against council plans to build a new travellers site with eight pitches.
Council officers have insisted they knew nothing about the pledge and denied trying to "brainwash children" into accepting the controversial plan.
But one parent, who asked not to be named, said: "It appeared as it the council was targeting children with propaganda to try and get them on side.It would be disgusting to any normal person, unnamed parent, but you see, these people are what Leg-Iron so accurately terms ’The Righteous’. They therefore know better than you, and are entitled to do as they please with your children. For the good of all.
"My first thought was that it was disgusting to target children in such an underhand way when so many people oppose the new site."
Spooner Row Primary School head teacher Simon Wakeman said he believed it was "inappropriate" for children to be asked to make the promise.Well, quite! Silence is acquiescence to people like this…
Mr Wakeman said: "The two people taking the workshop asked the children if they wanted to stand up and make a pledge.
"None of the children stood up because I suspect they felt awkward, but the pledge was read out anyway.
"I am very unhappy about any child of primary school age being asked to take any form of pledge to any group in society.I bet it doesn’t go very far…
"But it was also of concern because of the heightened level of anxiety felt by many of the pupils' parents about the proposed travellers' site."
Mr Wakeman has now made an official complaint to the council.
Stephen Thomas, the council's active citizenship coordinator, has now sent a letter to Mr Wakeman apologising for any distress caused to pupils, teachers and parents "at this sensitive time for your community".Note, not apologising for doing this in the first place, merely apologising for the ‘distress’ caused.
A neat rhetorical trick to turn this around on to those who are ‘sensitive’ to matters like this, while the council staff reassure themselves that they are right, and it’s just that people are overreacting.
John Fuller, the leader of Tory-run South Norfolk Council, has also sent a personal apology to the school.Once again, note the wording – people ‘might feel’ as if the council has behaved in this manner, not that they so demonstrably have behaved in this manner. Their sense of entitlement to behave in this manner will continue to be unaffected by the publicity this has generated.
He said: "I can see that people might feel as if the council has behaved in an underhand manner, but I can assure them that nothing like that was planned or intended.
"It is very regrettable and sad that a well-meant attempt to breach the divide in society has backfired in this way."
And their intentions were good! Surely, no-one could then object to the outcome, could they…? Really, who is the injured party here? You could almost believe it to be the council staff, having to read such horrible things about themselves.
But take note, anyone who still believes that Cameron’s mob are going to be any different once they get into power. This is how they will behave. Business as usual…
South Norfolk council has a "active citizenship coordinator". South Norfolk's middle council tax band is approx £1,800. The two are, of course, not even slightly connected.
If anyone really wants to start cutting away at the huge forest of non-jobs in central and local government, singling out these sort of pointless positions would be a very good start...
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