Monday, 29 April 2013
"this vacuum is currently being filled in some areas by extremist groups, which are targeting vulnerable young girls with racist literature that claims to keep them safe?"
Last Monday's House of Commons exchange on the school curriculum emphasised exactly where her priorities were centred and also revealed the true face of the Conservative Party.
Lisa Nandy (Wigan) (Lab): Recently the Children’s Commissioner found that girls and boys too often do not know what a good relationship looks like, so, as part of a broad and balanced curriculum, why is the Secretary of State refusing to make sex and relationship education compulsory in our schools? Is he aware that this vacuum is currently being filled in some areas by extremist groups, which are targeting vulnerable young girls with racist literature that claims to keep them safe? If he is as horrified by that as I am, is it not time to act?
Michael Gove: I am absolutely horrified by the extremist activity that the hon. Lady alludes to and if she could share that material with me, we will make sure that action is taken.
You will remember of course that Education Minister Gove recently told the Guardian - I don't believe that membership of the BNP is compatible with being a teacher. One of the things I plan to do is to allow headteachers and governing bodies the powers and confidence to be able to dismiss teachers engaging in extremist activity.
Not wishing to be totally intransigent in my opinion of all Conservatives though, Tory head office will be keen to keep this fracas, from the House of Lords last Thursday, tightly under wraps.
Lord Taylor of Holbeach: My right honourable friend Damian Green, the Minister for Policing, recently met the National Black Police Association to discuss its concerns about race in policing and offered to work in partnership with the College of Policing because, as noble Lords will know, that new institution will be important in strategies such as this. There have been suggestions that elements in policing, as with other institutions, still sustain racist attitudes, but it is clear from the comments of the commissioner of the MPS, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, that he is determined, and he is supported by the Government in this regard, to stamp it out.
Lord Waddington: My Lords, does this not come close to the pot calling the kettle black? What could be more institutionally racist than insisting on having a black police association?