Thursday, 21 April 2016

Mousehole School Preservation Society

Hallo friends. Personally I am against privatization of public assets.  I was extremely unhappy to receive the news that the ‘powers that be’ intend to go ahead with the Conservative Party’s plan to commodify education and turn Mousehole School into a so-called ‘academy’ within a mere six months.  This has been presented as a fait accompli, or, if you prefer American, a done deal.  This is not the case.
Since time is so short I feel it is vital for anybody who does not wish our school to be ‘academised’ to start organizing against the plan immediately.  On 20th April I posted this notice outside the school gates:


I also wrote an open letter to Mr Chris Roynon, the Head Teacher at Mousehole, which I copied to various other people:

Society is not an object for sale.  The institutions of society are not a business-opportunity.  Or are they…..?  You decide - it’s your World, after all - but it’s a bit like the lottery - you can’t win if you don’t join in.  

© Jeremy Schanche, Stop School Sell-Outs Campaign (SSSOC) 2016.

Update:  12:01   Thursday 21st April:  As I mentioned at the start of this blog-post, yesterday I put up some notices on the wall outside Mousehole School, hoping for a response.  Nearly twenty four hours later no-one has responded to the signs, no official has acknowledged my message, except one.  My first response from anyone in the World to the Mousehole School Preservation Society’s inaugural press-release arrived exactly forty six minutes after being sent and came from Lucy Powell MP, the Labour Party’s Shadow Secretary of State for Education!  Nice to start at the top.  :-)  

To:  Jeremy Schanche   21.4.2016  12:01
Dear Jeremy,
Thank you for writing to me about the Conservative Government’s announcement that they intend to force all primary and secondary schools in England to become academies. I appreciate the time you have taken to share your concerns regarding the academisation of your local school, Mousehole Primary School.

As Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Education, I have always maintained that the Government’s obsession with academisation at all costs is wrong-headed and is pursued at the expense of school improvement.

Labour will fiercely oppose the Government’s programme to force all schools to become academies. This move is a top-down, costly reorganisation of our schools, which nobody wants and schools don’t need. The anger from parents and teachers against these plans is growing.

There is little evidence that academisation in and of itself leads to school improvement. There are some excellent academies and some excellent community schools, there are some poor academies and some poor community schools. No school has a monopoly on excellence and no school has a monopoly on not doing so well either. We need to build an education system that helps provide an excellent education for all children rather than pitting one type of school against another as the Conservatives are doing.

The Tories’ obsession with schools structures, at the expense of what really matters in classrooms – the quality of teaching – completely misses the point. The vast majority of non-academies affected by this policy will be primary schools, over 80 per-cent of which are already good and outstanding. These plans for forced academisation of all schools are evidently ideological and not about school improvement.

The Tories approach to education risks fragmenting vital community links with our schools. Ministers are silencing the voices of parents, school governors and the local community. Their plans to remove the requirement to have parent governors is deeply concerning. The Conservatives’ view parents as part of the problem rather than as allies in the fight for a better education for all children.

There are real concerns about the accountability of some academy chains as Ofsted have warned. The government have repeatedly failed to give Ofsted the powers to hold academy chains accountable for financial management and standards.

At a time when schools are facing budget cuts for the first time since the mid-1990s the plans to force all schools to become academies will cost £1.3billion, money that could be better spent driving up standards.

The Government has failed to address the real issues facing our schools, be it the shortages of teachers, the mounting pressure on school places, the widening attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their better-off peers, or the real-terms budget cuts that schools are facing. At the same time, teachers and parents are trying to navigate their way through huge changes to exams and assessments, and the Government is already way behind schedule on delivering GCSE and A-Level specifications due to be taught from this September.

The white paper does nothing to address these big challenges facing education and shows just how out of touch the Government are.

Labour will stand up for children and parents and oppose these plans. We will seek to build an alliance with parents, heads, local Government leaders, both Labour and Conservative, against these plans. Rather than cutting parents out of the picture, we want to put local parents and communities at the heart of decisions when it comes to their children’s schools.

