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Changes destroying Scouting and Guiding in the UK.

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  • Changes destroying Scouting and Guiding in the UK.

    I remember well my days of being a Scout, and the tradition involved in the oath, the salutes and the rich history since the foundation of the movement in the early 20th century (both Scouts and Guides) by Robert Baden Powell.

    It seems that over the last few years the foundations of the Scouts have been shaken by political correctness with it being brought into law that Scout groups have an obligation to admit girls into their ranks. No such law, regardless of whether or not it would be used, has been suggested for the guides, and the excuse given for this at the time was that girls need their space ... obviously the boys are exempt from this need as there have now been no all boys scouting organisations since 2007 (I always found this more than a little sexist, but it also seemed par for the course).

    It came to light last week (or maybe before, but last week is the first time I've heard it) that a further rehash is imminent ... in main one that I agree with, but it contains the possibility of a secondary part which would completely destroy a good part of the foundations on which the British Scouting movement was built and has been based upon to this day.

    Due to complaints from some parents, scout leaders, etc. the oath is to be modified for the modern day by removing the reference to God ... and with the growing amount of atheist, agnostic and other denominational members in the groups this is a logical and correct step. The Guiding association are launching a consultation, however, to have the traditional 'salute to the Queen' removed (a step which the Scouting movement are resisting).

    The way I see it, this is not only disrespectful to the crown, but also to the very origins and history of their own organisation. In my personal opinion, if the Guiding association manage to have this final step imposed, they should be disbanded and made to reapply for their positions ... without the crown the guides and scouts would not exist, yet now at least one of them seem to be turning their backs on that ... the Baden Powell siblings would be spinning in their graves around about now.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-20921353
    Last edited by Timberwolf; 01-07-2013, 12:56 AM.
    Twitter: The system that put paid to the old adage 'politicians only lie when their lips start moving'

  • #2
    I have no personal connection with the Scouts but I applaud their secularising of their oath. As for the Queen... Personally, I despise all forms of deference and I don't like deference to be imposed upon me by any institution. I don't really see why there has to be an oath to the Queen or indeed the Country in such an organisation (other than tradition). Maybe a pledge to the organisation and values of Scouting, but I fail to see why anything else (God or the Queen) is necessary. From what I've heard on the interviews on the news it seems unlikely that this oath to the Queen is going to be removed from the Scouts any time soon. As for the Guides, well I guess it's their privilege to consider it as an option if they want to. I doubt in this era of unchecked pro-monarchism that has swept the nation that there is much demand for it, but certainly I don't see why it shouldn't be considered.

    I do concur that in this age of mixed schools it seems like their could be a place for a boys only after school organisation. Certainly, if there is a girls only equivalent, then why not?
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    • #3
      Originally posted by The English Assassin View Post
      I doubt in this era of unchecked pro-monarchism that has swept the nation that there is much demand for it, but certainly I don't see why it shouldn't be considered.
      Don't get me wrong here, I'm not a royalist per se, neither am I an anti monarchy advocate ... but I do believe that the crown and the Scouting associations are intertwined (and always have been), and it would be tantamount to turning their backs on their origins. The deference and fealty question I agree with you on, but at least they could retain a little of the respect for their traditions and founders that the salute to the Queen represents ... otherwise they will no longer be the guides, but just another social group.

      As for the Girls in Scout groups issue, it is interesting to note that the guides were formed when girls crashed the first scouting rally at crystal palace because they felt hard done by (rightly so) with the scouts being all male ... within a year the guides were formed. Almost a century later they claimed the scouting movement was sexist for not allowing girls in, yet didn't see the hypocrisy in the fact that the Guides were to remain all female.

