Young Independence at Hillingdon
Our Young Independence Chairman in Hillingdon is Matt Bannister
National YI Chairman is Jamie Ross-McKenzie
To join Young Independence
go to ” Join UKIP or Contact Us”
The national Facebook page for YI can be viewed here
Thursday 17th November 2016 – Update
A main plank of UKIP policy is the re-establishment of grammar schools. Currently, the Government have legislation in place to stop any new ones being built.
YI member Elrica Degirmen (Above) has started a petition to force a debate and repeal of this act which can be viewed and signed here –
(that’s our Jack!)
Young Independence London’s Secretary Jack Duffin has been confirmed as UKIP’s first ever NUS (National Union of Students) Presidential candidate.
Duffin, 22, is UKIP’s Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Uxbridge & South Ruislip. He will be running his NUS campaign under the banner “make the NUS about education”.
Jack Duffin said: “It is an honour to be the first UKIP delegate to an NUS conference, let alone a candidate for President.
“I intend to campaign on subjects such as restoring grammar schools as a means of social mobility, vocational training for youngsters and addressing the cost of living.
“My intention is to put the UKIP argument on education across to as many young people as possible. I truly believe that UKIP is the real voice for those who are young and aspirational, no matter what their background.”
Jack Duffin has had this piece published in “Trending Central” for which many thanks
When I announced I was running for National Union of Students (NUS) President in October, it very much went under the radar until a couple of days after Christmas. Instead of being met with constructive comments or reasonable complaints, many commenters resorted to petty rants.
The main reason I ran for NUS President is that the education in this country is sub standard at best and still in decline. Unfortunately, most of the leading figures in the student movement don’t want to discuss education with me, but just want to use their 140 character bursts on Twitter to attack the UK Independence Party (UKIP).
I have tried having discussions on Twitter, but it really isn’t the best platform to have a sensible discussions as conversations get blurred and tangled. So I am writing this article to try and address some of the mud that has been thrown in my direction. Hopefully this will mean after we can move on and focus on the NUS and UK education.
Apparently UKIP are racist?
Anyone who argues that immigration is a completely bad thing is naive. We have skills shortages in the UK and it important to address these. The easiest way, and shortest-term fix is immigration. In the longer term, we need to look at the shortcomings in the education system that has left us with this gaping holes in our labour force. So let’s give work visas to the people who we need to come in and fill these skilled jobs.
In a similar vein, anyone that tries to argue that immigration is flawless is just as naive. We have lots of unskilled people coming to the UK, they offer us nothing that our one million unemployed young people could not offer us. Many of our 18-25’s are unemployed due to their education failing them.
A sensible person would address these situations by wanting control of our borders, allowing in the necessary immigration that we require, but also rejecting the unskilled workers that offer no net benefit. We could start treating the rest of the world equally rather than having an open door to the European Union (EU) and discriminating against the rest of the globe. We would also be able to reject people with criminal records, such as convicted rapists and murderers that can currently enter the UK legally from other EU countries.
It is all well and good for those lucky enough to have a good education to sit at NUS and allow our less fortunate ex-schoolmates and families to struggle to find work in a period of economic crisis. To argue that an unskilled labourer from any EU state has automatic right to stay in this country when excellent graduates from top English universities (NUS members), whose tuition fees pay for these sabbatical roles, yet have to fight to stay in this country just because they happen to be born outside of Europe is, quite frankly, ridiculous.
Controlled immigration is desirable and necessary, mass uncontrolled immigration is wrong-headed.
Apparently UKIP is misogynistic?
We are the only one of the main four parties that doesn’t patronise women with all female shortlists and other ‘positive’ discrimination rules. How would you feel if you became a politician because you were a woman and not on merit? Even without such things, UKIP has several women topping our European Parliamentary member’s ballots, and we had a woman finish top of another member’s ballot for our National Executive Committee. How can that be, when we are all supposed to hate women?
Apparently I’m ‘privileged’?
Of course I am, I was lucky enough to be born in Britain, one of the best countries in the world to grow up in. ‘Free’ healthcare, education, emergency services, to name a few reasons. I have worked since the age of 14 in hospitality, my working class upbringing has grounded me. But because I’m white I am supposedly not allowed to speak on any issue that affects non-white people? And because I’m a man I can’t speak on female issues?
