Posts Tagged ‘Nigel Barley’

Home Schooling Crackdown: Who Is the Government Really Worried About – Alienated Whites or Muslims?

February 28, 2023

As some of the great commenters on this blog have pointed out, Simon Webb of History Debunked is a great advocate of home schooling. He makes no secret of this, and talks often about how he home schooled his daughter. He also used to run a blog called ‘Home School Heretic’. A few days ago he posted a piece about how the government was introducing legislation to make home schooling more difficult. He believes, or suggested, that this is a government attempt to enforce ideological conformity on the population by preventing parents from opting out of the official education system. He quoted part of the new legislation, which stated that it was concerned about the home schooling leading to the growth of parallel societies.

Now I do know people, who have home schooled their children because of concerns about the local schools in their area. Their children did really well, got their ‘O’ and ‘A’ Levels and went on to university. As far as I can make out, they share the same values as the rest of mainstream British society. Back a decade and a half or so ago, there was a panic over the growth of Creationism and Intelligent Design. Various atheist and sceptics’ groups were panicking about what they saw as ‘science denialism’. A number of fundamentalist Christian groups also pushed home schooling as a way adults could avoid having their children indoctrinated with evolution and so put on the path to state mandated secularism and atheism. That furore eventually blew over. But a friend, who taught religion, told me that most Creationists were Muslims, as were, I think, most home schoolers. But all you ever heard about on the BBC and the mainstream news was about Christian Creationists. The wording of the document Webb was complaining about suggests to me that the government is really concerned about alienated Muslims taking their children out of school to give them a very conservative upbringing, but dare not say it outright. I’ve had the general impression that Christianity, because it has largely been the religion of the White majority of this country, is now a whipping boy for fears about the growth of radical religious movement in ethnic minorities. Christianity can be criticised without accusations of racism or Islamophobia, and Christians won’t, as a rule, start sending death threats.

For example, the right-wing media and vloggers have been discussing this week the criticism directed at somebody Forbes, the woman now tipped to replace Nicola Sturgeon. Forbes is a church-going Presbyterian with very traditional, social conservative views. She doesn’t approve of sex before marriage, gay marriage or the transgender ideology. And so various newspapers, including the Scum, have been denouncing her as unsuitable for the post of Scots First Minister. The same thing happened to the Lib Dems’ Tim Farron. He went to an evangelical church, which also viewed homosexuality as a sin. He was constantly asked, as no-other politico was, whether he shared their views with the implication that if he did, he shouldn’t be in politics. And the attack on religious individuals now includes gay groups, who disagree with them but maintain their right to hold such opinions. The EDIJester posted a piece this morning, which included the story that the LGB Alliance, a gay advocacy group, had been contacted by the Beeb for their comment. Their chief spokeswomen replied that they disagreed with her beliefs, but religion is a protected characteristic and she has a right to hold them. This was not what the Beeb’s producer wanted to hear. The Alliance was contacted again, and told that they would not be using them in the programme. If this is true, then the Beeb wanted to present it as debate in which Forbes would be denounced for her views by all gay groups.

The BBC has also produced very biased programmes misrepresenting religious issues before. A few years ago I picked up a book about political bias at the Beeb written by a Conservative. It was published during Blair’s government, and presented a convincing case. And one of these was a documentary about the Roman Catholic church’s abstinence-only policy towards contraception in Africa. The programme argued that this was causing Black Africans to suffer unwanted pregnancies and catch AIDS purely because of religious dogma. In fact, the abstinence-only policy, surprisingly, has been successful in cutting down on both. There is a very strong cultural hostility in African society to contraception. Nigel Barley, in his book The Innocent Anthropologist, remarks that there’s a joke that the only thing that will go through the Nigerian postal system and not be interfered with is a packed of condoms. In this environment, where contraception will be refused in any case, it makes sense to stress abstinence. But this conflicted with the received opinions of western liberals, who produced a deliberately deceptive programme.

In the case of Forbes and Farron, all that should be needed to be said is that although they personally may disapprove, they will not interfere in previous legislation. I think Forbes may have said that, but it obviously isn’t enough. But I do wonder if the same questions would be asked if she belonged to a non-Christian religion. I suspect she wouldn’t.

In the meantime, I think Webb can stop fretting. I don’t think the government is really worried about ultra-Conservative right-wingers like him. I think the real, unspoken fear is about Islam.

History Debunked Suggests We Need Nazi ‘Heroic Mother’ Policies to Halt Demographic Decline

January 25, 2023

This is a response to a video Simon Webb put up some days ago. I meant to review it earlier, but there’s only so much fascism you can take, especially in today’s miserable economic situation and the Tories telling one lie after another. Webb’s video was prompted by a speech from the Japanese premier declaring that there was an existential crisis facing the Japanese the people. If they didn’t have more babies, they would die out. Webb notes that in the Beeb report about this, they stated that it could be solved by the Japanese importing people like other countries, but that the Japanese were firmly against this.

