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December 30, 2009


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"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world, indeed it's the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead

I hope this quotation inspires you in your fight to bring our troops home Mr Flynn. I also hope it gives inspiration to all of those fighting against the injustices that will result from the home education element of the CSF bill and the influence of Messrs Badman and Balls.

Please consider attending the APPG meeting about home education on Weds 6th Jan from 4-5pm-committee room 10(ask Graham Stuart, Tim Fallon or David Drew for any venue changes).

Paul Flynn

That's not a choice in the next General Election Patrick. The LibDems have made a few noises on Afghanistan. They bark but they are too timid to bite. Opposing the futilty and bloodshed of the Afghan war is a lonely task in Parliament.


"In the previous General election I was baffled by those In Newport West who were voting LibDem because of the Iraq war - in spite of their knowledge of the fact that I had campaigned and voted against the war."

It's simply a vote against the Labour government and a murdering prime minister.
The Lib Dems (that are now ironically the radical choice) were the party that opposed the war.

Having a Labour representative that supports your viewpoint to then be firmly squashed at every vote is better than nothing but far better is to support a party that has the policy you agree with.

It might not hold power but at least you don't support the creeps that ultimately vote against you.

Gar Hywel

In the days when Winston Churchill, son of Randolph, was a member,(up to about 1986?)he had an estate in New England somewhere and lived there. He had dual nationality.


I hope that everyone is unsettled by the CSF Bill within Parliament, because a good law should NOT criminalise innocent people. Laws should be proportionate and should address *real* problems, not perceived ones. There is absolutely no evidence to say that home education is a cause for concern. The whole review was based on a false premise and therefore should now be abandoned. The fact that the Labour Government has continued to push this through with no regard for the democratic process, shows that there is some underlying motivation. I will not speculate here as to what this is, but it is very worrying that the people that we elect absolutely refuse to hear our voices.

Paul Flynn

Who are you going to vote for John? I'm fascinated. In the previous General election I was baffled by those In Newport West who were voting LibDem because of the Iraq war - in spite of their knowledge of the fact that I had campaigned and voted against the war.

Paul Flynn

Thank you 'Jig' The evening when the petition was presented was the same evening when I received the award in Cardiff. The petition appeared in Hansard in the same way as the other 100 plus constituency petitions appeared. Thanks for votig for me and congratulations on the campaign that you and your colleagues have mounted.

As I said to other people in Newport West, I have a great deal of sympathy with the points that you make. There is certainly no settled view on this in parliament. Thanks for your additional information.


I must wholeheartedly support Kelly's comments. Mr Flynn I am your constitiuent and you are my representative in parliament. I thank you for presenting our petition to Graham Stuart even though you were unable to present it yourself. You were in receipt of the Welsh MP of the year award. Congratulations. Please now continue to do your job well and hear our voices in absolute rejection of the Badman report and the home education element of the CSF bill. We do not need it. We have a robust enough law already to ensure home educated children are receiving a suitable education.It is sometimes badly applied by local authorities who appear to have little understanding of any education model outside their own state endorsed one. It does not need confusion with welfare. Baby P was known to social services. So was Zoe-Ann David. So was Victoria Climbie. Would watching every home educated family be a reasonable and effective use of already stretched local authority resources? How about intruding into the homes of every family with a child under 5 as these are the most likely group to be harmed by their parents? Is it fair that a school attendance order can be issued with no right of appeal and no right to ask for previous education to be taken into account? Local authority staff will be allowed to enter our home and interview our children alone without my consent. If we say no we will be issued with a school attendance order, even if our children do not want to talk to a stranger with a badge and a clipboard. We are not trusted by the state. At present even the police need a court order to do this.But that is all about to end. Most parents love their children and it is wrong to begin with an assumption that as there are bad parents everyone else is suspect. I was a primary school teacher for a long time. Home education is a very valid and effective alternative and parents who do this should be given credit for what they do, not be viewed as potential abusers.Oddly enough, Graham Badman found no evidence for Baroness Morgan's claims about hidden motives in home educating families. But Mr Balls seems to have missed that. The government also managed to produce the CSF bill before the publication of the consultation that received over 5000 responses.Amazing. There are bad parents but making everyone a potential suspect is not going to help, in the same way that watching every honest law abiding muslim is not going to end terrorism(nor in the 70s and 80s would going into the home of every Roman Catholic in Northern Ireland have ended the IRA). How about supporting families, including those who choose for a parent to stay home to care for their children. How about celebrating family life and supporting an infrastrucure that makes family the backbone of a good society. As a breastfeeding counsellor I know that good support is vital for getting mothering off to the right start. The same can be said for all families.All I see is a government desperate to get infants away from parents and into nursery or school, so mum can work. I wonder what I should do in the next election? I have always voted for you Mr Flynn, believing you to be a good MP, unafraid to stand up for what's right. But now, on this issue alone, I must consider voting Conservative, for the first time ever.That pains me but I think the labour government and all the MPs who claim to represent their constituents while still allowing their party to plough ahead with this Bill have let my family down. The buck stops here. And I will protect my children from this unnecessary state intrusion.Do look here for a superb http://daretoknowblog.blogspot.com/
roundup of the issues.


