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21st September 1959: A view of a boarding school boy on his way back to school. (Photo by John Pratt & Chris Ware/Keystone Features/Getty Images)
Joy Schaverien has a theory that boarding schools damage lives. She set up a group called Boarding School Survivors. This year she wrote a paper called caled Boarding School Syndrome. And now Schaverien has book out.
The book is part of a trend in education that focuses on the perceived emotional vulnerability of children, in which what’s impotant at school is to be emotionally competent and literate. School exist not to promote acemedic excellence, but to offer a holistic solution to human frailty in which everything gone before is part of your current existential crisis.
“I felt it was very risky, like going up against the establishment, but these were the stories and experiences I was hearing about. There is huge social pressure not to complain about what is generally seen as a benefit of privilege.”
If there is an establishment it is in supporting the therapeutic response to everything.
She speaks of her patients:
“They may never have been permitted to be angry. Someone who went to boarding school feels the whole world is coming to an end if they’re angry. That’s where a depression can start.”
“Is it a privilege to be sent away from your parents? I don’t think so.”
This isn’t science, is it. This is finding proof for your own prejudice.
Stefanie Marsh says the work is popular:
Hers is a very serious book aimed at clinicians and therapists. It is informed also by people who have contacted her since the publication of that first paper, including a number of boarding school counsellors who Schaverien supervises in her capacity as a psychotherapist. She also quotes Andrew Motion, Roald Dahl and George Orwell: all have written eloquently about their devastating boarding-school experiences.
The author adds:
“When children go to school when they’re very young it causes a psychological rupture. You’re on the steps, you’re introduced to the headmaster, then there’s the sudden realisation that your parents are in the car and the wheels are turning. I’ve heard of children running after the car.
Very young. Not teenaged. A very young child sent away from home is bound to be affected – using that event to explain problems in later life is neat and tidy. But her point is about boarding schools. Does the same ring true or orphanages, say, or when a child is sent to live with foster carers or the extended family when a parent is too ill to cope? Can every problem in adulthood be linked to school?
“In this country, there are children who go into care because their families break down and there is no other option, but these parents are actually paying for their children to go into care, basically. Or into prison. You’re watched all the time. Everything is regimented. It’s the abandonment of the very young.”
And we’re back to the prejudice and the anecdotal-based science.
“People grow up not having the language for their emotions. It causes a split between what you’re told you’re supposed to experience and what you’re actually experiencing. You’re actually very sad when you lose your family, your home, your pets, your nanny — everything you’ve ever had for those eight years of your life is suddenly gone. You’re told that it’s called homesickness and ‘you’ll get over it soon’. Actually, this is a major bereavement.”
One day we’ll look back at the therapy business and marvel.
Schaverien finds it troubling that “so many people who govern this country went to boarding school. What you learn in boarding school is fair play. It’s great, but the intimacy thing and understanding of the vulnerable, that’s what’s missing.”
“The polish is actually very good for socially oiling the wheels but in intimate relationships it’s also what keeps people at a distance.”
“First, they’re abandoned by their mother, the first love of their life. Then they are cut off from women in a society where women are joked about and belittled a lot.”
“I don’t see how you can protect children in boarding school from being bullied. If you go to a day school you can go home to your parents and talk about it. And don’t tell me weekly boarding is better if you’re having a bad time in a dormitory.”
And what of the older children who go?
“My feeling, is that to go to boarding school at eight is too young.”
Feelings. So much for the scientific syndrome.
There are children who choose to go at 13 and who have a really good time — ‘My parents were splitting up and it was the better option for me’ — but there are people who go at 13 and they get the same kind of shock.”
Of all the examples and reasons for going to boarding school, the author cites one: a broken home.
“The wealthiest, they’re the ones who have the most deprivation. Because boarding school has gone through the generations. So parenting skills are at a minimum really.”
