Wednesday, 4 July 2012

How the autonomous acquisition of literacy in this country relies upon universal schooling

I drew attention a few days ago to the fact that in countries where there is not universal schooling, literacy rates tend to be low. Somebody commenting here then said that the autonomous acquisition of literacy as practiced by some parents in this country is predicated upon children growing up in a literate environment; surrounded by the printed word. Others have made this point; among them Paul Goodman, John Holt and Alan Thomas. Reference has been made to the ‘sea of literacy’ which envelops children in Britain and America, allegedly making it easy for them simply to pick up literacy informally. Not one of those advocating this way of learning to read seems to have considered the implications of such a state of affairs.


At one time in this country, few people could read. Shops had signs consisting of recognisable objects rather than words. The three golden balls for the pawnbroker and the red and white barber’s pole are relics of this; as are the painted images on pub signs. As more children attended school, so the literacy rate rose. Once schooling was all but universal, the literacy rate grew to around 100%. This means that there is printed matter wherever we look. Free newspaper and advertisements are quite literally thrust upon us, being pushed through our letterboxes. It would be hard to avoid seeing printed words each day. In a country like Bangladesh, where fewer than 50% of children go to school for five years or more, the literacy rate is below 50%. It is growing though. As the rates of schooling increase, so too does the literacy rate. There is a direct and strong correlation between the move to universal schooling and the achievement of 100% literacy in a country.

What this means is that parents in this country who choose not to send their children to school and allow them to acquire literacy informally by immersing themselves in the ‘sea of literacy’ are benefiting from universal schooling just as much as those who do send their kids to school. They are riding on the back of compulsory schooling. The universal schooling produces the literate society which is needed for the autonomous acquisition of literacy. It is rather like vaccination. When vaccination levels for measles are almost universal, the disease becomes very rare. When the levels of vaccination fall, the result is a measles epidemic. This does not of course mean that one child who is not vaccinated will get measles; merely that he still benefits from the protection afforded by all those who have been vaccinated.

It is common for autonomously educating parents to moan about the efforts made by local authorities to ensure that all children attend school. This is a little ungracious, because without universal schooling of the kind we have in this country, there would be no literate society, no ‘sea of literacy’. Their own method, that of letting their children acquire literacy informally from observing the world around them, would then be impossible. Autonomous educators actually need schools at which almost 100% of children are taught, in order  to create the correct environment for their own children to learn effectively.

52 comments:

  1. Well yes, this seems obvious, though I think a literate household would probably be sufficient. Compulsory education makes home education possible for most home educators. Would you have been able to home educate your daughter if not for your own compulsory education?

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  2. 'Would you have been able to home educate your daughter if not for your own compulsory education?'

    Absolutely not. For one thing, so many of the children's books which were so helpful, things like the Horrible history series, would not have been available. They too are a product of widespread literacy.

    I focused upon autonomous educators because they are usually the ones who get most tetchy about attempts by local authorities to get everybody into school. I have always said that I approve in general of such efforts, both because they benefit the children themselves and also because they make home education possible for the few. The whole enterprise is based upon the fact that the vast majority of children are compelled to attend school.

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    1. My kids met Terry Deary..such a nice man.
      Funny not many HEers were interested in attending that particular meeting.

      Delete
  3. This is all very interesting but arguing with people is not a good use of your skills and experience, Mr Webb. I see a few blogs and websites by mature parents, whose children are grown up and have flown the nest. The sites are devoted to sharing the fruit of their years of experience, giving really useful ideas for those of us who are just starting out as home educators. Almost all of these blogs are written by women.

    One blogger wished that more of the older home edding *fathers* would write, sharing the wisdom they'd acquired. This is where your blog could really do some good. You seem to have learned some interesting things about how to guide and motivate your daughter -- I'm sure that many people would benefit from reading more about how they could begin home educating.

