I do not like making ad Hominem attacks on my blog; it has brought me a lot of trouble in the past, and strikes me as bad blogging. But this entry I think I’ll make an exception. I want to address some comments I came across today, or, rather, yesterday by now, made by my friend James. He states two things: first, that the strike by teachers ” is at best illogical: at worst, anti-intellectual” and that the private schools – by which I assume he means public schools – wouldn’t strike, because they are
”decent”. When I first read these words, I was aghast, firstly at how anyone in my age range and peer group could be dogmatic enough to defend what this government is doing over a teacher’s right to fair wages and pensions, and secondly at how anyone could be so pompous. James’ sentiments imply that he regards state schools as somehow indecent, and public schools as of superior quality and breeding. The reason why teachers from public schools might not be going on strike tomorrow is because they charge their students, or rather their parents, fees – fees which the vast majority of people cannot afford. This leads one to assume James believes that schools which do not charge fees, and thus the kids who attend them, are not ‘decent’ and somehow lesser than those that do. This may only be a simple statement, but the arrogance behind it sickens me. I doubt it’s author has any compassion for the public sector workers whose jobs are threatened, or the teachers forced to strike from the job they love through fear of losing their pension. All that matters to people who make such statements is not the education of young people but maintaining the Tory worldview is propagated: that the cuts are vital, strikers are selfish and those who have money are superior – or should that be more ‘decent’ than those who do not. Do they not have a right to defend their wellbeing, or should they be forced to accept whatever menial wage they get and be grateful for it, out of a sense of duty? I am sorry this is a bit of an ad Hominem attack on a guy I otherwise respect, by and large, but such views must not go unchallenged. I for one believe that the strikes later today, and the many that will hopefully follow, are vital in telling the government that we do not want their ideologically inspired cuts. People deserve fair wages.