The Mis-Education of An Entire Nation


These days I find that not many things shock me, but today was one of the days when a story breaks through the barriers and touches my emotions. It was the story that 61 year old Anne Maguire, a teacher at Corpus Christi Catholic College in Leeds was stabbed to death by a 15 year old male pupil. It’s a truly shocking and tragic story on so many levels. From the human level it is tragic that this woman who will no doubt have children and grandchildren set off to work this morning with the usual Monday blues oblivious that she would be murdered by one of her pupils. She would never make it home or see her family ever again, heart-breaking.

It is tragic that this event even happened, it should be a wakeup call to the profoundly sick society we live in, it highlights the problems of a country that is on a rapid descent to the bottom. It is tragic that this story will produce five minutes of outrage before the media sweeps it under the carpet for it to be forgotten about. As it stands the story hasn’t had much impact on twitter, it hasn’t trended yet but the stories of Max Clifford, Kevin Phillip’s retiring, Chelsea and Liverpool and Dani Alves eating a banana are hot topics. There is no instant outpouring of grief like there was a few weeks ago when the world learnt that Peaches Geldof had passed away, it seems people need to be famous for death to be heart wrenching.

From what I’ve read online so far the media is also trying to downplay the incident, Det. Supt Simon Beldon, of West Yorkshire Police has described the stabbing as an “isolated incident” and said there was “no on-going risk to pupils or staff…the situation is under control and officers, including safer schools officers and members of the local neighbourhood policing team, are currently at the school and are liaising closely with staff.” He also said “parents of pupils at the school should not attend the site unless directly requested to do so by the school and the rest of the school in continuing to operate as normal.” How on earth can a school continue to operate as normal when a member of its staff has been stabbed to death by a pupil? The media is reporting on this incident with no human emotions, just generic terms used when reporting increasingly common tragedies like this one

This incident highlights something we all seemingly want to ignore as we live our celebrity and consumer filled lives, it highlights that there is something fundamentally wrong with this country. On Twitter I’ve already seen some people asking for Metal Detectors to be set up at schools as a result of today’s event, this is the complete wrong way to deal with this. That is treating a symptom and not the cause, that is adapting yourself to the problems instead of eradicating them.

There shouldn’t be metal detectors at schools because in a world that is sane there should be absolutely zero chance of a teacher, or pupil, being stabbed to death. It is the conditions that produce people capable of these barbaric acts that need to be addressed. For me it is very concerning that so many people are all too willing to just view these type of incidents as the new normal and they are to just be expected. This is just another incident to add to the long list of issues that our current government fails to address. This morning, before this tragic incident happened, I posted on Twitter the picture below with this caption ‘Something to bear in mind as our managers aka politicians try to refinance the country through needless austerity’:

Business Men Believes

Every aspect of public life in this country is a shambles; our “democratic” representative system, our education system, our transport system, our tax system, the list is endless. What we have been seeing in the past few years is the results of 30 years of bad management and bad policies. These bad decisions have real life consequences but in the two tier society being created the consequences are spilt, the consequences of mortgage fraud by banks are good for the bankers and everybody on board the gravy train but bad for everybody else. Extortionate prices for everything you buy are good for the “Capitalists” that own everything but bad for everybody else. You can think of hundreds of examples of these types of injustices.

Politicians, especially the bunch of silver spoons in power, are so far out of touch with reality it is unreal. A small but very powerful example would be that In 2008 David Cameron said Eton Rifles by The Jam was one of his favourite songs and that he and his cadet buddies thought it was a good drinking song, I don’t think he could miss the message any more if he tried.

It may seem to be all too easy to point the finger of blame at Government but in a world of centralised power the Government and it’s minsters are exactly where responsibility lies. We are currently living through a class war in which not many people seem to be all that interested, especially the people who are on the side that is getting pummelled. The following text is from a radio show I did on 22/12/2013:

“I was going to have a review of the year tonight but I’m going to do that next week. On Wednesday a friend of mine lost sadly lost his brother to a drug overdose, aged 26 years old. It was a shock to everyone and terrible news. And this happened the same week in which Peter Hitchin’s arrogantly and ignorantly claimed that addiction is fantasy on national TV. And just why do comments like this rile me? Because like on so many issues these middle and upper class “intellects” deal only in theory, they go to university and they study economic theory or political theory, they theorise on things they have never experienced first-hand and have no idea what it is like to live that way.

