those on the right of the blogworld (sir humphrey et al), have been frothing over this one to an inordinate degree..and asking why those of differing ideological considerations/persuasions weren’t saying much about it.
in my case it’s a matter of “what’s to say?”..the allegations have been made, denied..and will be investigated..
chris trotter was just on breakfast tv talking about how benson-pope really cocked -up with his response to the allegations..he makes a good case for benson-pope just to have asked leave to make a personal statement to the house..to have put any actions in historical context, and to have apologised for any harm/trauma suffered by former pupils..an outright denial was not the way to go..
(update; i now see he could have got that little nugget of wisdom, verbatim, from a posting by dpf yesterday, cor!, i wonder if he reads the blogs? i reckon he would..)
and as for that historical context, graham reid at public address has an interesting and valid take on the topic..
having gone through that same education system, (and being a right lippy/stroppy little bastard), i had more than my fair share of beatings/canings..(as a foundation pupil of my secondary school i had the dubious honour of being the second boy to be caned in the history of the school..the boy i had been fighting with was the first..)
but my strongest memories of caning/strapping are from primary school..
sister dolorosa was the one who enjoyed being the disciplinarian in that school..she was a tall, cadaverous/gaunt woman..and the gleams in her eyes as she laid into these primary(!) school children were obvious to the beholder/spectator..
along one wall in her classroom (just by the door, so you had to walk past them all the time..a constant reminder of what was ‘in store’) she had a ‘gun-rack’ of canes..all bamboo of differing thicknesses and flexibility..as an added sophistication/improvement she had wrapped sello-tape around the striking ends of her canes..that made it hurt/sting more..(the combination of sello-tape, and cold winter mornings, and being caned on the hands, was particularly exquisite..)
she would linger over her choice of weapon..experimentally swishing a couple through the air..just to increase the terror levels in the victim/s and the watchers..
and of course, all the other children, (once again, primary school..little nippers..), had to watch their compatriots being punished..that was all part of the movie..
this is not to excuse benson-pope before any investigation, but more to give a glimpse of the mores of the system/times he operated in/under…
and of course, the obvious irony in this one is how we now look back in horror at what we allowed teachers to do to our children in the name of maintaining discipline and good order, and how those who howled in outrage and foretold the downfall of civilisation when it was proposed these practices be banned are the same ones/types who are now saying the same self-serving, self-justifying rubbish, over the proposal to repeal section 59 of the crimes act, and to stop parents being allowed to physically brutalise their chidren at will..
n.b. don’t forget the lunchtime debate on this subject at the dogs bollix, (cnr k & newton), this fri 12.30-1.30 between sue bradford and stephen franks from act…come along and join in the debate..(i’ll be over in hecklers corner. ha!)..