Standing Up For The Jersey Way

"I have often wondered why it is that an insignificant, tiny Island should, from time to time, produce considerable numbers of men and women of outstanding character and ability, wholly disparate to its size. Is it something we have inherited from our Norman ancestors, although diluted over the years by French, English and other strains? Or is it that Islanders, such as we, in their formative years tend to be left to fend for themselves perhaps more than in larger societies? Again, is it that our schools...have maintained a consistency in standards of education and behaviour which other, less fortunate places, have not been able to do?"

- Sir Peter Crill CBE, Bailiff of Jersey 1986-1995

One is appalled to note the proliferation of local websites whose sole purpose seems to be to drag the island's fine name through the mud - or to borrow a phrase, to 'shaft Jersey internationally'.

Thus one has resolved to correct this imbalance. This 'blog' is dedicated to projecting a more positive image of our island, and to celebrating the tireless efforts of the exceptional men and women who have helped make Jersey the stable prosperous and contented community it is today.

Correspondents are encouraged to leave their own messages of gratitude and support for our selfless and devoted leaders...

Friday, 30 April 2010

Spare The Rod...Spoil The Teacher

Much as one has become accustomed to reports of gangs of juvenile thugs running amok through the once tranquil streets of St Helier, an even more disturbing development has been the increasingly frequent demonstrations one sees locally, particularly that witnessed at the weekend.

Normally one dismisses these displays of impotent rage as merely the tantrums of the island's underclass, that easily manipulated stratum of malcontents and ne'erdowells one sadly encounters in any society, even one as free, open and meritocratic as ours.

However, what made Saturday's events of special concern was the number of members of the teaching profession who took part in that parade of shame through the town centre.

One uses the term 'profession' in the loosest possible sense, for surely any teacher who contemplates strike action, indeed open displays of insubordination against their employers and the island's authorities, foregoes any right to such an esteemed status among their fellow islanders.

The principle function of any educational establishment must be to install a sense of discipline, unquestioning obedience and self sacrifice among its charges. If we see a lack of such virtues among our younger generation then Saturday's events surely indicate why this is so.

Indeed, having been subjected to a curriculum loaded with Marxist influenced dogma, and filth such as 'PSHE' (little more than an incitement to immorality, fornication and sodomy) - a curriculum moreover imparted by politically motivated agitators masquerading as teachers - is it any wonder that sections of our youth embark on nihilistic rampages through the town centre?
Left free to roam wild by their parents, no doubt while they are attending demonstrations orchestrated by the likes of Mr Syvret and his union cohorts?

These renegade teachers would do well to follow the example of another professional body whose conduct has always been beyond reproach.

Could one, for example, ever envisage the island's lawyers holding their community to ransom over ridiculous pay demands?

And when advocates demonstrate in the Royal Square one can rest assured that it is always in the cause of decency and honour, as when their applause drowned out the cacophony of insults aimed at Bailiff Michael Birt after his inauguration?.

Indeed, just as the presence of Barbary Apes on Gibraltar is said to signify continued British rule, might one also suggest that the presence of advocates on our island augurs well for the continuation of the 'Jersey Way'?

One has always opined that the great strength of the law is that it is the one profession to have successfully resisted the morally corrosive influence of Marxist ideology that has pervaded Western societies from the 1960s onwards.

Perhaps the most pernicious manifestion of this was the abolition of corporal punishment in schools. One scarcely needed any great powers of prediction to foresee the deterioration in pupil behaviour the latter would bring about, but what was more difficult to predict - and has perhaps been underestimated - is the deleterious effect that abolition has had on members of the teaching profession itself.

One remembers one's own schooldays, when one seemed to spend more time avoiding Sir's blackboard eraser hurtling through the air than one did on one's studies. When a moment's inattention was 'rewarded' with a rap across the knuckles or a firm 'clip round the ear'.

But one remembers Sir with reverence, for he was also a much respected exemplar of the values that one grew to embrace and cherish. One can hardly say the same of the individuals who brought shame on themselves and their once noble profession last Saturday.

Therefore can we be surprised , that deprived of a firm moral lead that so many of today's younger generation resort to the kind of degenerate behaviour we read of so regularly in the local press? Indeed, that today's pupils are deprived of such character forming experiences could be said to constitute a politically correct form of child abuse.

In hindsight one regards one's beatings as a wholly positive educational experience. Certainly, one always remembers Sir's wise words when he suggested that if a boy had not earned at least one good thrashing by the time he had left school, he had betrayed a distinct lack of moral fibre and initiative which hardly bode well for his future prospects in life.

In the wake of the unfortunate allegations surrounding Haut de la Garenne one can perhaps understand the reticence of our leaders to proclaim the virtues of corporal punishment, but now these have happily been cleared up it is high time that we once again restored it as an integral part of the island's school curriculum.

For we should be proud of the fact that thrashing miscreant children is a long-established part of Jersey's heritage and celebrate its contribution to island life.

We owe so much to those schoolmasters of yore, whose judiciously administered beatings to our elder statesmen during their formative years, helped to make them the great men who shaped the Jersey we know and love today.

Thus one envisages a 'world class' system of character forming chastisement. One that the island could show off to the rest of the world with pride.

Naturally, all the necessary safeguards would need to be put in place. The rule of thumb would be strictly observed; medical supervision would be on hand at all times to ensure that no permanent harm is done; and any beating would be curtailed at the first sign of blood, regardless of whether the full punishment had been delivered. And, most importantly, to demonstrate there was no residual ill-will, both parties should shake hands once the thrashing had been administered.

Moreover while one fully understands why Senator Le Marquand wishes to establish a register of sexual perverts residing locally, he must surely realise after Saturday's sinister events that the greatest threat to the moral welfare of the island's youth lies not in the alleged child batterers and sexual predators in the island's childrens' homes, but in the classrooms of the island's schools in the form of politically motivated teachers whose sole aim is seemingly to sow strife and class hatred.

Therefore one calls on Senator Le Marquand, Education Minister Reed, Mario Lundy, indeed all those who are dedicated to the welfare of the island's children, to establish forthwith a register of political subversives to prevent innocent young minds being corrupted by those who preach perverse political dogma.

Those identified as potentially subversive elements could then be prevented from coming into contact with and harming vulnerable children.

A start could be made by summarily dismissing all those who took part in last Saturday's wretched spectacle. (And of course identifying offenders should not provide any great problem given the prevalence of CCTV cameras in St Helier.)

Some readers may wonder whether the savings incurred by this move could finance a more generous pay settlement for those teachers who remain, particularly as their workloads would no doubt be greatly increased to cover for their former colleagues. However they would be well advised to demonstrate moderation, good sense and restraint, and instead insist that any savings be put towards the purchase of the finest canes, birches and leather belts that money can buy.

That way they restore order and discipline in the classroom and on the streets, and regain the trust and rest of their fellow islanders.

And last - but not least - earn the future gratitude of today's pupils.

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