    Every now and again, I pop in to see if you have written something like that. I'm always disappointed to see you embroiled in the same old in-house arguments with other home educators. You might find it exciting to get into a ruckus, but it's a waste of what you know. I've read, many times, that you think "unschooling" is not the best way to guide our children. Why don't you change the record, and help out the new home educators, hungry for solid, practical information? Some of us have already decided that the autonomous style isn't what we want -- how about we get into a really stimulating -- and edifying -- conversation about how to teach arithmetic, or reading, or science? I'm always meeting mums and dads who want recommendations of books, courses, etc.

    I really hope that you are willing to take the blog into a different direction.

    A

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    1. I know of one blog that was set up by a HE couple to rival another blog/list and valuable HE work being done in their area.
      It was used more as a weapon than a tool.

      Delete
  4. Very interesting point. I have of course tried this sort of thing here, see:

    http://homeeducationheretic.blogspot.co.uk/2011/03/teaching-children-part-1.html

    The problem is that what is meant as a straightforward account, meant to give advice to those hoping to teach in this way, tends to degenerate into arguments. Nothing would please me more than to run this blog as a resource for those hoping to edcuate their children in a structured way and at one time I was inviting people to make this a team blog, partly with that in mind.

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  5. we have a crap compulsory education in most state schools in this country why do most M.P's send there kids to private school? yet there want our kids to go to some crap state school!

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  6. 'why do most M.P's send there kids to private school? yet there want our kids to go to some crap state school!'

    You could of course try home educating your child. Such an education can be greatly superior to the best on offer at any private school. If however you rely simply upon, 'play chess all day and table tennis lol', then I fear that you are probably right and those MP's children attending private schools will end up achieving far more than your own son.

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  7. no webb those M.ps send there kids to a private school for a reason if state school was s ocould why dont there send there kids there?

    my son Peter is a Natinal chess master of the English chess federation Hampshire Adult Chess champion Bucks and berks Adult chess champion he also won many other adult chess events and Peter is the best under 16 chess player in UK what grade did you daughter?

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    1. So what....so he's good at chess, but will he ever be able to fix a car or build an extension?

      Delete
  8. Thank you for your prompt reply to my post. This is short -- children having little break. If you keep on writing, perhaps shorter posts about books you used, or places you visited with your child -- and did a few of those in succession, it might balance things out a bit.

    I read the post from your link. I suspect that those who had been antagonised by attacks on unschooling were determined to have a go because they were still angry at you and thought you were having a dig, rather than sharing info.

    That's why it might take a different direction for this blog, or even a second, parallel blog. Then you could offer something to help meet a very real need. I follow one blog where the lady mixes posts some links to resources, some on her pet contentious topic, some recipes, some family memories, quotations ... You get the picture. No one wants to eat the same food at every meal. That's a bit blunt, but it is the truth.

    A

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    1. Just what the world needs....more online HE dribble and drivel.

      Delete
  9. ' No one wants to eat the same food at every meal. That's a bit blunt, but it is the truth.'

    This is undeniably the case. It is, as I say, an interesting idea. the though of a second blog is frankly unbearable! This one already takes up far too much of my time. I have prepared material for the teaching of things like early reading and may well start posting this stuff here.

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  10. what did your daughter fail to get a chess grade from the english chess federation Webb? i know why!

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    Replies
    1. Chess chess chess chess chess....those grandmasters, they don't actually come across as the sanest of people.

      Delete
  11. Apologies, haven't read all the comments, but just wanted to say that I find Simon's assertion dubious, for the reason that if I were to take a random sampling of conversations on FB from both schooled and autonomously HE teens, the AHE teens routinely have far superior literacy skills, and this in every single department! We aren't simply talking spelling, grammar, vocabulary and familiarity with literacy techniques and styles, I am also referring to the content which is also vastly superior.

    Further, most of the HE teens I know learnt most of their literacy skills from the internet and reading books that they found in their own homes. It had next to nothing to do with what is happening now in schools. Perhaps we should think about whether we have now reached a tipping point in this information age where schools are now actually holding many children back?

