Will Diane Abbott M.P. betray the Sisterhood, or betray her relatives?



 Will Diane Abbott M.P. betray the Sisterhood, or betray her relatives?


Schools are short of male staff, admits minister

- Rebecca Smithers, Guardian, 8jan02, p8p8


The govt yesterday admitted there was a worrying shortage of male role models in the classroom, after a Labour MP claimed that black boys were under-achieving because primary schools were dominated by women teachers.

The school standards minister .... admitted that .... more male role models were needed in schools.

The proportion of men entering primary teacher training courses is below the 15% target set for the teacher training agency. [A much smaller % than women MPs now in the Commons. Why not 50%? The unstated implication that we need more women students because they will go part-time or withdraw, is surely matched by the fact that the attrition rate for male teachers as a result of false allegations will continue to rise. Is any effort being made to attract men to teaching by setting up procedures to give them better protection against false allegations? - Ed]

Diane Abbott, MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington [bordering Islington], said black boys needed boundaries and strong direction from "male mentors" at an early age. [This directly contradicts the radfem anti-patriarchy propaganda that if boys are left in the hands of women, they will avoid learning macho behaviour, and be passive and sweet. - Ed]

She said primary schools had become a feminine domain and called on the education secretary, Estelle |Morris, to recruit more teachers from the Caribbean. .... "There's nothing wrong [with white women] but the fact is when these black children come into school aged five, the are doing as well as white and Asian children. By age 16 their achievement has collapsed, particularly black boys. [she said the issue was] a silent catastrophe. ....



Dear Diane Abbott,

In stark contrast to the Guardian report [above] of only eleven days earlier, there were two glaring omissions by you in your fifteen minute interview which I have just seen on BBC 24hour TV at 6.45am this morning. At no point did you say that there was a need for more male teachers. You also played down the issue of lone mothers. This was in spite of the fact that you frequently said, "The figures don't lie", and implied that you were well informed over the figures. This surely means that you know the figures in the book The Unequal Struggle by Afro-Caribbean Ashton Gibson and Jocelyn Barrow.

By mentioning a macho tendency among boys, you fed the idea that boys learn macho misbehaviour from men, even though you must know that it is absence of men that feeds the macho culture, as implied on 8jan02 above.

Although, as a black woman, you are generally invulnerable in the PC stakes, you are close to being called a gender-racist, putting the interests of the sisterhood above those of black boys. Three times you said, "the numbers don't lie". You said that black girls were doing better than black boys in school (and we mean Afro-Caribbean). When the issue of single mothers was raised, you played it down as a factor in the problem. Even worse, the message that I took from your interview is that you would regard any concern about lone motherhood (which at 65% is largest in the Afro-Caribbean community {see Gibson & B}, linking with 68% teenage pregnancy) as largely irrelevant.

I fear that as you come to realise that the logic of your recent very public initiative must separate you from the [Stanko, Phillips, see Note 1] radfem man-hating sisterhood, you are retreating from it into a cloud of obfuscation. A black woman is open to the charge of gender-racism in betraying our Afro-Caribbean boys. You are not part of the select band of black one-legged Jewish lesbians who can throw out accusations of racism as frequently as you do with impunity. First you need to get rid of a leg, at the very least.

Probably, as a divorced single mother with one child, you will betray the sisterhood if it is a boy, but not otherwise. The Achilles heel in the radfem attack on the family is that some of them will make the mistake of giving birth to boys, and then fear their ever increasing penchant for suicide.

Please tell me whether you stand by the 8jan02 quote; ".... a Labour MP claimed that black boys were under-achieving because primary schools were dominated by women teachers."

Yours sincerely, Ivor Catt, Editor, Ill Eagle, www.ivorcatt.com/98.htm  19jan02

No reply received as of 5feb02.  Third copy sent 5feb02


Note 1

"'There was also a need to ensure that the curriculum included areas which would allow children to find ways of shining which were not to do with being macho - music, drama, dance.' - Angela Phillips, the keynote speaker at the 16nov98 Home Office conference entitled Boys, young men and fathers, from which men's organisations were excluded. Here we see the attempt to destroy every rite of passage for the boy, including sport, in a Home Office conference supposedly about the problem of the growing alienation of boys." - Ill Eagle 9, june00, p4 www.ivorcatt.com/00.htm . The idea that we need to hire more male teachers to teach "music, drama, dance" is risible.



