Tuesday, 24 November 2009


I am not a natural campaigner. If I feel passionately about something I get very emotionally involved, I get upset when people don't see things the same way I do and I get overwhelmed. It is for this reason that when news of the Petition to Parliament being organised, a co-ordinated response with petitions being handed on to local MPs to deliver to parliament, I got a sinking feeling and decided to keep my head down.
Each constituency needs a coordinator to gather the various copies together and send to the MP and my area didn't have one. Despite trying to avoid it, I eventually decided to volunteer for the role so I set out yesterday to get a few signatures. The second person I asked refused point blank. She believes that Home Educated children should be registered and so supports the Bill. I was dumbfounded and extremely upset.
Of course I know in my head that every person has an absolute right to their opinions and that not every one will agree. In my gut I wanted to scream. Just because a piece of legislation has some parts that are ok, if there are other parts that are fundamentally wrong, it should not be allowed to go ahead. Registration will solve none of the problems: problems for which there is no evidence of existence. School children have to be registered because the parent has asked the state to take on the responsibility for their education and so the state needs to know who they've got. I haven't asked the state to do this for me, so they don't need to know where my children are.
If I do nothing and this Bill is passed by a government obsessed with controlling every aspect of our lives, I will regret not taking a stand. If I campaign, I am vulnerable to the fear, anger and dismay which this issue stirs up in me. I will get a few more signatures from people I know are sympathetic and I will leave it at that. I just hope it will be enough.


Jane D. said...

Be reassured I have signed the online petition and tweeted it to all my followers, you are not alone!

Paula O. said...

I found that if you don't talk about the 'home education' aspects to this petition but focus on the appalling intrusive nature of the proposals, especially effectively making our children wards of the state then people are only too happy to sign! The petition is about preventing a bill that will affect every family, now and in the future, regardless of whether home educators are being registered and monitored or not! Well done for going for it... I hope it proves to be more enriching than depressing for you!

Gaynor said...

Thanks for your comments, Jane and Paula. I've just got back from popping in to a neighbour who was more than happy to sign which has boosted my confidence. For me, too, it is about not trying to do more than I can manage and accepting that what I can do is good enough.

Elizabeth said...

It isn't so much a matter of how many signatures are on every one handed in-but the overall number of petitions handed in. And over-all I'm sure we'll have quite a few signatures considering we only had 2 weeks! And thanks for doing this!

Gaynor said...

Thanks for your encouraging comment, Elizabeth.
The petition went in the post today to my MP, with a reasonable 15 signatures and I am glad that I took part in the democratic process. I hope my MP does his bit in delivering it and the government listen, but I'm not too sure the last one will happen!