people are too quick to trash Basic, or indeed, to give it both barrels behind the shed - a touch hasty methinks.
While it is true that basic doesn't have linked lists, or records or other structures, neither does C as someone else back up this thread pointed out. In fact, C doesn't have anything much - if you don't use the libraries.
Pascal - Lazarus, Delphi, Turbo or other flavour does have these, it was a teaching language after all. However, when you are teaching something, you need to get in quick and grab them by the painful bits straight away. Kids (or adults) these days need (!) instant gratification.
I teach MC68000 assembly language in a magazine for die hard Sinclair QL users. Lets face it, assembly is boring! Getting "Hello World" on screen requires:
* Opening channels.
* Setting colours - optional - if you prefer something other than the defaults.
* Defining your data.
* Setting up the registers correctly.
* Calling the OS with a TRAP #n call.
* Checking errors and dealing with them.
And that's just the source code, before you can do that, you need to know about position independent code, address modes, register usage for TRAP calls, etc.
Then you have to learn an editor and an assembler and possibly, depending on complexity of the source code, a linker.
Then when you have done all that and assembled/linked it, you have a pretty boring result.
Compare and contrast with Basic where it's one or two lines of code and a quick RUN to get results.
It's going to keep their attention for longer if they get results quickly. (In my opinion.)
And as for missing structures, linked lists etc, true, but in the end, Assembly language doesn't have those either - some processors allow Floating Point, but not all! And when it all comes down to it, your compiled programs boil down to some sort of assembly anyway.
Basic is a beginner's language. That's what the B stands for after all. The fact that whole applications exist that have been written in Basic is a bonus.
However, just as there have always been religious wars, there will be language wars, so who cares - just get the kids programming, and the adults as well. Lets get some intelligence and skills back into the UK (and other) populations and who knows, we might have a future. (Sorry, slipped into my cynical mode there!)
And lets face it, even without structures and linked lists, no-one is going to write a database program in Basic are they? Oh! Yes! I did!
PS. It's not hard to do linked lists in Basic. Clumsy but not hard.