|Image: Robert Young|
Has anyone else noticed that whenever a Tory candidate speaks of their own children’s schooling they always say “state school”? I doubt this is a coincidence but rather a deliberate attempt to turnaround the persona of the traditional, or maybe “old fashioned” Conservative image of public schools being the favoured choice of the upper class Tory. But does it work?
I almost believed Cameron when he came out with it—the first time he said it—but repeated, and it starts to sound too much like a party line and not a personal choice. Then when you hear people like the Conservative Shadow Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, Michael Gove, saying it, it really does come across as patronising at best and totally unbelievable at worst.
Do I care? Not really. There are good schools and bad schools, private and state, and I think it should come down to the quality of the education you get as opposed to how much you can afford.
Leith Academy, for example, is a state school and is well run, works with the parents and has a good record of pushing kids through to further education. It doesn’t always work, of course, but that seems to me in most cases to be the attitude of the parents handed down to their children that has caused the breakdown, and not the school teachers themselves.
So give it up Gove, Cameron et al. I couldn’t care where you send your kids to school. If private works for you then good on you, if it doesn’t then don’t boast about it in such an obtuse manner. Keep your pledge on improving schools and breaking down bureaucracy to let the teachers teach, and you might win some votes on that issue for the right reasons.
Spotted in yesterday’s Guardian: a thief was nabbed by Spider Man who tried to steal an X-Men omnibus from an Adelaide Comic Centre. Shop owner, Michael Baulderstone, was dressed in the superhero garb as part of International Free Comic Book Day when he spotted a customer “behaving suspiciously”. He duly leapt into action and nabbed the would-be thief.
I was roaring when I read his comments afterwards: “I called for people to stand near the door and it just so happened we had people dressed as Jedi Knights there blocking the exit. It was a bit serious at the time, but now we’re looking back laughing at what greeted police when they arrived.”
A class act!
To my day’s writing and I completed the next and penultimate draft of GREENER IS THE GRASS. It took me almost the full afternoon and evening to get there but it’s down on paper. I’ve one crease to iron out in the plot, which is something I took to bed with me to mull over then let it bother me too much. The original idea just doesn’t work, it isn’t convincing enough and I need something better yet simpler, something that fits instead of sounding contrived.
The next and final step will be to print it off and look at it from a distance while it is still new in my mind, and after already having stayed away from it for the best part of a year (!) it has become easy to view it as a whole entity in my mind. Printing it should give me another healthy perspective and then it’ll be time to put it out there to some trusted readers.
While I let that settle I still have other work to do, the main thing being a renewed attack on my crime novel, GATECRASH. This book is in its first draft form and was written in NaNoWriMo of November 2007 and has been untouched since January 2008. It’s going to be a blast from the past but you can;t get much more fresh an approach than this!
To a great week y’all. Peace and out!