Dear Cameron, Clegg, Gove and ilk
I didn't want to write this letter to you but I've had one too many restless nights and I hope this little letter, sealed with good intentions, will serve both as atonement and catharsis.
Let me contextualise.
I've been in a muddle. I'm not saying life was ever enormously rosy, and I can't isolate one day when things started to change, but all I know is this: I've been riddled by this heavy sense of confusion for the last few months. Like an invisible leaden saddlebag , I felt as though I was carrying something around with me - on the Tube, to the library, to the school - some great unknown was dragging me down.
The children looked at me differently. Was it me, I thought. Was this ethereal shackle that groped at my leg beginning to show its effects on my once youthful face?
And it was then, looking into the sullen eyes of the questioning child that I realised exactly what it was, which demon I had been shouldering as I hobbled to the staffroom for my fifth coffee before the morning bell sounded.
Cameron, Clegg, Gove and ilk, it was guilt.
The newspapers said so forever and all the warning signals were there. I should have read those withering editorials and should have lapped up the sound-minded wisdom seeping out of Wilshaw's every pore.
Let me say it in bold capslock, so nobody can doubt the sincerity of my penance.
I'M SORRY THAT I, AS A STATE PRIMARY SCHOOL TEACHER, AM THE ROOT CAUSE OF EVERY SINGLE SOCIAL PROBLEM.
It feels good to say it, thanks. Let my remorse gush on.
I'm sorry that my unwaveringly low aspirations for my pupils is putting them on a production line to prison.
I'm sorry that my lax discipline and the fact that I have my top button unbuttoned caused the London riots.
I'm sorry that by virtue of the fact I am employed by you, rather than some fusty old good school that children pay to get into, I am genetically a Marxist terrorist.
I'm sorry that I am a feckless workshy scrounger and, but for my magnetism towards the long holidays that constitute 'teaching', that I would rather find some other non-commital job for lazy feckless moaners, like nursing or social work.
This is really invigorating Cameron, Clegg, Gove and ilk.
Hope you don't mind if I rag out the last dregs of my remorseful pap for you to inspect.
I'm sorry that during that one particular bad day a couple of years ago, I took my eye off of the ball and because of my personal mistake I caused a global economic recession. On behalf of schools up and down the country, let me say that I am pleased - nay, proud! - to take the spending cuts on the chin. I know that it was me, little me getting a bit overzealous with my photocopying and a bit wanton when buying my red pens, who caused this mess and I am honored that you would offer me the chance to venerate myself of this guilt by scalping the aspirations and opportunities of every wide-eyed little child who has the misfortune to be sinking into the intellectual cesspit which is my classroom.
You can doubt my intelligence. You can doubt my professionalism. You can doubt my commitment.
But please, please, don't doubt my sincerity when I apologise.
Don't doubt my sincerity when I apologise for personally knocking on the front door of every house on every council estate in the UK to remind every parent who opens up that their children are destined to fail. Don't doubt my sincerity when I apologise for those few bad days when I've expressed a wimpering gripe about being a bit stressed out - I was just being weak (not like you real men!). Don't doubt my sincerity when I apologise for leaving my station by the whiteboard to trundle about with a placard once or twice; it was a bad phase in my life but I have clearly - as you can see from this uplifting letter - seen the light.
I can't thank you enough for allowing me, as a teacher, to publicly shoulder the blame for creating the festering sodden blitzkreig which is Britain in 2012
Keep up the good work all of you.