Colin Hannaford: Britain Exits the European Union..

Jun 26, 2016 by

colin hannenford

An Interview with Colin Hannaford: Britain Exits the European Union..

1) Colin, first of all can you tell our readers a bit about yourself and your involvement in teaching in the United Kingdom?

          I was born Plymouth during a night in 1943. Hitler’s Luftwaffe was bombing the city for the twentieth or thirtieth time.

Plymouth was bombed as much as London. It got noisy. Five thousand people were killed or wounded.

Some months later, as the bombs fell closer during another raid, my young mother crawled with me under her bed, and promised God that my life would be given in His service if we survived,

When told this, years later, I protested, “But you should have asked me.” To which my mother replied, “No, no. You were far too young!”

This attempt by Hitler to extinguish democracy in Britain as he had in Europe was defeated at the cost of many thousands of British and American lives. Whether my mother’s promise to God actually directed my future life is still to be questioned. I was told about it rather late.

Aged 17 I became a soldier myself. Twelve years later, now an officer, I was punished by the then British government for speaking out against its policies and tricked into entering a psychiatric hospital

On the first evening, having discovered my real situation, I had a powerful experience of God’s presence and help: and after further weeks of clinical tests the hospital found me perfectly sane.

I was then discharged: ‘to continue active service’.

During that first evening, I was warned by God that mankind is heading for disaster by condoning dishonesty in every major social organisation, and especially in politics.

Leaving the army in my early thirties, I became a teacher of mathematics; and soon discovered that I was routinely rewarding dishonesty in the majority of my pupils by repeatedly asking them, “Do you all understand?” and accepting their assurance that they had.

Who does not remember this? Dozens of university students have told me, “That’s just how it was in my class.”

And this is where the social rot of dishonesty begins.

In 1979, I was appointed the first head of mathematics of the first British European School of twelve European Schools of the EU.

These schools were established primarily to educate children of the new European elite as they spread throughout Europe. It was a truly exciting time. I was officially encouraged to find a better way for children to learn mathematics. I found a far better way was to encourage my own pupils to learn through arguing mathematics honestly and intelligently.

And not with me: with each other!

At about this time I also discovered that what is now always called ‘mathematical argument’ was originally developed in Athenian Greece to give ordinary people more confidence in democratic debate!

School mathematics lessons should be lessons in democracy!

This was at first greeted with great interest in Europe. I was encouraged by the EU Education Commission to lecture and publish to explain the connection. I used nearly every school holiday to do this.

Meanwhile, however, it was becoming obvious that the European political elite was becoming more certain of its powers, not simply to ‘regularise’ the social and economic relations between the European nations, but to regulate every aspect of people’s lives, with total disregard for different national habits, history, and even future.

Slowly but surely, official interest in teaching democratic habits through mathematics faded and support disappeared.

As a teacher in Britain’s sole European School for over twenty years, I was fully supportive of the ethos of the European Union in discouraging the historical enmities between the European nations.

I was uniquely privileged in having the freedom to prove that encouraging young people to think for themselves is infinitely more important for them, and for their societies, than encouraging them to believe that being successfully dishonest, then selfish, covertly or openly contemptuous for the less able or less fortunate, is the route to success.

For over fifteen years, I tried to point out to EU, to European national, and to British education authorities that most of our social ills are consequent on these malignant beliefs being created in schools.

I became accustomed to be treated with derision and contempt. ‘This is the way we have always taught. It is the only way to teach!”

It is only in the United States have these ideas been accepted with respect and understanding. Even their source has been accepted!

By the time I retired, the EU political elite and their supporters in Britain were displaying a total lack of concern for the feelings, well being, or future, of the majority of ordinary British people.

They were oblivious to all the signs that their arrogance would be the cause of this most humiliating defeat. Until late in the morning of the debacle, they were absolutely sure that it could not happen.

2) Since Britain has now left the European Union, what is YOUR initial reaction?

