On Monday, a smug David Cameron tried to pull a fast one as he launched his government’s new education policy. Trust the Tories with your vote and parents will be rewarded with some, ‘flat cash,’ for their schools, he promised. (He was obviously hinting at the fact that those dodgy gits in the Labour party would only be offering, ‘lumpy cash). There will be no cuts for schools under our government, he boasted. As con men go, and he is a Conservative with a capital CON, Dave is right up there with the best. When questioned by Nick Robinson about whether the lack of inflation rises amounted to an actual cut in the education budget, the Prime Minister snorted with derision. The absence of inflation proofed rises didn’t equate to actual cuts, if anyone needed proof they could go and ask the nurses.
The education secretary, Nicola Morgan, tried to get one over her predecessor by announcing that pupils would be taught, good old fashioned education. So, did that mean Latin, Greek and the Bible were back on the agenda then? Well, no, not that old fashioned, that would be just plain silly, (are you listening, Michael Gove?) but times tables would be back and every child in the country would have to learn them, just like she had to.
Just to check that she was telling the truth and had actually learned her times tables, one wag of a reporter asked her what 11×12 was. Nicola didn’t have a clue and wasn’t going to make herself look any more of a thick bint than she did already by answering the question. Michael Gove would have been in like a rat up a drainpipe, though he may have answered in ancient Greek.
Later, the reporter tried to pull the same ungentlemanly trick on her boss. What, asked the reporter, (working the calculator app on his phone,) is 7×8? Mr C wasn’t going to be caught out by that old chestnut. When he was at school he employed a team of oiks to answer tricky maths questions like that. ‘I do my times tables with the kids in the car on the way to school,’ he quipped. The times tables must be chanted on those few occasions when he’s not listening to, The Smiths, a rock group he’s been banned from listening to by Johnny Marr, one of the band’s members. He’s a rebel, our Dave, isn’t he?
Not to be outdone, Ed Balls cut short a dinner date to appear on the BBC’s Newsnight program. Still wiping gravy from his chin, Ed claimed to have lots of businessmen’s names in his little black book. The presenter obviously though Ed was telling pork pies and asked him to name one.
Ed shook his head and simpered as though he was about to announce that he and Richard Branson shared a bacon butty most mornings. He didn’t name drop in the end, but he did announce that he had just had dinner with a businessman that very evening. This could have been with the head of M&S’ food department, or Fat Bert from the Greasy Spoon, but Ed wasn’t going to let us in on the secret, he was determined to keep us guessing.
The reporter didn’t believe Ed knew any businessmen at all. Nobody liked him enough to take him to dinner, surely?
‘Who?’ he asked.
Ed looked for the door and considered doing a runner but the waiter with the IPad full of tricky questions blocked his path. The tormentor licked his lips in anticipation of a tasty tit bit and glared at the Shadow Chancellor.
Ed decided to skip the pudding course and clicked his fingers in the air. ‘Bill,’ he shouted, ‘Bill, Bill.’
I don’t think he left a tip.
Later in the week we had the story of the two hundred year old, Meditating Monk. I’m not going to go into too much detail on that one as I covered it in a blog on the day. Suffice to say that I hope he’s been given a cup of tea and a biscuit, he must be parched.
Yesterday, a warning was issued to all supermarkets regarding the placement, in-store, of the humble daffodil. It appears that, for years now, people have been mistaking them for onions and chucking them willy-nilly, into the stew pot.
It occurs to me that these daft daff boilers can never have handled real onions or they would have been alerted by the lack of tears and the pong that takes in excess of thirty hand washes to be rid of. There is a chance, I suppose, that some of the stew-scoffing folk were Welsh and the tears may have begun to flow as the mere sight of their national plant made them a tad emotional. They may well have had bad colds too.
This morning, I had a long hard think about this problem, and in the end I feel I have to agree with the Department of Daft Warnings. I mean, it isn’t that long since I went to my local corner shop for some breakfast cereal and mistakenly bought a pack of Brillo pads instead of the Shredded Wheat that I had intended to buy. I ate three, (yes, I can eat three no matter what the advert says,) before the missus complained that the new, wheat-coloured, pan-cleaning pads were disintegrating in the sink.
Chomping Brillo pads is not recommended unless you really need to give your brace and fillings a good clean.
Right, got to go, jobs to do, our windows have more smears than a busy pathology lab.
Until next week.