Wednesday, 6 May 2015

EXCLUSIVE Interview with Magnus Nielsen

We caught up with the UKIP candidate for Hampstead and Kilburn, Magnus Nielsen (pictured left), who hopes to become an MP for the constituency in the 2015 election, for an interview, focusing on education, among other things. As many current Year 12's and 13's will be eligible to vote next year, we thought it relevant to inform readers, and how better to do that than asking our UKIP candidate ourselves:

What do you think of the state of education at the moment, nationally and in Hampstead and Kilburn?
During the hustings, I had an opportunity to describe a recent visit to Beijing. There I met and got into conversation (they spoke English and wanted practice) with some school boys (perhaps 13 or 14; they may have been a little older since Chinese people tend to look younger than their years). The conversation drifted around to the subject of schoolwork. They showed me their exercise books and I was deeply impressed, firstly by its general neatness and presentation but also by the advanced level that they had attained in mathematics. This was sixth form level when I went to school. When I asked them what they wanted to do in their careers, they all said that they wanted to be engineers.

I hope that our schools teach mathematics at such an advanced level to children who are as young as they are. If not, our future citizens will be facing some very serious competition and are likely to be beaten into the ground by it.

With the election on the horizon, what would you change about education in the area if you were elected?
I should like to give teachers and headteachers more autonomy in schools and stop the constant stream of directives and interference they receive from local and national government. I would like to see parents having a greater say over how their children are taught and how schools are run. I would like to see teachers empowered to enforce discipline. I would like to introduce powers to remove children who are persistently disruptive. Schools can be very dangerous places. Some teachers are assaulted. Some teachers even get killed, like Headmaster Phillip Laurence at a school not so far from Hampstead.

And, what would you want to change about British education in the future?
I should like to see a greater emphasis on English Language and Literature. This is going to be vital to our national interests. Chinese, for example, (like the ones I have mentioned above) are going to expect our own nationals, even those of foreign descent, to be able to express themselves in clear English; they are not going to be impressed by someone answering a phone and responding in Swahili, are they? The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, promulgated in 1948, calls for education that aims to develop the full personality of children; in other words, they should not be subject to political/ religious indoctrination.

Hampstead School is made up largely of students of foreign descent, the majority of which are Muslim. For first-time student voters and parent voters, how do you feel you as a UKIP candidate can win their vote, especially since you described Islam as "organised crime under religious camouflage”?
There is a subtle, but important, distinction between 'Islam', the religion, and 'Muslims', the people. I was criticising Islam and not casting aspersions on the Muslim population as a whole. Islam has a long and bloody history spanning some 1400+ years, during which it has been in open, and frequently violent, conflict with Jews, Christians, Zoroastrians, Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, Chinese, native Africans etc., etc. Muslims are used to being disliked, not only in Britain but also across the world. But most of the time this is unfair because most Muslims are ignorant of the more bloodthirsty aspects of Islam and therefore they do not practice them. In a free society, such as Britain, there is every potential for Muslims to achieve their personal ambitions for themselves and for their families, provided that they observe the ordinary law of the land and do not expect to receive special privileges.

In addition, the right to the free movement of peoples within the EU has contributed to and benefited the school community massively. This is a policy UKIP opposes. Why should we oppose that policy?
That assertion is not supported by any evidence that I am aware of. The inflow of foreigners into Britain has placed an unprecedented strain on all social services including education, with native British children being held back in their schooling by the extra attention that is needed to deal with the immigrant community.

UKIP gets quite a great deal of bad press in the media. What do you make of the Hampstead Trash and what we do? Do you think there should be more forums for free speech, in schools?
The press is subject to very tight controls and frequently publishes distorted information about UKIP. That is only to be expected. Many people who work in the media are cowards. Earlier this year, the offices of Charlie Hebdo were invaded and several of the staff were murdered for publishing a cartoon of Muhammad. My rival for this seat, Maajid Nawaz, has received death threats for tweeting an image of Muhammad. Nasty business, Islam! (Isn't it? - just!) If newspapers in the free world were to republish those cartoons every day on their front page, readers would be assured that they have the courage to publish the truth about what is going on in the world (in defiance of death threats). As it is, they prefer to keep their heads under the parapet and publish only that which is acceptable.

Do you think there is enough done to raise political awareness in schools?
Hmm, I believe that greater attention should be paid to current events but I would be concerned about the possibilities political indoctrination.

At the moment there are not enough school places in Camden, especially the Hampstead and Kilburn area. Would you enlarge local schools that already exist, such as Hampstead, or build new ones, such as the proposed free school in West Hampstead? Or is there a better option?
Not surprised. London has a population of 8.5 million and it heading on to 9 million by the end of the decade. This is largely the result of unrestricted immigration. Reduce immigration to sensible levels and you will alleviate the problem.

You have said previously that one way to increase voter turnout is to threaten people's suffrage. Does this extend to free speech? Does threatening free speech only strengthen it?
Many, perhaps most, people will not vote in this election, encouraged by Russell Brand and others of his ilk. This fact suggests that most people think the vote is worthless and that we might as well dispense with democracy. I do not hold that view, but I would like to think that the vote might be earned as the reward for having undertaken some voluntary work for public benefit. At the present people get a vote whether they want it or not. If, however, the right to vote is restricted to those who have earned it, citizens will place a greater value on their right to vote and use it more intelligently.

You work as a tour guide. Do you think some of UKIP's immigration policy might make trade a little scarce?
Britain has many attractions for the foreign visitor many of which are not properly promoted. I hope to change this state of affairs.

In the interest of impartiality, we will be interviewing as many main-party candidates as possible in the run-up to the election, to hear their views as well. Thanks must go to Mr Nielsen for making time for this interview.

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