28 June 2010

Child abuse: the alternatives

Another child abuse case, more wringing of hands. The Daily Mail (17 June) headline reads:

Neglectful. Filthy. And living with a paedophile. So why did social workers decide that little Shannon Matthews’s mother was ... Not such a bad parent!

Although this case, involving a fake kidnapping, seems a relatively mild one compared with the horrors of some of the other recent ones, it has nevertheless resulted in the composition, no doubt at great expense, of a 100-page report about whether or not the various trained ‘experts’ involved should have been able to prevent what happened.

Comment on the bigger picture

I do not see you can expect to be able to run a country with the features that this one has acquired. A large number of people who are not supporting themselves by earning money, and never likely to do so. This population of non-earners having children at a high rate, which they seem not even to look after properly, despite being financed to do so. A large population of social workers coming and going, intimately involved in these people’s lives, though this is still not sufficient to prevent the children being badly treated or killed. Other families being broken up, and children’s lives being permanently blighted, because of interference in situations where there is no actual abuse at all. Free education and health care for all involved.

It may be complained that the other alternative, not to have a welfare state, would lead to the suffering and death of many children. What we have at present, however, will inexorably lead to the massive expansion of a class that is highly prone to irresponsible behaviour, including neglect and abuse of children, and to their unsuccessful pursuit by an ever-growing class of state agents with ever greater powers to snoop and interfere; as well as increasing misery for families that are falsely accused. In other words, the suffering and death of even more children. Furthermore, the country is likely to be bankrupted.

23 June 2010

Invitation to parents to come and work for us

There are plans to enable groups of parents to set up schools, as mentioned in the Daily Mail of Saturday 19 June.


Schools Secretary Michael Gove is set to unveil the government's 'free schools' policy today. Disused shops, vacant office blocks, old hospitals and even homes could be used as classrooms under ambitious plans to set up a wave of 'free schools'.

Planning laws will be relaxed in England to make it easier for parents, teachers, charities and other groups to open taxpayer-funded independent schools, the Education Secretary vowed yesterday. ...

Ministers in the Coalition are determined to smash the state monopoly on education by allowing communities to set up schools outside the control of local authorities. ...

A threshold of just 40 or 50 parents-would be needed for a primary-school bid. Groups applying to open a free school fill out a ten-page form setting out their aims and vision, possible sites for classrooms, teaching methods, a curriculum and proof of demand from families.

The first wave of schools are expected to open in September next year.

Invitation to parents

Anyone who has school-age children and is worried about what is wrong with most schools, as they may well be, should think of moving to Cuddesdon. If they were to do some voluntary work (or possibly paid self-employed work) for Oxford Forum, we could give them advice and suggestions based on our extensive experience of what can go wrong in schools and universities.

The ideology which has undermined state education to the point of making it worse than useless is highly pervasive. It is difficult to create an establishment which does not suffer from it, even if in a milder form, without thinking through the underlying issues more analytically than is done by newspapers or in educational 'research'.

17 June 2010

Tale told by an idiot (Pt. 3)

It should go without saying, but perhaps it is as well to repeat, that there had been no sign of any intention to set up a research project in Oxford or elsewhere, in the area which I was proposing, until it became necessary to block mine. None of the retired professors nominated by Rosalind Heywood had shown any inclination to exert themselves in such a way, and if it had been necessary to go ahead with Rosalind’s plan (i.e. if I had not withdrawn from it), I think she might have found some or all of those named very reluctant to play any part in it. When, later, she wanted to find rivals to lay claim to Cecil King’s money, so that I would not get any more of it, she found this very difficult and it took her some time to persuade John Beloff to do a small piece of research on a hypnotic subject, to support her contention that Cecil King should not continue to give money to my organisation, but should scatter his money widely among people with academic status, although they were actually well enough set up already to have been doing some research if they had wished to do so.