If we follow this backwards logic then people like William Wilberforce would never have been allowed to become involved and abolish the slave trade. Frederick Pethick-Lawrence would not have been allowed to provide literature and have given women bail, which led to women getting the vote.
If I was running for NUS Women’s Officer or NUS Black Students’ Officer then I could understand this argument of being a man or white, but I can categorically deny any intention of running for either.
Blurred views on Blurred Lines?
Firstly, I haven’t told the NUS women’s group they can’t focus on Blurred Lines, so if the feminist movement & NUS Women wants to promote Blurred Lines then fine. I have simply pointed out that it isn’t the biggest issue that happened this year. We have seen the Student Loan book sold off, further government cuts to education, cost of living soaring, just to name a few issues affecting students. The NUS needs to focus more on these issues as well and use the power they have to challenge people in power to deal with them. But at the same time there are people being neglected by the central student movement, there are many students who day to day are unsure how they will afford to live, how they will pay off their debt, what their future holds.
I would encourage everyone to read this piece on why the criticism of Blurred Lines is misplaced. It seems as though a campaign has been created for the sake of a campaign rather than anything else.
I will just run through what the policy of banning things looks like to me. Blurred Lines has offended a minority group of people, so ban it to stop the offence to that group of people. Remembrance Sunday offended some people (I can’t understand how remembering war dead is offensive but I will stick with it) so ULU banned people attending officially. Some students in Aberystwyth didn’t like The Express so that got banned on their campus. Some students don’t like the Sun so that has been banned in several places.
What is the next step? Horror movies promote violence so let’s ban all of them. Computer games that people get killed in, ban them to remove crime. Songs that speak negatively of men or women, let us ban them. This quickly gets very out of hand. I strongly disagree with running an authoritarian government across campuses or the country. If you don’t like a song, paper, movie, game or event then boycott it yourself. That is your right. But running around demanding people can’t have it is immoral. If an event is directly calling for rape, violence or abuse then the police can be called because those are crimes.
Simply banning the offending ‘thing’ does very little to address the issue, if anything at all. Yes, a lot more needs to be done to tackle rape culture, crime, violence, etc. But that needs to be done through education and awareness, particularly in schools. If someone is committing crimes of any sort, in particular rape and violent crime, then there is a serious problem and it needs to be addressed, firstly by them going to prison.
But I wholeheartedly disagree that a song, newspaper, movie, game, etc. is the reason.
Why do I care about education?
If you read my first and third articles on Trending Central, then you will see why I am running. We need better education for children in the UK. We have many children who finish school at the age of 16, who have pointless qualifications, no transferable skills, and little to no chance of employment.
I would like to see grammar schools for our academically skilled children so how rich your parents are does not define your education and life.
A technical schools system would ensure that children who are incredibly gifted but not academic don’t have a label of failure on their heads for their entire life. Technical schools would mean children could leave schools as employable individuals and quality apprenticeships would follow. Degrees need to be something that the country needs, so there should not be tuition fees, but also a reduction in numbers is required. Fifty percent of university graduates since 2008 are doing jobs that required no degree.
I won’t win?
And when I joined the race I never expected to. I am here because education in this country is in desperate need of change. It is incredibly sad that we are ruled by a political elite, who, by reducing education have made the positions of power and money accessible only by having parents with power and money.
Hopefully, the NUS will champion the course of what young people need so that one day the UK will become a meritocracy.
Re-introducing the notion of competition in schools will revive our education system
What is the purpose of education? A quite simple question but one that has been ignored when designing the system for millions. The key role is to make an individual employable. There are other important things like ‘well roundedness’, civic education, and empowering our youth, but the cornerstone is employability.
The comprehensive system inhibits the academic and technical-minded students in state schools from achieving their potentials. Millions are ‘protected’ from competition and reality, leaving them unemployable in the real world once they finish their education. This results in the privately-schooled elite dominating the top jobs. Yet the National Union of Students (NUS) completely ignores this.
Previously, I have stated that I am running for President of the NUS, and I would seek to chamption the future of young people if elected to that position. We need to make sure young people are the best they can be by the time they get to university. By improving secondary education, university education standards will also rise.
