Guest Notes

Cultural notes

1 February 2020

9:00 AM

1 February 2020

9:00 AM

Childhood’s end

Shouldn’t we target the sheer hypocrisy, the pretence that constantly frightening youngsters with prophecies of doom – now the case for several decades – is not contributing to the growing incidence of suicide among our young?

I’ve been recently struck by an email from a long-time friend. Lindsay Perigo was formerly Television New Zealand’s best presenter and interviewer when chairing political debates. With the dumbing down of television and his comment that TVNZ had become brain-dead, he lost any chance of being re-employed in this field. Continuing to be involved in media activities, he wrote, ‘What a dreadful scam this climate change thing is!’ But most interestingly, as he has long been an atheist, ‘I almost believe in God now because it’s so clear there is a Devil.’

Recognition of the reality of evil in the affairs of men and its consequences when individuals themselves become what we would, or should, call overwhelmingly evil, is one of the routes by which others have come to conclude its opposite must also exist –sheer goodness – or what we call God.

Our education system, long taken over by those in education and literary circles formerly openly admitting they were Marxist when I used to review their books for the Christchurch Press, is virtually waging war upon our children. Their activities have become more subtle, with a Machiavellian manipulation of Lenin’s ‘useful idiots’, well-meaning, gullible educationists – basically pretty much the majority, as I found even in the staffrooms in which I initially taught. The situation gradually worsened, given the exodus of fine teachers, bullied, targeted and reluctantly leaving the classrooms. Moreover New Zealand, far from simply following the trends of programmed extremists from overseas, has been at the forefront of implementing damaging and dumbing-down initiatives – some of which were later rejected elsewhere, but not here. Many incidents of this are in my book The 100 Days – Claiming back New Zealand.

By now the bureaucracy is too well entrenched and successive ministers of education, simply political party appointees, have shown themselves both  grossly ignorant of what has been happening and too easily captured by their own bureaucracy. One hopeful question is whether its highly politicised overlords have gone too far this time – with a shocking addition to the curriculum. Can we at last hope for an overdue kickback from parents – the deliberate withdrawal of children from these outrageous new topics? Because our schools are now being given a completely unbalanced curriculum in support of the smug certainties of Greta Thunberg and the vested interests supporting her, intent on preventing debate on the global warming cult.

The ministry has long specialised in targeting the young. A son’s Social Studies exercise over a quarter of a century ago shows every topic, without exception, revolving around disaster scenarios – nuclear war, global freezing, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, etc. Not one didn’t project worrying scenarios onto our children. And I recall, before I myself left school in the 1960s, warnings over possible atomic warfare. I also remember hoping that at least I would get a chance to wear a blue satin dress to a ball – just one ball – before it all happened.

Our state school teachers have long inappropriately unloaded even on primary school children the kind of worries adults need to address. And so we have letters to the editor ostensibly written by 9, 10, or 11-year-olds from various schools concerned about so many issues of the day we should not be imposing on children. Childhood should belong to them.

Arguably there is not only an ignorance, but worse, behind this. When a third form class at Nelson College were told in the ‘80s they were to be taken by their teacher to a film about the supposedly coming ice age, I refused to let a son go – unfortunately the only parent to do so. However, reportedly many were traumatised, with one 13-year-old girl taking to bed for three weeks and refusing to get up. Other readers may recall so many young of the ‘80s onwards deciding not to undertake university studies or trade courses, asking what the use was as the world was going to end. On a brighter note, when we transferred our sons to a better local school, a visiting Canadian Social Studies teacher expressed incredulity at any teacher being irresponsible enough to take classes to such a film. Teachers like him are now very much in the minority.

The ministry jesuitically claims their new, outrageously unbalanced material inflicted on schools to teach about our supposed climate crisis will lessen the suicide rate. It intends to provide tools for students to plan their own activities and to process their feelings of ‘eco-insight’. Their mission is to create an army of Greta Thunbergs, as the Green party leader, New Zealand’s Climate Change Minister claims, ‘They are seeing stuff on social media on a daily basis and none of it’s good news and the sense of powerlessness that comes from that is extremely distressing’. There is no question of any genuine debate being provided. Instead, an army of teen propagandists is to be given instructions on how to combat evidence from knowledgeable and well-informed climate scientists. The canard of 97 per cent of climate change scientists supporting the man-made CO2 scenario is repeated – although this figure is fabricated, with no evidence at all of the world’s totality of such scientists ever having been surveyed – a probable impossibility in itself.

For more information about this new initiative to further politically propagandise our young, rather than teach them to evaluate and critique the bombardment to which they are constantly subjected, the links to the Teacher Resource Section of the Climate Change Learning Programme can be accessed on the New Zealand curriculum website. There, ready-made answers to those far more informed about the reality of what is and isn’t happening in relation to climate change are glibly presented. Never has the difference between teaching our youngsters what to think – rather than how to think – has been made more obvious.

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