The Japanese have been worried about this for a very long time. Back in the 1990s the-then Japanese prime minister announced that if the country didn’t halt its declining birth rate, then they would be extinct in a thousand years’ time. That really is looking at the long term picture. To solve this problem, successive Japanese governments have suggested and embarked on various policies. One was that husbands should spend more time with their families in order to develop a closer relationship with their wives, with the unspoken implication that this would lead to more babies on the way. This provoked sharp criticism from one housewife, who complained that marital relations wouldn’t improve simply because the husband was at home more. The Japanese government has also set up a state dating agency to bring men and women together.

I suspect Japan’s demographic problems are partly due to particularly Japanese problems. There is, or was, a high rate of divorce among Japanese pensioners. This is caused by the Japanese work ethic, in which men work all the hours that God sends in order to support their families and make their country prosperous. The result is that they barely see their wives and families. When they retire, they find out that they have nothing in common and divorce. It’s a theme that was reflected in Japanese business novels. These featured loyal, hardworking sararimen, whose lives fall apart. They’re laid off by the companies they’ve loyally served and their families break up until they end up left behind running a small shop somewhere, lamenting that they’ve missed out on seeing their children grow up.

There’s also a trend among young Japanese not to date and have children. There was a Radio 4 programme, which I sadly missed, discussing this issue. It reported that this aversion was so severe that many young people even find the act of love itself repulsive. I wondered if this was a reaction to Japanese sex education and whatever Japanese youth is taught about sex outside marriage. If the attitudes against it are too harsh and the insistence on purity so strong, then it’s possible that this could lead to some impressionable people developing such a strong revulsion to sex. I remember from my schooldays that the sex education we were exposed to, with its clinical description of physical development and reproduction, as well as fears about the rising divorce rate, could almost have been calculated to put kids off sex. I also wonder if it’s due to the unavailability of contraception in Japan. This isn’t due to moral scruples, as in Roman Catholic Ireland. It was demanded by the Japanese medical complex, in order to protect the doctors that made money from performing abortions. Buddhism and Shinto have a series of three gods or kami, who preside over the souls of dead children. According to the anthropologist Dr Nigel Barley in his study of cultural attitudes to death and the dead across the world, Dancing with the Dead, the shrine to these gods are particularly supported by women, who’ve had abortions. I’m not criticising women’s right to abortions here, just noting that in previous decades over here the lack of contraception and the strong societal disapproval to births out of wedlock was a very strong disincentive to people, and especially women, having premarital sex.

In fact birth rates are declining across the world, mostly significantly in the developed west, but also elsewhere. One demographer interviewed a few decades ago in New Scientist predicted that in the middle years of this century the world would suffer a demographic crash. This is in stark contradiction with the 70s fears about the population explosion and ‘population bomb’. In many European countries the birth rate is below the level of population replacement.

Webb suggested that we might try to copy the Nazis, who gave medals to women who had large families. There were different medals award according to how many children they had. In fact, all the totalitarian states had similar policies. The Russians had their Heroic Mother awards, duly covered by Pravda, and Musso had a similar policy in his ‘Battle for Births’ campaign. If reproduction is a battle, it means people are doing it wrong. And if it’s a real physical battle, then it’s rape. But I think Musso meant it metaphorically, as everything was a battle in Fascist Italy. The campaign to increase cereal yield in agriculture was labelled ‘the Battle for Grain’. But Musso included in his policies to increase the birth rate various welfare benefits to make it easier and support women, who chose to have large families.

Webb has been followed in this by Laurence Fox, who gave a sermon on GB News yesterday, about his instinct that society was coming to an end because of the low birth rate in the west. This was breaking the social link Edmund Burke had said existed between the past, present and future generations. Of course, as a man of the right he has no sympathy for people demanding expanded welfare rights, accusing them of being ‘entitled’. They’re not. They’re people on the breadline demanding not expanded welfare provision, but proper welfare provision restored to adequate levels.

Plastic priest Calvin Robinson similarly discussed demographic decline in another piece for GB News. He was much more open about the provision of proper welfare support for families, arguing that Britain should follow the lead of Poland and Hungary. And then comes the element of racism. Because if we did this, like those countries we would not have to import people from outside.

And this is part of the problem.

Underneath these fears of demographic decline is the particular fear of White demographic decline. Other ethnic groups have larger families. Hence the stupid, malign conspiracy theories about ‘Eurabia’, that Muslims would outbreed Whites in the west and so eventually take over society. The French National Front let the cat out of the bag in the 90s. This was the mayor of one of the southern French cities, who had set up a system of welfare payments to encourage his citizens to have more babies. Except that this was a racist policy that applied only to Whites. Blacks, Asians and Muslims not allowed.

