Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Chris Port Blog #310. Education is the emptying of a bucket over the lighting of a fire’. (Not William Butler Yeats)

Education is the emptying of a bucket over the lighting of a fire’. (Not William Butler Yeats)
© Chris Port, 2nd August 2011

This is a follow-up to #243. NPF Terrorism and the Stockholm Syndrome (Bullying, Stress & Suicide - and the Power of Art to Fight Back) at http://martygull.blogspot.com/2011/04/chris-port-blog-243-npf-terrorism-and.html

The original post was inspired by an article in The Guardian dated 25th April 2011 entitled Stress drives teachers out of schools

‘Stress is driving increasing numbers of teachers out of the profession, with some even considering suicide…’

The entire debate thread in the Times Educational Supplement can be read at http://community.tes.co.uk/forums/p/484651/6913439.aspx#6913439

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K: Just a general thumbs up these things need to be said imo, as part of a healthy broad spectrum society, but people like you who bring them up, will often be considered nutters by many . . . . . in a predominantly insane world, where 'insanity' has become legitimised and necessary, then idealistic humanitarian voices, like your own, are not listened to. They are feared.

We just keep taking the pills and leading lives of quiet despair.

Personally i can play both games, but sometimes I wonder for how long. It's tiring thinking your own renegade thoughts whilst keeping up appearances.

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C: I appreciate and understand what you are trying to achieve with your blog, however is

‘I am advocating that all bullies must be identified and publicly named and shamed. They must be publicly humiliated and disgraced and ejected from public service in show trials to set an example and act as a deterrent.’

really a productive way to deal with the situation? Humiliating the bully in public is no better than the bullying itself. Surely we want to be better than the bully? 


‘Anyone who endorses bullying, or acquiesces to it, or is complacent about it, is also unfit for teaching or any other public service. To claim that this disgraceful behaviour is 'called life' is unforgivable in a teacher. Shame on you. Depression and bills are no excuse for kowtowing to evil. Make no mistake, bullying is evil. Or do you wish to defend it as 'part of life'?’

is pretty much the sort of thing I'd expect a bully to say. You are saying someone is somehow inferior simply because they hold a different opinion to yourself. You are trying to shame them into thinking the same as you and lower their self esteem into the bargain. These are exactly the sort of things a bully does in order to get what they want.

I strongly advise you to rethink your approach to your campaign. I too see the effects of management pushing too much work onto staff and would like to see a better system whereby these stresses did not impact on the health of workers, but I'd prefer to do it in a manner that did not introduce new stresses such as guilt and fear of being called unfit for teaching simply because I wish to use a different approach.
As such, I will not take part in your survey, nor your campaign.

Thanks for reading.

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K: ‘As such, I will not take part in your survey, nor your campaign.’

No, neither will I. But I do value free speech, even if I don't agree wholehearteldy with another person's stance. I do appreciate thought provoking ideas/opinions. I hope i made that clear in my previous post. If they are too extreme (for me) or personally emotionally driven, I lose interest. Some people on the other hand, may become more interested by this.

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Me: ‘Education is the emptying a bucket over the lighting of a fire’. (Not William Butler Yeats).

I’m sorry for the delay in reply. As a consequence of prolonged bullying, after 10 years teaching I am about to become homeless. It’s been preoccupying my mind, as it must preoccupy the minds of those still fortunate enough to be fearful for their jobs.

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing” (Popular 20th century saying, paraphrasing Edmund Burke [1770] and often misattributed to him)

“When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.” (Edmund Burke, Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents, 1770).

The rapacity of evil men, and the folly of appeasing them, was revealed to the world in 1938. That was 73 years ago. The lesson is clear. If evil is unchallenged, it is encouraged.

