The ISA has finally caused some people to question who is the cart and who is the horse in the relationship between individual and state. They don't want to be registered on a database for so much as thinking about someone under the age of 18, which is the logical end point of such an initiative.
Perhaps those people can't yet see the dangers inherent in ContactPoint, not to mention the Common Assessment Framework - but if they apply the same logic that has caused them to give a resounding NO to the ISA - the logic telling them that such an initiative is grossly disproportionate and wholly damaging to voluntary relationships of trust in a free society - then all will become clear.
Certainly, if the mainstream media continues to highlight cases of state sponsored child snatching, parents will start to think twice before proclaiming that they are happy to be inspected by the local authority at a time and in a manner of the authority's choosing, because they know that their children are clean, fed, watered and loved. In the light of recent events, isn't that starting to sound rather naive?
Asmart home educators have been saying all along, knowing that one's child is loved and well looked after is not sufficient to protect one's family from an over-zealous teacher, doctor or local authority officer if the ultimate arbiter of suitability is the state, not the parent. A home educating parent is a parent like any other. What begins to apply to a home educating parent with regard to the education and welfare of children will eventually have to apply to all parents.
In much the same way as the ISA has been given a resounding, universal NO, so the home education recommendations should be given a resounding NO by ALL parents when it becomes apparent that they are in fact home recommendations, applicable to ALL parents. All parents - not to mention those who aren't parents - should apply their logic to the home recommendations and understand that they are grossly disproportionate and wholly damaging to voluntary relationships of trust in a free society.
Ed Balls' home recommendations will effectively see their children parented by the state and its circle of quangos, fake charities and other organisations, whose power, horribly inflated salaries and easy access to children will invariably attract less savoury characters alongside those who think they are doing the "right" thing. Home educators know this to be true, I know this to be true, and when even Polly admits that it is true, then you can only imagine the ugliness that exists in the public sector - ugliness that we all continue to fund, one way and another.
But will it reach the point where every decent-minded person will perform their own act of civil disobedience and just say NO? That's what's really starting to worry Ed Balls. Threatened by Tory promises and more concerned about his climb up Gordon's greasy pole* than for the safety of children and vulnerable adults, he has performed something of a U-turn, now pledging to review the ISA with the help of an "expert" whose input, if genuine, might have been expected somewhat before he set the wheels in motion towards a database state.
Only today, home educators have experienced this rather backward state of policy-based evidence making for themselves - in the buttock-clenched form of Graham Badman, the "independent" "expert" Ed Balls consulted to review the practice of elective home education in England. Graham's intellectual sloppiness and lack of academic rigour has finally caught up with him, and now, months after his report and its totalitarian recommendations were handed in to teacher, he is running scared and desperately scrabbling around for evidence from the local authorities to back up his nonsense claims. He won't find it - clever home educators have already done their homework.
Whatever Badman tries to say, it won't wash. Decent, intelligent home educating parents will say NO. Decent, intelligent parents will say NO. Decent, intelligent people will say NO. The Conservatives, eager for votes, will say NO. The mainstream media, eager to capture the current climate, will say NO.
Graham, go to the bottom of the class. And there's a spare pair of pants in the lost property drawer.
[For better information on Graham and his pointy hat with a 'd' on it, you'd do better going to see Pete Darby, Jax, Carlotta, Irdial, Merry, Maire, Danae, Ali Preuss and Firebird.]
*That one is for the Angry Exile, hope he has the mind bleach handy.