Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Snow complaints

It's difficult to believe, I know, but some people are complaining. They're complaining, in fact, about the snow, about the fact that many children haven't gone to school for a couple of days, and about the fact that some adults didn't go to work on Monday.

The Federation of Small Businesses, (which also recently distinguished itself by complaining about the 'Take a Benylin day' advertising campaign), moaned that 20% of the workforce hadn't gone to work on Monday, and plucked a figure of £1.2bn as the cost to the economy. The System doesn't like it when people change their behaviour.

Those complaining about school closures, meanwhile, divide into two camps: those who complain about the loss to children's education; and those who complain that parents have to find alternative childcare arrangements at short-notice. Both complaints strike me as rather odd.

Firstly, the notion that our children receive an education at school is refuted on a daily basis by the ignorance, innumeracy and illiteracy of the majority of school-leavers. 10 years' worth of cumulative schooling appears to be insufficient to equip most children with the fundamentals, so a couple of days lost here and there hardly seem to be of any relevance.

Secondly, as I understand it, parents love their children, and earnestly seek to spend as much time with them as possible. Hence, what could be more fantastic for the modern parent, than a good excuse to take the day off work, and spend it playing in the snow with one's children?

Of course, if the real function of school is not to educate children, but to rid modern parents of their benighted offspring for a few hours, and to confine them to a localised region of space in which they cannot pose a nuisance to other members of the public, then the reason for the complaints becomes clear.

Overall, these snow complainers need to be reminded of the fact that their lifespan is finite, and as such, there will be a time in a few short years, when they're going to be dead. I hope the schools remain closed, and the economy loses even more money. Given human mortality, there is only one rational reaction to the current weather conditions:

It's snowed! Wheeeeeeeee!


Anonymous said...

i second that, heartily. After the basics of schooling (eg writing), you could compress all i learnt at school into about two weeks, at the most.

Patrick said...

I third that (though perhaps if I'd paid attention in school I wouldn't try to verb 'third'...)

All I learned at school I picked up from three or four particularly inspiring teachers (one of whom is sadly now wasted in the House of Commons). The rest of the time I might as well not have been there...

Gordon McCabe said...

In my opinion, late-night sitting or not, they shouldn't let MPs into the chamber if they're wasted.

Anonymous said...

I mostly agree, I enjoyed my snow-day with the kids, they don't get to play in the snow very often, and our park was full of kids building snowmen - however, I work in a hospital, and I was lucky that my colleagues without children were able to make it into work to cover.