July 27, 2009


ALL MY LIFE I have had a pathological dislike of teachers. I couldn’t help it.

As a seven year old mischief maker it was the teachers who kept me inside a stuffy classroom and out of the sun. They were the sentries; the sentinels who ensured misery for each and every one of us in that class.

And what was the reason for our incarceration? It was so we could learn about logarithms, or trigonometry, or the annual rainfall in Paraguay. Really useful stuff.

Sometimes, on a Friday afternoon, all us tiny tykes were allowed outside in the fresh air for a game of rounders. But that was just to tease us.

And even when school was over, there was homework.

Sadists, the lot of ‘em.

But now it’s even worse! Newspapers recently revealed that thousands of trainee teachers are struggling to pass simple literary tests. These tests require them to spell basic words such as “following”, “relieved” and “anxiety”.

There’s more: 25% of these geniuses had to retake the numeracy tests.

Even more worrying is the revelation that trainee teachers can re-sit the basic literacy and numeracy tests – the gateway to the “profession – an infinite number of times. That’s right, they just keep sitting the tests until they pass!

Did you know that the requirements to become a trainee teacher is a C grade in GCSE English and maths? Good God, my wee blind dog could achieve those results.

Now I understand why it was always the “thickies” in the class who applied to teacher training college!

So, to summarise; these numpties go to primary school, then to secondary school, then to teacher training college, then back to primary school – all without ever once being immersed in the real world.

Then, with laughably low grades, and having sat their literacy and numeracy tick-tests until they eventually get them right, they do a bit of training and are “qualified” to teach YOUR impressionable young kids.

Doesn’t seem right, does it? I reckon some of the kids in primary three would be able to teach the teachers!

In my line of work I meet a fair number of teachers. I have to tell you, a surprisingly high percentage of them have serious self-esteem issues; and now I know why.

This accounts for the reason a lot of teachers display a remarkable arrogance. It explains why they will tell you at the first opportunity, usually in a haughty manner, that “I’m a teacher” then expect you to be in awe of them. It also explains why – and any salesman will back this up – teachers are renowned for gathering every quote, every scrap of information they can, study it, complain about it, question it, and then never reach a decision.

Suddenly, with the facts before me, it all makes perfect sense. There are many teachers who simply shouldn’t be teachers. Instead, they should be working in a fast food restaurant asking if you “want fries with that?”

What they should most definitely not be doing is having access to the blank slates that are the minds of our children.

If you’ve been out in the real world for a number of years, if you have worked for a degree, and if you actually like children then fine; become a teacher.

But if you can’t add and can’t spell, but you think it will please your parents when you tell them you’ve decided to become a teacher (because Mummy still thinks you have to be incredibly bright to become a teacher) then please stay away from our kids.

For all our sakes.

Drew McAdam



July 19, 2009


You would be forgiven for thinking that the game of golf is a humdrum pursuit for boring baldy blokes. Because that’s exactly what it is.

And in a failed attempt to make themselves more exciting, these golfers wear bizarre hats, weird psychedelic striped trousers and knitted jerseys in colours such as “salmon pink” and “custard yellow”.

Not the sort of people who would gladly seek out a perilous thrill, then.

However, the H&P editor recently sent me a list of the world’s most dangerous golf courses.

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July 12, 2009


THE SUN IS OUT, so pass the cooking oil… No, really.

A recent survey carried out by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain (RPSGB) urged sun worshippers not to “fry” this summer. They tell us we should be investing in high-factor lotions, staying in the shade and wearing a wide-brimmed hat.

Okay, fair enough, I don’t want to sizzle and bake. In fact, I might just add oven mitts and a scarf to that list.

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July 5, 2009


ON THE A70 there are no roadworks, but there IS a set of traffic lights so you don’t collide with the coned-off generator, the sole purpose of which is to work the traffic lights… What’s THAT all about?

There is hardly a corner of West Lothian that has escaped the misery of roadworks in recent months. It seems that a rash of signs warning of major road digging activity has broken out across the county. Oh, and don’t try getting creative by seeking out a diversion. It will only lead to a big red “Road Closed” sign on account of some hi-viz jacketed worker and his four supervisors repairing a bridge. A task that’s going to take them till Christmas – next year.

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