Once again, thank you for getting in touch with me. I led Labour’s opposition debate on this and this is an issue that the Labour Party will continue to pressure the Government on and I welcome your support.  I will keep a record of your details for future correspondence and if there is any further information that you want to share with me then please do.
Best wishes,

Lucy Powell
April 21st 2016 at 4:12pm
To Jeremy Schanche:  

he received your letter and is writing you back thankyou for writing him we do need help here in florida with this inmate abuse going on and my brother I always pray will somehow find a way out of this prison system since he is a federal witness in the death of Darren Rainey I am dumbfounded as to why he remains in d.o.c custody and not federal custody but it has always been my deepest hearts desire to have him set free  now we fight for inmates and not his freedom because he beleives it is Gods will and thinks that is why he is there he certaintly did not do the crimes convicted of and even if he did he definetly shouldnt have received a165 yr sentence but thats another situation and right now Floridas entire prison population is in trouble I thankyou sooooo much for even blogging about Darren Rainey my hope is that the world knows you can't kill people because they are under your control you can't kill people period but to torture and kill someone because you can and know people will cover for you is the worse kind of evil ever.I pray that Darren Rainey can soemhow rest in peace and that through our fight he will find justice we wont give up thanks again for everything hope to hear from you soon
Update:  27.4.2016:
I’d like to welcome you to this blog where I am fortunate enough to be able to indulge in Free Speech - In Saudi Arabia, Camoron’s ally, bloggers are publically flogged and imprisoned for ten years - in China, Camoron’s ally, bloggers and free speech activists simply disappear into the Lao Gai…..  I appreciate my free speech and I try not to take it for granted.  People die in wars ostensibly defending freedoms like this - I think the troops who fought in yesterday’s wars, back in the twentieth century, would very much like us to live out our liberty not in passive acquiescence but in dynamic involvement.  If freedom is worth dying for, then should we not live for it?  If we claim that free speech is one of the cherished hallmarks of British culture, western culture and international culture, then should we not practice free speech in real life?  
So hey, welcome to my ranting-shop, one and all …..
Since time to resist so-called ‘academisation’ is extremely short and since cultural-resistance is not top of everybody’s to-do list, it seems expedient to address the issue directly, rather than d’reckly.
My first step in launching this campaign has been to seek support from other parents.  I’m happy to explain my personal views to almost anyone, almost anytime, but my job is not to try to make up people’s minds for them.  So rather than, at this point focusing all my energy on propagandizing against ‘academisation’, I am rather seeking the involvement of like-minded people - if there are any!  Quickly organizing the voice of opposition is a priority in West Cornwall, as elsewhere, since the sheer scale and suddenness of the challenge demands a dedicated and focused movement to counter ‘academisation’.  I’ve mentioned Mousehole School as this is the one with which I have a personal connection going back to the last century (crikey, I’m old!).  Anyway, although I’ve used the term Mousehole School Preservation Society, I imagine a possible network stretching the entire length and breadth of the Shyre of West Penwith, from sea to shining sea….  Local groups could be autonomous whilst cooperating in solidarity with each other, pooling resources, knowledge and tactics, perhaps under the umbrella-term Stop School Sell-Outs Campaign.  (SSSOC!)  
I should clarify another point.  This blog, as I’ve said, expresses my own opinions.  The Mousehole School campaign was initiated by me off my own bat (as we like to say in Britain, for some reason) and I have never been a member of any political party.  For many years I refused to register, let alone vote, but times change and a lot of disenfranchised people are getting involved with politics again now for obvious reasons.  I think Corbyn is the best thing to happen to British politics since I was a kid.  He’s an honest man, that’s why he creates a wave of dissonance that ripples through the delusional culture we like to wallow in.  I’m a member of Momentum Cornwall West, a group that seeks to promote Jeremy Corbyn’s values - because they’re not just his values, they’re ours - and Momentum is an organization that campaigns against  ‘academisation’, so it is highly likely that Momentum members will play a role in this campaign locally, but it is in no way exclusive and anyone who shares our wish to protect schools, hospitals and other public institutions from capitalization is welcome to get actively involved. So, to chop a long tale short: please contact me if you agree with these aims and please pass on the word about Mousehole School Preservation Society.  I can’t get my face into facebook so none of my material goes up there unless someone takes it upon themself to put it there, so please feel free to.  It’s DIY style round here, if you want it done, do it yourself… Ober da!
Here's a copy of the letter I wrote on 26.4.16 to Mr Chris Roynon, Head Teacher of Mousehole Primary School, in West Cornwall, Great Britain, inviting him to a one-to-one formal debate:
Well, Spring is in the air and May is just around the corner.....  May Day is traditionally the day the World honours and celebrates the incredible courage of the countless workers who gave their blood, and their lives, struggling to give the ordinary people a better life.  Even in today's mediatized, neutered and manipulated Britain, workers are taking to the streets, having found no justice through official channels.  When I say workers, I'm talking about the Junior Doctors, surely some of society's very most valuable workers, on whom our very lives depend.  Part of the problem is that the government are trying to enforce an untenable contract onto a group of people who are not fools, namely the Junior Doctors. The other part of the problem is that the minister in question is a lying Hunt:
Anyway, because right-wing erosion of the institutions of our nation has reached the point where many people feel that their backs are now well and truly against the wall, things are starting to happen.  What are you doing on May Day?  Why not give thanks to the doctors by standing together with one intent and showing them that the care they give us goes both ways.  Please feel free to join our demonstration at West Cornwall Hospital, 1.30 - 3.00pm on Sunday 1st May, International Worker's Day.  We Love Doctors.  The NHS is the living epitome and embodiment of British socialism at its finest.  If you've ever had any help from the NHS then you owe thanks to the red lefty pinko socialist puppets of Moscow like Bevan and Atlee who gave it to you;  and being polite is another British tradition so come and give thanks to the NHS....  Hope to see y'all there!  Gwerinieth Kernewek Yw!
The Poster and these flyers can be printed out and distributed, thus marrying the ephemeral internet with the physical world....  
I thought it best to inform the law, as these events have been known to draw a crowd.....
And just for the record, here are the flyers I have been giving out at Mousehole School playground, where my child is a pupil:

