Saturday, June 30, 2007
I’d organised a great trip, ten of our best children, a day out in London. Our local M.P. had managed to get free train tickets courtesy of Virgin (I’ll take back what I said about Richard Branson being a media-hungry, ageing, fake-hippy capitalist; who pays his staff poverty wages and is completely self-obsessed with phoney mega-expensive balloon world records where he is continually rescued at exorbitant cost and environmentally unfriendly space trips, well… apart from the balloon trips).
We were all set, dinner in Trafalgar Square, time for the children to climb on the lions and chase the pigeons (I wasn’t sure which Learning Objective or National Curriculum Target this would meet, but what the hell), a tour round the House of Commons with our M.P. and then riding on the London Eye.
Most of the children had never been to London before and were really looking forward to it, all of them great children, a pleasure to teach, ten reasons to stay in the job.
Then on Friday we got news of the bombs in Central London, we were debating whether to call off the trip when an e-mail arrived from the local authority (no criticism intended) cancelling all trips to London UFN.
What do we say to the children? That there are bad people who want to kill innocent bystanders? On another level four years on from the invasion of Iraq and the ‘war on terrorism’. Is England a safer place? That’s trips to London cancelled for the foreseeable future.