Ukip protests at 'EU propaganda' as comics are sent to schools
Schools are being offered free comics by the European Union, designed to teach children about the intricacies of European policy and legislation.
The cartoons have been created to explain how the EU spends money on public infrastructure such as hospital wards, in order to challenge the idea that the system is inherently wasteful.
Comic books are often seen as an engaging way to get children reading. In this case, they will inform pupils about the minutiae of the Common Agricultural Policy and the work of competition lawyers.
One edition, called On the Road to Victory, features a class of international students from Bratislava, Slovakia, ing an “adventure-packed trip” across the Continent after being “inspired by the EU budget”.
The cartoon features one boy raising his hand stating: “My Dad says that Europe is a waste of money.”
His teacher quickly responds: “It’s true there is a lot of criticism of the European Union…but the way the money is used on something like 280,000 projects every year is watched very closely. There is less than 1 per cent fraud.”
The release of the comics has been heavily criticised by Ukip. The party’s education spokesman and MEP Paul Nuttall has written to education secretary Nicky Morgan demanding that the comics be “withdrawn from schools across England and Wales”.
The books were “essentially EU propaganda”, Mr Nuttall said.
“The Education Act 1996 makes it clear that the pursuit or promotion of partisan political views is strictly forbidden in schools, and for very good reason," he added. “Children should be free to study and grow without being indoctrinated by an organisation that is quite clearly political, as it is controlled, praised and criticised by politicians at all levels.”
An EU spokesperson told The Daily Telegraph: “In order to sustain the EU as a project and to ensure its success, it needs popular support. Young people represent the future, and it is therefore of prime importance that they are informed about what the EU is, what it does and why it is important, in their own language.”