What’s good about this, of course, is that selling therapy to the wealthy is easy – you can achieve wellbeing through therapy. The middle-classes will enjoy it becauae it will assure them that all that hot-house tutoring for grammer schools was much better for junior than spending a fortune on boarding school. And the poor won’t give a toss because for them it’s all about hard work and results. You can’t afford to be infantalised when you just need to get on with living…
What colour are the wrong socks? That question to readers of the BExhill-ion-Sea Observer, which reports on East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust’s decree that staff could face disciplinary action because of the colour of their socks.
The Trust’s uniform policy says sock must be plain and muted in colour. But staff at Eastbourne DGH and Conquest Hospital in Hastings are ordered to wear matching black socks.
Is black muted? Black is the colour of death and misery. Why not brightly coloured socks? What does the Trust have against them?
And why can’t female nurses wear black seamed stockings, like in the the Carry On films?
A staff member wonders:
“Coloured socks don’t affect how efficient we work. Most of us wear trousers that mean you can’t even see the socks – has there actually been any complaints from patients or relatives about our socks if they are visible? What happens if we refuse to lift up our trouser leg? They’ll be asking to check the colour of our underwear next. We’re not stupid – we won’t come into work wearing a dress with bright coloured socks pulled up to our knees. When we wear dresses, we wear tights and look professional and approachable to those who come first – our patients.”
Alice Webster, Director of Nursing, responds: “No member of staff has been disciplined for the colour of their socks.”
But if they do wear red ones, well, they’re asking for it.
In the Sun we meet “HORRIFIED Adam Travers” who found drugs in the pocket of his new Primark swimming shorts.
Adam’s girlfriend Hannah Youell found nine white pills in an envelope in the buttoned back pocket of the Chinese-made clothes as she prepared to wash them before a holiday.
Adam paid just £5 for the trunks at Primark in Portsmouth.
This was not an marketing scam to get adolescents into the store, but something else.
Their tests revealed the pills, marked with the letters MDZ, are a prescription anti-depressant.
Why-oh-why would a worker making dirt-cheap clothing for Primark need anti-depressants?
Primark said an investigation had shown the pills were put in the shorts at the time of manufacture after being sent to an unapproved sub-contractor in China. It added: “As a result, we have terminated our relationship with the supplier.”
A source said: “The shorts were supposed to be made in a factory but it appears they were secretly being made by prisoners in a jail.”
Chinese factory making cheap schmutters versus prison. It can be hard to spot the difference.
Madeleine McCann is back. The Sun highlights the £11 millions and rising spent looking for the missing child.
In “We can’t keep on chasing shadows”, the paper hears from a former Flying Squad chief. He urges Scotland Yard to “consider winding down its hunt for Madeleine McCann — adding: ‘You can’t keep chasing shadows.’
The voice of reason is John O’Connor, who pops on the media treadmill and opines:
“If there are no firm leads, and by that I mean no substantial operational things like active surveillance on suspects, then I’d have thought they should be considering winding it down now.”
There never have been any firm leads.
At the current rate it will top £12million by April — more than double the £5million promised by David Cameron when Operation Grange was launched in May 2011.
Does Dave dare to shut the investigation? We’d say ‘yes’. Once upon a time, Madeleine McCann was the mawkish ‘Our Maddie’, but time hardens opinions. Reality bites.
The task force, which at its height was 37 strong, has yet to make a single arrest.
“You can’t keep chasing shadows. Chasing sightings all over the world. It depends on whether the detectives are making any real progress. For me it needs to be reviewed by a senior officer. The Met’s rank and file would be thinking, ‘Are there more recent cases that could be progressed with the right resources?’ It’s about priorities.”
What the Met’s rank and file think about the case is not something we know. It’s not worth the effort to wonder at. The Met are there to find facts. And, as yet, we have but one: child vanishes.
O’Connor had much to say on the case in 2013:
The Sun, however, wants to apportion blame.
