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How to abolish bad behaviour in schools

I quote at a bit of length because only when you quote at a bit of length do you get the real flavour of stories like this one:

A new anti-yob task force is to be set up to tackle the culture of disrespect and unruly behaviour in schools, ministers have said.

Otherwise known as a committee. This announcement will only add to the culture of disrespect. Disrespect of ministers.

The group, made up of teachers and heads who are experts in school discipline, will advise the Government on how to improve standards of behaviour.

One key part of their work will be to make sure parents take responsibility for the way their children behave, the Department for Education and Skills said.

But “taking responsibility” will not quite do it, will it? This would only work if parents actually changed the way their children behaved. This is a euphemism that communicates the underlying lack of confidence here. These people already know that none of this is going to work. If they thought that parents really could, and really would, make their children behave better, then this is what they would have said.

The group’s work will include:

– Considering a new national code of behaviour setting out minimum standards expected from pupils, parents and schools

Expect away. But how will this make any difference? They’ve already worked out that they want pupils to behave better, and everyone pretty much knows what this means. What will they do when these expectations are unfulfilled?

– Looking at what new powers head teachers may need to tackle violent pupils

People have looked for decades at this one, and the one crucial power that all teachers need is the right to chuck out pupils who are disruptive.

– Writing a detailed report recommending potential new policies by the end of October

Oh goodee. A detailed report. That will really please the teaching profession.

The move follows Tony Blair’s pledge to address the growing issue of “disrespect” in society and fears that violence and disruption in schools are on the rise.

Announcing the formation of the group, the new schools minister Jacqui Smith said: “A culture of respect, good behaviour and firm discipline must be the norm in all schools, all of the time.

“The Government has provided schools with powers, training, and support to deal with disruptive behaviour.

Which just might suggest – might it not? – that more of the same is not going to work any better.

“But we know that the real work is done on the front line by heads and teachers.

“We cannot simply legislate bad behaviour out of the classroom.

Well, you could try, I suppose. But legislation would mean sending people who disobeyed the law to prison. But legislation as in “here is what we really really want now everyone please do that” is indeed useless.

“It has to be delivered on the ground by teachers with the full backing of parents.”

You can already see the excuses being lined up for when this policy fails. Blame the parents. And, inevitable, blame the teachers.

This is prayer talk, which will lead nowhere. Which might be why they are tackling this Prime Ministerial whim good an early in the electoral cycle, so that when all this nonsense fails ignominiously, there will be plenty of time for this failure to be forgotten about before the next election looms.

At the root of the problem of bad behaviour in schools is the fact that these are institutions which demand compulsory attendance. That is what turns schools into the “front line”. If, at work, you behaved one tenth as badly as the more malevolent kind of adolescent at the more unruly sort of state school, you would be out on your ear. To hell with any social duty on anyone else’s part to look after you. Until the kind of people who are responsible for stories like the above abandon their self-imposed duty to look after absolutely everyone, and to fine-tune every nuance of everyone’s behaviour, by announcing, in absurd detail, what they want that to be and then just hoping it happens, they will never get anything resembling the behaviour they actually want.

I mean, shops who are subjected to customers whom they take against just get a couple of extremely big men in uniforms to escort them to the door. They do not waste their time blaming the parents or setting up committees – sorry, task forces – to make detailed recommendations, or for that matter demanding for themselves any new and draconian powers. They have all the powers they need.

In other words, the way to actually get good behaviour, whatever exactly you reckon that to be, is for you to consort with people who behave as you want them to. If they behave as you do not want them to, then seek other company, either by going somewhere else or, if it is your property, by telling them to go somewhere else.

Property. Key word there. Key concept. Clearly defined property rights are the foundation not just of a thriving economy but of civil order, of civilisation itself. One of the basic troubles with state schools is that it is not clear whose property they are.

Allow everyone, including teachers, and parents, and, I would say, including pupils, to follow these alternative rules, the rules of property and of consent, and an amazing number of now utterly intractable problems associated with education, whatever you think that is, will just melt away. The good stuff – that is say, whatever stuff those directly involved in it consider to be good stuff – will thrive. And the bad stuff – ditto – will vanish. Educational achievement will skyrocket. Costs – if costs are a problem, as they are for many – will plummet.

