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Wednesday, 16 June 2010

In the classroom

It's my good fortune to meet people people who've worked in jobs in local government on counters in council offices, as well as people who've worked as dog wardens and park rangers and all the innumerable services employed or commissioned by local government , as well as chief executives and senior civil servants in ministries of state. Today and for the next two days I'm on campus at Priorsfield in Edgbaston tutoring and lecturing our Oversight and Scrutiny event working with officers from Birmingham, Allerdale, Leeds, Barnsley, Copeland, North Norfolk, Wiltshire... and my colleague Andrew Coulson, cycling home around 5.30 pm.
And in Ano Korakiana there were end of term celebrations in the schoolyard and I recognise Natasha our neighbour in this picture from the village website.
Τέλος σχολικής χρονιάς 2009-10
Το τέλος και της φετινής σχολικής χρονιάς σφραγίστηκε από τη μαθητική γιορτή στο προαύλιο του Δημοτικού μας Σχολείου, που διοργανώθηκε χθες, κατά τις 7 το απόγευμα. Εκεί, στη μία πλευρά της αυλής, προς τον κήπο του Μαστραντώνη, είχε στηθεί από τις δασκάλες και τους μικρούς μαθητές το σκηνικό για τις απαγγελίες και τα σκετς....
The end of the school year is marked by a student celebration held at 7 pm yesterday in the courtyard of our Municipal School. A side yard - the garden of Mastrantonis - was set up by teachers and students as a setting for recitations and skits ..
* * * As I'm on Richard Pine's circulation list I got his LETTER FROM GREECE in the Irish Times:
Greeks rail against being urged to become more 'European'...Europe is divided east and west: the west cannot tolerate the indirectness, the obliqueness, of the eastern mind. And Greece is, definitively, the meeting-place of east and west, which is why it creates so much angst among those who are committed to the success of the European project. It isn’t so much the cost of living, as the cost of loving. The price of being Greek is the real cost of loving – and embodying – one’s country.
... and a friend's reaction:
I wholeheartily agree with this article. The Greeks must be who they are. It is what we love and hate about them. But, I wouldn't want them to be anything other than who they are, and I'm among those who would have them continue being fully Greek and not try to (God Forbid) homogenize them to become Westernised. They are a beautiful people in all their Greekness. Love X
And Lionel's reply to Richard:
Hello Richard. Your portrayal of a country beset by strife is flagrantly exaggerated. Sure, there have been demonstrations and strikes, but only in a few isolated cases have they been violent. There has been much discussion, but certainly all that I have met have voiced support, albeit sometimes reluctantly, for Papandreou and his measures. Such distortion serves to inflame a volatile situation and does nothing for Anglo-Greek relations. It also sabotages the European Union. Is that your intent? Incidentally, you did not mention that Greece ran efficiently under the Colonels! Regards, Lionel
** ** ** It sounds as if the deep sea oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico may be even worse...and it has attracted far greater attention than the harm done by the oil industry elsewhere - especially Nigeria's Ogoniland, but also in many other third world locations where our hunger for oil binds governments and multinationals. (see also 'death by car'... these 6 June '10 reflections on BP's CEO)

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Simon Baddeley