I could quite easily make the same point and link to the bbc,times, guardian, new scientist, nature, or a prolific number of organisations like the national trust, rspb, soil assosiation, woodlands trust etc etc....

We moan about violation of our personal freedoms yet we pollute, poison , and carelessly disregard all other life forms.

Kay Tie

Patrick, you shouldn't take anything in the Independent at face value - the editing is dreadful. A quote from the "Green Godess" in that paper: "Scientists assured us nuclear weapons were harmless".


It's pointless wasting time whinging and crying like a spoilt baby about personal freedoms.

We have poisoined our planet and deserve the fast approaching consequences.



Jack Straw....nuff said

And I must echo much of the above the interferance of the state by Labour over the last 12 years is outrageous.

Like many once a loyal labour voter never again. I just hope our electorate wakes up from its x-factor consumerist intoxicated life style to finally realise what is happening to our freedoms and our country. Its everything from the hopeless wars we are engaged in to the powers taken away from the individual supposedly for our own security etc etc. Labour has betrayed its fundamental beliefs trying to outdo the Tories both of these parties are odious in my opinion


"The present fear of child abuse is probably exaggerated but after Baby Peter, politicians are not in the mood to task risks with the well being of children."

So, basically its arse-covering by the politicians who don't want to have the finger pointed at them if something bad every happens again.


Kay Tie
There are some people who live in a dream world, and there are some who face reality; and then there are those who turn one into the other.

Kay Tie

Kelly, are you not old enough to remember the last Labour government? This is what Labour does: impose its view of society on to people regardless of circumstances. In 1978 it was even a criminal offence to take cash out of the country without permission. Now you need permission to read poetry in a pub.

I hope you've learned what these people do to minorities they don't approve of. Home schoolers in your case, computer games players, nudists, photographers, smokers, and countless other groups have felt the lash of Labour. I hope you never vote for the nasty party ever again. I was fooled in 1997 but never again.


Baby Peter was not home educated, and was seen many times by professionals who failed him. He was under five so where are the proposals to enter the home of all parents of the under fives?
How will seeing a home educated child once a year change anything? To conflate education with welfare is just muddying the waters and will put more children at risk and will harm others in the process.
I fear that resources are being directed in the wrong areas and these proposals will add to that. Overstretching the social services by throwing innocent home educating families into the mix, will not help those children who are truly vulnerable. I also do not think that the world has got more wicked.We have taken the responsibility from parents and communities by telling them that the state is now going to watch everyone. People and communities have been disempowered and no longer look out for each other. I believe that is a direct result of this idea that the state can nanny everyone.
I also believe that politicians still work for us, and as a community and citizens of this country, home educators have said that these proposals will make their lives worse. So whether politicians are in the mood for it or not should not really be relevant. They should be listening to the 5000 people who answered the consultation, the results of which have yet to be published.

Paul Flynn

Thank you for your full explanation. I understand the points that you are making and i would defend the rights of devoted loving parents to opt out of the state education system. Unfortunately in this wicked world here are parents who do not love their children or have their best interests at heart. The present fear of child abuse is probably exaggerated but after Baby Peter, politicians are not in the mood to task risks with the well being of children. Are you aware of the opinion of the three main parties? I believe they sahre similare views.