It really is that simple. The trouble is that to apply such simplicities to education would involve an entire class of meddlers and looker-afterers and minders and advisers and inspectors, to say nothing of detailed-recommendation-mongers and concern-arousers and general wafflers, having to change their whole way of thinking.

I live in hope, but not in expectation.

47 comments to How to abolish bad behaviour in schools

  • Verity

    Looking at what new powers head teachers may need to tackle violent pupils

    Shoot the little fuckers.

    “We cannot simply legislate bad behaviour out of the classroom.” ‘Course you can. The death penalty for children who physically violate teachers or other children. Arm the teachers and tell them to shoot to kill.

    “It has to be delivered on the ground by teachers with the full backing of parents.”

    But of course! What a fabulous idea, Jacqui, babes! Involve the parents – whom your government has stripped of all power! Sounds like a plan! Not a success. Another ZaNu Labour plan. Which will fail, like all the other plans that have trickled out of Blair’s brain and dribbled down his chin for the last nine years.

    For a truly devastating comment on Blair’s single-handed destruction of discipline in the schools, the home and on the streets, read Melaniephillips.com

  • Phil

    Mrs Phil has just gone back to the “front line” they have just had a week when 10/11 yr olds were threatning to run riot, managed to stem the carnage by Lunch time silent detentions , next phase 3 strikes & your excluded. 4 scrotes were up for it, but then Headmistress showed the amount of paperwork invoved in “excusion” to my missus, she estimated that the process would take between 12-15 man hrs,if you multiply that by 1000’s of schools the costs are ridiculas,blame the bloody parents & a Govt who have lost the plot!!

  • Verity

    Once the shootee has legally been declared dead (it wouldn’t be right to steal from the living), distribute his mobile phone, designer sports shoes and whatever other gangsta crap he’s sporting to the high achievers in the class. This will motivate them to keep on achieving and will serve as an illustration of later life.

  • dearieme

    Skelp their erses.

  • Michael Farris

    I think a lot of these problems stem from the traditional British distaste for children. By treating them like adults, the vain hope goes, they’ll act like adults. No, their minds work in a completely different way and you have to meet them on their level to get thru to them. And, I’m afraid, if they haven’t been properly trained by the age of three or four, then you’ve got your work cut out for you.

    When I came to Poland, one of the most exotic things to me was that almost all adults could deal with children (as in talk to them and take care of them and get them to more or less behave).
    And while (especially in groups) they can be a handful, I’m amazed at how much more mature and better behaved Polish children generally are than American kids.

  • Verity

    The point, the Gramscians have deliberately, and with surgical precision, picked apart the British family. Parents have basically no control of their own children. They have no rights to complain about schools or teachers. They have no choice in the hospital or doctor who will care for their child. The ZaNu Lab party has them signing “social contracts” – whatever the hell that this and how dare they insist that adults sign a contract with their government? Brown has taxed the traditional family till the pips squeak and given some of it back in “credits”, again, whatever the hell that means, and distributed the rest to welfare mothers and people who’ve never held a job in their lives. Blair has drivelled on about different family “lifestyles” and has tried to tell sane, normal people that a “family” with two lesbian mothers, or even just one lesbian welfare mother, is of equal value with a normal family – the family being a successful concept that has developed over around a hundred thousand years and is a part of the foundations of human existence.

    Blair, in his stupidity, along with the braindead sheep formally known as “the cabinet”, does not understand why his vapid little thoughts have caused everything to fall apart.

  • We gave up all semblance of control in the public school systems when we banned corporal punishment.

    When I started the food fight in 3rd grade I got a spanking by the principal (not for the food fight but for laughing at her), when I got home I got another spanking. Both of these were justly deserved, and I like to think that I learned a lesson.

    Now there really is no punishment that you can inflict on the children when they act out that really frightens them. I worked for a school system for 6 years and have seen it all from the second grader telling the teacher to suck his D, to the first graders who were fighting between the teachers legs. These kids see a suspension as a week off of school, nothing more than a free ride.

    What is worse is the parental attitude of “My little Johnny would never do that” when the teacher or principal calls the parent.

