EU ACCUSED OF ‘BRAINWASHING’ SCHOOLCHILDREN ACROSS BRITAIN
The EU pencil case has been handed out in schools
Saturday January 14,2012
By Alison Little
CRITICS last night voiced concern after the EU’s attempts to raise their profile spread to classrooms across Britain.
A council staged an EU event encouraging teachers to link up with schools on the Continent. Brightly coloured pencil cases bearing its 12-star logo have also been handed out to pupils across the country.
The EU Commission denies such initiatives amount to “propaganda’’ but some fear the aim is to brainwash schoolchildren into backing the EU.
Andrew Allison, of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “Taxpayers will be shocked to read the cash they pay to Brussels is being spent in this way. If schools want children to know about the EU, there are plenty of unbiased resources.
“Teachers don’t need to go to expensive conferences, and schools don’t need to buy books from the EU bookshop.’’
Ukip MEP Paul Nuttall said: “It is utterly wrong that so-called neutral information be provided to our children by an organisation which represents a highly controversial political position.”
The EU Commission denies such initiatives amount to “propaganda’’ but some fear the aim is to brainwash schoolchildren into backing the EU
It emerged yesterday that Staffordshire County Council’s legal department is considering a formal complaint lodged by a resident over a one-day conference it held in November for 50 teachers to raise awareness of the EU in schools.
The Commission and the council denied the event, which cost £3,500, had a political slant.
Councillor Liz Staples, Staffordshire’s Cabinet member for schools, insisted: “It focused on how schools without the EU could possibly link together, simliar to e-twinning, and how young people can broaden their horizons by communicating with and learning from children overseas.
“It was purely educational and not political in any way. There was no cost to the taxpayer.”
An EU Commission spokesman said: “The main focus was opportunities for EU funding.’’
He said the EU Comenius programme, supported by the British Council and aimed at schools, colleges and councils across Europe, had in 2011 funded 438 UK schools to make partnerships with European counterparts. “The UK authorities vigorously promoted British involvement,’’ he added.