Finally here are some flyers for my paper, The Limpet:
If you enjoy this blog,please spread the word, print and disseminate these critters, it's all for nature, democracy and free speech.  If you hate this blog, you could print some out and tear them up!  Do what you like  :-)

Other business:
12 Hours later: Update: 27.4.2016:
Last night I was signing a petition encouraging the tories to talk to the Junior Doctors as I think dialogue is vital.  I'd just heard that Derek Thomas MP had closed the door on 3,000 Syrian orphan child refugees and put up the following as a comment on the petition.  I seem to have hit a nerve, as it takes a lot to get any reaction at all out of reactionary Derek...

On 27 Apr 2016, at 00:38, Jeremy Schanche <> wrote:
Re: Christian Damns Children to Misery / Doctors Strike
Dear Derek Thomas, You'd better talk to those doctors before we all die. 3,000 orphan kids rejected by you, Derek. Jesus would be so proud of you!
Yours sincerely, Jeremy Schanche
Here's Derek's response:
Today at 10:53
Dear Jeremy
You know very well that the vote was not against allowing unaccompanied children into the UK. The Government's response is far more responsible and more likely to be effective in helping children and vulnerable people. 
There is no reference to Jesus bring proud of anyone in scripture and I'm not sure that he does pride.
He does unconditional love for which I am grateful.

