Sunday, 23 March 2008

Primary Madness

A neighbour of mine told me this story the other day - may sound apochryphal, but anyway...

Whilst watching his son play football for a local team, he got talking to another parent who teaches at a local primary school (in Chav-ville, an inner suburb of Gotham, where the Bishop ministers). This teacher told him about the tradition at the school of putting on a musical every year. This year, however, it has been cancelled... Moreover, teaching staff have been instructed, on pain of some kind of Koranic punishment (have you guessed what it is yet?*... :)), to say nothing to anyone outside the school about it.

"Why?", I hear you ask. Local health and safety worried about a child falling over and grazing their knee? The risk that some children cannot sing as well as others, and therefore might suffer from injured egos that mean that they will go on to become crazed serial killers? Or perhaps parents mentioning to the Head that, whilst they love their little darlings ever so much, being forced to sit through another fucking school play may lead to the aforementioned Head's home being accidentally machine-gunned and then transformed into a Damien Hurst-esque symbol of Hell?

Errrr.... no (although the Bishop has some sympathy with the latter thought). Parents are not even concerned about Father Jack and some of the other local priests, who seem to take an excessive interest in what I believe are fashionably (and condescendingly) referred to as 'young people' (i.e. children) these days, wanting tickets for every performance.

In fact, a 10 year old trainee Imam (yes, I didn't know that such a thing existed) has declared that such a play would be immoral, on the grounds that it would involve little boys and girls dancing with each other (I kid you not).

Now, the Bishop, being a man of Our Lord (of sorts, at least), is of course worried about children having sex... But, to be honest, in Chav-ville, once the little darlings are 10, they're far more sexually experienced than the average under-age hooker in Fred West's favourite brothel. If nothing else, because they usually have numerous brothers and sisters, as well as 'cousins' and 'uncles'. And the same may be true of some from amongst our Islamic brethren, who apparently are often engaged to their cousins at very young ages (remember that, according to the Koran - hardly an anti-Islamic text - Muhammed consummated his marriage to his favourite wife when she was 9 years old): our Islamist friends are always reminding us of the need to follow Muhammed's every example, as the ultimate role model for perfect human behaviour (like some of the extremist Christian Protestant sects, they do not want to put their Holy Book in the social context in which it was written, and instead take it as literal truth).

Rather than comment any further, however, I will leave you, dear Reader, to contemplate what this sordid story tells us about the wonderful state of Craggy Island and its education system...

*Apologies to Rolf Harris

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