The street I grew up on is on a council estate and what I want to examine tonight is the difference between two people who grew up on the same street. One is now dead, aged 26 years old, his life now over, wasted with no chance to rectify his mistakes. The other is on the radio talking about politics, economics and trying to help bring change to the world. Now I’m in no way comparing myself in an egotistical way but it’s as big a contrast as you can get really and I can tell you exactly what made all the difference in our paths and our choices. The difference is education and guidance.  You see my friend and his brothers up until their teens were brought up in care and come from an unstable home and thus lacked guidance. They did not take school seriously, mainly because they saw the education system failed them. I went to a school called South Chadderton and if you go on Google and type in classroom from hell South Chadderton you will see an article from the Daily Mirror in 2007 which describes pretty much the typical classroom in a state school, and I imagine its only got worse since then. I learnt very little in school and I myself didn’t take it seriously.(

But how do our rulers and the upper class get educated? Well they go to the finest schools money can buy and they have mentors, a key word there, mentors. People of experience who guide them and train them on the ways of the world. All this takes place whilst the masses are receiving just enough education to perform. The rulers are taught how to rule and the masses are taught how to sit down and shut up, they are indoctrinated on how to serve. I’m not supposed to talk about the things I talk about on this show, I’m not supposed to know about them! Coming from a council estate I’m supposed to get trapped in the pitfalls of drinks and drugs that surround the place, I’m supposed to be mind fucked by celebrities and football. I’m not supposed to care about social injustice or systematic corruption, I’m not supposed to question the validity of our whole economic model. What we have is a system of oppression that we will explore as the show continues tonight.

My friends brother was a bit of a rogue, he was often in trouble with the police for petty things mainly fuelled by drink, he was a chav as people love to label poor people nowadays. But he was not a bad person, he made mistakes and at the end of the day he was a victim of his environment. The people of this nation are desensitised about the plight of these poor people because of hideous shows like Jeremy Kyle which parade and mock these people, they exploit their low education and make a spectacle out of them. We hate the poor and admire the greed of the wealthy. My friend has lost his brother and his mum has lost a son, they are going through heartbreak and they have lost someone they will never be able to replace. Real human emotions that we all have regardless of our social standing. Here’s a quote from Joe Rogan:

“It’s real simple, if you get an unlucky roll of the dice and are born into a poor family in a poor area then guess what, you’re fucked. You’ve got to figure a way out of that some way or another but the odds are long against you. And this is a real travesty”

How true that is, this is a vicious cycle that is only getting worse,  it’s time to start caring before we regress to a point of no return.”

As today’s events show I was right when I said I assume things have only gotten worse since my time in the education system. Teaching is a noble profession, I admire people who want to dedicate their lives to the service of educating future generations but at the same time why anyone would want to become a teacher today is beyond me. Until we change things there are only going to be more incidents like the tragedy today. My heart goes out to the family of Anne Maguire who should never have lost her life today, I just hope we can change our ways and address our problems before more innocent lives are lost.

This article is authored by Lee Cooper

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8 thoughts on “The Mis-Education of An Entire Nation

      • Changing peoples core belief systems can be like swimming against the tide…

        I often tell people “If you tolerate this then your children will be next”

  1. Wow!
    I was slightly shocked when I read your statement: “Because like on so many issues these middle and upper class “intellects” deal only in theory”. So I read the whole article carefully.

    There is a world of difference between expressing emotions and thinking rationally about things. Many people don’t consciously differentiate. Your article seems to be somewhere in the middle. On that basis I empathise entirely with what you say and agree with the sense of the message conveyed. But because it was so well written I found several issues I wanted to comment on.

    It seems that there is a great variety in the apparent morality of people in all positions in life. In general it may be true that wealth corrupts and so there are proportionately more ‘good’ poor people than ‘good’ rich people. But it is not because people are intellectual or rich that they deal only in theory. To put it bluntly there are fuckwits at the top of the pile and fuckwits at the bottom. The difference is in the extent of their power and influence. I know you have ideas about the lower classes being ‘educated’ to serve and the upper classes being ‘educated’ to rule but, as I think you understand because of your belief in education, that it is ‘indoctrination’ in both cases. Take Iain Duncan Smith for example; A well ‘educated’ man but his intellect is all but nonexistent. The same applies to the Minister for Education, Gove, who thinks all schools can be ‘above average’ if they try harder. He clearly doesn’t understand the meaning of the word ‘average’. Incidentally good people emanate from Eton too like George Orwell, Ludovic Kennedy, A J Ayer, Michael Bentine, John Michell, Hugh Laurie and Tom Hiddleston.