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    1. That's not always the case, although online HE propaganda would like to convince us that it is.
      As for the statement 'vastly superior' it stinks of something rather unwholesome.

      Delete
  12. 'Further, most of the HE teens I know learnt most of their literacy skills from the internet and reading books that they found in their own homes. It had next to nothing to do with what is happening now in schools'

    The stuff that they are reading on the internet is, like the books which they read, the product of a society where roughly 100% of the population are literate. There is of course a lag of decades between school attendance and the resultant literacy rate. The overall literacy of society today is the cumulative effect of the last sixty or seventy years or so. What is happening now in schools will not have a full effect until the next generation.

    'random sampling of conversations on FB from both schooled and autonomously HE teens, the AHE teens routinely have far superior literacy skills, and this in every single department!'

    The plural of anecdote is not data and for these assertions to be worth considering, we would need to know a lot more about the case; size of the sample, how you assessed vocabulary, syntax and so on. I am particularly interested in how you measured and compared what you describe as 'familiarity with literacy techniques'. What precisely do you mean by this expression?

    If what you really mean to say is that the home educated children and young people with whom you come into contact are in general more articulate than those who attend school, then I am quite prepared to believe this. Is this what you are trying to get across?

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  13. why did your daughter Webb fail to get an english chess federation chess grade?

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    1. Maybe she lost interest in a game.
      Children tend to do that, maybe she's developed an interest in music or sport or kittens... or boys.
      Maybe she's been allowed the freedom to follow her interests and develop or abandon them as a well balanced young adult.
      Maybe she'll be recognised by others as having a healthy and diverse set of interests.
      Maybe she'll be recognised as being a young lady with a healthy air of independence.

      Delete
  14. 'Perhaps we should think about whether we have now reached a tipping point in this information age where schools are now actually holding many children back?'

    I am frankly puzzled by this. In Bangladesh and other developing countries, the inexorable rise in literacy has been linked with the increase in compulsory schooling. Your contention is, if I understand you correctly, that closing the schools in that country and abolishing compulsory schooling would effect an even more rapid increase in the literacy rate. It sounds counter-intuitive; perhaps you could explain to us why you believe this might be so?

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  15. 'what did your daughter fail to get a chess grade from the english chess federation Webb? i know why!'

    'why did your daughter Webb fail to get an english chess federation chess grade?'

    For readers who are scratching their heads and wondering what all this is about, I should perhaps offer a few words of explanation. My daughter had many hobbies as a child; bell ringing, ballet, fencing, bird watching and chess, to name but a few. She played chess casually from when she was six until the age of ten. During the course of this time, I encountered Mr Williams; who is incidentally, even more demented in real life than he is in print! Like all enthusiasts, he takes his hobby very seriously and it used to infuriate him that others did not share his passion for chess. My daughter went to a few tournaments, but the atmosphere created by people like Mr Williams was so feverish and unpleasant that we gave it up after a while. Mr Williams is apparently, nine years after my daughter last played chess competitively, still incandescent with rage that she did not attempt to get a grade. It is I fear too late to do anything about it at this late stage, even if she were still keen on chess. For some reason or other, it still irks him that anybody could have such a relaxed and casual attitude towards what is, after all, only a game.

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  16. There is no record of your daughter playing a graded chess game all tournment chess games are graded by the English chess federation i have checked the records and your daughter did not play a graded chess game why was that Webb? yet you claim she played in chess tournments?

    plenty share passion for chess webb i never met you at any chess event as far as i know which one did we meet at then? cos i dont remember you or your daughter!

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    1. I should imagine that to get to 224th ranking, your son has played many many tournaments and met many many people. It's highly unlikely that you would remember all of them.
      And...so what if the 'game' was ungraded. I tend to find that young people have a varied range of interests that come and go during childhood and adolescence.
      There are many many many overbearing parents who insist that their children compete in activities, long after the interest has gone.

