EU PROPAGANDA IN SCHOOLS
"It would be better for him that a millstone were hung about his neck and he were cast into the sea rather than that he should corrupt one of these little ones."
(see Christ's words in St. Luke's Gospel, 17:2).
Sections 406 and 407 of the 1996 Education Act forbid political indoctrination and bias in schools. Yet back in 1988, EU Education Ministers' Resolution 88/C-177/02 called on member states to
"strengthen in young people a sense of European identity;
prepare young people to take part in the economic and social aspects of the Community;
make them aware of the advantages [sic] of the EU;
improve knowledge of the Community."
This can hardly be seen as consistent by a Conservative government that took pains to be seen to be against politicisation in schools (cf. Clause 28 of the Education Act).
TAXPAYERS' MONEY TO BURN
However, Freedom Today (June 1998) revealed that Baroness Blackstone, Minister for European education matters, had celebrated Britain's EU Presidency by sending all schools "Partners in Europe", a propaganda package, at a cost to the taxpayer estimated between £224,000 to £309,000 (answer to a Parliamentary Question from Lord Pearson of Rannoch).
The article gives details of the contents of the package. It includes a 'Resources and Contacts' booklet which highlights the federalist European Movement as a suitable body to provide a speaker.
Its main section, 'Managing the European Dimension', includes the ominous-sounding words "A European dimension in education is not an explicit part of the inspection framework [but the] inspector will make judgements on schools' promoting [pupils'] development preparing them for adult life. [How] European policy and plans contribute [are to be] reported on in inspection." *
Further details of the package were given by media researcher Christina Speight, in her "Facts, Figures and Phantasies" (July 1998) - for instance, the package gives us case histories of schools' 'European dimensions' in education and claims that "the EU has given us peace in Europe and "targets funds to create jobs."
On the first - which EU members would have been fighting each other without the EU? Get real! And NATO has had more to do with maintaining peace, not least as the original EEC subsidised the Soviet war machine and its successor, the EU's diplomatic bungling sparked off war in the former Yugoslavia?.
On the second - Britain gives the EU some £2 billion a year more than we get back, and even gets charged interest when the EU loans us back 'our' money from the Social Fund!).
We are also informed that "By working with our European partners we can act more effectively in international crises"
They weren't much help in the Falklands when they supported our enemies.
And did Saddam Hussein take the EU seriously in 1991? Not likely!.
The package can be obtained for free by ringing the DfEE Publication line (0845 6022260) or faxing 0845 6033360. Pending its arrival, the following may be of interest to readers:
TECHNIQUES OF THE MIND-BENDERS
A £100,000 battle bus is touring the country pumping out free flags, maps, charts and booklets, mainly for schoolchildren (Sun, 10.6.98). It visited Colliers Wood in South West London on 7 June 1998 with Labour MEP Anita Pollack - and was met by local people who gave out counter-propaganda leaflets!
The same Sun story informed us that a leaked EU dossier instructs teachers to peddle the Euro story... "Young people will act as go-betweens with the older generations.They will help familiarise themselves with and embrace the euro." and tells us about the new Internet super hero, a Gordon Brown lookalike called Captain Euro.
This superhuman, with his glamorous blonde assistant Europa and dog Lupo, thwarts the evil plots against Europe of the utterly ruthless villain Dr. D.Vider. It's all a good 'soap' to provide a smokescreen for the reality, but has it ever dawned on our masters that young people might actually see through this propaganda? Polls such as conducted by the London Evening Standard (1997) and the Runnymede Trust show that young people are the most cynical over the EU.
In June 1996, Freedom Today told of the infants' colouring book , Let's Draw Europe Together, aimed at indoctrinating young children in the virtues of the EU. Devised as part of a set of teaching units for primary schools, it is intended as "a call to schoolchildren as well as to all of us to commit ourselves to achieving European unity." (author Claudio Guida).
It also informs us that "Europe needed to rebuild [after the war] on the basis of peace, security,understanding...The original idea of a common market has now been developed and extended into plans for 'a Citizen's Europe'.
This vague-sounding phrases which masks the subordination of independent governments to the EU] It goes on to use classic children's characters like Tintin and Pinocchio before telling its readers what the European Community does.
SHEER DISTORTION OF REALITY
"A Guide for Students and Teachers" issued by the European Commission, reads: "As a European Citizen you should enjoy higher living standards, improved opportunities for career development, better health and safety conditions....
European regulations [are] sometimes necessary ...rules made not by bureaucrats but by national ministers."*
Apart from the obvious bias towards painting a glowing picture of the EU, it totally skirts over the damage to business through costly regulations. It also paints a distorted pcture of its own role, as the Commission has enjoyed a virtual monopoly on proposing legislation. The sheer volume of it is more than the Parliamentary Select Committee can vet, and in any case Britain's parliament has no power to veto proposals.
In 1997, the Classroom Guide to the European Union, aimed at 11-14-year-olds, informed them that "The EU is like a club. Our Ministers decide; the EU does not tell each country what they should produce and how." *
Apparently, the Common Agricultural Policy [CAP] is there to "ensure the supply of foodstuffs to European consumers at reasonable prices" and a cartoon is used to inform us of the virtues of milk quotas.
It doesn't say that under them, British farmers are only allowed to produce 85% of our milk requirements and thus are forced to import (Mail, 26.11.94) or that the CAP has severely inflated food prices in Britain.
The article also told of the European Commission pamphlet "Your Passport to Europe" , which informs us that "We have decided to work towards having only one type of money. This would mean that when you go on holiday in another country, you would not need to go to the bank to change your money"
Again it presents a one-sided picture and hides the disruption and cost. It deliberately omits that a single currency would deprive us of the right to take independent action when necessary - but that would be telling the truth!). Publicity-seeking EU Commissioner Emma Bonino has separately called for schools to only teach about the Euro rather than national currencies (Sun, 16.5.97)
One can sometimes understand schools allowing this kind of thing to reach their pupils - aside from a natural desire not to offend the government, these freebies must seem useful to schools that are often strapped for resources. (In comparison, over £30 million has been allocated to the EU propaganda budget!)
Furthermore, how many teachers know the real facts about the EU as distinct from these documents' version?
DON'T GET CONNED - GET EVEN
Teachers and students should think twice about the material they are given. Parents and governors should likewise be vigilant. A lot of useful information is available to redress the balance e.g.
- factsheets from this Website,
- our selected publications,
- many groups might be willing to provide a speaker.
Readers are encouraged to contact us if they need assistance; click for our contact page.
For instance - how about pointing out
- how much we pay to the EU and
- what that money we'd save could do for our schools?
[key: * = abridged without loss of meaning]
- About the author: Mark Taha is a freelance researcher into British and European history and politics. A National Committee member of CIB, he is writing in a personal capacity.
This page updated: 2 January 1999, links updated: 28 December 2002