With specific regard to education, I am personally aware (as, I suspect, are you) of headteachers and senior management who have felt free to engage in the following activities:

  • Personal and systemic bullying (‘reigns of terror’)
  • Nepotism
  • Sexual intimidation, sexual assault and abuse of power
  • Knowingly appointing and promoting sexual abusers
  • Racism
  • Exam cheating
  • Large scale fraud and embezzlement

Please refer to the broadly representative examples below for case studies in the public domain:

Disgraced head teacher is suspended again

Revealed: The racist, sexist, foul-mouthed primary school HEADTEACHER who called parents 'Muslim f******'

Disgraced headteacher Nigel Griffiths gets three year exam ban

Headteacher, 44, stole thousands from school fund to pay for daughter's hen night pirate costumes

Headteacher jailed for eight months

Top headteacher held over £500,000 Cuba trip expenses fraud

Headteacher breaks silence to deny £1.5m fraud claim

These cases are mere public protrusions. There are vast icebergs of corruption beneath the headlines. The fate of lookouts and whistleblowers is well known (but not spoken of). They are drowned in sacks by moonlight…

The recent News of the World scandal is a microcosm of our education system. Schools have sacrificed truth for sales figures, integrity for boardroom intrigue. Corporate misgovernance, systemic corruption, sickening hypocrisy, the callous destruction of human beings for personal profit - all of these News of the World shenanigans are everyday events in the British education system.

I stand by my comments. In fact, I go further. Bullies, and their allies, and their apologists, must be purged from the system by all means necessary. Education is more than a ‘safe job’ (actually, it’s nothing of the sort). Education is the survival of our nation. If teachers and management don’t have the stomach for the fight against corruption, then they may be part of the problem and perhaps need to quit the field. To borrow from ‘Bomber’ Harris:

“The management started this war under the rather childish delusion that they were going to bully everyone else, and nobody was going to fight back. At News of the World, Southside Business College, and half a hundred other places, they put their rather naive theory into operation. They sowed the wind, and now they are going to reap the whirlwind.” ~ Marty ‘B*stard’ Gull

“We are going to scourge corrupt management from end to end. We are purging institutions scandal by scandal and ever more terribly in order to make it impossible for idiots to go on running them. That is our object, and we shall pursue it relentlessly.” ~ Marty ‘B*stard’ Gull

“I do not personally regard the whole of the remaining management of Britain as worth the bones of one decent teacher.” ~ Marty ‘B*stard’ Gull

Teachers, has your Board of Governors put you at the mercy of a psychopath? In a 2005 study at Surrey University (http://works.bepress.com/katar​ina_fritzon/1/), 3 out of 11 personality disorders were found to be more common in senior management than in deeply disturbed criminal psychiatric patients. The study described such management types as successful psychopaths and the criminals as unsuccessful psychopaths…

This was a 2005 study conducted by Belinda Board and Katarina Fritzon, psychologists at Surrey University. They interviewed senior management personnel and gave them profile tests designed to identify various personality disorders. The results were then compared with those of criminal psychiatric patients at Broadmoor Hospital. As stated, 3 out of 11 personality disorders were more prevalent in senior management than in deeply disturbed criminals.

The 3 most common personality disorders identified in senior management were:

1. Histrionic personality disorder: including superficial charm, insincerity, egocentricity and manipulation.

2. Narcissistic personality disorder: including grandiosity, self-focused lack of empathy for others, exploitativeness and independence.

3. Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder: including perfectionism, excessive devotion to work, rigidity, stubbornness and dictatorial tendencies.

Do any of these ring a bell? If so, your Board of Governors may have put you at the mercy of a psychopath. Psychopaths have no mercy whatsoever. They will happily bully you to death and thoroughly enjoy the experience of power.

See also: “Is your boss a psychopath?” by Oliver James


Information for teachers and lecturers experiencing workplace bullying

Yeats claimed that ‘education is not the filling of a bucket but the lighting of a fire’. Unfortunately he was wrong. As Hume demonstrated, you can’t derive an ‘ought’ from an ‘is’.

Education nowadays is all about standardization. Yeats would take one look at our schools and rewrite ‘education is the emptying a bucket over the lighting of a fire’. Standardization is indoctrination by the back door.

