Dear Reader: ‘Living in an era where nothing is quite what it says on the tin’

Dear Reader: Graham Chalmers
Dear Reader: Graham Chalmers

I had the great pleasure of visiting Goldsborough Primary School near Knaresborough last week to give a talk about newspapers.

It’s the sort of thing I love, despite that slightly worrying moment when you arrive at the school gates as a lone adult.

The class I was visiting were a thoroughly nice bunch of 10-year-olds who asked some very smart questions.

For a moment I was even struck by a nagging thought they didn’t need my advice at all.

They were all different types of characters which is what, I suppose, makes the job of teaching so demanding.

It’s part of the reason why I’ve always respected teachers, even when I was a pupil myself all those years ago in the schools of Grangemouth, most of which have since been bulldozed or turned into apartments.

Imagine all that responsibility.

Having to give every single youngster just the right amount of attention and support to suit their different personalities and talents. And all the time being acutely aware that in your hands, to a certain extent, lies the difference between a future on Benefits Street and University Challenge.

We appear to be living in an era where nothing is quite what it says on the tin.

‘Bad’ is often presented as ‘good’, ‘night’ rebranded ‘day’.

Not so long ago the cuts about to hit libraries across our county would have prompted a passionate discussion on the rights and wrongs of such a move.

Instead our thoughts are diverted by carefully-chosen phrases which act like mental roadblocks.

The county council is promoting its library cuts are under the banner of “Stronger Communities.”

Fine sentiments, I’m sure, but about as believable as describing the sinking of the Titanic as a perfect opportunity to put those swimming lessons into practice.