The Guardian teaches economics “through the medium of dance”

Posted on February 12, 2013

Apologies for the radio silence from CrashBangWallace for the last few days – an unfortunate karaoke accident (genuinely) left me laid up for a week, but I’m pleased to say I’m back up and about now.

To get back into the swing of things, how about a bit of classic Guardianista absurdity?

As part of Fairtrade Fortnight, the Guardian Teacher Network has produced a handy guide on “How to teach Fairtrade“. Naturally, they couldn’t just settle for boring old lessons – oh no:

Where in the world is food grown? explores where Traidcraft buys its Fairtrade commodities, including sugar, rice, raisins, honey, quinoa and blueberries. To work on the concepts through the medium of dance, see these helpful teachers’ notes for an activity where key-stage-2-aged children create a Fairtrade dance to tell the story of a sugar farming community which wants their sugar to be Fairtrade.

Yes, someone out there actually uses the phrase “through the medium of dance” with a straight face.

Do they really believe that getting 11-year-olds to sway like a field of sugar cane will fully communicate the upsides and downsides of the Fairtrade system?

Presumably the next step will be to teach kids through the medium of beatboxing about the starvation caused by subsidies, protectionist tariff barriers and the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy.

The Guardian and the negative Left

Posted on October 20, 2010

The Guardian is on fine form today showing the schizophrenic and overwhelmingly negative worldview of the Left.

Only a couple of months ago they were sneering at the idea of consulting the plebs public about the best ways to cut spending. At best, they suggested, such sites were full of silly ideas (without mentioning that these were weak Mark-Thomas-esque jokes submitted by their own pro-spending readers, desperate to sabotage the idea). At worst, it just brings out the racist BNP clone who as all good Islington Lefties know lurks below the flat cap of most ordinary folk.

Crowdsourcing ideas for spending cuts was and is a good idea – particularly because it opened the Treasury’s door to creative thinking and helped to identify cuts that would hurt ordinary people least. Having enthusiastically slagged public participation off, the Guardian has now embraced crowdsourcing itself - to gather complaints that the cuts are poorly targeted and hurting ordinary people.

Perhaps if they had encouraged people to take part in the spending challenge and contributed to the generation of ideas, rather than sneering at it, then the spending cuts on the way could be better targeted away from the front line.

Sadly, this is typical of the elitist Left. The people are handy if you can whip them in behind your own negative complaints, but allow them to make positive and constructive suggestions? Don’t be ridiculous – they might come up with something you don’t like.