          I am extremely angry.

But before I explain my own reasons for being angry, let me ask your readers to recall an earlier occasion with what appears to me to have had a very similar cause:

‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights, governments are instituted, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.’ … and continues, ‘when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a Design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.

And that, American friends of Britain, is precisely what has happened here.

The Design, repeatedly described by EU politicians, was the achievement of ‘ever greater Union’. A European empire.

They may not have seen this as a road to absolute despotism. I am sure they did not. Dictators are invariably convinced of their goodness. Adolf Hitler told his friends that he was only acting for the Almighty.

‘REVOLUTION!’ was the banner headline of one working-class newspaper yesterday. I am angry because this need not have happened.

It has been provoked to happen. In the European Schools in which I taught so happily for so long, the pupils are still being taught in separate national sections, so that although encouraged to think of themselves as Europeans, they never lose their sense of national identity

With very few exceptions, the EU political elite have allowed themselves to think they are so far above people on whose labour and support they depend, that they can safely ignore their wishes.

Now they know differently.

3) Colin, you are in Oxford, a fair way from 10 Downing Street, what seems to be the reaction in your neck of the woods?

          This is a town, by and large, of professional academics who have always been persuaded by the privileges they enjoy, and the high walls that surround their colleges, that they live on an entirely different planet from the common people, above all from working people.

This is not new. There were often bloody battles between ‘Town and Gown’ in earlier centuries.

Professional academics today expect to travel and work without hindrance in any country in the world. Understandably, the majority in Oxford voted to retain these privileges in Europe, as did the majority in Cambridge, and in other big university towns.

4) Colin, what have you heard were the determining issues? Over here in the U.S., we have heard a lot about Greece and its fiscal problems.

          The proud common people of Greece, also of Spain – and Italy will be next – have been reduced to penury by the corruption created by Brussels shovelling vast amounts of cash in the pockets of their politicians with no hope of tracing their use of it; then demanding ever greater repayments when this was found to be missing.

          Britain, fortunately, does not have this problem. We stayed out of the euro. We also have better government auditors.

5) David Cameron has resigned. Was this expected or a case of “sour grapes “?

          I am sorry for the man. He created this mess. He should stay to help sort it out. He was so sure that he was right, and that his supporters could bully and frighten the common British people into believing that he was their brave David able to win in battle with Goliath.

Unfortunately, Goliath spat on his shoes, and told him to go home and frighten the stupid British people some more.

But, as your own President Obama also discovered, attempting to frighten Brits some more has often the opposite effect than is intended.

6) Could you clarify, if you know it, the situation with Ireland, and Scotland. Will they stay or will they go?

Not for me to try to say. They are also a warrior people. They grouse about being governed by our politicians, but do they really want to be governed by unelected foreigners?

7) What final thoughts about the entire situation?

          I am not articulate enough to describe any entire situation, but some of your readers may empathise with a journalist’s comment yesterday [slightly edited] in the usually conservative London Times.

‘Immigration was [is always] the central issue. The fifty-two percent of British people [who voted out of the EU] are not racist. The free movement of people across borders suits big business, which benefit from limitless cheap labour. It suits a young educated cosmopolitan workforce. It suits children wanting to study abroad. … But try selling it in poor provincial towns, to people who may not even have a passport; who feel no benefit from the shiny fast-growing global world; lectured to about the financial benefits of migration as their wages are undercut. … It is a mind-blowing proposition that the whole population of Greece could move here tomorrow. Of course they won’t. But they could. … This possibility activates a primal fear that your back door is unlocked and you are forbidden to shut it, whilst the people who will never be affected tell you it will be fine.’

I will dare to suggest that many Americans will be thinking bad thoughts about their own federal government.

Without another revolution, the only place to change a society for better is in its schools.

Which reminds me that I may need an extra income soon.

Please keep me in mind.

Best regards, Colin Hannaford.

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