What she could, and did, easily succeed in doing was to generate indignant opposition to the idea of my being so presumptuous as to do anything at all, so that the population of those who had any association with the SPR became energetic in blocking my applications for funding from any source, both by encouraging Professor Hardy to stand firmly in my light, and by running me down to any potential source of funding.

I was amazed and also, in the circumstances of my life, horrified that motivation to obstruct me could be so easily and universally aroused. Lady Faith Culme-Seymour, for example, came to Oxford to visit Hardy and express enthusiasm for his lethargic intentions, and also to attempt to persuade me to do his work for him, for no money. This showed an energy and willingness to exert herself which was rare among SPR members, except when they were opposing me. I wondered why she should feel so strongly that someone who had once been thrown out by the university should never be allowed to do any work which might establish their claim to re-entry to an academic career. It was easier to understand the antagonism to me which was shown by Professor Hardy himself. He had academic status and I did not and, under the influence of Rosalind Heywood, he seemed to regard it as an insult to academic status in general, and hence to his own, that I should attempt to do anything on my own initiative, without having received instructions to do so from on high.

Lady Faith, on the other hand, was an aristocrat with no academic pretensions. Until recently, people of her class had done whatever they could afford to do in the way of research, whenever they felt like it. She might even have regarded me as one of the disadvantaged poor, whose failure to get a research scholarship and an academic career could be ascribed to my having attended low-grade schools. In fact, however, she and everyone else in a similar position hastened to join Rosalind in her energetic campaign to ensure that it was impossible for me to obtain money from any source.

As has already been mentioned, it was not only the case that I had no salary from an academic career, which was the only sort of career I could have, but also I could not even draw income support as my ruined education had left me without a usable qualification, i.e. one that would be regarded as justifying me in applying for any university appointment that I might be able to accept.

I was, and continue to be, very shocked that people who were well set up in life and had no apparent reason for doing me down should evince such obviously destructive motivation towards someone in as bad a position as I was.

14 June 2010

Tale told by an idiot (Pt. 2)

This is a continuation of an earlier post about my attempts to set up a research organisation in Oxford.

When I withdrew from the plan for a research institute in which I was to be a secretary with no possible motivation for being so (I was to be offered neither a salary out of which I could have saved money towards my institutional environment of the future, nor any suggestion that what I did would in any way enhance my claims to re-enter an academic career in a university) I did not expect this to cause offence. Surely I had every right not to wish to participate in a project so different from that which I had originally proposed and for which Salter and Sir George had been prepared to seek support.

However, it did lead to offence being taken by Rosalind Heywood, which she broadcast in her inimitable fashion. I can only suppose that she managed to make it sound as though I had turned down an absolutely wonderful proposal which was just what a young and statusless person should have wanted.

In fact, she must have made the proposal expressly so that I would turn it down and it could be regarded as a cause of offence. If she had really hoped I might accept it, she would have incorporated something which might attract me, such as a suggestion (however fictional) that one of the retired professors would be likely to support me in getting a Fellowship at his college, but she did not.

It would seem that my initial proposals for a research institute in Oxford were considered too threatening, in that the Oxford location would make it likely to attract some publicity and hence, perhaps, some financial support which would make me able to do something and make my life less intolerable.

Reacting to this risk, Rosalind superimposed her entirely different proposals on my original ones. When I, foreseeably, would have nothing to do with them, the resulting outrage was sufficient to ensure that all previous plans to seek funding for my plan were aborted. Rosalind was a formidable strategist.

So I was left with my original constitution but no money. The next few years were very bad but I had no alternative but to go ahead, although it now appeared that my hopes of financial support or of re-access to a university career had been definitively destroyed. Everyone joined in the plan to drive me out of Oxford by squeezing me to death.

As an unforeseeable but partial and temporary break, Cecil King came out of the blue and provided a modicum of funding. This, I suppose, re-ignited the original fear that an Oxford location might attract support. Cecil King was quickly turned against us, and the plan for Professor Hardy’s research centre came into being – in Oxford, as similar as possible to my organisation, but with a statusful person at its head, so designed to block any possibility of funding that might otherwise have come to me.

