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December 07, 2010



Have to say closing schools for a week is outrageous. Teachers should go to their local schools if they can't reach their own. That way pupils (who are usually locals) can depend on teachers being there even if they aren't the usual ones. Same applies to classroom assistants and admin staff. You'd have fully staffed schools and no disruption for pupils and parents who are left at the last minute having to make arrangements for their children. This policy of going to a local workplace applies throughout the Civil Service and should be enforced by local authorities when it comes to teachers and staff in schools. An extra week's holiday is just not on.


Poor old Stewart Stevenson. I had no idea the Scottish Government was specifically responsible for getting roads gritted. I thought we had councils for that! Not according to Charles Gordon today. (What a complete embarrassment he was using language more suitable for the pub than the Scottish Parliament.) Nevertheless he failed to acknowledge that councils throughout Scotland are at the centre of co ordinating the response to adverse weather but he absolved them of all responsibility (well they're mostly Labour controlled after all!) If Gordon thinks his conduct today showed genuine concern for the plight many people faced on Monday he is deluded. It was clear from start to finish that his performance was merely about Party-politics.

But here's a thing: on Mondays I don't work (and thank God for that this week) so was tuned to Radio Scotland and also had the tv on keeping abreast with the developments outside of my window and beyond. I can say catagorically that every weather forecast I listened to on the BBC did NOT acknowledge what places like mine (in South Lanarkshire between Hamilton and Glasgow) were experiencing in terms of depth of snow. The west of Scotland was barely mentioned. I found myself shouting at both the radio and the tv, "HOI, WHAT IS THIS IN MY GARDEN, SCOTCH MIST?" In an attack of outrageous indignation I went out in the garden to measure the depth of the snow (and ruined a perfectly good pair of slippers! Lovely colours in them but they all ran). I then decided that measuring in the back garden was unfair because there was still some snow there from last week so in the interests of absolute balance I traipsed round the front. And there I took the measurement and the measurement was FIFTEEN centimetres, NOT the "couple of centimetres" per the BBC weatherman! I went back inside and waved the measuring tape and my deid slippers at the same man.

Seriously tho, what STewart Stevenson has been subjected to is absolutely shocking. The headlines on some of the Scottish tabloids today were disgraceful. What sort of politically driven media do we have in Scotland that not even a subject like this can be handled without vile Party politics kicking in?

I understand entirely that at 9.00 am Monday morning (when the snow started here) people were already on motorways and that once the snow slowed them all down it was not possible to get gritters there. Do people think gritters are somehow parachuted in???? Do they think gritters can actually grit roads when traffic is sitting on those very roads? And even if the eejits among us think these things should responsible newspapers not sort of enlighten them? Shame we are short of responsible newspapers and broadcasters in Scotland when an opportunity to kick the SNP presents itself.

And another thing: one aggrieved lady was interviewed by BBC Radio Scotland having arrived home on Tuesday, finally, and she actually said she left home on her journey at 12.30 on Monday. Now by that time warnings were most certainly going out telling people NOT to travel, not to head for motorways. Why did she do it? What was she thinking of? The jams were already in existence by then yet she went out and made it even worse and then bleated about it? Her conduct answered another question that had come to me as the chaos unfolded on Monday. I kept thinking, how come there are more and more vehicles are getting caught up here? The answer is, of course, that the drivers of those vehicles ignored warnings mid-morning and later on Monday not to drive anywhere and especially not in the direction of the motorway network. So if Charlie Gordon thinks calling for Stewart Stevenson's resignation is ok but telling the eejits who helped make the chaos ten times worse is a non-starter then he is an extremely dishonest man.


all the best for 2011 ..

'appy new shortbread ;)


Catching up with this one late...

When our school re-opened after the week's closure, on the first day 92% of staff were present and 60% of pupils.

Colleagues in my department fought through stressful and downright dangerous conditions to get to work.

During the week off I did several hours a day of development and preparation work, and on one day did manage at length to get to school and work for a while there. My journey meant walk - bus - walk, the "walk" bits being on treacherously untreated surfaces on a steep hill, and took 5 times as long as it would on a normal day.

Since the closure we have had endless frustration caused by delayed exams, delayed school show, breaks in learning and teaching programmes....

While you may not have wished the title, you did wish some of the contents.

There may be some schools, somewhere, some of whose staff were not as committed as professional should be.

If you are not prepared to name names, however, your generalisations blacken our names too.

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