Books Education Scotland

Brenda is a Sheep – The Scottish Government Responds.

A courageous sister sent this letter to the Scottish government over the Brenda is a Sheep book, being given to all Primary 1 children.

Dear Ms Todd

I would like to express some concern regarding a book that was given to my 5 year old son at school last week via the Bookbug scheme which I believe is run as a partnership between the Scottish government and the Scottish book trust.

The book is called “Brenda is a sheep” and written by Morag Hood. The tale is about Brenda, who is literally a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and depicted as such. She plays with the unsuspecting sheep, whilst plotting to eat them. However, at the point she is about to do so, the sheep have made a party for her, so she instantly changes her mind, they’re all friends and the book reiterates the message that “Brenda is a sheep”. She is still depicted as a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

Here are the concerns I have:

1. If this book is intended as a strange form of satire, I find it beyond what a 5 year old could understand.

2. Lies are repeated. Brenda is clearly a wolf and not a sheep. I find it inappropriate to encourage a 5 year old to lie about what they can see.

3. Safeguarding. The message the book seems to send is that if we ignore danger and are nice and cuddly toward predators, everything will be okay. I find this a very inappropriate message to give a 5 year old.

4. It seems it also gives thinly veiled support to transgenderism, and I would ask the Scottish government to note the recent decision regarding the Tavistock Clinic, which accepts referrals from all over the UK, including Scotland:

https://www.judiciary.uk/judgments/r-on-the-application-of-quincy-bell-and-a-v-tavistock-and-portman-nhs-trust-and-others/

I would ask that ministers for education will reconsider the message this book sends, and remove it from the bookbug scheme.

Kind regards,

This is the response she received:

16 December 2020

Dear 
Thank you for your email of 6 December to Maree Todd, Minister for Children and Young People in
relation to the Bookbug programme. I have been asked to respond as the appropriate policy officer.

Bookbug is Scotland’s universal early years book gifting programme, funded by the Scottish
Government and managed by the Scottish Book Trust. It aims to inspire a love of stories, songs and
rhymes from birth and promote the importance of books and the benefits of early book sharing. As
well as laying the foundations of early literacy, the initiative aims to enhance attachment and promote
emotional intelligence as well as good communication and listening skills.

All Bookbug packs include age-appropriate books and other learning tools to develop reading and
writing skills in children from birth to age five, along with guidance materials for parents and carers.
The books are selected by a panel of experts working with Scottish Book Trust and are designed to
have a positive impact on parent-child interaction by helping support attachment, early learning and
play.

The Scottish Government takes concerns like this seriously and we can confirm that every book
chosen for the Bookbug P1 Family Bag has been through a robust selection process. An independent
panel of experts from education, libraries, and Scottish Book Trust, as well as families, are invited to
share their feedback on every book submitted for the bags. They are encouraged to test the books in
the classroom, the library and at home and present feedback on each book’s suitability for Scotland’s
4 and 5 year-olds. We accept that not every book will be loved by every child or family. But the Scottish
Book Trust do their best to ensure there is enough variety across the three shortlisted titles for every
child to find a story that they can engage with and enjoy.

We have discussed this with the Scottish Book Trust (SBT) who have advised that the initial response
from P1 teachers who have attended the webinars has been positive about all three titles and no
issues were flagged during the selection process either.The panel and children who selected the book enjoyed the surprising friendship between the sheep and Brenda, who realises that she has more in common with her new friends than she first thought.

There is further information available on The Scottish Book Trust’s website about the book selection
process for the P1 books, and gives a little more information about what the panel liked about Brenda
the Sheep:

https://www.scottishbooktrust.com/reading-and-stories/about-bookbug-picture-book-prize/bpbpshortlist

I hope that you find this reply helpful.
Yours sincerely
Danielle Mackay
IHW : Family Unit

The reply is revealing because it shows how the Scottish government treats correspondence.  Note that none of the points made by the correspondent were answered or engaged with (so much for being taken seriously!).   Note that the official just simply says that you have to trust us because we are the experts.  Its a classic example of not answering the question, woke gobbledygook and patronising bureaucratic smugness….The trouble with this response is that the ‘independent’ experts are neither independent nor experts.  They are part of the same incestous ‘civic Scotland’ that spends its time in its own echo chamber, asking each other what they already know.  Their inability to give a straight answer or to see the obvious problems is chilling in its Orwellian likeness.

Of course their ‘expert’ panel is going to tell them what they want to hear.  To do otherwise would be to commit career suicide!  I can think of a number of teachers who have contacted me to tell me about the craziness (amounting to abuse) going on in their schools – but they dare not say anything – because to be labelled transphobic in this toxic environment is enough to mark you for life.

One of the most disturbing moments I have had was when I had a meeting with the Scottish government minister responsible for this issue.  At one point I said that they were way out of line with public opinion and if she doubted that then we should have a debate (about promoting transgenderism to children) in front of any group of parents.  She accepted that I would win that debate but the reason for that – (and these are her exact words) – ‘parents are ignorant’.   In that one phrase you have summed up the attitude of our elites.  They are the educated gatekeepers – we are the dumb sheep.  I would suggest that we are the intelligent sheep – at least intelligent enough to recognise a wolf in sheeps clothing when we see one!

I accept that the woman who wrote this letter, just like the author of the book, will be nice people who mean well but who may not actually know what they are doing.  However ignorance is really no excuse.   And when it is called out – it should be dealt with.

I commend highly the parent who took the time to engage with this.  I hope that more parents (and teachers, politicians and clergy) will stand up to this harmful indoctrination…..

The Eye of the Storm – The Transgender Backlash and the Timing of the Lord

 

 

15 comments

  1. God bless you, David. Your tenacity is much needed in these days. A true Scot.

    Time to watch the signs (not to to chase after them), and to stick closer than ever to the Word of God.

