Monday 23 February 2004

In praise of Labour MPs

That's not a headline you're likely to read here too often, but in this instance it is justified. A group of Scottish Labour MPs has come out against the state funding of "faith schools":
In an interview with Holyrood Magazine, Dr Moonie, a former defence minister, called for the immediate withdrawal of state funding.

He said: "There should be no state-funded faith schools. Providing faith schools is not the job of the state, as religion has nothing to do with education.

Dr Moonie is not alone:
The group opposed to denominational education also includes Calum MacDonald, the Western Isles MP and former Scottish Office minister, Ian Davidson, the chairman of the Scottish Labour group of MPs, Malcolm Savidge, the Aberdeen North MP, and Frank Doran, the MP for Aberdeen Central.
The Catholic Church is upset:
Peter Kearney, a Catholic Church spokesman, said he was extremely angry over the MPs’ comments.

"It’s a pity that these past-their-sell-by-date politicians didn’t have the courage of their convictions to express their views when facing the electorate. I think it is telling that they use the twilight time of their careers to drop such inflammatory bombshells.

"And to say the taxpayer subsidises faith schools is unfounded because Catholics pay their taxes as well."

I entirely agree that these politicians, like all socialists, are "past-their-sell-by-dates" and have been silent on this issue when facing the electorate. Nevertheless, the operation of two parallel state school systems is a form of subsidy that necessitates higher taxation than would otherwise be required. Let's end this nonsense now. Of course, the best solution is the privatisation of all schools, Catholic and secular.