Ray Honeyford RIP

Discussion of various public figures

Ray Honeyford RIP

Postby Elliott » 09 Feb 2012, 16:51

I read with sadness in today's Telegraph that Ray Honeyford has passed away. Dalrymple has written about him, and seemingly met him personally.

In short, Mr Honeyford was the headmaster of a school in ethnically-diverse Bradford where he was expected to make huge concessions to the lifestyles of Pakistani and Bangladeshi pupils to the detriment, he believed, of their integration into British life. He wrote an article for The Salisbury Review outlining his criticisms of multiculturalism. This was when multiculturalism was a new and shiny thing, a panacea to prevent repeats of the Brixton Riots, and as such couldn't be allowed to fail.

For publishing his article, Honeyford was pilloried by the press, by the teaching establishment, by the government, and by black, Asian and Muslim pressure groups. He received death threats and had to enter his school with a police escort. He was suspended and eventually agreed to take early retirement, by which time his health was failing. His school was soon given a new, Islamic name.

The amazing this is that all of this happened in the mid-80s, and under the Thatcher government. Though we think multiculturalism really took off in 1997, actually it was thriving under the "hard right" government in the early 80s, although I suspect it had been unofficial policy within the education sector since at least the mid-70s. (How far back does the Loony Left go?)

The Honeyford affair may come to be seen as an important point in Britain's post-Empire ethnocultural narrative. What he brought to the public's attention was the unpleasant reality that when two cultures come up against each other, one of them has to either win, or be the other's victim. This is not something anybody likes to acknowledge, and for seeking to open the debate, Honeyford was ruthlessly punished both by the ethnic minorities he was devoted to helping (outraged by the idea that they should integrate into British culture), and by the white elite of his country. He was an early victim of the political correctness which is now the scorn of the nation. But at the time, as a new and shiny thing, PC had to prevail. Honeyford paid the price for his country's naivety.

As for the article which started the whole affair in the first place, you can read it here. I think it is fair to say that if a headmaster wrote that today, it would barely raise a whisper of disagreement. Mr Honeyford has been utterly vindicated, and though I hope he realised this, it is sad to think that he could only do so by witnessing the very effects he had predicted.

RIP.
Elliott
 
Posts: 1800
Joined: 31 Jul 2011, 22:32
Location: Edinburgh

Re: Ray Honeyford RIP

Postby Rachel » 09 Feb 2012, 18:39

Bradford had an extremely large Muslim Pakistani community back in 1972 when my parents arrived there.
Thanks for the link to the Telegraph article. I had no idea that the events in the TD article about Mr Honeyford happened back in the mid 80's. I thought it was later than that.
Rachel
 
Posts: 292
Joined: 03 Aug 2011, 10:14
Location: Israel

Re: Ray Honeyford RIP

Postby Gavin » 12 Feb 2012, 16:10

What a brave and brilliant article by Mr Honeyford, and it struck me what a first rate writer he was. This man was, of course, exactly the kind of person who we need in teaching, yet he was hounded out for telling the truth. It was, as you suggest, Elliott, as if he were writing about present day Britain. The poor man seems to have been a casualty of PC as much as Enoch Powell was.

I was listening to James Whale on LBC a few days ago and he had devoted the hour to teachers. Now, a lot of them may be lefties, but it seems that the institution is more left than many of the teachers these days. Whale heard tales of them being spat at, challenged to fights, sworn at, and even threatened with rape. They even skipped the news for one call, which he said he would pass on to the Minister for Education. As I have said before, Whale is a breath of fresh air, having no-nonsense conservative views on most issues. This hour really showed what terrible damage PC has done to our schools though.

I have now found that these calls have been posted online by LBC - listen to them here.
Gavin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3430
Joined: 27 Jul 2011, 18:13
Location: Once Great Britain

Re: Ray Honeyford RIP

Postby Caleb » 13 Feb 2012, 01:50

I was working as a supply teacher in a school in the outer suburbs of Melbourne once and I was sitting in the staffroom at lunch. A middle aged teacher was telling, in an almost too casual air (which suggested it had happened before), that one of the boys in her year eight class had threatened to call his father up to the school to rape her.
Caleb
 
Posts: 865
Joined: 20 Oct 2011, 04:44

Re: Ray Honeyford RIP

Postby Elliott » 13 Feb 2012, 07:59

Yes, Rachel, it started in early 1984. He retired the following December - two years of hounding, chanting and police protection. I had forgotten you had lived in Bradford. Can you remember anything of the debacle when it occurred?