      Delete
  17. Peter English chess grade is 224 and makes him a National Master(confirmed by the English Chess Federation on 22 March 2012) is that not good news Webb?

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    1. Does Peter still talk like that computer software package?
      Just how many hours did it take to develop that idiosyncracy?

      Delete
  18. Hi Simon,

    Sorry to hear you are puzzled, but this is probably because you haven't understood my contention correctly. My contention is not that schools should be banned. In fact, I understand that some children love them, and even get a lot out of them on occasion. Rather, my contention is that children should be educated where they prefer to be educated, in the way that they prefer and with the tools that are now available to us in a developed country.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Not all children are given the luxury to choose where they receive education or how that education is administered.
      They might not have much choice whether they are indoctrinated into the nefarious Islamist politics of Hizbut tahrir by a home educating Mum or Dad.
      There might not be much choice in being withdrawn from school when mum has a mental illness.

      Delete
  19. Simon,
    I have a question; you'll have to forgive me for it being "off topic".

    Not so long ago, you requested that I remove your name from my blog. You may recall that I had the misfortune to encounter a rude, small minded little troll on Marie's blog, who made personal comments about me and the education which he or she felt my daughter was being denied. Experienced heads suggested this commenter was you - I had never heard of you before that blissful point, so I wouldn't know. You insisted it was not you, and told me that if I didn't remove my name from your blog, you would "have to" write about me and my family on your blog. Not being certain one way or the other and not being used to dealing with such nastiness, I acted in good faith, duly complied and removed your name from my blog by way of password protecting the post in question.

    I don't read your blog on a routine basis. However, it's been brought to my attention that you've since made something of a habit of mentioning my name on it, always, of course, in a disparaging way. So I read it this evening, and could hardly fail to notice your hypocrisy. "As I expected, she is a very odd person called Nikki Harper who, with her husband, contacts the dead and reads the skies for a living." - just one of the oh so "lucid" highlights.

    Could you explain your hypocrisy, please? Could you explain why you feel it appropriate to attempt to besmirch my reputation as a mother, as a home educating parent, a writer, an astrologer, a normal human being, in this way - yet you demanded the removal of your own name from my blog? Are you really so very over-sensitive about the use of your name in the way you like to use the names of others?

    Do not pretend it has anything to do with facts. No, I cannot prove that you were the one who made such pathetic attacks on my family via Maire's blog. However, you are content to state as a fact that I was involved, for instance, in an online conference which I did not attend and had nothing to do with. So clearly, you did not want your name removed because of unproven or inaccurate information, because you are quite happy to state inaccuracies about others.

    So I'm left wondering why you're at such pains to have your name removed from a blog, while you are more than happy to attack others by name on your own blog? I'm sure you'll have an explanation. Let's hear it then. Or did I perhaps fall into your trap? Did I behave as a semi-decent human being by acting in good faith to remove your name from my blog, when in fact you had every intention of writing crap about me and my family whether I had removed your name or not?

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    1. You might take the time to explain why you personally feel the need to devalue Niemollers words and make highly inappropriate comparisons between the victims of the Holocaust and Home Educators.
      Didn't you stop to consider just how offensive you were being?

