Monday, February 12, 2007
I’m stunned and raging in disbelief at that Faustian deal where the National Association of Headteachers has allowed the fast food giant McDonald’s to sponsor its national conference. No weasel words from any self-appointed spokes-person can justify this appalling decision.
Sponsorship is not a neutral action, for this reason most organisations have given a wide berth to tobacco companies, the armaments industry and BNFL. Exactly which part of guilt by association does the NAHT fail to understand or comprehend?
Just to acquaint the NAHT with McDonald’s record it– has sold copious amounts of junk food by opening restaurants in close proximity to schools; pays just above the minimum wage in spite of generating huge profits; refuses to recognise trade unions; is intolerant of dissent – they spent millions pursuing two unemployed environmental activists (Helen Morris and Dave Steel) in the notorious McLibel trial.
We try to educate children to make the right choices in life, one of them is to choose a healthy diet – despite the competing pressures from the billion pound advertising industry. We also use as examples those individuals who stood for truth and justice against overwhelming odds – Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King. Just what principle was the NAHT demonstrating – every organisation has its price?
Maybe the General Teaching Council could prove it does have its uses by arraigning the leadership of the NAHT before one of its disciplinary committees. The charges? -dereliction of its duty to children and gross moral turpitude.
On behalf of NAHT, I would like to make clear that McDonald's are not sponsoring the Association's 2007 annual conference. This followed a decision made at our 2005 conference.
Commercial Development Manager, NAHT