Gavin, I've been trying to obtain Mr Honeyford's other articles but without success. There's the TES one which preceded the incendiary Salisbury Review essay. He apparently wrote subsequent essays for that excellent magazine, and (surprisingly enough) at least one more for The Times, in 1990. Finally there's one he wrote in 2006 for the Daily Mail, responding to Trevor Philips' partial denunciation of multiculturalism... I'd be fascinated to read any of these articles because, as you say, he is an excellent writer - but they don't seem to be anywhere online. I think it would be nice to create a resource holding as many of his articles as can be retrieved. Like Dalrymple, he really knew what he was writing about and it's a shame to neglect what views he put to paper. One day perhaps, if I can track them down.

And yes, I agree, his article (which destroyed his career) is a great read. It feels slightly truncated to me, but what's there is excellent.

What I was trying to emphasise in the OP was how interesting it is to see a "present day" project in full flow 30 years ago, and under a government far more conservative than either New Labour or the Coalition. What was Thatcher thinking at No.10 while all this was going on? Did the government simply write it off as "too hot to handle"?

It's also interesting to note the different terminology used in 1984. In this sense the essay is historical.

For example, we never hear of "race relations" today - perhaps because we have forced ourselves into the belief that races will relate to each other naturally, and the idea of blueprinting the process is, in its own way, secretly racist since it denies the fact (obvious to us all) that different races love each other really.

In the entire article, the phrase "political correctness" never appears, nor any variant.

Likewise, the phrase "multicultural" never appears. It's as if the thing was so new that a name hadn't been invented for it yet, or at least hadn't come into common usage. Instead Honeyford says "multi-racial", which leaves him even more open to charges of racism.

At one point he uses the word "coloured". Bad idea nowadays.

Furthermore, several things he mentions are now defunct: the conflating of all ethnic minorities into "black" - today, that would actually be seen as racist in itself, for one would be denying the distinct identities of Indians and Vietnamese etc. (One can just imagine the PC taunts: "do they all look the same to you?"...)

Also, his objection to the word "racism":

It conflates prejudice and discrimination, and thereby denies a crucial conceptual distinction.


Nowadays, I think we see no distinction between prejudice and discrimination - perhaps as a result of their being conflated by PC for so long. Where a 50-something man in 1984 saw a "crucial conceptual distinction" between them, how many 50-somethings in 2012 would see it? I think we treat them as the same thing, or at least, equally bad. Who would ever say "well I'm not prejudiced, but I do discriminate" or "I loathe discrimination, but I am prejudiced"...?

It would be interesting to know how the state of play has changed, with regard to the specific problems Honeyford mentions. Do schools in Britain still tolerate Pakistani families sending their kids away for months on end? Are children still taught in Urdu? Do we allow segregation by sex in P.E.? (Whatever the answers to these questions, we have the separate world of Islamic schools - nobody seems to have a clue what goes in them.)

Come to think of it, there was one Muslim boy at my school (in a 99% white, middle-class town) in the late 90s, and he went "home" for an entire year. I remember our RE teacher approvingly saying the boy had gone to study Islam and learn about his heritage. (This is the trouble... who could be against someone learning about their heritage? But who could be in support of someone learning how utterly different they are to the people they live among?)

Earlier I mentioned multiculturalism as a "present day" project... But I think it is actually quite passe now. I believe it's in the same state as the climate change project: still making a lot of noise, but thought and deed have condemned it, and it's on borrowed time. It's like that moment in a cartoon when a character runs off the edge of a cliff then hangs in mid-air for a second, still frantically moving his feet, before he inevitably tumbles downward. Even though we still have people drivelling about climate change and how diversity is enriching (for their salaries and/or self-image depend on this being so), the earth has disappeared from under them. I only hope that the ground, when they eventually land, is covered in cacti.

Once multiculturalism has died as a project, we'll be left with the reality on the ground of different races and different religions vying for dominance over each other. (Oh, for the good old days of sectarianism between white Protestants and white Catholics!)
Elliott
 
Posts: 1800
Joined: 31 Jul 2011, 22:32
Location: Edinburgh

Re: Ray Honeyford RIP

Postby Elliott » 13 Feb 2012, 08:04

By the way, Gavin, I listened to those two clips from LBC. It was rather unpleasant to hear the first caller describe herself as "an outstanding teacher", but perhaps we should forgive that given the context.

