The dimmer wing of the ruling class

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Senior members of the DUP have been busy embarrassing themselves over the last few weeks.Comments by Ian Paisley Jr that the PSNI should shoot dissident republicans on sight indicate the ingrained right-wing stance of the party. Meanwhile his colleagues have been outdoing him in making their party a laughing stock. Iris Robinson repeatedly put her foot in it by describing homosexuality as an abomination while Edwin Poots and Meryvn Storey clambered somewhere back to the bronze age in their bid to have Christian creationism taught in science class.

The purpose of schools is to educate kids. Teaching them stuff that is true would seem to be an obvious place to start. After all, we don't tell them that 2+2 = 5. We don't tell teenagers that Santa Claus really exists. Anything that even remotely hints that the earth is 6,000 years old or that evolution is anything other than biological fact is on a similar level of idiocy. So, in the 21st century, it's a bit odd, to hear ministers advocate creationism be taught in schools. It needs to be clearly said that evolution is accepted as being an outstandingly supported idea. Poots and Storey talk about equality of access for various theories. Presumably they will support the teaching that the earth is flat.

Lest there be any confusion that Protestant fundamentalism has a monopoly on twaddle, it's worth stating that the Catholic Church isn't any better. Although a little more sophisticated when it comes to dodging the implications of evolution, they still make every effort to ensure that they run nearly half the schools in the North and over 90% of those in the South. In effect that amounts to a daily propaganda session for doctrines that have zero basis in reality. Not exactly a quality 21st century education.

The DUP are the child of fundamentalist Christianity. Their very loyalty to the British state is based squarely on the State's historic support of Protestant domination. You might think this is a pretty stupid - and increasingly irrelevant - way to govern any society. And you'd be right.

Apart from the grotesque sectarianism that such politics inevitably fosters - it's not as if a few centuries of discrimination was due to a few bad apples - running a modern society on the basis of a bronze age text book is not a recipe for blinding success.

Issue 105 of Workers Solidarity Sept/Oct 2008

[PDF of southern edition of WS 105] [PDF of northern edition of WS 105]