Is David Cameron too scared to take on the Tory creationists

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Is David Cameron too scared to take on the Tory creationists

Postby ukantic » Wed Sep 12, 2007 7:22 pm

Some of the country's leading scientists are very angry with David Cameron for his failure, when given an opportunity, to make it clear he was opposed to the idea of creationism being sneaked into children's science lessons by religious zealots. How do we explain this running away from what should be a simple commitment to teach science in science lessons? Is it because he is scared of being contradicted and embarrassed by the hardcore of creationists that exist in the Conservative Party?

This blog has already reported on Rob Wilson, the Conservative Mp for Reading East who, when asked specifically about intelligent design being taught in science lessons, apparently believes "There should be a balanced approach to the various theories of origin.".

And then we have Gary Streeter MP who has been pursued by postblogger in recent months on this question. Streeter, who is prominent in the Conservative Christian Fellowship initially gave this bizarre response when asked to keep science in schools separate from religious fundamentalism:

"I would be very happy to act on this matter as soon as you can prove beyond all reasonable doubt that Creationism is not true, and I look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible."


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Not only did David Cameron bottle it, he has now promoted Rob Wilson to Shadow Minister for Higher Education.


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Re: Is David Cameron too scared to take on the Tory creation

Postby Paul Braterman » Mon Jul 23, 2012 11:45 pm

[Since this post came up in correspondence] From Rob Wilson's website: "Following the coalition Government agreement, Rob was appointed as Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport."

Could have been worse. Could have been education.
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Re: Is David Cameron too scared to take on the Tory creation

Postby jon_12091 » Tue Jul 24, 2012 5:42 am

ukantic wrote:And then we have Gary Streeter MP who has been pursued by postblogger in recent months on this question. Streeter, who is prominent in the Conservative Christian Fellowship initially gave this bizarre response when asked to keep science in schools separate from religious fundamentalism:

"I would be very happy to act on this matter as soon as you can prove beyond all reasonable doubt that Creationism is not true, and I look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible."

That's a statement made by a creationist if ever I heard one.
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Re: Is David Cameron too scared to take on the Tory creation

Postby cathy » Tue Jul 24, 2012 6:42 am

YEP! Given the association between fairly extreme right wing views and creationism that doesn't surprise me at all. On the Sunday Morning live thing on creationist schools - pastor loony (George Hargreaves) when asked hadn't he planned to open a creationist free school stated he'd asked Cameron could he do so in 2010. He then said, Cameron had just squirmed about as he does and said he needed to ask Gove. I'd have expected a firm 'no course you can't you medieval moron' (tho perhaps politely) not squirming! And why were the tories talking to pastor loony after or during an election?

Cameraon is in deep trouble with a lot of his backbenchers who seem to be under the impresssion they won the election outright and arent' happy with being in a coalition - so not acting on something like creationism to keep them happy (seeing as evil lib dem liars haven't noticed it as an issue) wouldn't surprise me one iota. Latest reported one is he is losing their support on gay marriage. So I'm not sure he wouldn't give in on something less high profile like creationism. After all the posh private schools are never going to teach it, Gove is pushing for increases in numbers of pupils in the selective state grammar schools (they seem to be the only ones getting money to expand :evil: so much for Goves bollocks on poorer students) and which tory really gives a monkeys about the children of the 'plebs' who the creationists are targetting with their free schools. :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: Teach em creationism keep em down.

Creationism needs a higher profile to force his hand! My guess is he'd take the Evangelical Alliance line of lots of different opinions if pushed too hard. With a weather eye on his backbenchers.

The Christian Institute has a thing where you can check how MPs voted on issues. The key is green tick for a morally right vote red cross for morally wrong vote. By morals of course, it doesn't mean tax avoidance for the super rich it means smacking children (pro smacking morally right), gay marriage (pro vote morally wrong), etc. I haven't checked under education but creationism/ID in schools hasn't come up yet. And even the CI don't squeal about it too obviously (even they fight shy of obvious support) you have to search to find their views hidden in their education section where you come across McQuoid.

Is it worth tackling him more publicly about it? Force his hand one way or another. Gove was at least clear even if he doesn't seem to have stuck to his word.

If Gove goes his replacement looks like an Elizabeth Truss - another tory, all the lib dems got was EYFS. What is she like? As far as I can see no religious background (but then not a tory one either - left wing parents) and obsessed with compulsory maths to 18 rather than 16. Nothing about creationism/ID/religion tho she did have an affair with a married tory.
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Re: Is David Cameron too scared to take on the Tory creation

Postby Dagsannr » Tue Jul 24, 2012 9:12 am

The great thing about religious fundamentalism, aside from the fact it's just 'not British' (apathy and reserve being the order of the day here), is that it runs along, quietly and subversively, trying to convert people to its cause. However, the more people it recruits, the more moderate its base and outlook gets and it finally has to do or say something to keep the original radicals happy. This then exposes the group as being run by the nutjobs and the whole thing collapses, merely to start the cycle again in half a generation or so.

It's seen clearly in the country with the environmental movement (exemplified by Greenpeace). At the beginning it was a fringe movement with radical goals. It moderated those radical goals to draw in more people, eventually convincing the masses of its (now mainstream) views. However, recently it's had to pander to its original base of radicals (anti-GMO, anti-nuclear, anti-big business) and has lost a lot of popular support who would've been happy to accept things like nuclear power and GMOs if it meant reduced climate change and industrial pollution. The result? Greenpeace is largely seen as a bunch of extremist hippies with no concept of how the real world operates - exactly how it started in the first place.

Sooner or later, the fundmentalist types in any political party (it's not just the Tories) will say or do something that alienates their popular base and they fall away. We just have to wait.

There's enough scientifically literate, secular and popular people now, both in the media and in politics, to prevent the fundies from ever doing too much damage. Thank goodness.
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