11 June 2010


To members of the group 'Celia Green and Oxford Forum' on Facebook:*

As you may know, we are aiming at building up Oxford Forum into an independent university with a number of departments, a residential college, and an associated publishing company.

Please bear in mind that the books we have been able to write and publish, and especially the material we put on our blogs, does not represent what we would be doing if we were able to behave like fully financed academics. Because we have so far always been in the position of an embryonic organisation trying to get properly established, our output has been determined by (a) the limitations imposed on us by the absence of support staff and other aspects of infrastructure, and (b) the fact that the output has had to function as a form of advertising. The phrase I often use is “distress flares”.

It is difficult for someone to understand our position unless they are willing to recognise three features of the modern situation. First, notwithstanding any amount of nonsense talked about “gifted children” and so forth, the modern ethos is hostile to high ability, and in particular to the concept of innate ability. Second, the modern ideology states that everything carried on within accredited institutions is good, and anything done outside that system is to be despised. Social approval is everything. Third, to disagree with this, and to assert one’s claim on the resources being provided for academic research, without having received accreditation from a sufficiently large number of people inside the system, is to break a serious taboo. People who assert a need for the conditions of an academic life are (so the logic goes) moral criminals and deserve to be shunned. And shunned is what, to a large extent, we are.

There are a number of things you could do to help us.

1) Borrow our books from your college or public library. This will encourage them to stock them.

2) Buy our books from bookshops or Amazon. This will encourage bookshops and Amazon to stock them.

3) Encourage your friends to borrow or buy our books.

4) Let us know a postal address so we can send you some complimentary copies of our books.

5) Encourage your friends to visit our website and blogs, so they know about us.

6) Visit us in Cuddesdon, an attractive village near Oxford, so we can tell you about our need for workers of all kinds, and for financial and moral support (or encourage your friends to do so).

7) Spend some or all of your vacations with us doing voluntary work, or encourage others to do so.

With regards,
Celia Green

*This refers to the following page on Facebook:

the above Facebook page has now been superseded by the following group page:
(unfortunately group pages cannot be accessed unless one is logged into Facebook)

03 June 2010

Letter to David Cameron

Dear Mr Cameron,

Congratulations on becoming the first Conservative Prime Minister in what seems like a long time.

The material published in our books and on our websites is broadly sympathetic to conservatism, and certainly far more so than the output of mainstream academia and of other parts of the cultural establishment.

Oxford Forum is a research organisation which was set up to oppose declining standards and increasing ideological bias in mainstream academia. Its aim is to expand into an independent college cum university which would generate and publish research in several areas including philosophy, the psychology and physiology of perception, and theoretical physics. We are actively seeking potential patrons to provide funding for its activities.

While we are not tied to any particular outlook or political organisation, we do think that proponents of conservatism and free market and libertarian principles should want to support us, because we represent an unbiased alternative to a severely politicised higher education sector.

One of the areas of research we could be being productive in, if we were financed, is that of education. As currently carried on in academic departments, this subject is a particularly egregious example of how only certain perspectives are permitted.

As a conservative, I hope you would like to know what we, as dissidents who do not agree with the leftist viewpoint adopted by practically all ‘educational researchers’, think about various topics in education.

One key issue concerns discrimination practised in schools, and universities, against those with high IQs, disguised in terms of supposed concern for discrimination against those from ‘disadvantaged backgrounds’. This is an issue with which we have considerable personal experience, as well as a theoretical framework capable of making sense of the phenomena observed.

There is now a serious ideological bias at work in academic institutions in this country (and elsewhere) which effectively invalidates more or less all the research being carried out in the social sciences. We call on the Conservative Party to oppose this bias, by supporting our dissident organisation.

Yours sincerely, etc.