Friday, 22 June 2012

Another home educator flees the country...

When I mentioned Lianne Smith here, I pointed to her as the sort of home educator that local authorities hear about and who causes them to be needlessly anxious about other home educating families. Of course, this was the cue for people commenting to portray her as a nonentity of whom nobody had ever heard; the impression being given that in the first place she was insignificant and in the second, her case was atypical. I thought that it was worth mentioning that this sort of thing  does happen. Only last month, an appeal was made on behalf of a very well known home educator who needed money to leave the country one step ahead of the authorities. It begins;

A well-known member of the HE community and trusted friend needs our help. The

person's family is facing a possible court order and they felt the need to leave the

country very quickly in order to protect the children from unfounded interference

based on home education as a risk factor.

The letter was signed by the following people:

Alison Preuss
Barbara Stark
Elaine Kirk
Gill Kilner
Karen Gallant
Lisa Amphlett
Louisa Herbs
Maire Stafford
Michelle Beeny
Neil Taylor Moore
Raquel Toney
Sheila Struthers
Susanna Matthan
Techla Wood

I can assure readers that this is a person whose name they would recognise at once. It is useless for people commenting here to claim that there is not an atmosphere in the main home educating organisations of mistrust and hostility towards local authorities. There is and parents are actively encouraged to buy in to this idea, that cooperating with their local authority is tantamount to being a quisling.


  1. Get your facts straight. People said they hadn't heard of her *before* the Spanish situation, not that they had never heard of her at all. And the claims were that EO in particular were recommending that people flee, not that no home educator has ever made the suggestion. You've still not shown that EO make this recommendation, you've just made up you own comments and answered those. What organisations specifically are you making these claims about?

  2. "The impression being given that in the first place she was insignificant and in the second, fleeing like that is really unheard of."

    I don't recall a discussion or mention about the rarity or not of fleeing. Are we reading the same messages? Or maybe you have more than two copies of the same blog and you are confusing the conversations?

    1. A neat way of sidelining the debate so as the issue isn't discussed.

    2. I remember that appeal being posted on UK-HOME-ED.
      Any of those names still active volunteers with EO?

    3. "A neat way of sidelining the debate so as the issue isn't discussed."

      Only if people are stupid enough to fall for it. I notice Simon has neatly ignored all requests for clarification about these supposed discussions. Much easier to distract people by pretending to be bothered by a suggestion he may not always be completely honest. He has already said that untruths are part and parcel being a journalist/writer, one example being his claim to be a school teacher in a newspaper article about how poor schools are! So why is he surprised when people question his honesty?

  3. ' Or maybe you have more than two copies of the same blog and you are confusing the conversations?'

    Either a strange joke, or the most bizarre conspiracy theory I have ever encountered!

  4. 'There is and parents are actively encouraged to buy in to this idea, that cooperating with their local authority is tantamount to being a quisling.'

    Well it's bypassed our local group because most of us have visits.

    1. The two are not mutually exclusive. In our group, people are made to feel that way despite the majority having visits.

      Old Mum

    2. Sorry to hear that, Old Mum. I must admit I've spoken to others whose groups have some strange attitudes. Like the one that accused people who didn't want visits of rocking the boat and put pressure on them to have visits. Still, strange dynamics like this are not confined to HE groups in my experience, so I suppose it's a bit much to hope that we can avoid the problem. I'm just glad we've been so lucky with the two groups we've belonged to.

  5. there is an atmosphere in the main home educating organisations of mistrust and hostility towards local authorities because if the way some LA offciers behave and expect a parent to not be angry about how there feel a school may have treated them why would any one want to help an LA officer who you know could have helped you but refused to? there names should go up on a lampost of course we also know of other uses for a lampost to!

  6. 'Either a strange joke, or the most bizarre conspiracy theory I have ever encountered!'

    I also find it difficult to believe that someone else is responsible for this blog, yet you claim to be mystified.

    If it genuinely has been put up by someone else, I'd be a bit concerned about the mentality of someone so obsessed that they take the time to copy and paste so many of your articles. I'd be especially annoyed in your position because they are claiming copyright on your posts! Admittedly you don't bother to state this claim at the bottom of your web pages so maybe you're not bothered about copyright, but still, it's a bit rich for someone else to claim it!

  7. "Either a strange joke, or the most bizarre conspiracy theory I have ever encountered!"

    Not a joke, and a conspiracy theory would involve more than one person by definition. I was just trying to work out where you had read the comments that this article seems to be responding to.

  8. 'I also find it difficult to believe that someone else is responsible for this blog, yet you claim to be mystified.

    If it genuinely has been put up by someone else'

    I am completely baffled as to what you are driving at. Why on earth would I copy and paste this blog into a new one? If I wanted what I write here to appear without comments, I could simply disable the comments and erase all the existing ones. It does not seem to me to make any sort of sense that i would start an entirely new blog and thensimply duplicate the posts here on it.

  9. It makes even less sense for someone else to do it. Do you mind that they are claiming copyright over your work?

  10. "Why on earth would I copy and paste this blog into a new one?"

    Well, you might want to give someone a link to your work without comments (understandable after reading some of them), but still want to keep the comments here for your own entertainment. I'm sure there are other perfectly reasonable reasons for setting up a duplicate site without comments and it would probably be very easy to do from within Blogspot. But someone else setting up the site would involve far more work and is much stranger...