From Ill Eagle 8, may00 www.ivorcatt.com/00.htm ;

The back cover of the 1995 issue of Farewell to the Family?, by Patricia Morgan, 0171 799 3745, states; Large numbers of unattached and predatory males who have never taken on the responsibilities of family life, or who have been ejected from families, now meet the classic conditions for the creation of a 'warrior class'.

Our ManKind 28oct00 Conference entitled “The Age of Violent Young Males” had Patricia Morgan as a speaker. http://www.electromagnetism.demon.co.uk/conf/generalinfo.htm

The most important part of the excellent videorecording of the 2000 conference is the discussion between our speakers Erin Pizzey, Patricia Morgan and Lynette Burrows about the censorship they and Melanie Phillips have experienced when trying to raise this issue. Melanie has complained bitterly in a Spectator article about being censored by The Guardian and The Observer. She then left to join The Sunday Times. (Now she writes in the Daily Mail.)

The crunch question is whether men teach boys to be violent, or men teach boys how to refrain from violence. Dianne Abbott is caught in the middle, trying to exploit an issue she does not understand, and cannot afford to understand. Today we see the violent results of the misrepresentation followed by imposition of their policies of those who control the media and the Cabinet (through Cheri - see below) – Stanko, Angela Phillips etc.    It bears directly on the question of exclusive custody after divorce. 

Ivor Catt  19jan02


The crunch question is whether men teach boys to be violent, or teach them to refrain from violence. If Dianne is a radfem like Livingstone, and believes men are violent, then she should be pleased that Afro-Caribbean boys lack a father. Thus, she has to ignore the statistics, that fatherless boys are more criminal than poor boys. However, she kept saying, "The numbers don't lie." Also, in another TV programme in the ten days between 8jan and 19jan, she said that the disastrous stats for Afro-Caribbean boys had been suppressed by lumping them with Asian boys. Asians have father presence and high achievement. Thus, she complains about manipulation of statistics. Will she face up to the message, loud and clear, from the statistics, that the crisis is caused by removing the father, as we are now busily doing with white boys, egged on by Cheri Booth, using Stinko's falsified DV statistics? The Gold Standard is the Asian boy, who very rarely loses his father. However, like the white boy, he too is being dragged into the disastrous Afro-Caribbean fatherless culture. Thus, if my statistics are disputed, then more unbiased research (i.e. not by Stinko) must be done before the Asian family is destroyed, along with the white family, at which point we will lose the key message.       Ivor Catt    19jan02

In stark contrast to the lies put out by Stinko and heavily funded by a radfem Home Office on DV (via ESRC), see M. Fiebert’s Domestic Violence  Bibliography  for a cohort of 60,000 (as opposed to Stinko’s and Cheri’s cohort of 60 Hackney ladies). Also see Father Facts


Society Guardian.

Drive against violence in the home

Patrick Wintour and John Carvel
Thursday November 29, 2001

Cherie Booth yesterday spearheaded a government drive to make domestic violence one of the most serious criminal offences in British law.

Alongside an array of government lawyers and prosecutors, she helped launch guidelines from the crown prosecution service designed to increase the number of successful prosecutions. Horrific behind closed doors abuse was a daily reality in many British homes, she said.

The guidance suggests cases could still be pursued even when women dropped the allegations faced by domestic pressure or a not guilty plea by their partner.

The change of policy enables police to concentrate on collecting additional evidence to support what the victim says, such as witness statements from neighbours or medical evidence of injuries. Nearly half domestic violence cases are dropped before they reach the court, and almost four-fifths of these are dropped because the woman withdraws her complaint.

The attorney general, Lord Goldsmith, said that domestic violence accounted for a quarter of all violent crime and half of all murders. The CPS handled 13,000 domestic violence cases every year, but a review of court and police procedures was needed to see why so many cases were dropped.

David Calvert Smith, the director of public prosecutions, said domestic violence was a more serious crime than a violent assault on a stranger outside a pub. He said even a slap "amounts to a gross breach of trust and confidentiality, as well as the safety of the home."

The government did not propose a specific change in sentencing law.

But Mr Calvert-Smith said: "The justice system has to see domestic violence as an aggravated form of crime and from now on that is how the CPS will be treating that form of crime nationwide."

With the solicitor general, Harriet Harman, and the new minister for women, Barbara Roche, Lord Goldsmith also announced a new network of domestic violence prosecutors. The government has also set up an inter-departmental ministerial committee.