      Originally posted by The English Assassin View Post
      I do concur that in this age of mixed schools it seems like their could be a place for a boys only after school organisation. Certainly, if there is a girls only equivalent, then why not?
      There was up until 2007 ... and it should be put back the way it was, or at least a new group should be allowed that works on that right for boys (without being subject to the sexism laws that allowed the unequal erosion of their former organisation).
      Twitter: The system that put paid to the old adage 'politicians only lie when their lips start moving'

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      • #4
        I am an Anarchist, in my own way. I have tremendous fear of politicians, they scare me even more than criminals and intolerant people. But the only leader I like was a Monarch: D. Pedro II Emperor of Brazil.

        I am totally against associating any institution to religion.

        I studied electrical engineering and there was virtually 0% of women in our classes. A boys group is boring and participants tend to misogyny. I know that because I am a recovering misogynist, 20 years sober now.
        "From time to time I demonstrate the inconceivable, or mock the innocent, or give truth to liars, or shred the poses of virtue.(...) Now I am silent; this is my mood." From Sundrun's Garden, Jack Vance.
        "As the Greeks have created the Olympus based upon their own image and resemblance, we have created Gotham City and Metropolis and all these galaxies so similar to the corporate world, manipulative, ruthless and well paid, that conceived them." Braulio Tavares.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by zlogdan View Post
          I am totally against associating any institution to religion.
          I agree, which is why (as an agnostic) I support the removal of 'God' from the oath ... God insinuates a Christian organisation, which would by definition exclude atheists, agnostics and other denominations of religion. As times change, so certain parts of the organisation must also adapt ... but that, to my mind, doesn't include a snub to a greater part of the reason the organisation exists in the first place.
          Twitter: The system that put paid to the old adage 'politicians only lie when their lips start moving'

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          • #6
            I am Christian you know, but I admit that a lot us are so intolerant that it gets on my nerves, why someone is required to have a religion to pursue moral and ethics or whatever ?
            "From time to time I demonstrate the inconceivable, or mock the innocent, or give truth to liars, or shred the poses of virtue.(...) Now I am silent; this is my mood." From Sundrun's Garden, Jack Vance.
            "As the Greeks have created the Olympus based upon their own image and resemblance, we have created Gotham City and Metropolis and all these galaxies so similar to the corporate world, manipulative, ruthless and well paid, that conceived them." Braulio Tavares.

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            • #7
              "Who are The Scouts?" seems a valid question (and "The Guides"; "The Brownies" etc.)
              Dependant on the answer(s): what choices are they permitted to have; what choices are they not permitted; and why?

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              • #8
                From the perspective of someone without a monarchical country, it seems absurd to me to make children swear an oath to somebody because of their birthright, it actually comes across as pretty evil to me, conditioning kids when they're at their most impressionable, ensuring they 'know their place' and who they serve. The queen is no more valuable to me, well I will be honest, is a lot LESS valuable to me and to society than the bright young mind of a child. She should be swearing an oath to them, as leader and 'protector' of the nation.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Octo Seven View Post
                  From the perspective of someone without a monarchical country, it seems absurd to me to make children swear an oath to somebody because of their birthright, it actually comes across as pretty evil to me, conditioning kids when they're at their most impressionable, ensuring they 'know their place' and who they serve. The queen is no more valuable to me, well I will be honest, is a lot LESS valuable to me and to society than the bright young mind of a child. She should be swearing an oath to them, as leader and 'protector' of the nation.
                  It is, however, no different to the oath of allegience taken in the United States ... simply replace Queen and country with Constitution and country (there has even been talk of taking God out of the oath there ... which again would be a good thing).

                  In my opinion the oath isn't the part that contains the biggest problem ... even though removing the Queen from the text completely would be a snub ... reword it to take the 'Duty to Queen and Country' out by all means, but retain the Monarchs title in the wording out of respect for the origins of the organisations themselves.

