• Please Sir! It wasn’t me. It was him!

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    Tomorrow at 11:15AM I’ll turn up at the local C of E church and attend the service. Sitting in the pews I’ll listen to Exodus 34, verse 29 to the end. This is about when Moses came down from Mount Sinai. The Bible is of course about events that happened a long time ago. One of the things about “a long time ago” is that some things are going on in the present day and other things aren’t – at least in our own communities. For example, the people of Israel in Moses time ate unleavened bread. So do we when we visit an Indian takeaway. Some of the people of Israel owned human slaves. We in our communities do not! In other words, things change over time.

    Many things change over the course of one human lifetime. Which brings us to the image of a cane in the hands of a man wearing a academic gown. For our readers such as those in Young Independence, that may have heard of read about British school children being subjected to corporal punishment; they will – thank goodness – never have experienced such. For those of us nearing the age where we are hopeful of receiving our State Pension and those of us who are already in receipt of same, many of us will remember those times when we waited outside the Headmaster’s Office either to receive the cane or to come up with a convincing (to the headmaster) of why we should not be caned.

    For myself the issue centred on a fellow pupil – who I shall not name – this pupil was a bully and used to pick upon boys younger and/or smaller than he. He would initiate fisticuffs in the school playground. Now with the benefit of hindsight and the distance of time, I can offer some observations on this boy that were not available to me at the time. It is my opinion that this boy was himself abused, physically and probably by one or both of his parents. In turn this boy abused others. Taking it out on those smaller than he. The result – for us smaller younger boys was that we had a choice. We could either fight back or not. Fighting back we knew would end up with us being subjected to corporal punishment. You see the headmaster of the secondary school I attended had a clear policy relating to fisticuffs. Any boy caught engaging in them received the cane. There was no investigation made or consideration given to the reason. If you occasioned to punch another boy (for whatever reason) you would be caned. So you had a choice. You could refuse to rise to the bait and just get thumped and not be caned or thump back and be caned. The choice made by the bully’s victims varied. For me it was to walk away. This for logical reasons: you see, the boy was bigger than me which meant that he could punch harder than I could. Running away meant that one reduced the number of punches you received but also – and this was the important factor – it meant that you weren’t caned but the bully was – if one of the teachers spotted what had happened. This boy was regularly caned. He had made his own decision that imparting suffering to his victims was worth the punishment he received from the headmaster.

    Today of course, things are different. The bully would be excluded from school and would be deprived of an education – probably ending up in the criminal justice system and being one of the thousands of young poorly educated young men in Britain’s prisons.

    In the 1960s I was faced with a no win situation. A “Catch 22” situation – not that I Joseph Heller’s satirical novel at that time. Today, in “Brexit Britain” Britain’s political parties are in much the same situation that I was in the playground those many years ago. And they are adopting the same thought processes: How to reduce or eliminate the prospect of punishment. Not in the headmaster’s study but at the ballot box!

    Doctor North’s contribution to the Brexit process is as always to be welcomed.
    GOTO: http://eureferendum.com/blogview.aspx?blogno=87163
    There has been a steady diet of speculation from this organ and those in the mainstream media. The one thing we will venture to suggest today is this: The politicians we elected to the House of Commons in 2017 will be considering their next steps from the basis of how to avoid being punished for their actions. And how to arrange it that their opponents take the blame! That they are each acting in the National Interest is for them axiomatic as they have all self identified that the National Interest aligns precisely with their own!

    Personally, I would not be one bit surprised if Madam Mayhem is calculating that concocting a situation where Article 50 is revoked but at a time which causes the EuroParl elections NOT to take place in the UK will be worth the action taken against the UK by the EU! It could well mean that the UK government will have to make an across the board compensation to all persons who would have been entitled to vote in the elections in the UK. You see, to Madame Mayhem, concocting a situation where the other parties do not have a chance to land punches on the Conservative Party and in particular, to deprive UKIP of its only platform (outside a few council seats) will be worth the punishment the UK will receive. In other words, Madame will make the same calculation as that bullying school boy did. And come to the same conclusion: The actions are worth the punishment!

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