The trouble when dealing with mad people is that they don’t recognise that they are actually mad. When you try to point out that bananas don’t actually run the bus time table, or that Prince Philip isn’t really living in their loft growing secret cabbages for his best friend Waylon Jennings, they look at you as if you’re the mad one. There’s no arguing with them. Reality doesn’t accord with their wishes and eventually you end up shrugging and rolling your eyes and saying “God yeah – Prince Philip, eh? Tsk!” in the hope that your acquiescence makes them happy. Or just go away.
It sometimes feels like the world is being run that way.
For example, my school – which is seemingly a friendly, welcoming place – has a “food policy” in which they:
“expect all parents who send their children to our school to respect our healthy food policy and to support it fully through the food they give their children to bring to school.”
According to their policy, that basically means: no crisps or sweets. And of course it sounds reasonable. But put it another way: they are assuming the right to tell me what to feed my children. Not only that, but it is part of a “policy” which you MUST accept by sending your kids to that school. Except, of course, there is no opt-out and no alternative as, sure as eggs is eggs, every school has the same policy. It is coercion as sure as if they stood me in front of a ditch with a gun at my neck.
At their disposal: The Policy, Jamie Oliver, an entire apparatus of law, a nexus of social workers, healthy food co-ordinators, a hysterical media and an endless phalanx of shrill “nutritionists” who feel that they are more concerned about my kids’ welfare than I am. It’s the Gisele Bundchen fallacy all over: “I am right, therefore you are wrong, therefore let’s involve the law!” Albeit without great tits.
I resent that on a very deep and fundamental level. It isn’t about the healthy eating fad that has swept the nation, it’s about the fact that if I want to give my kid a fucking Mars bar to take to school from time to time, that’s my fucking business and no-one else’s. But now my children belong to the state while on state property.
Another example: a kid who has to drink smoothies for some medical reason or other has to to go outside the dining hall to drink them because some other kids might not be able to afford such things and everyone’s equal and stuff, mmmk?
Small examples, sure, but just part of the wider panoply of creepy behaviour that the state exhibits these days and that the coalition has done nothing to alleviate. You still don’t walk enough. You still drive the wrong kind of car in the wrong kind of way to the wrong kind of places. You still smoke, you naughty boy you! We might be being “nudged” rather than “behavourially changed” but there’s still a better choice they want you to make, and anything short of a gulag will do to help us reach that “right” decision.
Dimly, I wonder what will happen if I start sending in The Boy with a Mars Bar every day. Will I get a letter inviting me to a meeting? What if I refuse to go? How far up the echelons will my name waft? Will I be labelled “troublesome” – put on a list? Watched for other indiscretions?
Who knows: far better just to acquiesce, right? Besides: he doesn’t even like Mars bars.
Christine Blower’s speech to the National Union of Teachers (the text of which is available here) tells you all you need to know about how deeply up to the nuts our institutions are in Leftist dogma. As part of her “review of the year” she notes that the teachers helped to “rout the BNP”, see off the EDL, gain equality for women and the “LBGT community” in the workplace, do some stuff in Guatemala, oppose the cuts and (of course!) she finds time to cram in the obligatory mention of Martin Luther King, as if his struggle against an oppressive racist hierarchy in the face of physical violence is somehow analogous to teachers struggle to not have to pay any more into their pension funds.
With all that going on, you are forced to wonder how they find the time to do what they are supposed to do: teach our kids. Given the general rates of literacy that you encounter every day – how hard is it, really, to use an apostrophe or capitalise the personal pronoun? – it’s hard not to suspect that actually, they don’t.
Anyway. Ignore this. I’m just another madman. Eventually I’ll go away.