    You may be interested in reading a very brief overview of part of the history of our education system at and I would recommend a brief investigation into John Taylor Gatto who has done an immense amount of research into the subject. But the essential point I am attempting to make is that the same applies up and down the hierarchy. In all cases it is about oppression and control not education. Of course the ‘bullies’ from Eton will often follow political or commercial careers and their ‘education’ facilitates their ability to cause devastating consequences. But it all only works because we are all indoctrinated/oppressed to actually believe in, let alone accept, the authoritarian paradigms. So everyone is in collusion. I notice that many people who ‘object’ to inequality still frame their objections in terms which embody the hierarchical framework. E.g. This man has served his country in the army all his life and now the government treat him like this. It embodies the belief, the assumption, of the deserving vs the undeserving poor; the hierarchy. But in reality it is not that he shouldn’t be treated badly because he served his country – he shouldn’t be treated badly because he’s human.

    And the last point that I would like to make is that of the presumed archetypes. I will start by giving you an example from my life before I introduce the question about your article. My daughter had a very manipulative and ruthlessly cruel mother. She hasn’t seen her since she was about 12. Sometimes people ask her if she misses her mother. She clarifies it by pointing out that she doesn’t miss her mother but she does miss having a mother. In your article you observe that people are significantly the product of their environment. You point out that the degraded education system will produce aberrant behaviour. But then you went on to talk about the teacher as if she were a ‘nice’ person even referring to her as innocent. But we don’t know anything about her yet. My first reaction when I heard the news was that I would be interested to hear the pupil’s own explanation or reason for the attack. I have known some evil teachers in my time. My point being that we too readily attribute archetypal roles to the victims almost without realising what we are doing. This is part of the structure of authoritarianism.

    Anyway I enjoyed your article and it gave me much food for thought.

  2. I don’t think the article was about morality or intellect, it was more a reflection on our education system. It matters not what class someone is from as to whether they are a complete idiot or a Florence Nightingale it is all about having opportunity and a decent education.
    Having an “elitist” education plays a significant part in someones ability to progress through life. Not just on an intelletual level but also on a career choice.It tells them to expect to be a leader, it tells them they are chosen to rule, it tells them they are better than anyone working for a living.

    A state education on the other hand merely prepares you for a life of work,they tell you nothing of government, power, social responsibilty, history, leadership or people skills.
    The highest you will acheive will be a degree in something or other that will give you a well paying job not give you the ability to make a difference but merely the ability to earn more.

    Education does not have to be “indoctrination” and wanting the same education for all is not in itself a belief in indoctrination. It is merely a belief that we all deserve an equal education and equal aspirations.

    As for the assumption “there are some evil teachers” I find this a little beyond comprehension ?? Is this an excuse to stab and kill someone ? Are you saying the pupil was maybe right to take a life because the teacher did not treat him right ? Or was he just exercising his right to not be indoctrinated into what is right and wrong.

    Morality is not a product of education, morality is a product of society and the way we wish to interact without fear or harm. Unfortunately at all levels of education this is something rarely taught.
    As human beings, putting ourselves at the top of the evolutionary tree, we should all know and be taught of our duty of care to all those surrounding us and know how to treat and be treated by others.

    • Thanks for your comments and reading the article, I think Bookmanwales has answered the first post pretty much in the same way I would have done.

      Firstly anything I write about on this blog is from experience, I have exeperienced first hand the divide a private and state education causes at the law firm I used to work for, it runs through every aspect of our lives. There is no working class voice in our media and there never will be. One or two may buck the trend but as a whole the media is entirely dominated by middle and upper class people.

      Look at the state of some of the people coming out of the education system today, they know basic Maths and English and little else after 10+ years of education, is that the sign of an efficient education system?

      During my time at school I had some teachers that were a pain in the arse, I didn’t like them and they didn’t like me. But we always refrained from stabbing each other because that is an uncivilised barbaric act. It will no doubt come to light that the boy who murdered his teacher yesterday was wired to the moon on presription medication, another sign of a sick society that nobody likes to talk about.

  3. Pingback: Education Is The Key: So Why Are We Locked Out? - Fly The Coop

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