  11. i repeat the only way to stop abuse is to attach a video camera to all children and adults to be monitored 24 hours a day 365 days of the year.

  12. 'Do you mind that they are claiming copyright over your work?'

    They? Are you suggesting that a team of plagiarisers is at work here? An alarming idea indeed! As I dare say readers know, I am the author of quite a few books and probably know more about copyright than most. Anything which I turn out on the interenet like this is simply for amusement, not proft. That this person, or team as some seem to think it might be, is putting 'copyright' at the bottom of the blog does not have the effect of depriving me of the copyright for my material. Why would I worry about this anyway? If one of my books were to be appearing in a foreign edition without my permission, that might be a different matter.

    1. "They? Are you suggesting that a team of plagiarisers is at work here?"

      No, I used it in the gender-neutral singular form, though your fervid imagination below with extrapolation to conspiracy theories is interesting. Maybe you are spending too much time in the internet.

    2. No, you've intentionally gone off on a tangent. It looks like a tactic to bring a halt to this discussion.

    3. It was Simon that picked up and ran with a minor part of a comment and ignored the part relevant to the post.

    4. 'No you've intentionally gone off on a tangent....'
      Relating to the dckhead who raised all this mojecosie b'llocks.

    5. 'Did you do it Simon?'
      Nuff said.

      It looks like the Polish are about to set up their very own HE group and when they've done that they're going to finish building all of those extensions they've started.

  13. 'Well, you might want to give someone a link to your work without comments (understandable after reading some of them), but still want to keep the comments here for your own entertainment'

    Really, you grossly overestimate your entertainment value! Allowing unmoderated comments stems from an ideological motive; it is something I feel strongly about. Had I wanted just to put my views out there under the heading 'Home Education' and without the ability to comment, then I would have done so. But don't imagine for a moment that I am asking you to believe this. I am well aware that in Home Education World such an explanation is laughably implausible. Perhaps mojecosie is one of the illuminati or is connected in some fashion with the New World Order!

    1. Very strange. It would be very easy for you to set up the other account and transfer the articles and there are there are probably loads of good reasons for you to do so, but someone else would literally have to copy and paste over 500 posts individually and I can't think of a reason for it. Aren't you even a little curious about why someone has?

  14. 'No, I used it in the gender-neutral singular form'

    More commonly known as illiteracy. There are perfectly good pronouns to cover those cases where we do not wish, or are unable, to refer to somebody by name. These can be singular, for example 'he' or 'she'; they can also be plural, 'they' or 'them'.

    If we wish to refer to an unknown person, or someone known to us whose gender we wish to conceal, there are several perfectly simple English constructions. We could say, 'he or she' or perhaps, 'the person in question'. When we use a plural pronoun it creates needless confusion. In the statement above, ' Do you mind that they are claiming copyright over your work?', it is unclear whether one person or many are referred to. For this reason alone, the ambiguity thus created, it is best to avoid solecisms of this kind.

  15. 'Aren't you even a little curious about why someone has?'

    Well, no. The internet is teeming with mad people and when I came across this the other day I naturally assumed that it was the work of such a person. I have seen posts of mine on other sites, including some in the USA. As I say, I have not lost the copyright. You may be able to think of loads of good reasons why I should spend my life creating a parallel blog with the same material; I cannot think of one. But there, as I say, I am quite happy for anybody to think that mojecosie is my alter-ego!

    1. I wouldn't be so much concerned about losing copyright as about what use they might be making of the site. It's obviously not about advertising revenue as there are no adverts. I wonder if they are submitting the page to publishers in the hope of commissions?

  16. "More commonly known as illiteracy."

    The Oxford Dictionary has an article that dates the usage to the 16th century. Apparently it is even used in formal or official texts and it's been used by Byron, Austen, Thackeray, Eliot, Dickens and Trollope so I appear to be in good company, so I'm not too concerned especially as it was used in a throw away comment on a blog. But thanks for the English lesson, I'm always glad to learn. Old habits die hard, eh? How about starting sentences with 'but'? What's your position on that?

  17. I read this appeal and it somewhat concerned and disturbed me. Many argument put forward by those who support statutory monitoring of home education cite child protection issues as a reason for this. This is refuted by those whom oppose this stance as a non sensical argument and provide valid research data to support this assertion. To paraphrase several comments and research studies I have read. Child abusers irrespective of educational provision, are cunning and devious enough to avoid detection.

    The aforementioned signatories quote " a well trusted friend" . If we take as an assumption that these individuals subscribe to the opposition view of statutory educational monitoring, and the research data put forward, the next question must be, how well do we know anybody?

    I'm not sure of the legality surrounding aiding and abetting a criminal offence, but to put your name to it, to me seems to be treading a very fine line.

    I just sincerely hope that it doesn't come back to bite them on their backsides!

    1. 'A well trusted friend'....
      Just as Martin Smith had been at some point.

  18. Let me just correct myself, before it's picked up "subscribe to the opposition view of statutory educational monitoring, and support the research data put forward" (it is late, in my defence!!!)

  19. So, does anyone actually know who the appeal is referring to? I can imagine a situation where a particularly annoying and intrusive LA might prompt a family with dual nationality to up sticks and move on, especially if they have family in the other country, or if they'd always considered living elsewhere at some point anyway. Is that the case?

    Old Mum

    1. Sounds like Simon does.

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