    All the plans and nice talk in the world will have zero effect on these kids, as there is no sword backing up the pen…


  • I popsted onthis same issue this morning and provide another, more detailed, perspective on why it won’t work…

    Peter Glover

  • In French schools, if a pupil misbehaves, the teacher presses a buzzer and a person appears to remove them. Teachers are responsible for teaching. That’s it. The kid is sent home. That’s it. If there’s no-one at home to look after it, that’s it too. The child is the parent’s responsibility and the school is there to provide a service. If the family doesn’t want the service (as evidenced by not controlling their kid) then they don’t get it. The teachers teach up to 17 hours a week and go home when they are done. No political correctness classes or out of hours duties. Some teach less for less money. Absence for illness is either not covered (the kids show up and there’s a note on the door saying the teacher’s sick) or a fellow teacher works the extra hours to cover – for extra pay.

    Why do we idiot anglo-saxons make everything so complicated? The family is there to educate and inculcate values. The education system is there to provide academic education.

    We could also remove a lot of yobbery by lowering the school leaving age. Forcing a bunch of idiots to sit through classes they don’t care about will teach them nothing. Let them go to work and begin to learn about real life. The school leaving age was only raised to fiddle the unemployment figures anyway.

  • Julian Morrison

    Verity, why drag your prejudices into this? It matters if the parents are any good, not whether they’re single, or lesbians, or even on welfare.

    From what I can see, the main cause of bad behaviour in children is “adults” who never grew up. They sulk, whine, tantrum and hit out like five-year-olds. No surprise their children reject them as authority figures!

  • Prison inmates are always misbehaving. What we need to do is keep them drugged and threaten their families with incarceration too! It is the only way to build a better society.

  • Sylvain Galineau

    Tom Paine, which French schools would that be ? In what movie ? All my family and friends back home want to know. They’re packing their belongings and are standing by. Let us know the destination.

  • Verity

    Julian Morrison – My personal prejudice is for an ordered society in which all operate with the maximum liberty and responsibility. I’m sorry if you demur, but the family is the most important foundation of the family – in every society in the world. It is something fundamental that human beings share. Labour has intentionally set about destroying the family by diluting it with ZaNu Lab claptrap about “one family is as good as another family”.

    No, it’s not. A family with a mother and a father who is present and responsible is best for children. Boys need a father. And yes, so do girls. If adults want to get together in lesbian communes or transgendered communes, or – the latest – polysexual communes – or welfare mothers want to share a flat with one another with a stream of men floating through, that is 100% their business. But they are not families. Families is two parents. And, ideally, grandmothers and grandfathers to provide a sense of stability and continuity to children. And aunts and uncles and cousins. The child has the security of knowing it belongs in that unit and that unit is permanent. (Yes, I’m aware that some people get divorced.)

    Many children today are free-floating instead of anchored to their families and their communities. They have no sense of past, no plans for the future, no boundaries. This chaos has been created by the Blair government, which has intentionally destroyed the strength of the family because it is easier to control weak, separated people. And Blair, let’s face it, is not exactly an ace as a father, as we know.

    Tom Paine, although I agree with your final point, your saying that the problem lies with us being Anglo-Saxons is incorrect. Britain has always had a reputation of being a well-ordered, gentle society. As recently as twenty years ago, British children were well behaved, in the main, orderly, and expected to be punished for being naughty. This is only attributable to our race if you look at it from the point of view of passivity and being supine in the face of threats to our ancient freedoms.

  • Bernie

    Mr Carr

    Indeed and close to what I’m thinking. Here is a plan that is intended to fail so as to create a bigger and more alarming problem so that the real “solution” can be wheeled out which is as you describe applied to schools.

  • Verity

    Sylvain – Rigolo!

  • mac

    Verity, you’re almost right despite your tic approach. I attended parochial schools for most of my pre-university education. They didn’t put up with ANY nonsense. Screw up once, you saw the principal, a very stern Dominican sister who made it impeccably clear that if you ever showed up in her office again for such an offence, it would be the last time you ever set foot in that school. She backed up that bark with a worse bite–they didn’t hesitate to bounce kids out of there in a heartbeat.

    It’s no coincidence that every parent in that town who could scrape together the cash to do so had their children in the parochial schools. Their performance, despite their chronic underfunding, was head and shoulders above that of the local public system simply because they refused to coddle disruptive students. The public schools, alas, had no such freedom of action.

