Friday, 29 July 2016

Roynon Attacks Free Speech Limpet - Latest in Mousehole School Hunger Strike - 2016

Day Fifteen, Mousehole School Hunger Strike and I just had a curious, rustic adventure, but I'll tell you about that in a minute. 
When I got into writing The Limpet and started campaigning on various issues, I started to realize more and more how people in official positions attempt to conjure up an air of authority about them, as if their's is the only way things can be done, and to suggest otherwise is tantamount to insanity.  However, if you are a citizen who wishes to raise a grievance with a public official, you must treat them as any other person and not defer to their own view of their status.  Thus we should feel free to strongly criticize the police when they commit wrong-doing, yet still it's the same police we must turn to when we need their help.  The same goes in all areas of public life.
It's one thing dealing with officials remotely, by letter and message, when they are physically distant and you do not meet them.  When trying to get answers from officials closer to home however, the same approach of equanimity must be used.  I'm sure that to some extent people feel reluctant to criticize officials with whom they have regular contact, such as our children's teachers, for example.  Personally, I'd rather not have to be doing it either, but feel that basic honesty demands it.
Well, my last blog post took us up to 22nd July, the last day of term for Mousehole School, in Cornwall.  The phone call I made, asking for a meeting, was ignored and the school 'broke-up', perhaps more literally this time than ever before.  Several days later came the final mocking gesture from Chris, a letter, written in response to the email I'd sent on 21st July (see last blog).   In this letter, Chris keeps repeating that he once offered me a meeting, ignoring the actual, recorded history of what happened and all the offers of meetings I made that he rejected.  He repeats his preposterous claim that he wanted to talk to me all along and invites me to drop round to the office and arrange a meeting!  (A slight problem there is the fact that the school is closed until September, by which time the capitalist take-over will be a done deal.  So, if that isn't, as we say in Britain, taking the piss, I really don't know what is....

Well, as I said, today is day 15 of my hunger-Strike and I thought I'd get some exercise and publicize my STRIKE at the same time by doing a little rustic postering.  There's nothing like getting out on a bike and exploring the back-lanes of Cornwall, a beautiful and invigorating experience and if you use it to achieve a political aim at the same time, well, so much the better!  The birds were sweetly singing in the trees as I trundled forth about my little mission, always aware that I am lucky to enjoy Free Speech and a Free Press, not like many of my friends overseas.  I was up near the House on the Moor, and I'd just finished putting up my copy of The Limpet No.161, advertising the Strike.  As I cycled out of the hamlet I heard a sound that reminded me of an angry farmer.  It was a sort of rustic, bellowing roar and as it receded into the Cornish breeze, I thought I heard the roared words "they come down just as easily as they go up!" or something similar.  It was hard to tell as the wind was blowing the roar away and it was already somewhat distant and remote.  I vaguely took it to be an enraged farmer, if anything.
A few minutes later I was sharing my joyful freedom with the world by glueing another copy of The Limpet to a stout, granitic gatepost when I heard the subtle crunch of a bicycle drawing up near me.  I was genuinely surprised to see my child's head-teacher (CEO) mounted on a Chairman Mao bicycle, dressed in sporty garb and silently filming me.  I guess he was collecting evidence for the FBI or MI5.  What happened next was, as we say in Cornwall, gorwir, or surreal.  Sadly, what happened underlines the fact that off-the-record dialogue has no value, as a verbal exchange ensued...   Basically, I turned round and there he was filming me.... I said "Chris!  I've been wanting to talk to you..." and he responded rather robitically that he had offered me a meeting!  It was not a happy meeting.  Chris made it clear that his mission was to tear down The Limpet - obviously he wishes to suppress dissent and that is not too democratic, is it?  I pointed out the absurdity of the situation to him - I've never known anyone act like that before, except one cop when I was putting up a poster in Penzance calling them fascists after they murdered Ian Tomlinson.  Anyway, I had to physically stand in front of my poster to stop my child's enraged head-teacher from destroying my beautiful artwork...!  What a crazy world it is these days....  I pointed out to Chris that we could be having a productive meeting at that very moment - but he said that he was 'on holiday'.  This is what officials do - they hide behind officialdom.  Strangely, I'd imagined he'd spend his holiday on a sunny beach far away somewhere, rather than chasing me across the Shyre, frantically ripping down my samizdat posters and roaring like a crazy old farmer - hey ho, life's full of surprises!  When I asked him why he was afraid to meet me in public debate with a camera running, he could not formulate an answer at all, but just smirked silently.  When I pointed out the absurdity of the situation we were now in, and how this had resulted from his evasiveness and avoidance of me, he curiously tried to correct my speech and say the situation you are in.  To me, this demonstrated a sort of disconectedness whereby he refused to acknowledge that he was even part of an interaction with me.  It's almost as if some people only recognize 'official' dialogue, that they themselves have initiated and can control - anything else is irrelevant because it is spontaneous and free.  I've come across this attitude so many times before but it seemed so inappropriate then,  as I stood in front of a field-gate, physically protecting my self-expression from the predations of my child's teacher!  At no point did he mention the Hunger Strike or ask after my well-being.  After a while, Chris got bored of ignoring my questions and appeals for sincere dialogue and silently rode away, just as silently as he'd manifested in the first place.  I called after him that he worked for us and that we pay his wages.  He had no answer to this, but simply rode away without a roar or a murmur.

Email to Rev Sian Yates, Vicar of Penzance, 29:7:2016;
Dear Sian,
I've heard a rumor that you're position is that you're not 'officially' allowed to talk to me on the above. Could you not have told me this by responding to my initial approaches, long before the Hunger Strike started? Rather than using intermediaries, I'd take it as an act of Christian love and virtue if you would acknowledge my communications and start responding to me.    Chris is clinging to his 'official' position of being 'on holiday' - although he seems to find time to chase me down the street and film me.
The reason I started this strike is because the people who wish to capitalize education are refusing to talk to me, a parent.  As part of PAT, you're right at the centre of this drama and can approach me in any capacity you wish, official or real.  When public bodies seek to monetize education, whilst stifling debate on the topic, that's what's known as 'class-war'.  
Bon appetite!


To The President of Indonesia:
Mercy For The Prisoners:
Dear President,
I write to ask you to please intervene and protect the life of the prisoners who have just had a stay of execution from firing squad.  Since their crimes were drug-offences, the death penalty is not the answer.  I suggest that your nation would gain a great deal of very real respect in the international community if these and all future executions were stopped.  
I implore you to remember the value of a human life, how this is a spiritual thing that no man has the right to take away.  Please show mercy, and show the world that Indonesia is great enough to show mercy and start rehabilitating, rather than executing criminals.
Yours sincerely,

Jeremy Schanche, Great Britain, 29.7.2016
Well, take it easy, but take it.... as some folks used to say once...   :-)

No comments: