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Thousands of Teachers Across England Go on Strike Against Austerity


#1

Thousands of Teachers Across England Go on Strike Against Austerity

Nika Knight, staff writer

Decrying widespread funding cuts, ballooning class sizes, lengthening workdays, and the Conservative government's emphasis on austerity in public education, thousands of teachers across England walked out of classes on Tuesday for a 24-hour nationwide strike.


#2

Here we go,

"While some British media outlets dismissed the teachers' actions as a 'disruption'—and Morgan condemned the strike as 'playing politics' and 'unnecessary'—much of the public expressed solidarity with the union's actions".

Let's see, hmm, of concern to teacher's, as National Union of Teachers chief Kevin Courtney identified, are:

"Class sizes going up, school trips reduced, materials and resources reduced, and subjects—particularly in the arts—are being removed from the curriculum. Teaching posts are being cut or not filled when staff leave".

Yeah, protesting these seems like "disruption", "playing politics", and is certainly "unnecessary". These matters have nothing to do with education, do they? Yeah, sure.

When the hell did the media, in Britain and the U.S. at least, become in favor of increased class sizes, reduction in school trips (you know, exposure to the "real world" stuff to which schools are constantly criticized for not exposing students), reduction in materials and resources, and removing subjects from the curriculum, "particularly in the arts". Although unclear from the article, I assume "the arts" include fine and liberal arts.

Liberal arts, you know, the stuff which informs us about the history which has shaped our thinking, the literature which helps us understand the thinking of others, and philosophy ... well never mind, the discipline which plumbs the depths of all other disciplines is of no concern. To hell with Socrates (who?), the unexamined life is the only life worth living. As Marco Rubio said, we need more plumbers and fewer philosophers.

Yes, perhaps these are the disciplines which most prepare the citizen for democratic participation, as well as understanding the news, you know, the stuff that NEWSpapers and electronic NEWS is supposed to provide. Well, maybe this is the point: Governments in Britain and the U.S. do not desire an informed public, so participants in these governments can do what they wish to do. After all, there does seem a "Public be damned" attitude exhibited both by politicians and media. After all, "much of the public expressed solidarity with the union's actions". How so if the politicians represent the public, and the media is in touch with the public?

Oh, m'god! Does that mean the politicians are "playing politics", as Conservative education secretary Nicky Morgan expressed?! Is it only politicians who can "play politics"? What about teachers? Certainly they are citizens in a democracy, and democracy is a political system, so how is it teachers are excluded from "playing politics"? Perhaps Conservative education secretary Nicky Morgan can teach me about this in supplement to my presumably poor public education.

Oh, well ....


#3

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#5

and Morgan condemned the strike as "playing politics" and "unnecessary"

And what the bloody hell do politicians do? They draw fat salaries and travel allowance and Parliamentary luncheons whilst playing at politics!


#6

The US took a far wiser course. We've actually been implementing the austerity agenda for years, slowly and from the bottom up. Since Reagan, years of work went into re-training the US public about poverty, human rights, and related issues, deeply dividing us, pitting us against each other by class and race. During very difficult times in the past, Americans had the tendency to ultimately unite to push back, poor and middle class, workers and the jobless, for the common good. That's not going to happen this time.

Starting in the 1980s, the US began shipping out a massive share of our jobs, significantly reducing overall wages, creating an
abundant surplus of job-ready workers who are desperate for any job at any wage, grateful to replace you at far less than you're paid. And we ended actual welfare in the 1990s, ensuring that there's nothing to fall back on. As we've grown poorer, tax revenues have been shrinking. In spite of this, the US govt has continued bestowing massive tax cuts/handouts on corporations and to the very rich. We built a massive prison system that makes the old Soviet gulag look puny in comparison -- all at extraordinary cost. To top off all of this, the US pursued the longest, most expensive war in our history, accumulating massive debt that we can't pay.

Good old austerity. We watch now as the rich do to the middle class what the middle class already did to the poor, and there's nothing we can do about it.


#7

It works, and while it's a tremendously complex issue, the US has been proof of this. Who was it who wrote that anything -- if repeated often enough by those in positions of authority -- will become accepted as fact by the "masses," no matter how insane?


#8

Inveighing against 'austerity' doesn't change the fact that we live in a world of limited resources.
-- The article's author and others ought to speak some words to that, and to their belief that we should devote more money towards education and less to the military, and/or for 'tax-breaks' for wealthy persons and 'wealthy' successful corporations, etc.

That last leads to a discussion of just how successful and well-off a person is allowed to be in a 'more equal' society.


#9

Wage slaves on zero hours contracts helping to make the Tory elite wealthier don't need to know about Socrates, examined lives, and all those, silly 'impractical'subjects you mentioned. And please, let's not let them be politically informed about democracy and their rights, might give them ideas.


#10

And they were all in there because the people who owned the barnyard liked to have a goose for dinner every now and then.


#11

Bravo Hobgoblin! It's just that this silly site has no provision for immediately response to responders.


#12

Oh yeah, Sublimeister, well I've got a response to you:

CREON:
The riddling Sphinx induced us to neglect
mysterious
crimes and rather seek solution
of troubles at our feet. (Sophocles, Oedipus the King. (Trans.) Grene, David
PART I:160)

All we need do is "seek solution of troubles at our feet". Ta' hell with "mysterious crimes". In the words of Candide, “let us cultivate our garden”. Move on, nothing to see here.