A sad lesson in mob politics

14th April 2000 at 01:00
NO NEWS is good news. The working group considering the implications of repealing Section 2A (aka Section 28) has found that it is redundant. There are no cases in Scotland of teachers using inappropriate materials in sex education. Homosexuality is not being promoted. End of story.

Except that of course it is not the end. Circulation-seeking newspapers will continue to stir up a hornet's nest. Conservative MSPs will still think that cheap pot-shots are an appropriate form of constitutional opposition. Worst of all, the amply funded campaign to play on latent prejudices is unlikely to rest despite a well merited rebuff from the Electoral Reform Society.

The idea that any of these groups might now apologise to Scottish teachers for the slights cast upon them is of course incredible. But the redrawn guidelines that the embattled Executive is being forced to issue to schools will amount to nothing more than the common sense which teachers exercise unprompted every day.

The Catholic hierarchy complains that the new section in the Ethical Standards in Public Life Bill is inadequate because it makes no reference to the primacy of marriage. The problem with that attitude is that the Church is moving from stating what it would understandably prefer to a claim on every school and every teacher.


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