Big business and tiny minds now contradict the laws of wisdom. The more disastrous their ideas are proved to be, the more they are promoted as the future of education.

It’s as though terrorists prefaced each atrocity with a PR statement claiming that it was regrettable but necessary ‘progress’.

“Ah, progress. Why didn’t you say so before? That’s alright then. Nobody can stand in the way of progress…

What’s that? Define progress? Don’t be stupid. That’s philosophy. We fired all the philosophy faculty last month. Who needs to think when the answers are in the company brochure? That’s progress for you...”

In the UK, the establishment has now completed its transformation of schools into corporate indoctrination camps. It is impossible for free thinkers to exist in the UK education system.

An American friend recently elaborated on his definition of indoctrination. I thought it seemed a fairly accurate description of schools in the UK...

1. It is a set of unprovable principles.

2. Such principles are often instilled at such an age that the individual has not yet developed the cognitive abilities to recognize them as false. This means that they are instilled as not to be questioned.

3. But when they are questioned it is met with slanted answers or outright false claims.

4. There is almost always an underlying hidden self-serving agenda by those in the ranks (elected leaders, elite in society, administrators, etc.) for requiring such a doctrine to be instilled.

5. It almost always (such as with religion or patriotism) demands your blind, unquestioned loyalty or at the very least that you remain obedient to this set of principles.

I repeat, such disastrous indoctrination, and such shameless parasites feeding off the public purse, need to be publicly ridiculed and humiliated and driven out of office. Ridicule won’t do the job on its own. But, to destroy the ‘reign of terror’, it’s a good start…

Rupert the Shark
© Chris Port, 8th July 2011
(to the tune of Rupert the Bear http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLrMLPHJ7iI)

There’s a little shark
And he’s swimming through the dark
Looking up at you
People in the park
Petrol loves a little spark
He’s your Fu Manchu
There’s a billion Chinese to be sold
TV Stars from Hong Kong
Start with Wendi and her government
Might sing along

Oh, Rupert, Rupert Murdoch
Everyone buy his news
Rupert, Rupert Murdoch
Governments play along
or you will just lose

There is Becca Brooks
Little Jamie Murdoch too
And they’ve made their bones
They are Rupert's hacks
And they're listening to you
So I’d lock your phones
There's a mega deal not far from here
And they call it News Corp!
Where you'll meet a little emperor
Or start a war…

Oh, Rupert, Rupert Murdoch
Everyone buy his news
Rupert, Rupert Murdoch
Governments play along
or you will just lose

Oh, Rupert, Rupert Murdoch
Everyone buy his news
Rupert, Rupert Murdoch
Governments play along
or you will just lose

Rupert, bloody Rupert

Hey Gove
(A Peaceful Song For The Summer)
© Chris Port, 7th July 2011

Hey Gove, don’t go insane
Take a pension to pay a banker
We’re starving like dead men out in the rain
So you can fart around like w*nkers

Hey Gove, don’t cross the road
We would hate you to get run over
The living are stepping over the dead
As you begin to move them closer

And every time you steal the milk, Hey Gove, your guilt
Is spilling its guts over our torture
For well you know that it’s a sh*t who pays the rich
By making our schools a whole lot poorer
Na na na, na na, na na na na
Hey Gove, don’t trust your seat
You have flushed us right down the sh*tter
September and school is out in the street
In the sick heat with pints of bitter

So lap it up and drink it down, Hey Gove, you clown
We’re waiting for Schama to perform to
And don’t you think that it’s the calm before the storm
That’s laying its hand upon your shoulder?
Na na na, na na, na na na na, yeah
Hey Gove, don’t take it bad
Take your pension and live in clover
The living are stepping over the dead
As we begin to move much closer
Closer, closer, closer, closer, closer, oh!

