Labour ‘is brainwashing pupils with Al Gore climate change film’ says father in court


Labour ‘is brainwashing pupils with Al Gore climate change film’ says father in court

UK Daily Mail
Friday September 28, 2007

Children are being brainwashed by propaganda from the Government on climate change, a court heard yesterday.

The “New Labour Thought Police” were accused of indoctrinating youngsters by handing out thousands of Climate Change Packs to schools.

The packs include the documentary film An Inconvenient Truth, made by Bill Clinton’s former vice president Al Gore.

The film – acclaimed by the movie industry and the global warming lobby – was described in the High Court as irredeemable, containing serious scientific inaccuracies and “sentimental mush”.

Lorry driver and school governor Stewart Dimmock is seeking a court order quashing the Government’s decision to distribute the documentary and four short films to 3,500 schools and also to declare that decision unlawful.

Mr Justice Burton, who must decide whether to allow a judicial review of the policy, asked if Mr Dimmock was interested in climate change.

Mr Paul Downes, Mr Dimmock’s counsel, replied: “Lots of parents have written to him supporting his application. They do not want our children brainwashed in this way by the New Labour Thought Police.”

Mr Downes also pointed to one of the short films in the pack, Champions’ Diaries, which was produced by the farming and environment department Defra.

In it children are represented as fervent converts to the Government’s agenda, said Mr Downes. He added: “Religious language is used, such as ‘spread the word’ and ‘spread the news’. It’s all designed to spread the Government gospel.”

David Miliband, who was environment secretary when the school packs were announced in February, said at the time: “The debate over the science of climate change is well and truly over.”

Mr Downes told Mr Justice Burton – who has not yet seen the Al Gore film – that it was “half scientific, 30 per cent pure politics and the other 20 per cent is what I would describe as sentimental mush”.

He added: “The mush is there to soften up the viewer for persuasion. Of the half of the film that is scientific, the majority is either false or vastly exaggerated.”

Mr Downes said he would seek to challenge justification for distributing the film, which was that Government experts had said the science in it was “broadly accurate subject to reservations”.

He said: “We are going to meet that head on. We are going to say it contains serious scientific misrepresentations.”

One of the most terrifying sequences in the film follows Gore’s assertion that scientists predict a 20ft rise in sea levels within a century as ice sheets melt in Greenland and Antarctica.

It shows mock-ups of heavily populated regions including New York and Shanghai under water. Mr Downes said experts predict a rise of only a fifth of a millimetre a year.

Government guidance advises that tecahers tell pupils that not everyone agreed with the science in the film, but that the weight of opinion was behind it.

But Mr Downes said there was an “unlevel playing field” because notes given to a teacher are no match for such a powerful film.

“It’s one thing to inform pupils of the issue and the debate,” he said. “It’s something very different to set out to persuade them.

“I’m afraid this film is irredeemable. It’s awful. It should never, ever have gone out to schools.”

Before the hearing, Mr Dimmock, a lorry driver from Dover with children aged 11 and 14, said: “Climate change is important, but it should be taught to children in a neutral and measured manner.”

The hearing continues.

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Clare Swinney

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