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Patriotism - "a controversial issue"?


CliveH

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Children should not be taught to be patriotic at school, researchers said.

 

The Government has called for history lessons to help children develop a sense of their British identity and a love of their country.

 

But academics at the Institute of Education in the University of London warned that pupils should not be encouraged to love Britain for its "morally ambiguous" history.

 

The report, by Michael Hand and Jo Pearce, said patriotism should be taught - but as "a controversial issue".

 

Dr Hand said: "Gordon Brown and (Tory leader) David Cameron have both called for a history curriculum that fosters attachment and loyalty to Britain.

 

"But the case for promoting patriotism in schools is weak. Patriotism is love of one's country, but are countries really appropriate objects of love?

 

"Loving things can be bad for us, for example when the things we love are morally corrupt.

 

"Since all national histories are at best morally ambiguous, it's an open question whether citizens should love their countries."

 

The researchers questioned more than 300 teachers in London secondary schools and pupils aged 13-14.

 

Three-quarters of the teachers felt they had an obligation to alert their pupils to the dangers of patriotic sentiments. Only 9% of teachers thought schools should actively promote patriotism.

 

Press Assoc. - Friday, February 1 12:32 am

 

 

 

 

 

Just to get the ball rolling! -

 

My thoughts on this is that lack of pride in who we are and what we stand for is one of the main reasons there is so much violence in society - especially amongst the young.

 

Looks to me that if only 9% of Teachers think that patriotism should be encouraged then it is the Teachers that need educating.

 

 

8-)

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Clive,

If you want a reasoned response you need to define your terms; not least regarding “who we are and what we stand for”.

My initial reaction is that at least 9% of teachers are idiots.

I’m indifferent to being British, but deeply uncomfortable with being human. Our wretched malevolence transcends silly political boundaries.

To inculcate the stupid with thoughts of national pride is like giving a baby a grenade.

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it's an accident of birth - and no more to your personal credit than having blue eyes or red hair,

 

patriotism over all - unqualified - is as much about exclusivity as religion or supporting manchester united - or joining any other group that identifies itself as being apart from / different to other groups for whatever reason.

 

can be a positive influence - but then again look around at the damage that can be done in the wrong hands - arrogance rules

 

like anything else - this sort of thing should be taught positively logically and rationally - and the last bit is the really hard bit

 

fight nicely now out there ;-)

 

B-)

 

 

violence - the last resort of the incompetent -

or should that be that it's the first resort

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I am not surprised you are uncomfortable being human crinklyfishstar - I never thought you were! :-D

 

As for what I see as patriotism - if you want a good example - just watch the six nations over the coming weeks.

 

I think it is about time the apologists ("Boo hoo hoo! weepy weepy - I am so sorry I am English, British, human blah blah blah") just looked at the real world for a change not what the dregs of the 1960's feel we are all at fault for.

 

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Patriotism must be taught to not be inward looking and become paranoid or we run the risk of ending up with ingrained hatred like the very peoples who seem hate us so much these days.

 

Pride in being English/Welsh/Scottish second and British first manifests itself so much in the 6 nations with mainly good heated banter and friendly insults bandied during a good natured series of fun days out for most folks and it does, in my view, represent some of the very best of Britishness.

 

There are some amongst us who hate our UK neighbours for whatever may or may not have happened in the past but just as we are now friends with the German and Japanese peoples so we should all learn to live together in harmony on these islands that we like to call Great Britain.

 

But then most of us already know this - it's the non believers who are taught to see tolerance and friendship as a sign of weakness that we need to convert - and the first step may well be to get ourselves out of Iraq and Afghanistan and regain their trust.

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I think Jackie's point about the accident of birth is an important one. Whenever we think we're better than others, or entitled to more (respect, health, education, resources) than others, just because we were born in a certain place or to certain parents, we're on dangerous ground. It's reasonable to be proud (in a good way) of things WE'VE done, but not what others have done for us.

Flipside of that is, we've no reason to be ashamed of , or apologise for, what our predecessors did either!

 

BUT ... the need to "belong" seems to be wired into us, and it always seems to be defined negatively - by others "not belonging."

 

Maybe a positive kind of patriotism would be:

1. Start from the assumption that loving and caring for every human being would be wonderful

2. Acknowledge we're not actually capable of doing that - not least because relating in any way to the whole human race is a pretty meaningless concept.

3. Decide to do the practicable bit of that: to love and care for THOSE WE ACTUALLY HAVE CONTACT WITH, whether they're similar to us or very different.

 

This implies an "underlying" wish for the good of the whole human race, combined with a practical decision to DO good for those we can reach - which basically means those we're in real contact with - WHOEVER THEY ARE. So the goodwill starts with those we live with, and spreads out as far as it can, thinning out realistically but NEVER reaching a point where it becomes hatred, enmity, or wanting less than the best for anyone.

 

Does this make sense?

Would it be wonderful?

Will it ever happen? (If not, can we at least do our bit of it?)

 

Tony

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I dont think that patriotism is taught, you are born with it, it's the wierd brigade that are saying everybody must be a world person so as not to upset anybody that are doing the teaching and kicking anything that was English/British into touch. Stand up and wave the flag before it's too late.