Education used to dramatically change for young people when they took their 11 plus exams. Those that succeeded got onto the ladder of social mobility and those who failed were disregarded in secondary moderns. These secondary moderns were substandard and left millions of young people with limited and often negative futures. The government had to do something in order to stop half of the children in state schools getting inferior educations. Cynically, they ripped away social mobility, and sent everyone to secondary moderns, which were rebranded as “comprehensives”.
A modern grammar school system would not be perfect for everyone, but no system ever will be. Some children develop later, but a cut off point has to be made. With such a notion, we get children being kept in academic education until 18 where they could have learned a skill to a respectable level, and be doing a proper apprenticeships from 16.
A recent YouGov poll showed that 80 percent of students want the return of grammar schools as they believe it would give them a better education than they currently have. The current competition to get a place is incredible. Approximately 1500 sit the 11 plus exam for each remaining grammar school in an attempt to get one of the 180 places available. The majority of Labour and Tory supporters are in favour, as well as ethnic minorities that have previously been against them. While the general public are throwing their weight behind a grammar school system, the privately schooled Westminster elite remain strongly opposed. Could this be because they want to keep the domination of the highest paid and most powerful jobs to themselves and their children?
Last month Sir John Major spoke out on how the “upper echelons of power” were dominated by those who had rich enough parents to avoid state education. More than half the current cabinet were educated at private schools. David Cameron was educated at Eton, as was the Mayor of London Boris Johnson, and the Archbishop of Canterbury The Right Reverend Justin Welby. Nick Clegg attended Westminster School, while George Osborne and deputy Labour leader Harriet Harman went to St Paul’s. In contrast, Sir John – prime minister between 1990 and 1997 – grew up in Brixton and left his grammar school with three O-levels.
The old grammar system was built around the tripartite system of Maths, English and Verbal Reasoning, but how many people go on to be full time mathematicians, English professors or whatever a ‘verbal-reasoner’ would do?
I don’t propose, nor do I agree with a return to a narrow and blinkered examination system. Instead we need a diverse and inclusive system that will look at a broad range of evidence and subjects to decide if a child is academic enough to go to a grammar. Those who do not pass should be going to technical schools, offering a range of non-academic courses that students can study, alongside Maths, English and Science.
I also feel it is essential that a style of business qualification is taught at these technical schools as the majority of these students are likely to work in Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) or set up their own. Someone learning a part of the building trade could study till 16, do a two year apprenticeship and then set up their own company at 18. If we look at people who have left school already, I am sure a lot more people will use basic accounting skills (which are not taught) whether for their job or budgeting than those who will ever use trigonometry and the use of literary techniques.
Once we have young people graduating from schools with a quality understanding of the skill that they will use for work, apprenticeships will follow. The irrational politicians that dominate the front benches in the House of Commons don’t seem to understand that businesses don’t want to just employ anyone. Skilled school leavers create quality apprenticeships that leads to jobs for young people and a reduction in youth unemployment.
There seems to be a concept that someone who is non-academic is poorer and less important than those who excel academically. But it is essential to have a society that has a varying skills base. Wages aren’t much different when comparing a technically-skilled electrician and an academically-skilled university lecturer.
The problem isn’t just about the structure of the education system. Unfortunately, state schools have institutionalised children against competition and aspiration. Many award ceremonies are held where the vast majority of the school are given awards rather than teaching children that not everyone can be a winner in the real world.
After having competition purged from them during their time in state education, they are then attacked by people like David Cameron and Boris Johnson for being lazy and having ‘low aspirations’. Cameron even blamed poor and ethnic minorities for the lack of social mobility, saying, “Social mobility will only rise when those people are persuaded to change those attitudes”.
While Labour rightly criticises the Conservative elite for talking down young British people, it also offers no ideas for how to fix the problem.
Some people try to argue that we should create a more diverse route where children can conduct academic study as well as vocational study in the same school. This won’t work unless we start building “super schools”, a concept that may have a place in major cities, but would be impossible for rural dwellers.
What better way to empower academic children from any financial background than through an academic selective grammar school? What better way to empower the technically gifted than through a technical school that lets them enhance their abilities into employable skills?