    Now, in the U.S., poor school performance rates right up there with illegal immigration as one of the most aggravating problems for the average citizen. It is also, like illegal immigration, one that neither political party is willing to touch with a ten-foot pole despite the clear and growing public anger with the situation. And both of these problems cannot be addressed for the same reason–fear of being considered racist. Until we as a nation can openly discuss these problems along with all the exacerbating factors, particularly the cultural ones, neither one will be effectively addressed. Meanwhile, parents who can afford to do so will continue their flight to the private sector or homeschool their children. The public schools, increasingly bereft of the children of the affluent and concerned, will continue to deteriorate despite ever-larger subventions from government. I can’t think of a better way to establish a class-divided society than the educational path we’re embarked on now.

  • Jim

    I have some personal experience in this area, having taught high school for several years. Since high school kids may not car much for what adults want them to do, but they are terrifed of incurring the disapproval of their peers. The trick was to get the class to enforce on the clowns and shitheads. They generally did not get up in the morning, drag their butts to school, etc., just to play, and once I pointed that out, they most often became more business-like I also pointed out that they and their families had paid for this schooling (in taxes), and that anyone preventing them from learning was in fact stealing from them. They were very clear on what they felt about people stealing from them. That laid the groundwork. I had to pull the Alpha Male thing in the beginning, and it helped that I had a supportive principal and a fourth-storey window, but most classes became decently self-regulating (with an adult-in-charge standing by to keep a Lord of the Flies situation from developing).

  • HJHJ

    Everybody has their own ideal of an imposed solution to this problem, whether it be corporal punishment, or as in Verity’s somewhat extreme opinion, shooting the children.

    This is exactly the problem. The government’s approach is centrist and relies on it prescribing a solution and then giving schools instructions and the powers to carry out its policy (powers which, preumably, at some time in the past the government had taken away).

    If the schools were all independent (funded, say, by vouchers but other methods are possible) they could decide for themselves what to do about discipline, within the confines of the law which governs us all. If they got it wrong, the majority of decently minded parents would just take their business elsewhere. Let the people in the ‘industry’ sort it out and if they didn’t, their customers would punish them in the best way. Why does the government always have to meddle as if it somehow is the source of all wisdom? When will we get a government minister that says “don’t ask me, get your school to sort it out or take your child elsewhere”?

    Incidentally, I do not favour corporal punishment precisely because it removes from children the same legal protection any of us have against physical assault. But let us be clear that if a child assaults a teacher, then the teacher similarly has protection. For those that say the withdrawal of corporal punishment has led to a drop in standards of behaviour need to explain why Norland college (the oldest and most traditional of childcare colleges) has never allowed any of its graduates to use physical punisment – and nobody claims Norlanders can’t get children to behave.

    Incidentally, is it just me that is still waiting to hear Ruth Kelly say something that is not utterly vacuous?

  • Verity

    HJHJ – Given your dislike of Tony Blair (from other posts), I am surprised that you think there is any solution other than getting rid of Blair. He doesn’t want order and discipline in schools. He and his destructive gang of old Trot presidents of Student Unions the length and breadth of Britain, want chaos. The want the breakdown of social order. The want the breakdown of education.

    They’ve had eight years to pull civil society and our legal system down around our ears. Now they can come in and impose a “solution”. I project that the “solution” will come in this current government, and it won’t be pretty. Curiously, it will remove even more freedom from British citizens – but only in order to “restore order”.

  • HJHJ


    I dislike intensely many aspects of the way that Blair behaves. However, were I his neighbour (not the chancellor, but you know what I mean), I daresay we would get on fine.

    His statist centrist attitudes, his complete and naive lack of executive experience in any environment where the taxpayer doesn’t pick up the bill, his protection of closed shop professions, his economic ignorance, his cavalier attitude towards democratic proprietary and civil liberties, his propensity for social engineering (I could go on and on) all infuriate me.

    However, if he weren’t there and another labour leader were, I don’t think things would be any better (perhaps worse with Brown).

    This is why I prefer not to personalise things (other than my revulsion for him allowing his wife to live by suing the taxpayer over trivial issues – which is fair comment, in my opinion). I don’t think he wants chaos or any of the other motives of which you accuse him.

    I just think he’s incompetent and has become mendacious in order to stay in power.

