The pen is mightier than the sword

Wars are not necessarily won by the army with the biggest guns, although I don’t doubt it helps. They are won by the side that makes clever decisions and has an intelligent population supporting them. It is said that Britain was able to defeat Germany in WWII thanks in large part to the mathematicians at Bletchley Park. As Donald Trump has shown us it’s not enough just to be rich, we also need to be clever.

I want to pay tax to support a public education service that lets individuals from all backgrounds thrive and reach their full potential. We can’t just cater for rich kids and hope that one of them will be the next Alan Turing. We don’t know where the next mathematics whiz kid will come from but if we provide opportunities for children from poor backgrounds as well we increase our chances of having more Alan Turings.

Cuts to education funding under the current Conservative government creates a competitive disadvantage that is not in our favour. Scientists may not be huge money-makers for an economy but they are the trampoline from which lucrative ideas can spring which entrepreneurs can then develop. They are also the means with which we gather intelligence. Cryptography depends on problems in pure mathematics.

I apologise for all the Theresa May bashing on my blog recently but her response to the terror attacks has prompted this. She wants to regulate the internet to stem extremism but that’s not going to be effective. It’s not possible to control information on the internet. Terrorists will find new ways to communicate. Instead we need education and intelligence. Education within Britain will help to develop a population that rejects extremism and an intelligence service that has the brains to defeat it. I also support extra funding for police and security services and am happy for my taxes to go towards that. We shouldn’t be teaching our kids how to use an iPad; we should be showing them how they work.

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