I felt that I simply had to draw attention to this, which appeared in yesterday’s comments:
I have emailed the picture of me as the child-catcher to various friends and relatives and great amusement it has caused too! The humour was not at first obvious, because of course everybody knows that I was a fanatical home educator, constantly advising people to remove their children from school. I still am like that, actually. As a consequence, I have had to explain to those to whom I sent the image, that there exists a body of people who believe that I want to force children not currently at school into being taken to such institutions.
This is where the humour lies and once I explained this, the grotesqueness of the situation became apparent and was much appreciated. Every time anybody I know has moaned about not getting their child into the desired school, you see, I at once ask why on earth they want to send them in the first place. When a colleague or friend complains that the school will not let their child take a particular combination of subjects for GCSE, I tell them that they would be better off doing the job themselves, rather than letting the school muck them about.
Anyway, this image has certainly provided a good deal of innocent amusement among those who know me. I am sorry to report that the general opinion is that anybody who thinks that I like schools and want to make children go there, must be raving mad. This is of course quite true, but I can assure readers that I did my best to defend them and explain that although they were indeed practically insane to believe such nonsense, they were at least well meaning. In the next week or so, I hope to explore this strange idea that I wish children to be sent to school. It is a marvellous myth and the way that it has grown up among some of the less well balanced and psychologically robust readers of this blog is worth looking at in detail; if only for the light it sheds upon certain types of disordered and faulty thinking.