Society Strikes Back

In Satire on December 4, 2011 at 1:59 PM

Wednesday saw thousands of public sector workers put down their stethoscopes and red pens in a day’s strike against austerity cuts to their pensions, increases of the retirement age and just general protest against supposed underpay and under-appreciation. But many less sympathetic onlookers such as Jeremy Clarkson labelled them work-shy whingers, the man himself even calling for their execution in front of their families. And this conflict was mirrored across the country in cafes, pubs and the blogosphere. TAY has been keeping a close watch on the masses and the media in an attempt to get to the heart of the matter.

On one protest march in London we met John Greaves, an English and Drama teacher who had travelled down from lovely Stockport. With contrived use of the metaphors he employs in the classroom, he claimed teachers were worked to death by the puppet-masters in Downing Street for peanuts to meet the standards of the Stasi-esque OFSTED officers.

“I am COMPELLED to teach Shakespeare to 14-year-olds who communicate in swinish monosyllabic grunts, cram ‘like’s and ‘literally’s into every other sentence, and think irony is an adjective describing females. Surely these endeavours deserve a medal, or at very least for our pensions not to be thrown in the dustbin of history as this bunch of Machiavellian money-grabbing misers are melodramatically motioning. Ooh, I quite like that. See, how would society function if I wasn’t there to teach our youngsters such verbose alliteration?! What demonic, draconian depths is this society plunging if our earnest enterprises are not sufficiently remunerated?!”

When we put to him the counter-argument that there is just no money in the coffers, Mr Greaves went on with typical dramatic verve: “My heart has never really been for the cold confines of politics or economics. I got a D at GCSE Maths and only scraped through the QTS Maths and ICT tests, passing of which is, ludicrously, a pre-requisite for qualified teacher-dom. No, I am a man of language, theatre; the heart and soul of the world. At university, I wrote important essays on the how iambic pentameters show the yearning in Romeo & Juliet’s respective hearts and the use of onomatopoeia in late romanticism poetry to foster audience sympathy. So maybe I am not a so-called ‘expert on economics’, but I know the money is out there somewhere – I am au fait with Plato’s Theory of Forms, you know – it’s just that these unscrupulous charlatans in their ivory towers are squirreling it away for their hedge funds or whatever they’re called.”

Yet according to Jeremy Clarkson all striking public sector workers be taken outside and executed, in front of their families. Presumably, for what Clarkson would no doubt see as his namby-pamby liberal sensitivities, Mr Greaves would be first to go in Clarkson’s modern-day Auschwitz. Or perhaps he would be last so that ‘Jezza’ could wallow in his misery as he melodramatically made exhortations of distress and repentance, while his two sycophantic Labradors sniggered from the sidelines.

We got an interview with Clarkson for some reasoning into his comments:  “I drive very fast, noisy and polluting vehicles around and write badly researched, unsolicited pub rants masquerading as journalism for a living. So I know what a hard day’s work is like. Jamie Oliver, David Starkey and them lot showed just how bloomin’ easy teaching is last year with Jamie’s Dream School. They showed that all this rubbish about lesson planning, signing diaries, achievement certificates, meetings, parents’ evenings and special…. educational… needs or whatever are just Nazi diktats from government and waste-of-space QUANGO workers, for whom execution would be too easy and painless a death by the way. Shows teachers don’t even need to be there until 3pm, let alone 6 like the rest of us hard-working folk.  Good ol’ Starkey wasn’t afraid to put the bloody boot it in, too. And it worked, too, cos they whipped those wastrels into shape and sorted the wheat from the chaff, as the ones with absolutely no hope returned to their single-parent, rat-infested, council-house hell-holes. You see some of those pictures and stuff they come up with in their final projects? Really moved even a stubborn old barnacle like me some of those. That’s what we need in teaching; more privatisation. Instead of people sat on their ass with their gilt-edged pension as their fluffy cushion, getting off their backside and actually doing something!”

Melissa Kite of The Daily Mail leapt to Clarkson’s defence for his comments in written diarrhoea that she so often bottles up and brands as serious political comment. She also not only defended but actively praised (supposedly with the support of all psychologists), His Royal Automotiveness taking the piss out of those who had the audacity to inconvenience him by committing suicide in front of his train.

She said: “It’s incomprehensible that these commie anarchists are striking from their cushty ‘jobs’, while I am here getting my hands dirty, toiling behind a computer screen from the comfort of an air-conditioned, water cooler-ed office and interviewing little to none of the people I supposedly speak for (like the whole workforce of psychologists) in churning my own– and the Mail’s – trademark brand of half-baked bile. (Ed: Aren’t you just doing the same here?)

Joel Durston

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