      Delete
  20. It seems to me Nikki that there has been some confusion here. You had a dispute with somebody after a blogger published some correspondence which you had been having with your local authority. You then posted on your own blog, naming me and saying some quite unflattering and untruthful things about me. I contacted you and told you that I was going to set the record straight by posting about the matter here and you then removed my name.
    I was not promising that I would never in the future mention you here and since you have started blogging on the Huffington Post, you have in a sense put yourself in the public eye. Commenting about the views you express is therefore quite legitimate. I had and still have no objection to your mentioning me on your own blog by name; I asked only that you stopped telling lies about me.
    I might mention that the stuff you are doing on the Huffington Post is provoking a good deal of ridicule from those who are not home educators and this is irritating. I have had friends contact me asking whether you are a typical example of the sort of person currently home educating. When you blogged there about the seven subjects you taught your child, which included things like insubordination and passion, somebody asked me why you were not rather teaching mathematics and history. I was stumped for an answer!
    As for 'besmirching your reputation as a ... human being' and so on; this is absurd. I described you as, 'a very odd person called Nikki Harper who, with her husband, contacts the dead and reads the skies for a living.' I do not really think that calling you a very odd person is in any sense besmirching your reputation. It is of course perfectly true that you and your husband purport to contact the dead and read the skies for a living.
    I am afraid that now you are appearing in the Huffington Post, you must expect your views and opinions to come under a little scrutiny. You are giving an atrocious impression of home education in this country and I will certainly be doing my best at odd times to counter this impression.

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    1. So I posted "unflattering and untruthful" things about you, did I? Accuracy and truth don't appear to bother you when it comes to your own postings. You stated that I took part in a particular conference which I had nothing to do with. That, for example was either a deliberate lie or an erroneous assumption based on the same prejudices which underpin the rest of your ramblings. Whether careless or deliberate, it was untrue. OK for you to lie about someone else then?

      Unflattering - yes, granted. I find it hard to imagine that many home educators would find much flattering to say about your conduct. You can hardly complain if someone writes something unflattering about you, considering that being snide about named others seems to be a hobby of yours.

      As you know perfectly well, the quote I supplied above was merely one of the more amusing examples. You have made multiple disparaging/defamatory remarks about me, including implying (as did the original attacker - strange coincidence) that there must be "more than meets the eye" to my contact with my local authority; another attempt to encourage people to assume that there is something untoward going on in my family. I was disgusted to read the indirect linking of my husband and Martin Smith by either you or one of your commenters - my goodness, such a lot of people hiding behind anonymity.

      Such insinuations go beyond the notion of fair comment on what someone has written, especially when they are made out of context and have nothing to do with critical analysis of a specific piece. Do I take it that from now on you will be confining your personal remarks about me/us to comment on something I've actually written or taken part in? That would at least be an improvement.

      How strange that you find the Huffington Post pieces to be provoking a good deal of ridicule from non-home educators. The flurry of comments on the second piece came from only two main protagonists - hardly a massive onslaught of public opinion, merely two people with views equally as strong as some pro home education views. The posts were widely shared by both home edders and non home edders; it's not hard to imagine, however, that people you mix with might share your own minority views, so I can see why you might have that impression.

      Your friend's question seems astonishingly literal-minded - not even the most anti home ed commenters managed to miss the point by quite that wide a mark; should they be so alarmed by any future posts I make, perhaps you should direct them to my own blog or better still, tell them to ask me. Unless, of course, it suits you to be "stumped" - yes, silly me, that would be it.

      Delete
  21. ' when in fact you had every intention of writing crap about me and my family whether I had removed your name or not?'

    This is even more baffling! I don't believe that I have written anything at all about your family, beyond the bare fact that your husband communicates with people's dead relatives. If this is true, then it can hardly be 'crap'. if it is not, then you can tell us now and I will set the record straight. I might mention though that my wife's family live in Grimsby and I have actually had the pleasure of seeing your husband in action; in Scunthorpe, of all unlikely places!

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    1. Oh joy. If we ever have the misfortune to be in the same building as one another again, do have the guts to come and introduce yourself, won't you? It would be interesting to continue this discussion face to face.

      Delete
  22. Peter not 224 he best under 16 in UK and his chess grade is 224 making him a National Master of the english chess federation
    the point is Webb claimed his daughter had played in a chess tournaments all tournament chess games are graded by the english chess federation and there is no record of his daughter palying a graded game so she can not have played in a serious chess tournment
    i have many contacts in the chess world and i have never meet webb i remember peopel i meet in the chess world in case there kids are goignto be any good!

