Wednesday, 17 April 2013

The earth moved for me

That was fun to be part of the disaster up the road in Iran and Pakistan. There I was giving the class the most mild of bollockings, for that is what it mildly was, when the floor started moving, tables vibrating. Very weird. As I thought it was just me and feared another seizure was coming on I rode with it not least as I am a professional educator as my Yankistani colleagues are wont to say. While the floor was wobbling and furniture rumbling I continued said soft-toned bollcking-lite to some of my lovely but  lazy students. It is all that is occasionally needed as they are brought up to respect their teachers and they have the added bonus of Allah on their side but that is another story those off us working in the Middle East know all about.

Mid-bollocking however  Manic Muna, as she is fondly known, a lovely local colleague and source for local culture, came into my room and asked me quaveringly whether the earth had moved for me. She was visibly scared  and then asked the girls now relieved at the relief from their bollocking if they too had felt something, which of course they had but were too timid to say anything for fear of speaking over a teacher which can never be done here.  This was done first in English, then in Arabic and what ensued was some Richter scale madness as, in a fraction of  a micro-second, they had all gleaned from Muna and their dumb phones (set to panic mode) that they had been in a level 7.8 quake and we were all going to die.

Fortunately, being British and working in a world of excitable foreigners it  is beholden upon me to wield ruthlessly the cold wet fish of hard reality  which was drawn from my desk drawer in which it is kept for such occasions, and liberally slapped in copious blubbering faces including that of dear Muna who I escorted back to her class from which her students had decided to flee in a Hollywood style screaming girly panic and that was just the boys. One look to mine - honed over many years of dealing with semi-house trained feral Year 9s called Jordan - left them sitting more soberly realising that, as the our media might have said say, a minor tremor had occurred in a far off excitable place, no Britons involved.

I shall now be marketing the t-shirt below in a range of colours and fabrics with the extremely  annoying but catchy  slogan as below, could be my way out of teaching...









Sunday, 14 April 2013

Damn, I spilled my wine

There I was having a quietish  sundown excuse of a red out on the stoop with some genial pals and assorted children, when the now unsurprising news came through that a doddery old bag holed up for her last unwinnable stand in the Ritz had died of a brain attack. Yup, my worse instincts got the better of me  along the line of the bitch is dead, fuck yeh... so I performed a merry Irish jig around the aforementioned stoop. It was the instinct and frustration of growing up as a teen during the old bag's reign coming to the fore. How could it possibly not? Awful times.  I thought I was bigger than to be happy at someone's demise...obviously not. The 80s tainted me more than I imagine.

The children around looked quizzical at the passing of someone equivalent to them as Harold Macmillan or Anthony Eden (who they?) were  for me at their age, at  least they or the outcomes of their policies  were not so divisive and damaging. The colonial commoner among us from Australia looked quizzically shocked but his pommie partner fully understood but rather than spill her wine chose only to join me in performing a round of ecstatic cartwheels and double backflips to accompanying fireworks and the Ode to Joy. Not intended, just knee-jerk instinct, as I suspect it was for millions of others.

A calculating woman with, for me, divisive ideas and outcomes which ruined and disunited my country and made it a nastier, greedier place the legacy of which lingers. Sure, well worn arguments have been had and doubtless will continue to be so as she, and those times, inevitably becomes an increasingly forgotten footnote. Arguably the best time to have celebrated was in 1990 when  she got stabbed in the front by her own as a liability for which the appalling Mail has been lamenting ever since.

That said, having an awful lot of folk crowing unashamedly at your death is the stuff of dictatorships, or demagoguery or regimes smelling cloying close to it. Ugly. Indeed, ugly in that the once impartial BBC won't play Ding Dong in full in fear of upsetting the right which kind of puts her on a par with Mohammed in terms of sensitivities among some idiots and fools.



So, yes, were I back home I may well have been up in London, for old time's sake, waiting for some dumb fuck now underpaid overtime dependent plod, or overseas private plod, to make up an excuse to bash a few heads with Daily Mail sponsored batons and spuriously nick a few folk. It would only confirm that the legacy of Thatch has only been negative, nefarious and nasty.

 Steve Bell 09.03.2013


May she sup well on the sulphur with her chums Saville, Ronnie, Botha,  Pinochet et al. In the meantime good old Glenda Jackson seemed to sum it up well.

 http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/video/2013/apr/11/glenda-jackson-margaret-thatcher-video




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