How best does the UK help unaccompanied children?  The Government will commit to resettling up to 3,000 vulnerable people in addition to our commitment to resettle 20,000 Syrians under the Syrian resettlement scheme (the majority of whom will be children).
Processing refugees in Greek reception centres.  The Government is offering 75 expert personnel to help with processing and administration of migrants, act as interpreters, provide medical support and provide vital equipment and medical supplies. 
Helping unaccompanied children.  Teams are to be sent to Greece to help unaccompanied asylum-seeking children and those trained to tackle people trafficking. 
Search and Rescue in the Mediterranean.  Three Border Force vessels has been assisting the Hellenic Coastguard to conduct search and rescue missions, and a Royal Navy vessel as part of the NATO mission in the Aegean.
Refugee Fund.  A £10 million Refugee Children Fund will be used to work with host authorities to care for and assist unaccompanied or separated children in Europe and the Balkans. This includes identifying vulnerable children, providing for their immediate support, referral to specialist care, and helping find solutions such as family reunification.

Family reunion.  The Government has seconded additional resource to quickly identify children who qualify for family reunion to improve the number of children being reunited with family in the UK.   Regards, Derek Thomas , Member of Parliament for St Ives
---------------------- Here's my reply to Derek, 27.4.2016:
Hallo again Derek,
I'm just looking into this case and if what you say in your recent message is true, then you need to sue The Independent newspaper right away, because they give the clear impression that people like you, and your fellow conservative-reactionaries are responsible for rejecting 3,000 Syrian children who would otherwise have been given a refuge here from British, American, French, Russian and daesh interference, as well as internal repression in their home-country.  

And now, I have just looked at today's Guardian and, curiously, they tell the same tale as The Independent, funny eh?  Now, who shall I trust, those two newspapers, or a tory MP.....?

On the basis of the above reportage, I say you are directly responsible for those 3,000 children being rejected by Britain.  Perhaps that unconditional love of yours doesn't extent to people with brown faces.  

I was wondering when we'd get on to the topic of 'spirituality'. Let me ask you a question - if 3,000 Syrian orphans came to the border of His land, would the Prince of Peace say "Go hence, my little ones, for this is not thy kingdom and ye shall continue to wander in the wilderness and find ye succour there and feast ye upon thorns and bitter herbs?"  or would He have said "Come ye forth my dear little ones, come into my arms and let me give ye food for thy bellies and drink for I see that ye be hungry and sore thirsty.  Let me give ye love and kindness for I see ye are motherless and fatherless.  Let me be thy guide, as I see ye have no guide.  Let me be thy rock, as I see ye be without a rock and without shelter in the wilderness.  Come ye hence, my little ones and fear not."  Which one sounds like the Lord to you, Mr Christian Member of Parliament?   

Two thousand years ago, a bookbinder made a terrible mistake for which we are still paying.  He bound together part of the Jewish holy scripture, which deals with a mentality of vengeance and punishment; with the Four Gospels, which deal with a mindset of forgiveness, tolerance and above all, redemption for sinners.  When your central scripture tells you to simultaneously smite and forgive, you have painted yourself into a nice little philosophical corner haven't ye?  

The other funny thing about your religion is that in the Old (Jewish) Testament, it very clearly states that the Jews are the chosen race, nobody else.  Are you Jewish?  If not, you're backing the wrong horse, aren't you?  My Granny was half-Jewish so I guess at least a part of me is going to Heaven - I wonder which bit..... 

Since you've got a posh job up London, maybe instead of saying "He does unconditional love", you should try saying "He loves unconditionally".  But since your party is simultaneously attacking public education whilst undermining our national tongue by promoting the use of newspeak, I guess the integrity of word-significance is not something you care for.  The things your party calls 'academies' are not in fact academies - check your dictionary.  For those who laugh and say it doesn't matter I say it matters a great deal, because devaluing, co-opting and distorting the true meaning of words is a political attack on culture itself, far worse than devaluing money.  In politics, words are used to persuade the minds of others, often with murderous consequences.  

