Saturday, 5 January 2008

UK: very short notice

State to regulate CAM

The UK Government has found something else to regulate: complementary and alternative medicine (CAM).

What has CAM to do with Conductive Education? Objectively nothing but in terms of public and professional perceptions CE is rather too close for comfort to ‘alternative treatments’.

The Government’s plans include acupuncture, the Alexander technique, Yoga and massage. There will be a Natural Healthcare Council with the power to register practitioners and strike from its register those who do not meet its standards. Initially at least participation in this scheme will be voluntary. The Council and its permanent staff will be paid for by the practitioners themselves, through a registration fee (by conductors, should Conductive Education be drawn into this). The scheme has the support of the Prince of Wales.

As far as I can see the Government is by-passing the empty gesture of ‘consultation’ on this, and it looks as though work on setting up the Council is already well under way, being expected to finish by early spring. News of this broke in the press this morning and I have not yet found an official announcement

For further details, see for example:

Doubtless there'll soon be plenty more!

So what?

So what do conductors in the United Kingdom, their employers and those who use their services, think of the possibility of being registered and controlled in this way? If they like the idea, then here’s a wonderful chance to climb on to the band-wagon and get themselves regulated? If so, they should formulate their case and lobby accordingly. If, on the other hand, they find the whole prospect deeply disturbing they should be taking considerable care to distance themselves from anything that could make them appear to be involved in ‘complementary and alternative heath’ and positioning themselves very clearly and publicly within th efield of pedagogy.

Like in most countries there are no mechanisms in the United Kingdom whereby any of these three groups, conductors, employers or service-users might discuss and work towards any sort of common opinions, on this or any other question, even within each respective grouping – never mind for the conductive movement as a whole within the country. There is effect a political vacuum within Conductive Education in the United Kingdom. Such political vacuums are not welcome to outsiders, especially officials and politicians seeking to creaty a tidy, controlled society. Should the new Council’s eye be inadvertently drawn to Conductive Education, then it will find opinions and facts on which to draw its conclusions (and perhaps decisions too), however unrepresentative or erroneous their source.

There's something deeply unwholesome about a state apparatus that finds it acceptible to seek to regulate alternatives: one step more and 'they' might be thinking of controling opposition.
It should be an interesting few months for British CE.

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