Ed Balls, who just has a funny goddamn name, could be striking sparks of new hope from the tarnished steel of faith schools.
His name is BALLS.
Take a minute to read this recent article. Essentially, the gist is this: A Jewish faith school in the London borough of Brent – which, for any potential murderers, is where I live – got owned in the Torahbox. It was ruled by the Supreme Court that JFS, which selects Orthodox Jews, broke the race relations act by refusing to admit a 12 year old boy – deeming him not properly Jewish, or at least not properly Orthodox Jewish, in the eyes of the Chief Rabbi.
Ignoring for a moment the somewhat irony of Jews discriminating against Jews, this is just . . .wonderful. The fact that JFS has broken the law in this manner could, and hopefully will, have ramifications. Or Ramifications with a capital R, because damn it’s a cool word. As Balls (BALLS) said, “It is also likely that the admissions arrangements of approximately 60 Jewish independent schools are unlawful.” If one Jewish faith school, and then others, can be forced to abandon their policy of religious segregation . . . then other faith schools of different religions can follow. It’s a small but significant chip in the foundations of an outmoded and anachronistic educational system.
Sadly, there are calls for this outmoded and anachronistic educational system to be protected. To quote the Standard, “Lawyers acting for Children’s Secretary Ed Balls are urging the highest court in the land to protect the centuries-old tradition of schools educating children on religious lines.” As far as I can make out, the protection is merited by the fact that the tradition is “centuries-old”. I am hard-pressed to think of a defense more magisterially stupid than the argument from tradition and antiquity. Let’s list a few traditional activities: subjugation of women. Subjugation of people who just aren’t the right colour. Discriminating against, oh, all sorts of people depending on where you were born and what system of culture, society and religion you were raised in. As soon as you start using tradition as a defense, you’re on shaky ground, mijnheer.
JFS is, of course, contesting the decision arrived at by the Supreme Court (that they’re a crew of bad, invincible, ethnically discriminatory mofos). In a small way, I can see their point. It’s their school, they can admit who they like . . . except that you have to sort of abide by all the various educational laws and decrees to avoid being branded a sack of arseholes. It would be so nice if religious discrimination was removed from education establishments. Balls to the wall. Onwards!