Sorry, I don't wish to hog the page, but I thnk this blog post explains in detail, how this will play out in reality. And this is what genuinely scares many people:


Well, as I see it the present law has served us well and strikes the right balance. It allows for LA's to make enquiries yet it protects the individual from an overly powerful state. The Bill, as proposed, takes away the duty of the parent to educate and places it in the hands of the state. This would be a historic grab of power by the state over the individual. The individual would have no right of appeal and if they refuse to register, on principal, they would be automatically served a SAO, with no right to have the education that they have been providing their children to be taken into account. Anyone who feels that their children would be damaged by meeting LA inspectors, would not be able to refuse a meeting with them, as this would also allow for the LA to withold the license to home educate. The future plan to define a *suitable education* does not take into account that *suitable* as written in the law was meant to mean suitable to the child. Not a blanket *suitable*. To try and define it so it fits in a tick box, will wipe out the autonomous method of home educating. It will also affect Independent schools and will change the nature of education in this country for good, and I do not think it will be for the better. It is never healthy in a society for the state to have total control over the curriculum. There should always be a way for the individual to disagree and opt out. I am also worried about automatic access to the family home and having people speak to my children alone. I'm not prepared for my 5 year old to be asked leading questions in her own living room, by strangers.
I believe many Conservatives reject the Badman report, as proven by the recent petition in Parliament.
As for where to go. Well Scotland would be the nearest choice. But Canada, New Zealand and the United States would also be fine.

Paul Flynn

Thank you Kelly. Most MPs have had approaches from constituents on the Badman Report. The ones I have received have been measured and detailed. As far as I have heard there is little difference between the parties on this. What do you fear from its consequences that would make you leave the country? Which country is your choice?


There was nothing independent about the Badman report and the Bill that has been created from it is completely draconian and I can't believe that it is happening in the England that I love. If it passes through Parliament, many good, innocent families will be leaving this country. I would rather Labour was driven out of office, than citizens who have done nothing wrong. Having voted Labour all my life, I feel utterly betrayed.

Kay Tie

With Harriet Harman as the minister.


I'm waiting for the Home Office to be renamed Ministry of Love ..

Kay Tie

The Scandinavians wouldn't tolerate anything like Labour's brand of authoritarian divisiveness. Our brand of socialism has much more in common with that of the Soviet Union. As Orwell documents so well in 1984.

Paul Flynn

Your concept of socialism is a very limited one KayTie. Scandanavia offers a more encouraging example.

Kay Tie

"This is the end product of your ideology."

Yours results in gulags as well as a poisoned environment.


"I stand up for aspiration and opportunity. You, on the other hand, are against anyone getting ahead. As is the Labour Party now that the New Labour project is dead."

You are right KT , the ugly ,opportunist aspirations of New-Labour are now dead along with their Conservative ideology.

Sadly the country will vote in another right wing joke government to replace this one.

Your Capitalist aspirations and opportunities are worthless without water you can drink , food you can eat, and air you can breathe.

This is the end product of your ideology.


PR would be a good idea in that it might force us to accept some measure of compromise rather than the swinging between the stylised 'cuts' and 'tax and spend' policies
But as was noted above there is really not that much difference between Labour and Tory - fundementally it is the same system they support
But I do take exception to Brown yesterday saying the recession is over - its not and it won't be many people who will loose ther job in 2010
When he makes comments like that I seriously wonder if he is living in the same reality as the rest of us
Point is that he will be gone in May - but if Labour go into the election wiyj hom as leader it will be a generational defeat - sod the polls he is personally disliked by so mnay people this will be personal ..

Paul Flynn

The argument is that General Election results do not represent the views of the voters. This is true in many ways. That is why I have advocated since before 1987 for proportional representation. In nearly all constituencies the practical choice is between two or three parties.

In 1983 in Wales those who vote Plaid let Tories in several seats, even though that was their least favourite option. In 2005 the 600 people who voted Green in Ceredigion threw out Simon Thomas who was parliament's greenest MP. For two General Elections, 1997 and 200, the Tories did not get one of Wales' 40 MPs even though they secured 20% of the popular vote.