    In Him

    🙏

  2. There is much you say in this and your previous post on the subject that I agree with, so thanks for publishing both articles. In this one you use a telling phrase – “incestuous ‘civic Scotland”‘, or as I prefer somewhat more assertively to say, the SNP’s colonisation of the third sector.

    For some time I’ve intermittently tracked this phenomenon. Perhaps not coincidentally in the light of what you say, I had cause to look at the very case you cite, of the Scottish Book Trust. For anyone interested in the detail, my conclusions can be found in full here – https://mercinon.wordpress.com/2016/12/02/how-the-snp-colonises-the-third-sector-the-case-of-the-scottish-book-trust-and-the-first-ministers-reading-challenge/ .

    A brief summary of this organisation might be that it is almost wholly funded by the Scottish Government or its agencies, at the time had a board of trustees who were predominantly from the public sector (authors and the publishing industry hardly feature), and mainly drive a government agenda, badged for older children than those who are the Brenda’s target as ‘the First Minister’s reading challenge’.

    The Trust is a registered charity but the use of the word in Scotland now is far removed from the Christian concept of caritas. It and many other registered charities in Scotland these days are in effect vehicles to drive the government’s agenda. To mix my metaphors, they may be wolves in sheep’s clothing but remember that he who pays the piper calls the tune.

  3. Thanks as always David.
    Living in Scotland I despair, it makes me want to weep. Gulags are imminent.
    Yesterday morning on radio Scotland a previous SNP MSP (McCliesh?) was making a case for the next Scottish elections to be postponed due to the pandemic. Fair enough I thought to myself, until in his next breath he implied there would be no concerns about delaying the election because “apart from the pandemic there is currently no evil in Scotland”. !
    I was driving at the time and my reaction nearly caused an accident!

  4. Thank you, David, for your continued Prophetic voice speaking what is true, even in the face of so many lies, half-truths and deceptive or smug condescending attitudes.

  5. I appreciate all that you do to nudge people in the direction of discernment and digging deeper. As a USA citizen, I realized over the last 4 years how complacent I had been in trusting our government and even our public school system. Now that I’m aware, I’m learning the difficult process of how to stand up with courage and stand firm for what I believe to be biblically right as a parent of two precious God-given sons and as a better-informed citizen. May God continue to use you greatly for His kingdom purposes.

  6. The irony of the official position in this case is profound. And deeply disturbing.

    The idiom, ‘A wolf in sheep’s clothing’ means being fooled by a nice appearance into believing what is not true and puts all of us at great risk of destruction. We use this idiom to indicate why we should not be fooled into believing a nice appearance masks or alters a hostile intent: doing so makes us more vulnerable and susceptible to destruction. Being fooled by appearances aids and abets and increases the very real danger hostile intent presents. The Scottish government is doing exactly this.

    We are being assured that the new story that attempts to make acceptable this very real and increased risk from accepting hostile intent as something it is not can be converted by niceness and that it is okay to teach our young this falsehood. The problem is ironic here: the reworked story itself IS the wolf in sheep’s clothing and the government is throwing a nice party for it.

    This is the very lesson Chamberlain did not grasp – nor a lesson learned by the current ideologues in the Scottish government, apparently – when he returned from Nazi Germany waving a piece of paper that promised “peace in our time. ” We call that kind of political accommodation a policy of ‘appeasement’ and we have strong historical evidence – evidence the Scottish government seems unwilling or unable to recall – that teaches us that going along with a fiction to get along with others who are hostile towards us puts all of us at greater risk… just as the idiom teaches! Imagine that. WWII was not a trivial cost to pay for this kind of official delusion as policy. I wonder what the eventual cost will be from indoctrinating the young into supporting today’s official delusion?

  7. The letter the lady received from the official reads just like a letter I got from my (SNP ) Constituency MSP when I raised my concerns about the Scottish Government allowing pubs to open but churches were still not allowed to conduct public services. Full of irrelevant verbiage with the specific questions totally ignored. Everything is being dealt with in the most appropritate manner, full consultation, everybody happy, etc, etc. Isn’t it wonderful living in Scot(woke)land. I wonder if there is a specific unit in the Communications Dept of the Scottish Government where people are sent in order to learn how to write this nonsense. Maybe it’s called Department 1984.

    1. If you read this website you will know that I regularly read the BBC (not all of us are narrow fundamentalists who refuse to engage with other points of view!). I’m not quite sure what this report has to do with either the subject of this blogpost, or Christianity? Given that Christianity teaches the opposite of what was done here it seems somewhat bizarre and ignorant to blame Christianity for it.

      And there is an illogicality in your post. Perhaps up to 9,000 babies died prematurely over the years. That is horrendous if true. But pales into insignificance with the 11,000 babies slaughtered every year through abortion – something you celebrate!

  8. Thank you for sharing about this. I find it deeply concerning. As someone who experienced abuse as a child and had my concerns about the person dismissed when I tried to tell someone I find it very disturbing that this message is being presented to children. I was taught to ignore it and to just try to be nice and I can tell you it didn’t work out as it did in the story.
    My question is: what can we do about this? It doesn’t look like the letter to the Scottish Government was effective, but would more people contacting them help? You call people to stand up against this indoctrination and I am willing but I don’t know what I can do.

  9. Talk about a lump of s—. People beware there is a God to whom he will be bringing his wrath upon us all. God help us !!!

  10. Reminds me of the sort of reply that complaints to the BBC receive – ie the BBC is never wrong, coupled with not answering the specific points raised! Arrrghhh! 🙁

  11. ‘The Fable of the Ducks and the Hens’ by GL Rockwell.

    Ignorance is not Bliss , it is Essential these days.

Leave a Reply to Dave Eadie Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: