In today’s society, to call someone a ‘Philistine’ is to decry that person’s lack of education and culture. It has an interesting etymology. Apparently, the Victorian literary critic, poet and Her Majesty’s School Inspector, Matthew Arnold, was fond of using it, bringing it into regular use. This seems rather appropriate now. A debate is raging… Read More Culture Wars
My 100th blog as BaldHeadteacher has surely to do with Brexit. For it was the referendum in 2016 that started me off. It wasn’t really the European Union part of it, but the wider reasons behind it that I had perceived in the years and months that preceded it. A harsh, unforgiving and individualistic atmosphere… Read More The Folly of Brexit
“In order to become irreplaceable, one must always be different.” Coco Chanel Difference and identity are hot currency in the modern world. As we approach a new decade, barely a day goes by without me reading about the rights of so and so to express their identity, or such and such a group to be… Read More Classroom Differences
Well, we’re nearly there. It’s election time this Thursday and we’re told how crucial this one might be. Sadly, we are not blessed with strong options. The other day, I read an article written by my late uncle, John Harriott, which began, ‘At home, when members of the Government appear on television, even our potplants… Read More The Family Vote
I wandered through St Helens last weekend. I cannot stress enough how shocking it is to see shops boarded up, streets left lifeless and mute. Bookies, pawnbrokers and pound shops seemingly now the only traders left doing business. People trudging around in a state of somnambulation, many visibly pale and unhealthy. This is a classic… Read More Heads in the Sand
1979. Coventry Cathedral. Was it a carol, or a song from the shows, or a hymn? I don’t remember, but I do remember the feeling. A magical moment, where new sounds, smells and just the sheer scale of the setting, made such an impression on my 11-year-old self. Of course, there are several more of… Read More Those Albert Hall Moments.
Goodness knows what is going on behind the door of Number 10, Downing Street. I suppose one day it’ll all come out in yet more political diaries, written in the gardens and estates of rural, southern counties. And we will all remember the chaos and drama, and possibly reflect that, yep, it’s still going on.… Read More Deprivation at Number 10.