  • Tim

    I am much in agreement with Verity, and this comes from a person who’s parents split when I was 1 year old. We were brought up strictly and thankfully saw the inside of the nation’s fine Grammar Schools. I hate with a passion the Liberial/Leftie/Socialist/”equality” mindset in the UK (btw, I disagree with Melanie Phillips who appears to rail against Libertarians – it is Liberals who interfere and have torn down the society we have).

    I totally agree with the link with the benefit (“ben-fid”) culture in the UK where some 15 year old lass gets pregnant ready for the 16th so she can get out of her chaotic dogbasket of a household – I dare not call it home – into her own council flat. Once there she is fed and watered by the state and then joined intermittently by some feckless barbarian who triggers a sibling. More benefits. Bigger home. Why is this relevent? Well, her kids will see that there is no NEED for education or good social behaviour as life can happily and fairly comfortably exist from handouts.

    The safety net has become a very comfortable hammock. Cut that down and people see the abyss unless they pull their finger out and work towards an education. They will be too busy learning to disrupt classes.

  • Simple solution. Scrap the State school system. Entirely and completely. No ifs and buts.

    All other solutions are mere baubles.


  • Another committee. For things that should be handled at home. I noted some thoughts very like this a while ago. I have a simple enough root cause, but no way I can see to bring about a change in attitudes. I suppose it’ll take a committee somewhere…

  • Verity

    Tim, I agree with the tenor of your comment. But I don’t agree that it is only “the kids” seeing no need for education or restrained behaviour, though, that causes this free floating aggression. Yes, certainly, there is that. But worse is, there is no permanent male presence in their lives. There is no man they can turn to – for reassurance or even, fighting to grow up, argue with. There is no restrained, non-violent role model who is a permanent fixture around the house, and who they see taking responsibilities for things. The males they see as temporary residents of their homes are often violent and abusive drinkers and they don’t stick around.

    There are apparently children brought up in fatherless homes who turn out civilised – Michael Gove is one, I believe, as is David Davies – but they have/had very rare mothers. and they are not typical

    I read that 49% of births in Britain are now illegitimate or, as the ZaNu Lab talk has it, “born outside marriage”. This signals the collapse of the civil societies. Many of these men have no interest in supporting their children by several women, and in any case, don’t acknowledge them. So the state steps in to support them, and, as with the NHS, he who pays the piper call the tune.

    HJHJ – I think if you lived next door to Tone ‘n’ Cher, you’d find Tone a hissy, preachy little poseur and Cher a chancer. And we know that behind closed doors, this is one disfunctional family.

  • Verity

    HJHJ – Srtry about appearing to hog this discussion. It’s just that I’m up, on this side of the Atlantic, and you’re not.

    I meant to agree with you regarding the dire, dire Ruth Kelly, an unalloyed example of the Peter Principle. She is not even a Blair Babe. She’s a Cher Babe. She fat, she’s way leftie, she’s a Catholic, she has a shedload of children. In other words, she’s incompetent, but she fits the template.

  • I disagree with Verity only by degree. I would prefer flogging first; and then, if that failed, execution.

    (Yes, it’s hyperbole.)

    Actually, I want State schools abolished completely, and State-sponsored education available only after parental means-testing.

    The whole reason parents have become indifferent to their kids’ education is that the education is free.

  • Verity

    OK, Kim, I can live with that. Flogging, as in Singapore flogging, with rotans but their kidneys protected by pads, then, if they don’t shape up, death – but by gun … or by lethal injection? Hmmm. Undecided, but I want to be fair. I think they should have a choice. And free choice of a last meal, even if it includes cholesterol.

  • Who says Verity has no sense of compassion or mercy?

  • Johnathan Pearce

    I am against corporal punishment, which is an inevitable result of schools being jails for those forced to attend them. In such an environment, where attendance is not voluntary, the folk running the place have to enforce discipline somehow. It used to be the cane, slipper, etc. The naval method of keel-hauling has, alas, been abolished.

    We tend also to forget that in Victorian Britain, the development of team sports was seen as a key way of channeling the aggression of children and a way of inculcating a sort of “muscular” Christianity. I may be mistaken, but is not sport still a key method of creating an esprit de corps in American schools? It is no accident that unruliness in Brit state schools has increased at the same time that competitive games have been attacked by modern egalitarians.

    Brian’s original post was spot-on. No real approach to these issues seems to be able to work in the context of the post-Prussian compulsory regime we have had for the past 130 years. Go and Google up “James Tooley” or “E.G. West” for better ways of education.