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  23. Does Peter still talk like that computer software package?
    Just how many hours did it take to develop that idiosyncracy?

    your full of crap mat come round and say that to my face and your never speak again!

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    1. You are so touchy...and aggressive.
      Does being like that make you feel like a man, eh?
      Anyway...there's your kid on the telly talking like a Chess software package, you know the one.
      I wondered how many hours, days, weeks, months and years your son spent in front of that screen during his informative years.
      It affected his speech patterns in everyday situations.
      How did you get him to spend so much time on the PC?
      Threaten?
      It looks to me like you routinely make threats.
      Is all of that how Peter managed to get a 224 grade?
      See, there's often a recognisable pattern of psychology behind many child prodigies.
      You've precisely conformed to one or two indicators.

      Delete
    2. You are two sides of the same coin. Peter and Anti-Peter. You both come on here to bully.

      Delete
  24. ' You stated that I took part in a particular conference which I had nothing to do with. That, for example was either a deliberate lie or an erroneous assumption based on the same prejudices which underpin the rest of your ramblings.'

    I actually posted a link to an online conference arranged by the Home Ed Biz forums. You comment on this site under the name Elysian and the conference included a link to something which you has posted there about Lincolnshire County Council. This caused me to remark;

    ' One recognises some of the usual suspects here, people like Nikki Harper from Lincolnshire. I do hope that local authorities are reading this stuff, so that they have an idea of the sort of disordered thinking which afflicts some parents supposedly capable of delivering an education to their children. '

    Not really a lie at all, I did recognise you; even though you were not posting under your own name. If it is the crack about disordered thinking whcih annoyed you, then I hardly know what to say. Anybody who recommends the use of the crystal chrysolite for toxaemia instead of the more usual treatments for pre-eclampsia in pregnancy is most certainly suffering from disordered thinking and there is little more to be said on the subject. This is hardly defamatory; more a statement of fact. Are you not familiar with the old adage about stopping digging once you are in a hole?

    'If we ever have the misfortune to be in the same building as one another again, do have the guts to come and introduce yourself'

    To be fair, this was before you took it into your head to start traducing me on your blog! I was not over-impressed with the perfomances at Ashby and have no plans to return there. I am sorry that you are so touchy about your husband pretending to speak to dead people, but it is hardly my affair. Perhaps you could ask him what he is playing at?

    As for connecting your husband with Martin Smith, I know nothing at all about this. Was this said here? I do not know of any connection, but will certainly look into this and get back to you. I really know very little about your husband, other than that he used to sell tractors and now communicates with the dead relatives of singularly gullible, bereaved and vulnerable people. Did he know Martin Smith through the hypnotism thing?

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    1. Talking to the dead, that's a useful trick though....he could ask Martin Smith why he was such an abusive and cowardly ****.

      Delete
    2. I did not take part in the conference, Simon. I am a member of the forum, yes, where my user name is Elysian, as it is in many other places.. A link was used in the conference to publicly available postings regarding Lincolnshire. That does not constitute me taking part, and I never - unlike you and your cronies - post anonymously or under an assumed name. You are incapable of distinguishing facts from the fictional world you create. So you are content to post lies about people. Why am I not surprised?

      As for the rest of your disgusting insinuations, you are overstepping the mark well and truly. On your head be it.

      Delete
  25. "Did he know Martin Smith through the hypnotism thing?"

    It's clear to anyone with half a brain cell that he *didn't* know Martin Smith. That was the point of Nikki's comment.

    ReplyDelete
  26. '"Did he know Martin Smith through the hypnotism thing?"


    It's clear to anyone with half a brain cell that he *didn't* know Martin Smith. That was the point of Nikki's comment.'

    I am , alas, one of those unfortunate individuals who lack even half a brain cell!When she said:


    'I was disgusted to read the indirect linking of my husband and Martin Smith by either you or one of your commenters - my goodness, such a lot of people hiding behind anonymity.'