Many of the results in the next general election will be determined by those voting for minority parties. UKIP, BNP votes will reduce the Tory votes and Plaid, Green votes will hit Labour. The effect is both cases will be perverse - the opposite of the voters' intentions. That is why a pledge for a referendum on PR is all important.

Is this becomes a Labour plus Lib Dem pledge , PR can be delivered by the next parliament.

Kay Tie

"The likes of you will stand up for what you believe in: wealth and privilege."

I stand up for aspiration and opportunity. You, on the other hand, are against anyone getting ahead. As is the Labour Party now that the New Labour project is dead.

Kay Tie

Don't worry, Huw, you'll be able to vote for a left-wing Labour Party after the election: the civil war in that party will restore the status quo (an unelectable bunch of Trots who hold power only in places like Liverpool where they sack workers to make political points). You'll be happy grumbling away while the Tories have another 18 years in power.


I agree with the above Huw. It's pointless voting in a politician of whatever calibre to have them continuously squashed by their own party machine.
We all know there are the odd exceptions but a vote for New-lab or Tory produces the same outcome.They are united in a Capitalist based ideology .
Profit driven mass production gives us many things including resource depletion , pollution and soil erosion.

Many people would like to change the system but that would see an end to their own jobs, homes etc.

We need a system that respects our habitat and uses our resources wisely.

Will sense ever outweigh cash?


"Lord Sainsbury pays British taxes, Kay Tie."

Paul, honestly if you are trying to get through to KayTie; you have to remember she doesn't approve of paying taxes at all, as far as she is concerned, any wealthy person not paying tax in Britain, is a genuine, deserving to be worshipped and honoured, hero.
Contrariwise anyone banging on about people paying their taxes is a marxist, socialist communist facist, just one step up or down depending on her mood, from the Hitler, Stalin joint entity that haunts both her sleeping and waking nightmares.

Seriously though Paul, New Labour and the Tories are just two mewling, puking right wing knee jerk parties without any compelling policies or leadership, there is still time to reconsider and not contribute to saving votes for New Labour by standing on your own positions and beliefs but for their benefit.
The Labour party is lost and will remain so while people allow New Labour to continue to trap us in US style duopoly of two nominally different parties who nonetheless have fundamentally the same goals, drives and special interests as each other. If the right cannot be pushed out of control in what used to be Labour, the left must leave and mount an external challenge.

People want to vote for the left Paul, we are not able to do so while the New Labour lot are running the show and the election is looming.


This was about Lord Ashcroft wasn't it? You do not own anything against the Tories Kay Tie. The likes of you will stand up for what you believe in: wealth and privilege.

Kay Tie

"Lord Sainsbury pays British taxes, Kay Tie."

Oh, I see. It's OK to buy a party as long as you're paying tax here. Well why didn't you say so before? Your piece above gave the impression it was only the Tories getting large donations and completely forgot to mention the several donations from millionaires to the Labour Party.

I believe the Tories have proposed a £50k cap on donations, which the Labour Party opposes. Why would you oppose that cap, Paul? Worried you haven't got a wide base of support in the country? If so, whose fault is that?

Paul Flynn

I think most people will be baffled about your claim Ruth O'Hare. The 'nasty little war' is I presume the Badman Report - an independent study designed to protect children from abuse. It may be an over reaction and ill-conceived. It may have unintended consequences - but a 'war' ???? A mile over the top.

Remind me, did the Tories and LibDems oppose the Badman report?

Paul Flynn

Lord Sainsbury pays British taxes, Kay Tie.

Ruth O'Hare

The Tories don't need to buy power, Labour are giving it away to whoever can get you out of office. Have you really failed to notice just how many people you have alienated? How many people have had enough? Personally I'd never have considered voting Tory until Ed Balls and his poisonous little band started their vicious war against home educators. You threaten my child and not only will I NEVER vote for you again, I will go out and campaign for whoever can see this control freak, surveillance state nightmare of a government consigned to history!

Kay Tie

Remind me how much Lord Sainsbury just gave the Labour Party?

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