Illiberal Liberals and Faith Schools
Much has already been said on this subject so my posting will be short.
How can many in a supposedly decentralist party wish to impose from the centre a list of diktats on faith schools ? Those of a secularlist bent have plenty of schools that reflect that ethos, so why seek to deny choice to those of us who support the Christian values (but not scriptural indoctrination) of the best faith schools ?
If one is so concerned about equality of opportunity for all our children, might one focus attention on the absurd advantages the independent schools enjoy, not least including charitable status and attendant tax breaks.
Being pragmatic, something I'm often not, getting in a tangle over faith schools only risks alienating huge swathes of people which doesn't make electoral sense.
For my part, diversity within the comprehensive system remains the least worst option. Access to 'good' schools for those in our poorest areas remains the achillies heel in our quest for a more equitable schools system. Certainly here in Torbay, St. Cuthbert Mayne, unlike alternative non-denominational schools, does not select according to aptitude. Students come from a variety of backgrounds and a variety of learning needs, but are bound together by the Christian ethos of that school.
Irrespective of your opinion of faith schools, in general the mention of religious belief is a subject that often 'smokes out' the intolerance of illiberal Liberals. A recent LDV contributor Laurence Boyce's interpretation of Islam being a prime example. And no, I may be a Christian, but I am not a fundamentalist, I'm not homophobic, don't moralise about sex and hopefully don't fit the negative stereotypes such a label engenders in some minds. Here's an idea, lets be little more liberal.... on this and other issues.