Government forced to work overtime on Al Gore "health warning"
A High Court Judge has demanded that the guidelines which were produced to accompany the Al Gore film, An Inconvenient Truth, to all 3,850 English secondary schools be revised and distributed in hard copy rather than by the internet.
[UKPRwire, Mon Oct 01 2007] A High Court Judge has demanded that the guidelines which were produced to accompany the Al Gore film, An Inconvenient Truth, to all 3,850 English secondary schools be revised and distributed in hard copy rather than by the internet. Civil servants were drafted in to carry out the work over the weekend in time for the case reconvening today Monday at 14.00hrs. However, it is unclear how tougher guidance can remedy at least 20 factual inaccuracies and exaggerations and it is becoming increasingly unlikely that the film will ever be shown as intended.
The application for a Judicial Review has been brought by a New Party member and School Governor, Stewart Dimmock. It commenced in the High Court on Thursday, run through into Friday and it is expected that a judgement will be handed down tomorrow, Tuesday. Mr Justice Burton has already overturned the guillotine imposed by a previous judge who refused permission for a Judicial Review "on the papers" and said that the oral application should be restricted to one day with no more than two hours granted to Mr Dimmock's legal team.
"The judge has treated us very fairly, however, I think my lawyer, Paul Downes, got it spot on when he said that the film was irredeemable and should never have been sent to schools in the first place. It is clearly ludicrous and unfair to expect hard working teachers to spend hours going through detailed briefing notes ahead of each showing of this film."
During the hearing Mr Dimmock's lawyer claimed that the film was "50% political 30% science and 20% sentimental mush, the mush being designed along with the alarmist exaggeration, to persuade the viewer into accepting Gore's political viewpoint"
The New Party has received many emails in support of the legal challenge including some from teachers and a number from overseas. A campaign website www.straightteaching.com has also received pledges of cash support.
Notes for editors:
1. Previous reporting on the case:
Guardian, 27.09.07: http://education.guardian.co.uk/schools/story/0,,2178155,00.html?gusrc=rss&feed=8
Daily Mail, 27.09.07: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=484249&in_page_id=1766&ito=1490
BBC, 27.0907: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/7015723.stm
2. Useful links:
3. The legal basis for the action being taken falls under sections 406 and 407 of the Education Act 1996.
4. The Secretary of State for Education admits that his aim is to “influence” children: http://www.defra.gov.uk/news/latest/2007/climate-0202a.htm
5. Stewart Dimmock is a member of the New Party and was a candidate in the Dover District Council election on 3 May 2007.
6. The New Party has the endorsement of Sir John Harvey-Jones. See: http://www.newparty.co.uk/about/johnharvey-jones.html
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