It’s why such a system would also have severe problems being introduced over here. And rightly so, as while I dare say that some members of ethnic groups don’t want to integrate or adopt British culture, others identify very strongly with it and see themselves as English, Welsh, Scots whatever. Such people shouldn’t be excluded from receiving these welfare payments simply because of the colour of their skin, whatever else one thinks of race relations and immigration.

Of course, the right blames the demographic crisis squarely on feminism and the way modern women are encouraged to pursue careers rather than raise families. Hence the Lotus Eaters put up a piece commenting on a report that half of all women are childless at thirty. To be fair, some left-wing feminists have also complained that feminism, for all its good intentions, has also denigrated the vital role of motherhood in society. But traditional attitudes towards gender roles may be part of the problem. In the New Scientist article I talked about earlier, it was noted that the countries with lowest birth rates had the most traditional attitudes towards childrearing, in which it was seen as primarily the responsibility of the mothers. This extended across cultures, from Italy in Europe to Japan. The countries which had the highest birth rates in the west were the Nordic countries, where men were being encouraged to help their wives with domestic chores and raising the sprogs.

That, and welfare policies designed to help working parents, seem far better solutions to the crisis than simply doling out medals based on the attitudes of totalitarian regimes.

Missionaries Samuel Crowther and Frederick Schon on the Equal Intelligence of African Schoolchildren

August 14, 2021

I’ve reblogged on here several videos from Simon Webb’s History Debunked channel, in which Webb, an author, has disputed some of the false history being promoted by Black and anti-racist activists. He’s definitely a Telegraph-reading Tory, but much of his material, when he backs it up with relevant sources, appears sound. One issue which I’m not happy about, however, is his embrace of the ‘Bell Curve’ theory of a racial intellectual hierarchy. This was proposed by an American academic a few years ago, and caused a storm of controversy and outrage. It proposes that the various races differ in their intellectual capabilities. The Chinese and east Asians are the most intelligent, Blacks the least. Whites are somewhere in the middle. Now I remember being told when I was a child that the Japanese had the highest IQs of any people in the world. While 100 was the European average, theirs was 120. And it was considered to be an established biological fact among many mainstream biologists that Blacks were intellectually inferior. This was used as the rationale for limiting Black immigration to the US and was a major part of the eugenics movement. It has also kept Blacks from achieving their full educational potential. Akala in his book Natives, states that some of the teachers who taught him – not all, but some – believed it and so thought that he too must be more stupid than his White classmates.

But while many anthropologists and biologists did believe Blacks were intellectually inferior, others made it very plain they thought the reverse was true. The missionaries Samuel Crowther and Frederick Schon were two of them. Crowther was a ‘man of colour’, a man of mixed African and White European heritage, who went to bring Christianity to Africa, for which he became the first Anglican bishop of Africa outside the British empire. He held this post until racists in the Anglican church had it taken away from him. His fellow missionary, Frederick Schon, was a Swiss Protestant pastor. During the 19th century they were called up to testify about slavery and the Christian mission to Africa before the parliamentary commission of inquiry tasked with overseeing Britain’s attempt to exterminate slavery and the slave trade. The gentlemen of the committee asked them if the African pupils in the schools they set up were intellectually inferior to White, British children. They responded that they weren’t. Indeed, they felt they were actually rather more intelligent than White Brits. That is until they hit 14 or 15, when they became dull and uninterested. To prove that Black Africans were intellectually equal, they submitted various essays on Divinity, as RE was called back then, discussing God and Christianity, which had been written by these pupils. The good reverend gentlemen’s experience of teaching in Africa does rebut the claims by the supporters of the Bell Curve that Blacks are somehow less intelligent than Whites.

I admit, however, that their statement that the children lose interest and appear to become less intelligent when the hit their mid-teens is a problem. But this could well be due to cultural factors. Nigel Barley’s book anthropological novel, The Coast, certainly suggests this is the case. Set in the 19th century, this about a British Christian missionary to west Africa, who utterly fails to convert the locals. In one episode, the missionary sets up a school for the local children, who are utterly uninterested in what he tries to teach them, until he starts talking about money. The African state in which the missionary is attempting to spread the Gospel, Akwa, is a very mercantile culture and its people are keenly interested in trade, including the local schoolchildren. Barley states in his introduction that Akwa is based on a number of historical states in that region of Africa. He’s a professional anthropologist, who has written a number of books, including his hilarious account of trying to do research among the Dowayo people of Cameroon, The Innocent Anthropologist. I’ve no doubt that, although fiction, The Coast is based on historical and anthropological fact. And it may have been similar cultural forces that resulted in Crowther’s and Schon’s school pupils similarly losing interest in the European schooling they were receiving when they entered puberty.

There is a problem with Black educational underachievement in the UK, for which a number of explanations have been suggested, including institutional racism in British society and the school system. Other factors may also include the breakdown of the Black family in particular, and the growth of urban gang culture.

Crowther’s and Schon’s experience of actually teaching in Africa, as well as Barley’s book, suggests that Black academic underperformance is almost certainly due to cultural and social factors, rather than biology.