                  The main point of contention, however, is the part of the consultation saying that they want to remove the salutes to the Queen ... In my eyes that would be showing a great disrespect to not only the Queen, but also to the founders of both the Scouts and the Guides (both Baden-Powells).
                  Twitter: The system that put paid to the old adage 'politicians only lie when their lips start moving'

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                  • #10
                    Well, I can kinda go with that. While I'm no monarchist, I do like tradition. Maybe an oath to the Queen could be voluntary? The association with the monarchy would still hold true for those who want it. I think the problem with it being compulsory is that it basically means that a young republican is put in the position of having to lie to get in to the Scouts/Guides. Also, I do see that one of the reasons the monarchy is still so popular is the ubiquitous cultural assumption that is rammed down all our throats all the time: the monarchy is just normalised by the Queens presence on stamps, money, oaths, etc... Which is interesting because 'the Queen' is actually a political issue. I can't imagine a pledge of loyalty to 'low taxation' or the NHS or 'fox hunting' or 'electoral reform' being acceptable, yet an assumption of deference to the Queen is...

                    Saying that I wouldn't say that a mentioning of the Queen should be banned by law or anything, but if these organisations (maybe under pressure by parents or members) want to de-monarchise themselves... well, I'm not going to object... although I will qualify my rambling post by saying that it's hardly a major concern either
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                    • #11
                      Scouts and the Girls Guides come from a time when there were organisations were self help. Powell created the movement from his time at Ladysmith and the Guides from the desire for girls to join, which they did in the early days until the Guides Assocation developed.

                      Other nations developed similar organisations, not sure of the equivalent movement of scouts in the USA; but I contend that a lot of USA were to stop the encroachment of 'foreign' organisation or games creeping in at the end of the 19th century. Of course, the National Socialists developed their own Hitler Youth. Usually, these organisations were linked to the local church. Where I lived we had the Boys Brigade, the synagogue had the Scouts.

                      Scouting and other youth movements seem to be under similar pressure of a lack staff. Why? Generally, long working hours means that there are less candidates to give up their spare time to support the organisation. This harks back to comments that have cropped up in other threads, of when did it become necessary for a family needing more than one salary to survive on? In In my youth my parents were unusual that both of them worked before my father died and we became a one parent family.
                      Papa was a Rolling Stone......

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Pebble View Post
                        not sure of the equivalent movement of scouts in the USA
                        That one is easy The BSA (Boy Scouts of America).

                        Which is as it should be as the original training Baden Powell got the idea for the scouts from was given to him by an American tracker in Rhodesia (Frederick Burnham).

                        Assassin, I agree with you that it isn't exactly a critical problem ... but even the smallest of issues has to be addressed at some point. Where better than on a forum where the posters are as far away from trolls and uninformed wallies as you can get?
                        Twitter: The system that put paid to the old adage 'politicians only lie when their lips start moving'

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                        • #13
                          Not sure if there are any David Lynch fans in this thread. He often begins interviews by saying "David Lynch, Eagle Scout, Missoula, Montana." He still seems genuinely proud to have been a Scout when he was a kid. I was never in the scouts myself, I was too busy playing videogames and reading. I do think I might have benefited from being a member, probably would have taught me some much needed values regarding discipline and hard work which I had to learn later in life after being expelled from highschool, not to mention I could have learned how to tie a decent knot as well as some essential survival skills.

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                          • #14
                            I think that most people miss the point.

                            If people want to create an organisation whose members swear an oath to the queen, believe in god and separate girls from boys, it is their absolute rights.

                            If later the organisation's leaders want to change the rules, it is their right. If people disagree they can create another organisation.

                            I am not fan ot the scout movement, and in fact in many countries, there are many scout
                            organisations with a great diversity of rules. Some are not religion oriented, some are.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Timberwolf View Post

                              It is, however, no different to the oath of allegience taken in the United States ... simply replace Queen and country with Constitution and country (there has even been talk of taking God out of the oath there ... which again would be a good thing).
                              Except you can vote your president in and out in the USA.

                              I was a scout, it was a great education, I learnt more useful skills there than at school. However I do have reservations about oaths of allegiance taken by rote, very insidious.
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