Now Cor­byn wants schools to give pupils lessons about trade unions

Daily Mail - - Comment - By Sarah Har­ris

JEREMY Cor­byn was yesterday ac­cused of at­tempt­ing to politi­cise schools by urg­ing staff to teach pupils about trade unions.

The Labour leader wants schools to give lessons on col­lec­tive ac­tion and sol­i­dar­ity with fel­low em­ploy­ees.

But crit­ics last night at­tacked his pro­pos­als, point­ing out that schools should ac­tu­ally be ‘about ed­u­ca­tion and not in­doc­tri­na­tion’.

Ad­dress­ing the Durham Min­ers Gala to­day, Mr Cor­byn will say: ‘The next Labour govern­ment will re­store trade union rights, but we need to also make sure young peo­ple learn about the prin­ci­ples of sol­i­dar­ity and col­lec­tive ac­tion.

‘Chil­dren should not only learn about trade unions and their rights at work, but should be fully equipped to ex­er­cise and de­velop those rights.

‘Schools need to teach these val­ues and to­gether we can, and will, trans­form so­ci­ety so it works for the many, not the few.’

Mr Cor­byn will stress that strength­en­ing the role of trade unions will help re­verse the sharp de­cline over the last four decades in the share of na­tional in­come go­ing to wages. We know that power in so­ci­ety,

‘It’s wrong to politi­cise is­sue’

and in our work­places, has be­come con­cen­trated in the hands of a few, at the ex­pense of ev­ery­body else,’ he says.

‘But his­tory shows those at the top have never con­ceded any­thing, with­out it be­ing de­manded from peo­ple be­low – things we all en­joy but now take for granted, like week­ends and paid hol­i­days.’

He will add: ‘For too long, trade unions have been marginalised, vil­i­fied and un­der­mined, and work­ers have lost out, while more and more money lines the pock­ets of share­hold­ers.’

How­ever, Pro­fes­sor Alan Smithers, the di­rec­tor of the Cen­tre for Ed­u­ca­tion and Em­ploy­ment Re­search at Buck­ing­ham Univer­sity, said it was ‘quite wrong to politi­cise the is­sue and to seek to train young peo­ple to be­come union mem­bers. Schools have to be about ed­u­ca­tion and not in­doc­tri­na­tion. It looks as though Jeremy Cor­byn is try­ing to politi­cise schools.’

And An­drew Brid­gen, Con­ser­va­tive MP for North West Le­ices­ter­shire, said ‘vul­ner­a­ble young minds should be pro­tected from Marx­ist in­doc­tri­na­tion’.

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