  • Verity and Kim are far too harsh,there are many more humane intermediary punishments available. The scolds bridle for those that talk in class,the iron boot for the hyperactive,the ducking stool,chain gangs,a small Iron Maiden in every classroom and a gibbet at the school gates.

  • Verity

    Peter, I am afraid you are missing the point. We are talking about 14 yr old boys who rape teachers, for example. We are talking about 12 yr old girls who take photos of themselves on their mobile phones “happy slapping” (sometimes to the point of the victim losing consciousness) other children. We are talking about gangs of boys who beat teachers up and vandalise their cars.

  • The Wobbly Guy

    The Gramscians have taken over the education business. I have finished my practicum in teaching at a neighborhood school two weeks ago, and while waiting for my posting, I swapped plenty of stories with my fellow trainee teachers.

    Before our practicum, all of us had to take a particular module called Classroom Management. We were given a whole series of books written by ‘expert education psychologists’. And we were told to utilise the methods detailed within to deal with students. Interestingly enough, none of those books mentioned physical punishment that involved pain. It was all about ‘treat them like adults’, ‘love’, ‘logical consequences’. The word ‘discipline’ was treated as taboo.


    After our practicum, the overwhelming consensus was that it was all b*llsh*t. The books were better used as toilet paper. Because my old man’s a teacher, I was already prepared, and I was lucky enough to have attained an extremely loud voice that could hurt a student’s ears without my having to touch him/her at all.

    I suspected, and later had it confirmed, that most students, even up to age 18, only understand two essential things, much like most human beings. Pain, and pleasure. They’re not in school to learn, they’re there to occupy their time away from home, and any learning actually done is incidental. Entire classes can be comprised of students who could care less about studying, because none of them were able to make the logical connection between their learning and their futures.

    Parents are largely indifferent because so much of education is subsidized(90% here). Because we as teachers are no longer allowed to inflict pain on students, the only ones left to do so are the parents, and parents simply don’t care, or are overprotective of their children.

    But make it hurt their pockets, and parents will start to take action, because for once it’s their money($250 a month) their children are squandering by not handing up work or doing sufficient learning(chasing them for homework is excruciating).

    About that crap about people not being able to pay for it? Pure BS, because I saw students in the worst academic class playing on their Nokia N-gage or messaging friends on the latest mobile phones. In modern societies like Britain or Singapore, true absolute poverty hardly exists, and there are avenues available for the truly needy anyway.

    Thankfully, I won’t have to deal with all that, since I have been posted to a relatively prestigious pre-university center where students are motivated and driven by appropriate fear of not making it to their university of choice.


  • Verity

    Wobbly – I am distressed to read this about Singapore – the one place where rigour and excellent results still counted! What happened to the Chinese reverence for education? Is it only to be found among American and Aussie Chinese these days?

    The same thing has happened in France, where children used to be very well behaved and whose parents backed the schools all the way. Now, teenagers skive off school and hang out in public places drinking a mix of tequila and beer (can’t remember its name), smoking and doing drugs. They’re allowed motorised scooters at age 12, so children are zooming around villages and, if they spot the Gendarmes headed to a particular village, they call their friends on their mobiles and by the time the Gendarmes get there, the kids have moved on to cause havoc in the next village.

    I agree with you, Wobbly, that all education should be privatised, and that there are routes for the truly poor, if such can be found in advanced societies. There would be people who didn’t think educating their child was a good investment for money better spent on the horses and down the pub – what would we do about them? Allow them to become an illiterate underclass (which they are, in Britain, at the moment, anyway)?

    My personal instinct is that 16 is too long for compulsory education for those who don’t want it. I’d let ’em out at 14 to go and train for a career in oil changes.

  • War was declared on our children in the 60’s.

    Contraception, abortion, divorce have all contributed to the selfish pleasures of the parent and the sidelining of the kids.

    98% of kids work round it some how, 2% don’t and never did – now fuelled by drugs and drink – motivated by avarice and testosterone they steal, vandalise, mug, rape where their predecessors simply scrumped apples and were cheeky to policemen.

    Mystified our morally bankrupt authorities reflexively turn to technology, Ritalin, Prozac, spy cameras or no brainer legislation , Dispersal Orders, ASBO’s EXclusion orders.

