If anyone wants to know why the Spanish education system doesn't educate children properly, they had only to look out of my window on Wednesday morning to see one of the important reasons. The teaching unions were on strike and they were massed below me, in a display so thuggish and infantile that a pupil who behaved that way would be suspended. They don't understand this. Giving a public display of your unfitness to do what is a very responsible job strikes me as rather stupid, but oddly enough it seems that most parents already know what sort of hands their children are in, they were not surprised and they accept it as the way things inevitably are, if not actually as the way they should be.
The unions, and the people they claim to represent, believe that schools
exist to provide work for teachers. This is typical of public employees. They
made it very clear on Wednesday, but I knew it long ago. When you are that
wrong about something that is a major part of your existence, you will never understand
the truth. Nor will education in this country be able to achieve what it
Why do these people, and the ‘perroflautas’ and the occupiers and the
hippy/squatters and the others imagine that they are doing the world a favour
by making a nuisance of themselves in public places? They seem to think, and
there are those who agree with them, that they are some kind of heroes, drawing
the world’s attention to the state of the country. This strikes me as nonsense.
I have no objection, neither in principle nor in practice, to peaceful
protest. Governments of all colours need to be constantly reminded that, in
theory at least, they serve us, not vice versa. A stressed and worried
politician is by far the best kind. But no one in Spain needs to be reminded
that the economy is in a bad way and that millions of people are having hard
time. There are things that can easily be forgotten or pass unnoticed, but this
isn’t one of them. The protesters are a combination of political opportunists
and the usual inadequates looking for an excuse to break things. These are
difficult times, and the cathartic magic of shouting on the streets is not
going to solve anything.
Denys Johnson-Davies, RIP.
4 hours ago