Friday, November 25, 2011

Think about the trees

I read with utter dismay today that the Prime Minister is planning to send a King James Bible to every school in the country, complete with a foreword by Michael Gove, the Education Minister. According to Mr Gove the King James Bible was the most important book written in the English language. “It‘s a thing of beauty, and it‘s also an incredibly important historical artefact. It has helped shape and define the English language and is one of the keystones of our shared culture" Gove says.

Firstly the key word here is "was", secondly I do believe that in years gone by this "Bronze age middle eastern culture" was mostly rammed down the throats of people at the point of something lethal or under threat of torture or death, "beauty" in this case most certainly only applies to the syntax. I would be the first to acknowledge that this book is absolutely part of our shared English heritage but no more so than Chaucer, Shakespeare, Locke, Bacon, Bronte, Dickens, Orwell, Pratchett and Adams et al, the list is very large, you could say we are fortunate to have an embarrassment of renowned works to choose from here in England. It seems strange to me that this particular book was chosen above all that could have been selected. I'm surprised because it strikes me that schools these days (or at least the ones I visit) are awash with Bibles, put there by people so obviously eager to exploit the malleability of young children and these books are cherry picked and "interpreted" ruthlessly by those with investments in them. This couldn't possibly be a Tory scam to scrape up a few extra votes from "middle England" could it? Lets hope that Mr Gove proves me wrong by spending a few (more) quid of our money on something of broader relevance to a modern, multicultural and general education, a few text books perhaps.


Elizabeth said...

Gove is an idiot!

I never got over the 'Calm down dear' comment from DC. The Tories never change.

Steve Borthwick said...

E, based on performance to date I'd have to agree with you E; about Gove and the Tories.