    Burgess was remarkably prophetic in “Clockwork Orange” – horroshock (an Uzbek word, curiously relevant today).

    The Stalinist micro-managers such as the living sex doll Blears, with her rictus grin and quivering incarnidined , slightly gaping mouth and odd, monotone pancake make up now want us to dress up the malcontents , whilst the Dear leader and Johnny Pugilist want to undress them.

    I find that Ivan Illych in “De-schooling society” identified the problem, we don’t educate kids, we “school” them to conform, stifling imagination , originality and wit.

    Gramscian in origin or not, that is where we are – how we resolve the difficulties – I don’t have an answer – but I DO KNOW, IT’S NOT MORE LEGAL POWERS OF CONTROL, SPY CAMERAS, DRUGS etc, etc,

    … although there are times when I do agree we should shoot the little fuckers over an open grave.

  • Verity,
    Do lighten up,have you any idea what those intruments I mentioned do,gibbet should give you a fair idea.

  • Verity

    Edward Teague – “Shoot the little fuckers over an open grave.” I hadn’t thought of the open grave concept, but I must say, I like it.

    Peter – why build a gibbet when Messrs Smith and Wesson and (this one’s for Perry) Glock, have the attraction of immediacy? Behaviourial psychologists always say you should punish children for wrongdoing immediately.

  • Verity
    I should have added – in front of their friends and classmates… pour encourage…etc

  • guy herbert

    ET – “living sex doll Blears”

    What a repulsive image. I can’t imagine what perverted, domination-desperate, sexuality would fix upon Ms Blears… but it takes all sorts, I suppose.

    In another context I described her as a thug disguised as a baby robin. She’s specifically employed by the Government to make its most brutal authoritarian suggestions, as someone harmless looking but apparently incapable of either embarrassment or cerebration. This is a role she took on as successor to the balrog Bob Ainsworth, whom no one would mistake for anything other than a hired heavy.

  • Verity

    Edward Teague – Obviously! All children should be exposed to live theatre.

  • Guy Herbert
    Re HB I was only remarking on the similarity – the attractiveness – or otherwise I leave to others. I do like the idea of Blears with her puffed out chest (there I go again) and general air of bossiness as a Robin (Reliable Robin?). I thought Mrs Cook in her autobiog had some telling remarks to make about Robins and their general nastiness. HB does of course ride a large and powerful motor cycle and is oft photographed in the necessary, black, tightly straining, close fitting belted, zipped and buckled leathers and boots required for this activity.

    Bob Ainsworth, you may have noticed in a little bit of special patronage by the Dear Leader for the loyal backbenchers and general arse lickers, was elevated to Membership of the Privy Council – so if you would please, The Rt. Hon Bob...but don’t think that I think any less of him for it.

  • Tim


    I agree with you mostly, yet add the caveat that problems can occur most likely if there is a violent male presence (intermittent or permanent) and/or the home is unstable and unwelcoming.

    Kids see everything. If they see or are taught lack of consequence or erratic punishment for action then they will be screwed up, maladjusted and not ‘care’ about what they do “because they will get a belting anyhow”.

    Corporal punishment is good if it is ideally immediate, relative and bound to the act and is not linked to psychological distancing and rejection (i.e. the danger is that scoulding and beating becomes the only ‘contact’ the poor kid gets…)

  • Verity

    Tim – I addressed the issue of unstable homes due to the lack of a dependable, responsible, loving adult male in a household above. And a pair of parents who set boundaries and rules and enforce them.

    I am sorry that these children of ZaNu-Lab lack such, but I don’t not think these nasty little shits should continue to share our oxygen just because their mum never found a man to marry her (although I also suspect that the thought of a man committing himself to her in marriage would be way beyond her level of aspiration). With the intentional encouragement of ZaNu-Lab, they are infesting and replicating fast in a previously fairly cohesive society where adults ruled. Not 14 yr old rapists. Not 12 year old girls “happy slapping” a fellow pupil into unconsciousness in the school playground. Not little 10 yr old girls demanding birth control pills because, as this one told the doctor, even if he didn’t prescribe it for her, she was going to continue to have sex with the three boys with whom she was having a “relationship”.

    Sorry, but this brutish dross has to be hosed out. Under the definition “dross”, I naturally include Tone & Imelda, and all the other old Trots infesting the cabinet office.

