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« Bugs | Main | Regaining control of the news agenda »
Sunday
Feb042007

Germany

I've got friends in Germany. As a student, I had a German roommate with whom I shared some wonderful times. I like the Germans I've met. Once I understood it, I like their sense of humour too.

But my God, when I read things like DK's report on the German Presidency's plans for a law on holocaust denial I am horrified by what their government is up to:

[I]t requires member states to prosecute violations, as defined in the document, it requires them to do so under the methods of corpus juris; that is the Continental system whereby you must prove your innocence, a concept that goes against one of the most fundamental tenets of the British justice system.

The Framework also deals with what it calls "Legal persons", which includes companies, charities, etc. Under these provisions, if one of your employees, for instance, says something racist that is reported, your company can be banned from "commercial trading", banned from "receiving public funds" or even compulsorily wound-up.

Or this report (HT: Carlotta) about a German girl who was being home educated, a practise which is illegal in Germany.

She has been removed from her parents' custody, and placed in the Child Psychiatry Unit of the Nuremberg clinic, her father, Hubert Busekros, told the homeschool group.

It's surprising, to say the least, to find anywhere that is less liberal than Blair's Banana Republic. It may just be that Germany is it. The Euro-enthusiasts in our three main parties need to explain what it is about our European colleagues way of doing things that they find so attractive.

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Reader Comments (2)

After reading the first part of your mail, I was just about to send you the second story, but see you made that connection already!

Whilst the DfES doesn't plan to make home education illegal yet, they are not above issuing School Attendance Orders for children who have been seriously failed by state education, so as you rightly point out, we aren't very far removed from the German situation.
Feb 4, 2007 at 6:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterCarlotta
I think the writing is probably on the wall. The teaching unions will be lobbying like fury to make home-ed progressively more difficult. It will probably become illegal eventually, no doubt under some bogus European "harmonisation".
Feb 4, 2007 at 7:52 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

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