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Mahatma Gandhi once said:

"A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history."

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Teachers in Arran


Aunty Gladys was quite hurt that you collapsed in giggles at her knitted teachers. She defiantly defends her double-handed effort to improve classroom ratios by drawing parallels with recent efforts in Somerset to reduce crime rates. She has a point...two in fact, and the sparks are flying. I reassured her that the staffroom setting did not convey an inspirational message and perhaps she could knit a few more teachers who looked ready to combat the kind of classroom behaviour that challenges so many. Now we are talking! I am sorry Aunty Gladys...there is a real difference. Sergeant Andy Murphy was being serious! No more Laver Bread for me then?

Spurred on by your previous blog I've been thinking. I am out of my emotional comfort zone with the Baby P case because I struggle to address the tragedy face on. I understand that serious mistakes have been catalogued, but I do not believe that a blame culture will move things forward. Yes, individuals should be held accountable for incompetencies, but surely we are missing the bigger picture. What drives a human being to wilfully subject such cruelty to an infant? What level of social depravity are we expecting our social workers to deal with? Will lessons really be learnt if, as you say, findings are with held? The whistle was blowing in the wind long before but no one was courageous enough to address failure. Why do institutions shy away from admitting inadequacy? And why are whistleblowers chucked out for being brave enough to reveal and challenge the status quo? Nevre Kemal and Alex Dolan have much in common....why is speaking the truth so discouraged?

In short, can we ban box-ticking, target-setting, bureaucracy and consultation of more that five minutes (my attention span). Don't go here! And can we please reinstate personal accountability, individual trust and whistleblowing?

My head hurts now and I think I've got man-flu....just finishing a hot, ginger tea with a sprinkle of cayenne pepper. I wish to move our agenda rapidly on to a lighter and darker topic, but one that challenges some of my deeply held principles. Thanks to a decision to further increase tax on beer, five pubs a day are closing in Britain. This is our heritage and the idea that it's purport is to tackle binge drinking is a joke....and not a very funny one. I'm not laughing. Time for action I say. CAMRA we are with you every staggering step of the way, but I suspect that in this instance it's not a suitable campaign for the Girl Guides. Fear not, it's time to call in Old Wobbly Antlers ....and save our community pubs.

Bit sleepy now so settling down for the night...snow tomorrow. Tank tops at the ready.

Lots of love,
Ivor X

PS Am I too old for YAHOO? Vera is still giving me the strong silent treatment. Can you get alka seltzer in the US of A?