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Old 15th Jul 2004, 13:50   #11
John Self
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hazel
It is only as a result of growing levels of child obesity that this goverment is moving away from the 'all shall have prizes' mentality ... The same applies in education - I was incredibly lucky to have been at school before the worst of this happened, and was therefore encouraged to do the best that I could. Friends of mine, however, were discouraged from reading ahead, as it would make the other children feel bad!
Again with the reference to "this government", I can only reiterate that connecting that to the proposed honours reforms is misleading as they do not come from the government and are not government policy.

I am often confused by references to the "all shall have prizes" mentality, usually cited together with the term "trendy teaching methods." I was at school between 1977 and 1991 and never came across them. Isn't something like discouraging children from reading ahead something that would be imposed by individual teachers or even local schools authorities, and nothing to do with central government?
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Old 15th Jul 2004, 13:52   #12
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Yes, but there are some fundamental differences that make entrance to one far more appealing than entrance to the other. I doubt many countries asked to become part of the Empire. Once the direct exploitation of resources was removed, then certain economic factors make it more appealing for the various heads of state to enter or remain. The model of the Commonwealth is certainly not one to be completely discarded, but surely it would have been better to just go straight to that model, missing out the empire?

As for the honours, well you could keep them, but what's the point in them? Unless they're voted for by the whole population (and then everyone who can be voted for needs equal billing), then they're no more than a few people's opinions. Once you get one, you get to say that a lot of people voted for me and said I did good. Which would be nice, but no more than that.

Fine, if most other people thought that was a good idea, then fair enough. They're not something to lose too much sleep over.
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Old 15th Jul 2004, 19:31   #13
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Let's not forget the "People's Peers" fiasco of not so many years ago. Most of them turned out to be the usual suspects.
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Old 15th Jul 2004, 21:01   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Self

Again with the reference to "this government", I can only reiterate that connecting that to the proposed honours reforms is misleading as they do not come from the government and are not government policy
Yes I know - but they are all connected!

Quote:
I am often confused by references to the "all shall have prizes" mentality, usually cited together with the term "trendy teaching methods." I was at school between 1977 and 1991 and never came across them. Isn't something like discouraging children from reading ahead something that would be imposed by individual teachers or even local schools authorities, and nothing to do with central government
I was at school a little after you - and it was getting worse. The National Curriculum has a lot to answer for - as do some of the things they have taught teachers on their training courses (universities have a lot to answer for)
My Mum went back to teaching just as you left school - and there had been a real change in the focus since she started, sometimes for good, but not always - and as there were fewer teachers of her generation, so the newer methods were becoming more prevalant.
Class sizes were bigger when mum first taught, which was bad, but less kids came out of primary school functionally illiterate, which was good.

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Old 15th Jul 2004, 21:05   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skanky
Yes, but there are some fundamental differences that make entrance to one far more appealing than entrance to the other. I doubt many countries asked to become part of the Empire. Once the direct exploitation of resources was removed, then certain economic factors make it more appealing for the various heads of state to enter or remain. The model of the Commonwealth is certainly not one to be completely discarded, but surely it would have been better to just go straight to that model, missing out the empire?
Yes, but then we are inflicting our morals/world view on the Victorians, which is a little pointless - and the Empire wasn't all bad. For example, would it have been as easy to abolish slavery (yes I know we shouldnt have had it in the first place) in a Commonwealth as it was in an Empire? Not to mention the influence to get rid of it elsewhere?

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Old 16th Jul 2004, 11:44   #16
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What other mnorality would we want to prohect on the Victorians? I have to disagree as well that most (if not all) of the supposedly good things that came out of teh Empire could have come out of a different, trade based model. The point is, that you cannot (as you did earlier) use the Commonwealth, and any success it has, as a justification for the Empire. Any good that may have come from Empire was vastly out-weighed by the bad and otherwise why move to the commonwealth model from the empirical?

Most slaves were used by the colonial powers within the colonies themselves, so abolition of slavery elsewhere was minor in comparison to the ending of that created by the empires. Some of this other slavery was initially caused by the various colonial regimes, even if it had a life of its afterwards. That slavery still exists, and existed before the European colonial times, does not justify anything (I know you didn't say that it did, just trying to cover everything).

Most of the good supposedly done by the Empire - say the infrastructure, was done for the benefit of the colonial powers. Even now there is still better infrastructure supporting international trade, in parts of Africa, than internally - e.g. linking African countries. The West could have helped these nations far more by working with them on an equal footing than subjugation and genocide.
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Old 16th Jul 2004, 19:31   #17
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Err .... I don't really think you can blame the British Empire for slavery in the US, and the associated problems, they really ran with that one themselves.

Nor did we invent slavery - I dont think it would necessarily have occured to us to capture slaves, if we first hadn't been offered them for sale!

Yes the Empire was set up for the benefit of the colonial powers, but we were nowhere near as genocidal as we were made out to be, or as African and Asian peoples are to each other.
Also, with a few notable exceptions, no one from our former colonies seems to want to blow us up (unlike say France and Algeria) despite having ample opportunity - which does suggest we werent that bad. Not to mention the vast majority of our former colonies have now become successful democracies - India's recent elections seems to have had less controversy than ours (and no the postal voting form was
not that complicated)

There has recently been moves to reassess the Empire (led by Niall Ferguson amongst others) and there is increasing recognition that it may not have been as bad as it has been painted.

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Old 19th Jul 2004, 13:08   #18
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Quote:
we were nowhere near as genocidal as we were made out to be
So that's alright, then. :wink:
There were conflicts and wars in Africa before the colonisation periods, but the shoe-horning of the many states and tribes into just a few, arbitrarily created countries (with boundaries that even split existing tribes) didn't exactly help. Even the roots of the Rwandan genocide(s) were based in the Hamitic myth and Belgian colonial theory.

Not blaming the UK for US slavery, just that there was plenty of western self-support in it. The western powers didn't invent slavery no, but that doesn't excuse its use to use it.

The development should hve been carried out on mututality then the local populations would have gained most of the benefits rather than a few of the benefits.

I'm not saying that people in Africa and Asia were not happy to have their own conflicts and oppression, but that does not excuse the invasion, occupation, slaughter and enslavement carried out by the western powers.

There's an increasing movement to look back on times of empire with rose-tinted glasses, and in ten years time the pendulum will swing back the other way. Whatever. The thing is that no benefits were gained by the colonised countries that couldn't have been gained without invasion, and many datrimental effects were result of it. Also, some of the so called "benefits" were not as beneficial as is often stated.
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Old 20th Jul 2004, 18:15   #19
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Reformation of the honours system is needed.......not total abolition. I've gone on record as having said this before, and I will reiterate. How many more pieces of our heritage and tradition must we lose before people will say

'We've lost it all'
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Old 20th Jul 2004, 20:03   #20
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Yup -I said that too

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