I agree that the system is more liberal/PC than most individual teachers, because they have to contend with reality. But even then, one hears tales of individuals (especially young teachers, and older ones in management) who are cravenly PC. I've mentioned before my friend who became a teacher - during the 9-month training course he was transformed into a PC drone by the lecturers. They seem to be really good at it.

We can hope their evil work will be undone, once their students have spent a few years in the real world.
Elliott
 
Posts: 1800
Joined: 31 Jul 2011, 22:32
Location: Edinburgh

Re: Ray Honeyford RIP

Postby Mike » 13 Feb 2012, 10:50

Those LBC audio clips are heartbreaking. Partly, though, because both of the women speaking have taken on the attitude of conscious martyrdom which, in my view, ultimately often works against one as a teacher. They're caught between a jaded and cynical senior administration, an apathetic, ignorant and PC-ridden educational bureaucracy, and an unattainable ideal of proper teaching (it was a significant moment when the second caller mentioned all the things that needed to be done properly with OFSTED inspections in mind...most of these things would no doubt be utterly meaningless and merely a symptom of the exercise of power by the education bureaucrats, but she clearly felt they were objectively necessary). In short, I feel dreadfully sorry for both of them.

Gavin wrote:Now, a lot of them <teachers> may be lefties, but it seems that the institution is more left than many of the teachers these days.


As I mentioned on another thread, the teachers of my acquaintance tend to be old-left (pro-union, very keen on the notion of the nobility of the public service, etc.), whereas the education bureaucracy is solidly new-left (full of smug adherence to various PC causes, and equally committed to the worst and most cynical aspects of Blair-style corporatism). I have far more sympathy for the former than for the latter.
Mike
 
Posts: 402
Joined: 01 Aug 2011, 11:08
Location: Australia

Re: Ray Honeyford RIP

Postby Gavin » 13 Feb 2012, 11:05

I agree with your distinction there, Mike (though I am against "old left" too), and Elliott, I agree that it sounded very bad to hear that teacher congratulating herself as being outstanding. The teachers certainly had the sound of the liberal about them but they have surely received their wake-up calls now. It is a shame how shackled teachers are by the stifling, destructive PC system, and as Whale said, it is a wonder how anyone wants to go in for the job! I couldn't wait to get out of school and never want to set foot in one again, personally (especially since society seems to have declined further since then).

I also agree with what, I think, Caleb was saying that often people who do well do it despite and not because of their school experience. I know when I was reading philosophy at university, when the going got really serious, I stopped attending lectures altogether and only read books by the most significant writers (and my philosophy dept was a good one). I just focused on handing in essay after essay trying to maximise marks. Like Caleb, if I had children I would home school them.
Gavin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3430
Joined: 27 Jul 2011, 18:13
Location: Once Great Britain

Re: Ray Honeyford RIP

Postby Caleb » 14 Feb 2012, 04:31

Mike wrote:As I mentioned on another thread, the teachers of my acquaintance tend to be old-left (pro-union, very keen on the notion of the nobility of the public service, etc.), whereas the education bureaucracy is solidly new-left (full of smug adherence to various PC causes, and equally committed to the worst and most cynical aspects of Blair-style corporatism). I have far more sympathy for the former than for the latter.


I had a colleague in England once who was very much of the old left. He readily admitted to being a Marxist. There were times when he could be a little bit PC, but generally, he was very much of the old school. We used to have fierce debates about things (usually after I'd sent a student to innocently inquire as to why the NHS should be privatised). However, we would join forces against one of our colleagues in particular who my first colleague referred to, as if he were discussing paleontology, as "Pomo" (Postmodern Man).
Caleb
 
Posts: 865
Joined: 20 Oct 2011, 04:44

Re: Ray Honeyford RIP

Postby Elliott » 14 Feb 2012, 16:09

Caleb, it would be interesting to know a little bit about Pomo. Was he one of these insufferably smug, PC yes-men?
Elliott
 
