Monday, January 29, 2007

The CCF - the Best Educational Opportunity Around!



It's not always that I read the comments of a Labour MP and warmly support them, but the MP for Mitcham and Mordern, Siobhain McDonagh, is clearly a woman of high intellectual calibre and strong moral worth. The reason for such an endorsement? Her speech in an adjournment debate which was positive and enthusiastic about the role of Combined Cadet Force units. She started thus:
I am delighted to have been given this opportunity to promote the good work of the armed forces, and to raise the subject of the need to increase the number of schools involved with the cadets.

Later, we get this:

Traditionally, cadet forces have offered many attractions for young people, including the chance to try hill climbing, abseiling and other outdoor sports. Cadet forces have also given them opportunities to learn about subjects such as aviation and engineering, which cannot be offered by mainstream schools. They have given young people a strong sense of belonging to a community, and they have helped to instil them with a sense of self-discipline and respect.

And, as if to push the point home, this admirable MP goes on to say:

The cadets are exactly what many young people need to remain engaged at school and to prevent them from becoming disillusioned, bored and, ultimately, truanting from school. At present, as well as 100,000 cadets in youth groups outside school, there are more than 40,000 cadets based in schools as part of the combined cadet force.

She does go on to pursue an interesting class/race angle as well:

Today, Sir Keith Ajegbo, a former head teacher and a Home Office adviser, published a Government-commissioned report that says that more needs to be done to engage white pupils, particularly those who are working-class. His report says that white pupils can feel just as disfranchised as pupils from other ethnic backgrounds...Why should those of us who believe in a good state education sector allow public schools to monopolise a programme that could benefit children from less privileged backgrounds?...I am persuaded that cadet forces offer many young people, particularly white boys, something of real educational value, and I wish that the opportunity to join was more widely available.

Well, well. Some interesting truths from the honourable member for Mitcham and Mordern. Perhaps we should get her to visit.

6 comments:

Chris Wotton said...

"clearly a woman of high intellectual calibre and strong moral worth" is not exactly how I'd describe our Siobhain. A lovely lady she may be, and I know that from having met her several times, but she's not the brightest spark - she also overdoes the purfume.

And it's spelled Morden :)

Chris Wotton said...

I should add that sadly, since I live a few houses too far up the road, she's not actually my MP. I have the Tory tosser instead.

(Did I say that? Shameful).

GM said...

If you are referring to the excellent and hard working MP for Wimbledon, who threw out the Labour imposter at the last election, then you are of course in luck......although he has yet to speak in defence of CCF's and so ranks lower than the perfumed Ms. Mcdonald!

Chris Wotton said...

Oh indeed I am...what a lucky thing I am.

C H Daly said...

The woman, as fantastic an MP as she may be, has clearly never been to our school from about 4-5 on a Tuesday evening. Please invite her along one evening!

will said...

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