X

Create an account to continue reading.

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles
For unlimited access to The Spectator, subscribe below

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles

Sign in to continue

Already have an account?

What's my subscriber number?

Subscribe now from £1 a week

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
 
View subscription offers

Already a subscriber?

or

Subscribe now for unlimited access

ALL FROM JUST £1 A WEEK

View subscription offers

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Login

Don't have an account? Sign up
X

Subscription expired

Your subscription has expired. Please go to My Account to renew it or view subscription offers.

X

Forgot Password

Please check your email

If the email address you entered is associated with a web account on our system, you will receive an email from us with instructions for resetting your password.

If you don't receive this email, please check your junk mail folder.

X

It's time to subscribe.

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access – from just £1 a week

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
X

Sign up

What's my subscriber number? Already have an account?

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Your subscriber number is the 8 digit number printed above your name on the address sheet sent with your magazine each week. If you receive it, you’ll also find your subscriber number at the top of our weekly highlights email.

Entering your subscriber number will enable full access to all magazine articles on the site.

If you cannot find your subscriber number then please contact us on customerhelp@subscriptions.spectator.co.uk or call 0330 333 0050. If you’ve only just subscribed, you may not yet have been issued with a subscriber number. In this case you can use the temporary web ID number, included in your email order confirmation.

You can create an account in the meantime and link your subscription at a later time. Simply visit the My Account page, enter your subscriber number in the relevant field and click 'submit changes'.

If you have any difficulties creating an account or logging in please take a look at our FAQs page.

Blogs Coffee House

Labour’s radical schools hypocrisy

7 June 2014

8:29 PM

7 June 2014

8:29 PM

I see that the Labour party, and Labour’s shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt in particular, are trying to make political capital out of the ‘Trojan Horse’ Islamic schools scandal.

I’ll write more about this in the coming week, but for the meantime let me point out what a steaming pile of political opportunism and hypocrisy this all is. Tristram says that Michael Gove ‘chose not to act’ and is guilty of ‘gross negligence’ on Islamic extremism in schools. Let me remind Tristram of a very recent piece of Labour party history.

[Alt-Text]


In 2009 it transpired that the Labour government was funding a school-running group called the Islamic Shakhsiyah Foundation (ISF). At that time several of the trustees of the charity which ran the schools were members of the extremist group Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT), including the wife of Hizb ut-Tahrir’s UK spokesman. Hizb ut-Tahrir is a radical Islamist group which seeks the downfall of western democratic societies and their replacement with radical Islamic law. The group is banned in many countries around the world, is regarded as extreme here in the UK, and both Tony Blair and David Cameron have said that they would like to see the group banned in Britain.

So how did the Labour government and the then education minister – Ed Balls – respond when the then opposition leader David Cameron raised this rather significant failing at Prime Minister’s Questions? Well, as I recall Ed Balls and Gordon Brown immediately played political football with it. They claimed that the opposition had made a mistake over exactly which stream of taxpayer money they had sent to the ISF/HT. David Cameron said that the money had gone to the ISF from the ‘Pathfinder’ part of Prevent funds. The Labour government, meanwhile, said that the funds had actually come from part of a fund for nursery education also called ‘Pathfinder.’

I remember this episode rather clearly because it was one of those moments which almost makes you want to give up on all politicians. Here was a serious allegation and a serious problem. A group that the Labour government had tried to ban was actually being fed money by that same government. But Balls got his fingers onto it, and spun the story around. Suddenly it was Conservatives ‘not doing their homework’ and all that sort of thing and the fact that the government was funding an HT school was allowed to merrily drift away.

There is much to be done to solve the problems already evident in Birmingham. But the Labour party really ought to go easy on the lectures.

Give something clever this Christmas – a year’s subscription to The Spectator for just £75. And we’ll give you a free bottle of champagne. Click here.


Show comments
Close