IN his new autobiography, My Life, Our Times, former Prime Minister Gordon Brown recalls his failure.
Not the big things about the economy, but about quoting Huddersfield’s political hero Harold Wilson.
In 1999, he co-wrote Values, Visions and Voices, with another MP to make people proud of Labour.
But they couldn’t afford to pay the copyright fees for Harold’s speeches and writings, so none were included.
“The day of publication coincided with Wilson’s death,” writes Brown. “It made sense to retreat and cancel our press launch.”
You bet. HE Church of England has educated millions of children over more than a century.
I was lucky enough to be one of them, a pupil at All Saints, Normanton, during the late 40s and early 50s.
Every day for six years I had to walk past Queen Street council school to get to my CofE classroom, because my father insisted that the church would give me a better education.
He was probably right, but you certainly didn’t argue in those days – about that or anything else unless you fancied a clip round the ear.
These days the roles are reversed. The child is right and the adult has to accept whatever it says.
Unbelievably, this now extends to sexuality. If little Johnny says he is little Jean, then he is. Just because he says he is. Or she. Most confusing.
And he/she must be treated as such, say the Anglican authorities in new guidance to teachers in their 4,700 schools across the country.
Kids must be allowed to dress up This CofE school in Nottingham proudly boasts that ‘together we can achieve’ - whatever that means in this day and age! in a tutu, a princess’s tiara or a fireman’s helmet, tool belt and superman’s cloak “without expectation or comment.”
This is to prevent teasing and bullying, a laudable aim but an impossible objective. Children will always rag each other and if they can’t do it at school they’ll do it online.
In any event, why encourage kids as young as five to question their gender? Why sow doubt in young, unformed minds?
Nobody at All Saints asked me if I wanted to wear a frock and I got by. I didn’t know what sexuality was, until my body taught me. That’s nature’s way.
The kit is self-explanatory and I soon caught on.
Quite possibly, too soon and too enthusiastically, as I became a father at 18.
The term “dysphoria” hadn’t been invented. Nor “transphobic”, a strange word. It derives from classical Greek, phobos, meaning fear. But there’s nothing to fear about such things.
There is a danger here of going too far. Men who proclaim they are women, while still biologically male, demand the right to enter womenonly spaces: changing rooms, domestic violence refuges, singlesex hospital wards and rape crisis centres. And kids being given irreversible hormone treatment. This just isn’t on. Nor is proposed legislation allowing children to “choose” their gender, as of right, and without their parents’ consent. It is already the law in Scotland.
Under the bogus banner of equality, English law would compel the whole of society to accept the questionable claims of a tiny minority.
It’s too soon to know whether the current craze for gender reassignment – a 1,000% increase in child referrals to a single London clinic over the last six years – is a passing phase or a permanent shift in human behaviour.
Legislation now would be too hasty, too dependent on dodgy trends and, well, just too much.