Sir Bob writes:
The role of Minister of Education has always been a nightmare posting. If you’re Minister of Agriculture then you’re subject to intelligent dialogue with Federated Farmers. If Justice Minister, you can wallow in the ego-inflating pleasure of issuing pompous utterances, interspersed with all-night drunken sessions with the Law Society, and so it goes.
But Minister of Education; God help the poor buggers, confronted as they always have been with embittered, self-important nobodies, as teacher union representatives invariably are.
Sir Bob continues:
Readers may consider I’m being too charitable with that description. Well, I can’t help it, temperance having been my life-long practice. But I’d be a great deal more if instead of endless moaning, the teachers’ union focused on promoting English, science and history and abandoned film studies, Maori wonderfulness, gender studies, et al bogus subjects, now so prevalent.
I’ve speculated why teacher unions are so ghastly when compared with other lobbying bodies. My conclusion is that they have never left the school-room or grown up and that if we resurrected corporal punishment and delivered a daily flogging to these unionists, it might produce a general amelioration.
Bob may need t be careful. If the PPTA affiliates to Labour, they’ll get a vote in the next Labour Leader, and in exchange for their votes may insist the next Leader brings in a hate crime law, so Sir Bob is jailed for hate speech against them
In 1991, I popped over to Georgia to have a look at proceedings when the civil war broke out. One night in Tbilisi, my wife and I were guests of some university academics in an outdoor restaurant near the river. Abruptly the night erupted with explosions and for half an hour, mortars rocketed over our heads from across the river. Our Georgian friends took a nonchalant approach to this. “Relax,” they said, “it’s just the school teachers’ union bombing Parliament,” this over some trivia they were whining about.
Heh. Probably a protest against league tables.
Anyway, after two weeks here and there, we arrived at our Blantyre hotel. At 6pm I turned on the television news. The lead item was the president of the Malawian Women’s Institute carrying on about school teachers having it off with schoolgirls.
She was followed by the Malawian school teachers’ association president.
Never have I witnessed such explosive anger. He was livid and I would describe him as being white with rage, but in the circumstances that would be pushing it.
“Do you realise how little my members are paid?” he shouted at the Women’s Institute president, who began to look remorseful.
“Are you demanding my members risk their lives with you Aids-ridden lot? This is the sole perk of the job,” he exploded
Well that is a novel rationale for a pay rise.