Ms Booth QC has long campaigned on the issue of domestic violence. At the launch of the guidelines she recalled she "had cut her teeth as a young barrister in her 20s representing abused women when they appeared in court".

She said: "It had been a great shock to me to see women in court with their self esteem in tatters, bruised and scarred. It is sobering to realise that behind closed doors in homes everywhere in this country, a horrific abuse is a daily reality.

She said that "in the UK an incident of domestic violence occurs every 26 seconds. In England and Wales a woman is killed by their partner or former partner once every three days."

Ken Livingstone, mayor of London, released research showing domestic violence accounted for over a quarter of all violent crime in the capital and resulted in 30 murders a year. An allegation of domestic violence was made to the Metropolitan police every 12 minutes and the cost to the public services was at least £278m a year.

Related articles
10.04.2001: Labour must remember that violence begins at home
09.01.2001: Met wants special courts for violence in home
26.10.2000: Letters: Homing in on violence
26.10.2000: Tide of violence in the home
16.03.2000: Violence 'driving women from their homes'
16.07.2000: Domestic violence explodes

Useful sites
Women's Aid
Cabinet Office women and equality unit
Government policy on domestic violence
Crown Prosecution Service
Home Office domestic violence index

Letters, Observer, 13jan02

I take issue with Diane Abbott’s assertion that it is the predominance of white female teachers who are at the heart of the ‘failure’ in black boys in school (Comment, last week). I am a department head in a London boys’ school which is 80 per cent black, staffed almost entirely, apart from myself, by black teachers, male and female.

I can assure Ms Abbott that my colleagues face just the same challenges in terms of the boys’ size, aggression, violent behaviour and dissatisfaction that I do. In fact, I have more success in dealing with it and I am white, female, middle class as well as being over 50. My colleagues tell me that they despair of the negative behaviour of the boys and the way they throw away their educational chances for the dubious pleasure of a second-hand, copied, watered-down, hip-hop, black Americana.

There is definitely a problem with the behaviour of black boys and their attitude to schooling and education. I have had to put up with a level of personal and racist abuse that shocks me – but I prefer to stay and deal with it. I try not to take it seriously. It isn’t easy!

Many of my colleagues have just as hard a time as white teachers: worse sometimes, especially if they are African and have an accent. Black British boys are particularly disrespectful to black African teachers and pupils. Is Diane Abbott aware of this phenomenon? Name and address supplied


Diane Abbott’s article makes some valid points but ignores the obvious but uncomfortable fact that it is black men who are failing black boys.

The statistics that are available make grim reading.

Eight per cent of Asian families are single parent, 14 per cent of white families are single parent yet more than two thirds of Afro-Caribbean families are single parent. For single parent read single mother. Before these children attend school they already inhabit an environment which does not include a male, never mind one that aspires to be a role model. Ms Abbott would be better off addressing this issue rather than demonising young white female teachers. - Eamon McMahon    London  N10


Diane Abbott is right about the under achievement of pupils from African Caribbean backgrounds in the British education system. She states that the issue has fallen off the Government’s agenda and needs to be re-instated.

The Caribbean Volunteer Readers and Performers Project, a voluntary group initiated by an advisory group to the Barbados High Commission, has recruited many male volunteers from within the African Caribbean communities and placed them in schools to support young black boys with their reading and self image. We need more black male teachers in all schools, particularly primary schools.   – Winston Best, Director, Caribbean Volunteer Readers and performers Project, London  SE15

The Intervening Variable

Kaye Wellings et. al, Sexual Behaviour in Britain, pub. Penguin 1994, is the Gold Standard of statistics on the subject. Of particular interest is their figure for homosexual practice. pp183/5, find homosexuals number only around 1% of the population.

The winter 01/02 issue no. 106 of the FYC Bulletin, p1, discusses the follow-up articles to the Wellings book, published in the Lancet of 1dec01 (vol. 358). Here we see interesting manipulation of facts for political ends. "The whole thrust of the article is immensely encouraging to the govt, .... the most important predictor of early motherhood is given as the educational level of the teenage girl. .... [also,] 'the factors most strongly associated with risk behaviour and adverse outcomes have considerable potential for preventive intervention'.

