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Former ‘Union unit’ head urges Liz Truss to use education to ‘fortify the foundations of our United Kingdom’

08 Sep 2022 2 minute read
Luke Graham. Picture by Chris McAndrew (CC BY 3.0).

Education under devolution has been “weaponised” by “nationalists” and Liz Truss should take control of it as a tool to “fortify the foundations of our United Kingdom”, a former Conservative MP has argued.

The call has come from the former head of Boris Johnson’s ‘Union Unit’, Luke Graham, writing in the Times alongside Ed McGuinness, the London-based chairman of Islington Conservatives.

In the article, they call on the newly appointed prime minister to ensure that schools and universities actively work to promote and shore up support for the Union.

Education is currently devolved to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and the Welsh Government is introducing a new curriculum this month that includes a focus on Welsh and local history.

But in the article Luke Graham and Ed McGuinness say that students should be offered incentives to study outside their own UK nations to “expand their cultural and educational horizons”.

“A bold approach would be for the UK government to offer tuition support grants to students who choose to study in a nation other than their home,” they said.

‘Sinister’

Luke Graham and Ed McGuinness added: “Under nationalist governance the curriculum has been weaponised, ranging from the absurd through to the detrimental effects of distraction from core competence on children’s future.

“There now exists a unique opportunity for the new prime minister to hold the devolved governments to account.”

Carol Monaghan, the SNP’s Westminster education spokeswoman, told the Times there was a “whiff of tyranny” about the suggestions.

“These deeply sinister proposals represent a brazen direct attack on devolution, on the impartiality of our educational institutions and on freedom of expression that would reduce them to puppet organisations of the Westminster Tory government,” she said.

“This is not only a clear attack on Scotland’s devolved responsibilities but on the principle that education and learning must be free of political interference.”


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M.R.
M.R.
27 days ago

Idiot.

Gareth
Gareth
27 days ago

This fool states the students” should be offered incentives to study outside their own UK nations”. We had that stupid, it was called the Erasmus scheme, and the Tory’s took us out of it, against the will of our Gov. This man just wants UK propaganda taught as we have had in the past. Go away now imperialist clown.

WilliamsG
WilliamsG
27 days ago

Like many extreme dictatorships this guy is now promoting the indoctrination of our children.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
27 days ago

Is this a case of a political career waving as it goes down for a third time…

Hanes Cymru; scares the pants off them…

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
26 days ago

They are losing the argument so are hoping that brainwashing our children in schools will see them blindly accept the Union. Keep dreaming.

Crwtyddol
Crwtyddol
26 days ago

Stalin-istic style indoctrination

Dafydd
Dafydd
26 days ago

Hey pal – we’ve had your history rammed down out throats for nearly a millenium. Why are you so desperate to prevent us from learning the truth about about our actual history, rather than some horse manure about a serial abuser of women A.K.A. Henry No. 5?

George
George
26 days ago

Seeing the comments to the blatant “we must increase positive feeling for union by controlling education” stance should be instructive for those who want to change education in Wales, i.e. Welsh history.

We want Welsh students to be the best they can be, including having awareness of who they have been up to this point. Going to far the other way so they’re not the best students they can be but have best knowledge of who they are isn’t the ideal.

Arwyn
26 days ago

That’s nationalism right there folks. That’s what it looks like. A one eyed, blinkered indoctrination of an identity imposed by force from an imperialist centre. Everything that’s wrong with the UK summed up by one dingbat of an idea. If there’s one thing I’d like to get through the skulls of Tories is that they have no God-given right to rule Britain and that their State which they have structurally skewed in their favour has already died. Like a tree rotten from the inside, it just takes one little storm to bring it crashing down. They have never ever won… Read more »

Gareth Cemlyn Jones
Gareth Cemlyn Jones
26 days ago

As General Tom Barry recalls ‘I had never been told of Wolfe Tone or Robert Emmet, though I did know all about the Kings of England and when they had come to the British throne. I had never heard of the victory over the Sassanach at Benburb, but I could tell the dates of Waterloo and Trafalgar. I did not know of the spread of Christanity throughout Europe by Irish missionaries and scholars but did I not know of the blessings of civilisation which Clive and the East India company had brought to dark and heathen India’ A return to… Read more »

Alan Jones
Alan Jones
26 days ago

Yes this runs parallel to my & I imagine most others teaching of history taught in state education during the 60s into the 70s. When I left school to enter the workplace way back in 1973 as far as history was concerned I could recite the dates of the births, accessions & deaths of every king & queen of England ( and no, don’t dare ask me now). All I knew of Cymru was we painted ourselves blue, the Romans came & conquered us, the Vikings had a stab at it plus the Anglo Saxons before the Normans wreaked their… Read more »

Rob
Rob
26 days ago

Here’s a bold idea. Let the devolved nations do whatever they feel is necessary to promote their nations history and identity.
In England focus on what it means to be English, and then work together on what it means to be British.
What is seriously needed if you want to preserve the Union if a clear definition between what it means to be British and what it means to be English.

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
26 days ago

The Tory assault on devolution will be a major element in their legislative programme until the next UK election. This proposal, if it ever got off the ground, would be a significant stepping up of that assault, and ties in nicely with Truss’s stated intention to sideline the devolved governments of the Celtic countries in order to produce a homogenised and anglicised UK. They will avoid going so far as to abolish devolution, but will continue to work towards making it impossible for the Welsh Government and Senedd to enact effective legislation for Cymru. Luke Graham’s proposal is offensive in… Read more »

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
26 days ago

Use education to “fortify” the United Kingdom. Hmmmm… Interesting. Does this mean telling the truth of how that so-called Union came about by stating that it didn’t begin in 1707 with the joining of the Kingdom of Scotland & England politically, but through invasion & annexation of Wales between the years 1282 & 1535, bit like what Russia’s currently doing to the Ukraine today. Unlikely.

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
26 days ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

They’ll leave that bit out… or describe how the Welsh (oppressed by their own leaders), threw flowers at the Anglo-Norman invaders…

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
26 days ago

Sorry, but you cannot rewrite history to suit your own agenda or airbrush the bits of it you don’t like.

Stephen Owen
Stephen Owen
25 days ago

So British nationalism is good while Welsh or Scottish nationalism is bad, another case of the pot calling the kettle black.

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