Tuesday, 20 November 2007

The Teachers

I was listening to the Cocteau Twins this evening and I thought of John Peel. God rest his soul. It was on his BBC Radio 1 programmes back in the early 80 that I first heard the band.

Wonder what has become of them. As part of my rehabilitation, me and my girl watched North By Northwest last night. She likes James Mason and I like Cary Grant's suaveness.

On the DVD there was a special feature introduced by Eva Marie Saint relating how Hitchcock went about making the film. Fascinating stuff especially since the next film he made was The Birds.

I don't think now is the time to go into Hitch's predilection for ice-cold blondes and menace.

But actually perhaps now is the time to continue the theme of threat. This was my second day of interaction with the strikes.

And I think the teachers did the road users a big favour. They were having a day of action in protest over rising class sizes and their general conditions.

This meant that one or other of the parents had to stay home and guard their offspring which, I assume, led to fewer people out and about.

Before going off the to radio station, the entire family stepped out for the park but the rain curtailed that jaunt. And we repaired to a cafe nearby.

I left everyone at Eric's as he was at home looking after his two children while his partner went off to work.

It seems to me the teachers, rather than increasing pressure on Sgt Major Sarko, actually let him off the hook. The atrocity of the train and metro strike was undermined rather than exacerbated.

Forget the special privileges of the transport lot. Commuters can get on their bikes, into cars and they can even walk to circumnavigate scant public transport.

But if the teachers go medieval, the current woe will look like a folk dance. If there is no school, a swathe of society will be helpless. You won't be able to go out and hire a nanny just like that — they're quite expensive and the ones who might not be pricey, might not be altogether legal.

So where does that leave you?

In my opinion the Sgt Major can stand as tough as he wants against train drivers but he ought to keep the teachers well onside.

Which brings me on to Wednesday night's qualifying games for Euro 2008. England are at home to Croatia, needing a draw to go through to next summer's tournament in Austria and Switzerland. Croatia have already advanced, but a win for the away side and a Russian victory over Andorra and it's a no show for England's finest.

I must admit I am in a quandary about this. England perennially fail to do anything significant and it's been agonising watching them dwindle just as they should be emerging as titans.

If they're not even there then I can just get on and observe objectively.

I will venture out to watch the boys.

This is the kind of collective experience I need to be part of.