"Lurking in all these columns of figures is the uncomfortable fact of family structure. .... [the article] ignores the extent to which educational level and family structure are linked. [i.e. bad family structure causes both teenage pregnancy and bad educational outcome.] Anyone who thinks that standards in education can be raised irrespective of the home backgrounds of pupils obviously hasn't been in a school lately. Unless the govt's teenage pregnancy strategy is prepared to take family structure on board, the 'potential for preventive intervention' may be less than the authors of this study seem to think." FYC (Family & Youth Concern) is at www.famyouth.org.uk          Ivor Catt (a member of FYC)  27jan02


Led by Toynbee, The Guardian is anti-fatherhood, and takes care to avoid mention of the core problem, that 65% of Jamaican sons in England have lost all contact with their fathers. They are determined not to repeat the single mistake  they made in 1996, while Toynbee was not looking. They will not publish Eugen again, of course. – I.C. 2sep04


Black boys betrayed by racist school system, says report

Hugh Muir and Rebecca Smithers
Tuesday September 7, 2004

The Guardian

Black schoolboys have been betrayed by the education authorities for almost half a century and are struggling to overcome racism from many of their own teachers, according to a damning new report out today.

Members of an influential education commission say the failure of the schools system and individuals within it to successfully engage with students of African-Caribbean origin has severely hindered them and contributed to massive underachievement.

Last year 70% of African-Caribbean boys in London left school with fewer than five or more GCSEs at the top grades of A*-C or equivalent, while African-Caribbean men are the least likely of any group to have a degree.

During the research, which was commissioned by the London mayor, Ken Livingstone, and conducted over the past year, black boys complained of racism and stereotyping from teachers. They said chances of success were also limited by an archaic curriculum.

Their parents told researchers they felt schools did not welcome their input. Black teachers spoke of discrimination. Only 7.4% of London's teachers are from ethnic minorities and 2.9% are black.

The 285-page report, which represents the most exhaustive study to date of the educational underachievement of black boys, concludes that "the English schooling system has produced dismal academic results for a high percentage of black pupils for the best part of 50 years".

Mr Livingstone, who has called for action to ensure that the number of ethnic minority teachers in the capital rises to least 33%, said: "The composition of the teaching staff, governors and other professionals dealing with the education of our children must change dramatically to fully reflect the diversity of London's children."

His officials have organised the London Schools and the Black Child conference to be addressed by schools minister Stephen Twigg on Saturday.

In the study, conducted under the direction of the mayor's London Development Agency and an advisory board led by MP Diane Abbott, focus groups reached a wide degree of agreement: "The consensus was that low teacher expectations played a major part in the underachievement of African-Caribbean pupils. In addition, inadequate levels of positive teacher attention, unfair behaviour management practices, disproportionately high levels of exclusions and an inappropriate curriculum took their toll."

Pupils were acknowledged to suffer from negative peer pressure and many are said to be disadvantaged by inadequately funded schools with a high turnover of teachers. The insufficient level of involvement by some black parents is also singled out.

The commission also heard evidence of direct discrimination. "Racism manifested itself most harshly in being over looked for answering questions, verbal aggression from teachers and harsher reprimands than for students from other ethnic groups for the same misdemeanour." The report says that relationships between black pupils and white teachers was generally characterised by "conflict and fear". One participant complained: "When it is white boys, it is a 'group' but when it is black boys it is a 'gang'. I think that's wrong."

The commission found that in 2002, black boys started to lag behind from primary school year two. The gap widened every year after that. It plays down the role of social backgrounds because working class boys from other communities outperformed middle class African-Caribbean boys.

In a series of recommendations, the commission calls for intervention on several levels. It urges ministers to give every parent three days a year paid leave so they can play a part in the schooling process. It also says black teachers should benefit from fast-tracking and "golden handshakes".

The commission calls for urgent action to reduce the number of black pupils excluded. Controversially, it suggests that heads should not exclude pupils for a first serious offence unless the catalyst is an incident involving a knife or gun. It calls for clear procedures which would allow pupils to report racism by teachers. But they also call on black parents to play a more proactive role with their children and schools, "regardless of resistance".

Last year the government launched a new package - Aiming High - backed with £10m of extra funding to tackle the problem of African-Caribbean pupils' underachievement in both primary and secondary schools.

A spokeswoman for the Department for Education and Skills said: "We recognise that many pupils, particularly from African-Caribbean backgrounds are not achieving their full potential. That is why we are working with parents and community representatives to raise the achievement of minority ethnic pupils."

Steve Sinnott, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said: "It is grossly unfair to blame teachers alone for a phenomenon which is more complex than the report appears to make out."

Rampton Revisited, The Educational Experiences and Achievements of Black Boys in London Schools , published by the LDA Education Commission.