 

 

 

Mick H.

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And in the times of war who is it that implores us mugs to be patriotic, or sends us to prison if we refuse.

 

I live my life how I decide I want to live it and not as anyone else tries to dictate that I should live it.

Im happy in my own little world providing for and protecting my loved ones

I will help people if I think help is needed by someone who, through no fault of their own, genuinely need help.

I will quiet happily walk by on the other side of the road when I think help is being asked for by someone who has deliberately placed themselves in their predicament.

 

People through their soft hearted generosity of giving money to beggers are encouraging even more beggers onto the streets because it is easy money for them and they make loads of it PLUS they will be on benefits too

 

Sorry, somehow Ive managed to stray just ever so slightly off topic, not like me at all is it

 

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I am proud to be part of a country that has, and had, some of the best engineers and scientists in history. I am proud of the contribution of thousands of people who stood alone and fought against Nazism during WW2. I am proud to have been taught by my teachers that we should question everything that is told to us, whether by politicians or teachers! I am proud when UK citizens, of all faiths and beliefs, work together to show that bigotry, bullying, terrorism and hatred are NOT going to succeed.

 

I am not proud of the blind "patriotism" that condemns people because they come here to find a better life for themselves and their families. Especially people who 60 years ago fought side by side with us against Fascism. People like the Poles without who the secrets of the V1 & V2 would have been hidden for longer. People from India and the Far East who helped Allied soldiers fight and escape from the Japanese. These and many others who are now called names and worse for wanting to escape a life we in the UK cannot imagine.

 

I am proud of the history of trade unionism that fought to give the vast majority of ordinary working people basic living wages and conditions. Things that many of us take for granted like, health, welfare and safety at work. I am proud of people who stood up when politicians and Kings thought that ordinary people were nothing but slaves to be used then discarded without thought.

 

We should remember that history can teach both sides of the story if we look beyond the headlines and never forget that history is written by the victors.

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Wow, not bad at all Tomo3090

 

You missed just one small point when you related the things that the Poles have done for us in the past

 

The Poles got the FIRST Enigma machine and passed it's secrets on to us, now what was that worth

 

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There's nothing wrong in being proud of where you come from. There's nothing wrong in being proud of your culture, your national characteristics, your way of life.

What is wrong is believing that you are automatically better than others because of this.

What is even worse is allowing a jingoistic press and politicians to play on your patriotism and involve you in unjustified sabre rattling or unecessary wars.

It's possible to love your country without wanting to beat the c**p out of someone else's.

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In an ideal world, we could all call ourselves 'citizens of the planet earth'. Which, after all, we are. None of us have the right to say that the country in which we live belongs to us. But then, man is built to be territorial. He sees the need to protect those nearest and dearest, against all comers. He sees the need to have governments who are fair and treat it's citizens with fairness. Of course bigotry is one of man's deepest failings. However, at the end of the day (what a cliche) each of us must have concerns about the way our government is dragging us into this 'world citizenship' type of society. I fully appreciate the need for more workers to come to Britain in order to 'boost our economy' but at what cost? The infrastructure in this small island is near to a point where it's becoming overloaded. This unfortunately fires racism. Getting to the main thread, if the teaching of patriotism is removed from our schools where will our identity go? Or is there a need to remove identity? I don't think so. The PC brigade would like to tear down Nelson's Column. Change the name of Waterloo station in case it offends some of our Gaulic neighbours. This nation of ours has a long history. Not all of it pleasant, but a history. So therefore, right or wrong, it must still be taught. Mind you, looking at much of the youth in our society, they probably couldn't give a damn anyway.
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Here is a shock that I suffered a few short years ago

 

We took our neighbours 15 year old daughter with us on holiday, we visited the great Whinston Churchills grave and she asked me who he was.

I couldnt believe it, she really had never heard of him and had never been taught about him at school

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CliveH - 2008-02-01 9:53 AM

But academics at the Institute of Education in the University of London warned that pupils should not be encouraged to love Britain for its "morally ambiguous" history.

What country hasn't got a "morally ambiguous" history?

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colin - 2008-02-01 7:46 PM

 

CliveH - 2008-02-01 9:53 AM

But academics at the Institute of Education in the University of London warned that pupils should not be encouraged to love Britain for its "morally ambiguous" history.

What country hasn't got a "morally ambiguous" history?

 

Off the top of my head, Belgium?

Everybody always just marched through there on their way to invade somewhere else. Sort of European equivalent of a motorway service area.

 

 

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Yes indeed Stalwart. What does Belgium have? Good beer I suppose. Damn good furniture! I bought some decent Belgian Oak furniture there around 20 years ago and it's still in pristine condition. But, as you say, only a stopping off point to go somewhere else, marching or not.
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CliveH - 2008-02-01 10:56 AM I think it is about time the apologists ("Boo hoo hoo! weepy weepy - I am so sorry I am English, British, human blah blah blah") just looked at the real world for a change not what the dregs of the 1960's feel we are all at fault for.

Where did I get the impression you were looking for a reasoned debate?  My country, right or wrong?  Oh well, if that's how you feel, I suppose it won't make that much difference, but reasoned, it ain't.

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