The only way we’re going to create more, not fewer winners, is to give students the tools they need in order to effectively compete. Today’s youth aren’t happy with a Duke of Edinburgh award, or two weeks work-experience at Poundland. They want a job, a pay cheque and a future.
for more go to Trending Central (see our blog roll)
Young Independence (YI) London was formed in July this year when it held its first set of elections, creating the current council, Chairman, Sanya Thandi (@SanyaJeet) Secretary, Jack Duffin (@jackduffin) Elections Officer, Richard Harrington (@harrington1451) and Events Officer, James Lynch (@LondonYIer).
We held our first event a week later where the committee discussed with members our ideas for the next year and other events we had planned. This was a really great opportunity for members across the region to come together and share ideas. I would recommend other regions to do something similar, maybe on county bases to get people involved. A major bonus of London is that you can get anywhere in the region in approximately two hours which helps attendance at regional events.
We have think tanks organising events most weeks in London, whether it be speeches or debates. There have been to a few but with many coming as last minute announcements, we struggle to plan what is going on. But getting a growing YI presence at these types of events is important as it allows us to engage with people of similar beliefs, whether they are in another party or nonparty.
So far we have only got round to holding one action day, which was for Neil Hall, (@NeilAndrewHall) we managed to get two other members down there to support him, Charlie Sammonds (@Volcanochaser46) and myself. It was a great day where we did leafleting and talking to several local residents.
The plan is to hold action days on both Wednesdays and Saturdays, this is because there are many students who work at weekends but get Wednesdays off, likewise we have people at school or who work and are free at weekends, making our action days as accessible as possible. We are planning several action days for the new year, making sure we support all YI candidates that are actively standing across London on 22nd May 2014. So far we only have a few names, so if you are standing please let us know so we can support you, email email@example.com
The disadvantage with running any youth branch is that many of the most active members are working with their local branches in the run up to the local elections in May. So although YI London might not be the most active group, YI are making a positive impact in for UKIP in the local elections.
I am in the process of organising a really exciting event for the new year where I hope to get as many YI London members involved and standing in the local elections in May as possible. I have confirmed some great speakers and hopefully I can add one of two more too what promises to be a great evening. As soon as I have more details I will let members know.
Our Young Independence Chairman is Jack Duffin, this is his latest piece that he printed in “The Ukipian (for which many thanks) :-
Since the grammar schools programme was ended in 1980’s we have seen the vast majority of state funded children being sent to comprehensives. When the decision was taken to stop the divide between going to grammar or secondary schools the vision was that every child would get an education worthy of a grammar school. Unfortunately the opposite occurred and every child is now given an education similar to that of the students in secondary that failed the eleven plus.
The current education system treats every child the same and does not allow children to excel in set skills. By creating a system that has grammar & professional schools we could allow all children to specialise and be appreciated for the different skills they possess. We should not return to the old eleven plus, we should create a new test that would assess students across the board; academic, technical and other abilities.
The grammar schools would teach children predominantly academic subjects. Whereas the professional schools would focus on training children in a skill whilst teaching basic Maths, Science and English. This would help create a diverse and skilled workforce that benefited the British economy rather than training everyone for similar academic jobs.
I went to school with several students who did not want to be trapped in the classroom, when they were able to join a non-academic setting that did not confine them to fit a mould that was not right for them, they flourished. We should make these opportunities more accessible, so people who are academic can focus their time in the classroom and value the contribution and skills of non-academic workers.
Since grammar schools were removed from the British school system social mobility has collapsed, those who could afford to go to private schools got the best educations, top University places and the highest paid jobs. The comprehensive schools have dragged everyone who could not afford private education away from high level achievement and jobs irrespective of their intelligence. Grammar schools will bring back aspiration to the working and middle classes in education who could not previously afford it and bridge the gap between the state and private education.
Competition is avoided within state schools, which is a real shame as it stops teachers and other students encouraging themselves to strive to be better. So instead we have a system that is a race to the bottom, where those above average are ignored as long as they are passing and achieving quotas, while those not near enough to a pass grade are not encouraged or offered appropriate options as they are not seen as a viable resource within the present structure. This targets culture, has meant students aspirations and personalities are ignored for the sake of statistics. Lets start focusing on the individual and tailoring education to every child individually.
Jack Duffin is a student at Brunel University, studying financial mathematics. He is the current Secretary of Young Independence and tweets at@jackduffin