Na na na, na-na na na
Na-na na na, hey Gove
Na na na, na-na na na
Na-na na na, hey Gove

Na na na, na-na na na
Na-na na na, hey Gove
Na na na, na-na na na
Na-na na na, hey Gove

Na na na, na-na na na
Na-na na na, hey Gove
Na na na, na-na na na
Na-na na na, hey Gove

Onward, Politicians
© Chris Port, 18th July 2011
(To the tune of Onward, Christian Soldiers  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZOufj40teM&feature=related)

Onward, politicians, waving like a flag
With your jobs and pensions safely in the bag
See the mogul Murdoch, legal as the shark
Bleeding in the water, murder in the dark

Onward, politicians, waving like a flag
With your jobs and pensions safely in the bag

At first sign of trouble, advertising flees
Go then Rupert Murdoch, go down on your knees
Law’s foundation trembles at the spread of rot
Cleanse the nation’s temples on this curséd spot

Onward, politicians, waving like a flag
With your jobs and pensions safely in the bag

Like stampeding a*seholes saving their own arse
Sacred cows are running into abattoirs
Parties are divided, factious are the tribes
Pieces of the action, buying peace with bribes

Onward, politicians, waving like a flag
With your jobs and pensions safely in the bag

Newspapers may perish, nations rise and fall
But the corporations always make the call
Parliaments will always vote for their money
Men just float tiny boats on their lawless sea

Onward, politicians, waving like a flag
With your jobs and pensions safely in the bag

Listen then you Gleesters to your happy songs
Little sips of Lethe, drowning out all wrongs
Money pulls the drawstrings of your puppet grins
Whores of Orwell singing, hanging your washing

Onward, politicians, waving like a flag
With your jobs and pensions safely in the bag

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Me: For anyone interested in what is happening to the arts in education and politics - this conversation thread has become quite interesting…

“ … Schools are now heavily promoting the entertainments industry in the arts curriculum. This is inherently right-wing because it tends to favour an uncritical approach to ‘traditional’ values. Tapping into the current vogue for light entertainment and humiliation contests, schools are disastrously misappropriating an X-Factor/Apprentice approach to give them a spurious ‘relevance’. Most students are now taught a love of fame and money over love of the art form. Many develop inflated egos and delusions of grandeur.

The entertainments industry has one of the highest unemployment rates of any profession. It is also notoriously brutal and corrupt with a glut of wasted talent. To exploit naïve young dreams for school publicity, then cynically throw them into shark-infested waters is morally disgusting and nothing to do with education.

Even more sinister is the creep of religious fundamentalism under the guise of faith schools and traditional values. As the ‘good harmless fun’ of entertainment is whipped up to hysterical levels, analytical subjects such as Film Studies are being quietly pushed out. I can’t tell you the devious games that management play to ‘prove’ that there isn’t a demand for these subjects. Having spoken off the record to students, there IS a demand. But this is diverted through sneaky ploys when students are given ‘advice’ on their subject choices.

The underlying reason for these sneaky power games is political. Right-wing, narrow-minded traditionalists have infiltrated senior management, boards of governors, and local councils. They secretly view the intellectual side of the arts as politically biased and dangerously subversive. This may have been true in the 1970s and 1980s as the Marxists fought their last battles in the system, but it’s a damnable lie now. The arts are the epitome of even-handed analysis and criticism. It’s the right-wing who are the new dangerous subversives, hijacking the education system for political indoctrination…”


  1. Further research:

    'Teacher set to sue following gross misconduct sacking' in 'This is Essex' at http://www.thisistotalessex.co.uk/Teacher-set-sue-following-gross-misconduct/story-12941596-detail/story.html

    Transcript of "File on 4" [BBC Radio 4] at http://news.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/bsp/hi/pdfs/21_02_06_headteachers.pdf

  2. Further research::

    'Dictator' headteacher accused of affairs with staff in Daily Mail at http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-407137/Dictator-headteacher-accused-affairs-staff.html

  3. 'Ofsted and the psychosis of failure' at http://mrread.blogspot.com/2006/11/ofsted-and-psychosis-of-failure.html