I left school once. It was a very long time ago.
Whilst I was at school, we did lessons. We did History, Geography, English, Maths, RE, Sport, Music, French. We did Chemistry, Physics, Biology.
I learnt quite a few things.
In history I learnt that we used to kill each other and still do.
In geography I learnt where Ceylon, Yugoslavia and Rhodesia were, and why rivers don't go in straight lines.
In English, I learnt English. And that a conjunction is something with which one should never start a sentence, and a preposition is something one should never end a sentence with.
In maths, I learnt that e^(pi.i) + 1 = 0. Also that triangles don't fall over, and the square on the hypotenuse is the sum of the squares on the other two sides. And that minus b plus or minus the square root of b squared minus four a c all over two a lets you solve a quadratic.
In RE I learnt that thou shalt love the LORD thy GOD with all thy heart and with all thy heart and with all thy mind and with all thy soul and with all thy strength, and thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, and there is none other Commandment greater than these.
I learnt that I was crap at sport.
I learnt that I was good at music and I could play things.
I learnt that, although my great (....) grandfather was French in 1066, the language escaped me. Even though the inhabitants of dear England spoke it for 400 years.
I learnt in chemistry that by mixing certain substances you could get quite high, also blow bloody great holes in brickwork.
I learnt in physics that what goes up must come down, that gases expand when heated, and that if you put a battery and a small electric motor on the LT side of a transformer you could electrocute wasps with the HT side without too much personal risk.
I learnt little from biology.
You can see from this that my career path was mapped out by the time I left. I was to study Tonmeistry at University, and work in the BBC Radiophonic workshop. Apart from failing the A levels.
So I got a job. It was a pretty shit job, as jobs go. Shift work, which fucks with your head every time the shift changes, and for which I blame what I am now. A penguin with a hook. You had to work, too. Quite hard. None of this having a day off, unless you were dead. You got the morning off for being dead.
The boss was a complete cunt. A northerner, and a Yorkshireman at that, who'd had polio and had a huge chip on his shoulder. Who would sack people simply for being late or lazy or crap. And wouldn't employ anyone who was in a union. He was fucking BRILLIANT. He bollocked me on a daily basis. He sold out his firm to a Big Company and took me with him, simply because I was a cunt too. But a cunt who worked fucking hard when he needed to. And a cunt who was earning Bloody Good Money by the time he was 22 and all his mates were coming out of Uni looking for jobs, mostly in the public sector, many as teachers.
I was lucky.
I would like to say that, had I done what I was "meant" to do, I would have been canny enough to suss out that the whole bloody civil service pensions thing was a huge Ponzi scheme, and if anyone else had tried to get away with it they'd have gone to jail, but I dont know. I like to think I'm not so thick that I could have been conned.
So, there we have it.
If I have a pension, I've bought it. You haven't. If I want a day off I'll have one. I don't expect to be paid for it. I owe you nothing. Anything I have I have worked for, myself. That's not pride either. It's common fucking sense.
So, on this day of strike action, I say to you, teachers and public sector workers:
Just. Fuck. Off.
Now get back to work.