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.

Brussels resurrects the rhetoric of “yellow peril”

Posted on March 05, 2012

Dan Hannan MEP draws attention to the latest propaganda video from the European Union:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EElHoI7P4qw&feature=player_embedded

As he points out, there are some pretty dubious racial undertones in the way that the non-European blocs are represented.

But there are other insights into the Brussels mindset here, too.

The first is the EU’s view of trade. When these snarling attackers advance on the innocent white young lady representing the EU, ¬†they are waving swords, spinning roundhouse kicks and yelling. They are, of course, meant to represent China, India and Africa’s economic growth. That’s right – far from viewing the rise in prosperity and the improvement in industrialisation in the developing world as an opportunity to trade, share innovations and collaborate, the EU views them as a threat.

When Brussels sees the rest of the world as would-be assailants rather than a route to further prosperity, it is small wonder that a protectionist Fortress Europe has been constructed, to our great cost.

The second is the shift in the way the EU is trying to make its case to the disengaged and unenthused peoples of Europe. Ten years ago, the EU’s propaganda was all sweetness and light, absurdly saccharine promises of the sunlit uplands of federalism. Now, as I predicted back in December, they are shifting their rhetoric to one of fear and scaremongering.

Fundamentally, this is because people have realised there is little to love about the EU project. Endemic corruption, overbearing regulation, arrogant and out of touch technocrats and – worst of all in these tough times – devastating economic harm done to member states and ordinary citizens, all these factors have dispelled the myths the EU elites once peddled.

All Brussels is left with is a message of fear. Internationally, that means videos like this, stirring up fear of the foreigner in a return to the loathsome “yellow peril” rhetoric of a century ago. Domestically, it will mean predictions of civil war and a return to genocide in Europe if anyone dares to question why Brussels should be so powerful despite its lack of democratic mandate.

When a political movement Рand the EU, for all its pretensions to superhuman impartiality, is a political movement Рresorts to lashing out like this, it is a sign that it is in its death throes. The worrying question is how much harm it will do to all of us before it finally expires.