  • Tim

    Verity – though you put it in more strident terms that I would, I agree. NeueArbeit (“macht frei…”) and all those in Social Services who wish to nurture future ‘customers’ are in on the game. They create dependent people, disrupt families and then allow chaos so they can ID card, inject tracking chips and otherwise enslave us.

    If we are not careful we will be in some grotesque blend of Eloi-Morlock and “Metropolis”-tic inversion, with the workers toiling in darkness to support lazy ner-do-wells in the light who routinely take expeditions to attack and abuse those who feed them.

  • Verity

    Tim – Yes. That’s why I fled. Someone will correct me if I’m wrong, but nowhere is socialism/communism redder in tooth and claw than in Britain. The class hatred is rabid – even given that there aren’t any more classes – and given that while there actually were classes, Britain was always quite fluid. There’s a virulence in Britain that I’ve never encountered anywhere else. Of course, it has been carefully nurtured for over a century.

  • The Wobbly Guy

    Verity-It still counts a lot. Many parents are still very concerned about the exam results of their children.

    However, the problem is that they simply cannot link the concept of discipline to performance, and if anything goes wrong, it’s ALWAYS the teacher’s fault, not their own. The teacher’s fault for not making the child study, the teacher’s fault for not forcing homework to be handed up, the teacher’s fault for not ensuring that the child does not sleep in class.

    And they never realise that it’s because teachers have been stripped of our disciplinary powers that has led to all this. Detention? Students are not fazed, because it’s only an hour or two which they would normally spend in school before going for their CCAs. Corrective work order? Parents scream of getting their children’s hands dirty and falling sick because of contact with rubbish. Physical harm? They complain to the press, who almost always side against the teachers, and then the talking heads and experts weigh in with criticisms against us teachers not doing our jobs properly while giving inane suggestions that never work.


    Parents have abrogated their responsibilities as parents and pushed the task to teachers, who are already too busy teaching. In this manner, it seems like the concept of having the ‘village'(government, school, whatever) take care of everything(espoused by experts) has backfired onto the rank and file(us teachers).

    Thankfully, most teachers are fundamentally pragmatic, and so far no teacher I know has praised the ‘experts’ for their ‘help’. And there are still parents who take the time to ensure that their children behave properly. More often than not, these are the ones who do well.

    Subsidizing education is so ingrained in the minds of the public everywhere that any move by the government towards privatisiation would lead to a severe backlash in the elections. A few months back, the government proposed a reduction in subsidy for university students, making them pay more for their own university education, because of their higher projected incomes in the future, and it was met with a wave of dismay and hostility almost immediately.

    Let’s face it. The meme of mass subsidized(or even free) public education has grown such deep roots that nothing we can do will ever uproot it. And it is this very financial subsidy that makes parents and children alike complacently lazy of their responsibilities, leading to disciplinary problems in schools.


  • GSmith

    Two words: Sig-Saur

  • Verity

    Anyone catch today’s Telegraph which reports on three sisters, aged 12, 14 and 16 who have given birth within a couple of months of one another? Their mother blames, wait for it, not enough sex education at school.

    They live in a (free) council flat and the girls are receiving around £600 a week in “benefits”. Their mother says the flat feels cramped now and is hoping for another, (free) larger one. Altogether, they are getting around £31,000 a year from one government agency or another.

    The 16 yr old had already had two miscarriages and an abortion. She gave birth to a baby to whom she gave an Asian name. From what I could gather from the BBC news site, earlier, the father was a 38 yr old Asian man who lives with his parents. He drops in every now and then but hasn’t told his parents. Mysteriously, he does not seem to have been charged with child rape. The 12 yr old was the first to produce a baby, which she named (I almost wrote “christened”) T-Jay, which probably means something in 12-yr-old-speak. The father, aged 14, has, to her surprise, dropped her like a hot coal. He has a new girlfriend now and the young mother says she feels “gutted”. Natasha, the 16-yr-old, doesn’t want to be anything “but a full time mum”, which is fortunate, because that’s all she’ll ever be.

    Fourteen yr old, Jade, said she got pregnant “after a one night stand.

    Said their mum, complaining about the cramped quarters and 90 a week grocery bills, “Frankly, I blame the schools.”