Anyway Derek, when you get to that old St.Peter's Gate up in the sky there, and you knock on that big old silvery old gate and old Peter come's a peepin' round the jamb of the gate and looks you up and down, and looks you in the eye, don't be surprised if old Peter asks you "Brother Derek, didst thee give succour to the little children, as our Lord hath commanded thee, and didst thou open thy gate, my little son Derek?"

See you around Brother Derek.
From Jeremy
I've just received the following letter from Chris Roynon, Head Teacher of Mousehole School.  It is his response to my letter of 21st April, but sadly, it does not actually address the points I made in my letter.  This is deeply disappointing as I am used to this treatment from politicians, but was hoping for real dialogue in the case of my child's educator.  
I also received the following mass mail-out materials:

Moron this story as it unfolds.... :-)

I got sent an American petition about Syrian Refugees which I thought I'd forward to Derek, as he cares so much for them.  I added a note:

Dear Derek,                      27.4.2016
Look at it like this, if you will.  I understand that Great Britain is a small and extremely crowded country.  I understand that many people are hostile to the idea of increasing permanent migration of foreigners to Britain, for whatever reason.  I understand that Britain is militarily involved in Syria, Iraq and Yemen and I believe that we owe the citizens of those nations a debt of protection if we assume the right to take military action in their lands.  If the western powers claim to be bringing stability and democracy to the playground, er, region, then instead of the two extremes of (A) Accepting anyone in the World who is fleeing war, terrorism, torture and fascist oppression of whatever brand etc. etc. into Britain permanently  - OR - (B) - Totally and callously abandoning the children, orphans and miserable refugees of our war to capricious fate;  could we not go for a middle-way approach whereby we take refugees into Britain on a temporary basis whilst our armed forces secure the area for peace, democracy and freedom etc..  (if possible) and then resettle the refugees, with generous and practical aid, back in their own country where they would no doubt prefer to abide? 
I should be billing you for all this advice.

Later, Jeremy
Update:  29.4.16
A couple of emails went out from me to Derek Thomas about the 3,000 Syrian orphans.  I was furious that he'd turned away these children and told him so.  He sent me something back, but it was cut and paste, and seemed - surprisingly - to lead attention away from the issue of the children in question.  I won't print all this correspondence -  you'll no-doubt find his version at his own propaganda-channel.  Anyway, today I bumped into Derek in town for the first time and after quite an emotional stand-off in the street about the Syrian children etc. we soon broke through to the heart of the matter and I accused Derek - rather loudly I admit, but not without sincerity - I accused him of denying me my representation in the British Democracy by failing to reply to letters.  This had been thorning me for a long time and was my greatest complaint against him as, if someone won't reply, how can you talk? After both throwing out various utterances, we began to reach accord and assured each other that we were both keen on a genuine dialogue.  He promised to answer an outstanding letter about the war and we agreed to conduct a face to face interview for my little newspaper, The Limpet, pretty soon.  After a year of attacking Derek in The Limpet, it was good to finally meet the human behind the right-wing policy and it was a fascinating and intense experience to talk to the man.  When he first approached me I had just put up a May Day Demo poster, which he said he liked better than my last one...  After our spontaneous street-meeting I said I would shake his hand but mine was covered in glue from the poster and we might stick together if I did.
Afterwards I felt a strange elation, like someone who's just been enfranchised for the first time, after a long and weary struggle.  Sparks flew, but some kind of warmth was kindled by the mere act of talking.  However, as the Bible say, by their deeds shall ye know them.  By their deeds.  
Democracy being worked out face to face in the streets of Penzance is a vivid flash-back to the classical Athenian tradition.  I told Derek that I needed an on-the-record dialogue and as a politician he knew what I was talking about, but he still agreed to do it, which is more than some people seem prepared to do.  Well Dimo-Kratia - rule by the people - is not a domesticated and docile beast but something more spontaneous, direct and alive, something that ripples with life like the population itself.  If an MP can go head to head in the street with his fellow man, why can't a school-teacher?

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