A team reviewing race relations policy in schools for Children’s Secretary Ed Balls caused controversy after it was reported that they have consulted white extremists such as members of the National Front.

According to the Daily Mail report online (March 01, 2010), the review team was sent out out by Ball to discover whether members of far right political parties such as the National Front (NF) and the British National Party (BNP) should be banned from teaching to prevent the spread of racism in schools.

National Front press officer Tom Linden confirmed that a meeting took place in a hotel at 8.30am with Maurice Smith, the former chief inspector of schools who is leading the inquiry, and an official from the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF).

He said, “Before the interview started I thanked Mr Smith for the giving the National Front the opportunity to promote its policies and for including the NF in his review, The interview was mainly about the National Front and its policies towards the education of our children. I pointed out that the National Front was not a racist party and that to want to promote and safeguard our own people and their culture and heritage was not racist.”

A spokesperson for the DCSF said “We are crystal clear that any form of hate-based prejudice or extremism being promoted to young people in schools is absolutely unacceptable. The far-right is not, and cannot be part of any solution to community problems – that’s what the vast majority of the British people believe.”

However, Chris Keates, general secretary of the NASUWT, said that far right presence promoted violence, intolerance and community division.

While Maurice Smith is supposedly an independent government advisor, consulting members of far right organisations to discuss race policy in schools is a bizarre approach as these organisations are clearly committed to race separation and education based on European imperialism.

Both the BNP and NF have a political policy which involves the eventual removal of all immigrants and repatriation of all non whites from Britain so why Smith even wasted taxpayers time and money on these organisations defies belief.

With the significant rise of the far right over the last few months one has to wonder whether this bizarre attempt by a government department smells of desperation as mainstream political parties attempt to win back voters from the far right.

What is more worrying is that the far right seems to have become such a threat to British mainstream politics that they are now consulted about race policy in schools.

When we consider the fact that three out of four African-Caribbean boys fail to reach the national average for GCSE passes (Guardian: 2005)  this report seems even more insulting to black and minority ethnic communities who were not consulted about ways in which the education system can fairly integrate their cultures and backgrounds.

This is yet another example of mainstream politics pandering to the far right to win votes.

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