Posts: 1800
Joined: 31 Jul 2011, 22:32
Location: Edinburgh

Re: Ray Honeyford RIP

Postby Caleb » 15 Feb 2012, 02:16

I actually can't remember that much about him because he was fairly small potatoes as these kind of people go and he worked in another area of the school, in another subject. I can't even really remember how it was that we had any contact with him. He was a bit dim, but he was a kind of larger than life Essex character. He could have had a reality TV show chronicling the emotional tribulations of fourteen year olds as they come to terms with operating bunsen burners and pipettes over six weeks or something of the sort. He was indeed smug, though not entirely unlikeable. He was kind of hard to pin down on any particular issue, but more importantly, across issues (i.e. his world view seemingly had no consistencies). The most memorable aspect of our conversations with him was how forgettable they were.
Caleb
 
Posts: 865
Joined: 20 Oct 2011, 04:44

Re: Ray Honeyford RIP

Postby Gavin » 03 Apr 2012, 19:21

Roger Scruton wrote the following in Spring edition of The Salisbury Review:

Readers of this Review will be sad to learn of the death of Ray Honeyford whose articles, appearing in the first year of the Review’s publication, had so many far-reaching consequences for everyone involved. Ray Honeyford was an upright, conscientious secondary-school teacher, who believed it to be his duty to prepare children for responsible life in society, and who was confronted with the question how to do this, when the children are the offspring of Muslim peasants from Pakistan, and the society is that of England. Honeyford’s articles honestly conveyed the problem, together with his proposed solution, which was to integrate the children into the surrounding secular culture, while protecting them from the punishments administered in their pre-school classes in the local madrassah, and opposing their parents’ plans to take them away whenever it suited them to Pakistan. He saw no sense in the doctrine of multiculturalism, and believed that the future of our country depends upon our ability to integrate its recently arrived minorities, through a shared curriculum in the schools, and a secular rule of law that could protect women and girls from the kind of abuse to which he was a distressed witness.

Everything Ray Honeyford said is now the official doctrine of our major political parties: too late, of course, to achieve the results that he hoped for, but nevertheless not too late to point out that those who persecuted him and who surrounded his school with their inane chants of ‘Ray-cist’ have never suffered, as he suffered, for their part in the conflict. Ray was eventually forced to take early retirement from his job, and the teaching profession lost one of its most humane and public-spirited representatives. This was one example of a prolonged Stalinist purge by the educational establishment, designed to remove all signs of patriotism from our schools and to erase the memory of England from the cultural record. Readers will be grateful for the life of this exemplary, heroic and profoundly gentle man, who was prepared to pay the price of truthfulness at a time of lies.

Gavin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3430
Joined: 27 Jul 2011, 18:13
Location: Once Great Britain

Re: Ray Honeyford RIP

Postby Nathan » 13 Jun 2014, 21:22

In light of the Islamic schools scandal, the Guardian asks if Ray Honeyford was right.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfre ... mentpage=2

I would love to know what they wrote about him at the time, though I can easily imagine. For some major news events from the pre-Internet era the Guardian have put their original articles up on the website, but I couldn't find anything in this case.
Nathan
 
Posts: 880
Joined: 08 Dec 2012, 17:58

Re: Ray Honeyford RIP

Postby Gavin » 15 Jun 2014, 20:59

Notable that all of the top rated comments - even at The Guardian - are highly sympathetic towards Mr Honeyford. As people see the prospect of entire British cities falling to Islam they seem to be waking up.

Perhaps if feminism falls next, the English will be able to start having children again (I mean within wedlock and non-underclass) in order to compete with the exponential Muslim birth rate.
Gavin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3430
Joined: 27 Jul 2011, 18:13
Location: Once Great Britain

Re: Ray Honeyford RIP

Postby Nathan » 15 Jun 2014, 21:10

Anything to do with multiculture, Islam, mass immigration and feminism and the Guardian boards are always dominated by those against the newspaper's own position these days. The EU is going that way too. It's only really concerning anything to do with the Conservatives or class war stuff or environmentalism where the left-wingers come out in force.
Nathan
 
Posts: 880
Joined: 08 Dec 2012, 17:58


Return to Public Figures

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron

User Menu

Login Form

This site costs £100 per year to run and makes no money.

If you would like to make a small contribution to help pay for the web hosting, you can do so here.

Who is online

In total there is 1 user online :: 0 registered, 0 hidden and 1 guest (based on users active over the past 5 minutes)
Most users ever online was 175 on 12 Jan 2015, 18:23

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest
Copyright © Western Defence. All Rights Reserved.