    I certainly understood her to be disgusted at the attempt to link her husband with Martin Smith; she does not though tell us whether there actually was any link.

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    1. I was disgusted to read that she was comparing HE to the Holocaust.
      A bit like being disgusted by Holocaust denial and deniers.
      Still no f'in apology for that tho.

      Delete
  27. "'I was disgusted to read the indirect linking of my husband and Martin Smith by either you or one of your commenters - my goodness, such a lot of people hiding behind anonymity.'"

    Though I'm not sure why the original commenter thought it would be a 'bad thing' to have known Martin Smith anyway. Knowing a paedophile doesn't make you one just as the LA staff who worked with his partner cannot be slurred because they worked with a murder.

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  28. ' Knowing a paedophile doesn't make you one just as the LA staff who worked with his partner cannot be slurred because they worked with a murder.'

    Which is of course quite true. I think that this hinges around the psychic angle. You will have noticed that Mrs Harper is a little sensitive when mention is made of her husband's necromancy or whatever they call it these days. Martin Smith was in the same line of work and, like Jon Harper, investigated hauntings. I have no idea whtehr they met or had any dealings with each other, but since this whole summoning up the dead lark seems to irritate Nikki Harper, I can see why she would try to stamp on such a theory.

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  29. Funny thing this networking...
    many professionals network, so it's not unheard of to find quite a few printers or decorators get together to discuss making business cards or hanging paper, usually over a cup of tea and a vol au vent.
    What's wrong with asking the question about Spirit mediums and Tarot readers doing it?
    And....it's well known that of them Paedos like Gary Glitter and Jonathan King used to network, they set up an information exchange. The Paedophile Information Exchange or PIE for short, presumably they drank tea, ate pies and looked at hardcore pics of kiddies .
    Here's the funny bit...MP Harriet Harman has links to them, so why can't you ask whether dodgy HE blokes who talk to the dead do?
    Maybe they're all on Linkedin.

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  30. So anyone who has talked to a paedophile or is in the same line of work, or has some kind of 'link' with them is suspect? That's me then, since I talked to a relative's neighbour who later turned out to be a paedophile. My relative must be even more suspect since they lived the other side of the wall from the room in which abuse took place. It would also make all builders suspect, since that was his job.

    You are probably suspect too, unless you think nobody in your line of work has ever been a paedophile? Are you sure you've never spent time with a paedophile? They don't have it written on their forehead you know. Actually, since you are a home educator (presumably) and some home educators have been found to be paedophiles, you must be highly suspect! Hopefully social services will be round soon to check up on you.

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  31. 'I did not take part in the conference, Simon.'

    I never thought, nor suggested, that you did. Your post was used as part of the debate and I drew attention to this.

    'I never - unlike you and your cronies - post anonymously or under an assumed name'

    I find it hard to believe that you were really christened 'Elysian'! This was an anonymous post. Had you wished, you could have joined that forum under your own name.

    ReplyDelete
  32. 'I never - unlike you and your cronies - post anonymously or under an assumed name.'

    I am struggling with this. Let us just remind ourselves what posting anonymously or with an assumed name is. When I post anywhere on the internet, I use my own name; Simon Webb. I usually use my ordinary email address as well; simon.webb14@btinternet.com. Go onto the EO support list and you will see posts there by me, using my own name. The same goes for when I post comments on other people's blogs or on newspaper articles.

    In contrast to this, Nikki Harper signed up to the Home Ed Biz under the name 'Elysian'. Unless this is really her name, then it is an assumed name. She is not telling people upfront who she is. I cannot for the life of me see how she can then claim with a straight face never to post under an assumed name.

    Just to recap, you can always tell any of my posts or comments anywhere on the internet, because I use my own name. Nikki Harper, like so many people, uses a pseudonym. Nothing wrong with that, it is just not something I have ever felt the need to do. As for who my 'cronies' might be; this is utterly beyond me!

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