The initial Portuguese investigation into three-year-old Madeleine’s abduction was marred by blunders. Officers made the catastrophic mistake of deciding parents Kate and Gerry were the key suspects — and so failed to take elementary steps to secure evidence that might have caught the real abductors.
We have made not a jot of progress. The only angle is to bash the foreigners. Those blunders could include large chunks of the British media which libelled the McCanns and Robert Murat, the poor sod who went to help and was ‘grassed up’ to police and public by the Daily Mirror’s gossipy reporting.
They failed to seal off the family’s apartment, allowing the crime scene to become hopelessly contaminated. They also failed to put out a global missing persons report for five days and did not bother to set up checkpoints in and around the Algarve. In July 2008 the Portuguese authorities admitted there was no evidence against Kate and Gerry and said the unsolved case was to be closed.
There is no evidence against anyone.
Then in May 2011, following a campaign by Kate and Gerry that was backed by The Sun, the PM told Scotland Yard to launch its own investigation, called Operation Grange.
The PM was playing to the crowd. Politicians can only ever play politics. Would Dave dare say no to the Sun? But the Met are the best we have. And they’re very good. If they cannot find anything, we should suppose they have to yet to look beneath the right stone.
As ever we get a word form the child’s parents. We hear from a “source close to the McCanns”, who told us yesterday:
“Kate and Gerry are eternally grateful to the Metropolitan Police for making Operation Grange possible. They are pleased so many officers are still looking for Madeleine.”
The Sun then turns to the crowd and offers an aside:
There are currently 155 children on the Missing Kids UK website, including Madeleine. Research shows an average of £2,415 is spent investigating a missing child.
That’s because many are quickly found. The story of Madeleine McCann is so rare. It’s not often a child vanishes on holiday. What we are told and told is “every parent’s worst nightmate” – a syrupy tagline of a phrase that seeks to evoke empathy and sympathy and fear in equal parts – is not an every day event.
In the world of TransferBalls, the Metro – now feeder paper to the dire Daily Telegraph – is like that Lotto machine, tossing up all manner balls and spitting out hope with only a one in a billion chance of hitting a winner.
Today the paper links Arsenal to PSG’s Edison Cavani. The headline is all”
Top journalist says Arsenal hope to completing transfer of megastar before deadline
Who? And Who?
The star is, as we’ve noted, Uruguay striker Edinson Cavani. the top journo is… Kike Marin. He’s a Spanish journalist, who has the inside track on a South American footballer playing in France linked to an English club. Journalist in all three of those nations must look to Kike with envy.
This is what he tweeted about Cavani:
‘Wenger tried to sign Cavani the last summer. Perhaps he can sign him now? Hopefully!!’
Perhaps. Hopefully. And to the Metro that is news.
In earlier Metro news:
Jackson never came. Arsenal never bid for him.
Lewandowski never came. Arsenal never bid for him,
Aubameyman has never attracted a bid from Arsenal.
In fairness, Kike Marin just says what he thinks and what he knows. The Metro then turns it into fact.
Jeremy Corbyn offers something different to Labour voters. He offers them socialism. The Press don’t like him. His quotes of old have been mangled into neat headlines.
HEADLINE: “Tony Blair must face trial for war crimes over ‘illegal’ Iraq invasion, says Jeremy Corbyn”
Quote in Full:
Pressed on whether Mr Blair should be charged with war crimes, he said: “If he’s committed a war crime, yes. Everyone who’s committed a war crime should be.”
HEADLINE: “Jeremy Corbyn to ‘bring back Clause IV'”
Quote In Full:
“I think we should talk about what the objectives of the party are, whether that’s restoring the Clause Four as it was originally written or it’s a different one, but I think we shouldn’t shy away from public participation, public investment in industry and public control of the railways.
“I’m interested in the idea that we have a more inclusive, clearer set of objectives. I would want us to have a set of objectives which does include public ownership of some necessary things such as rail.”
HEADLINE: “Corbyn’s bid to turn Britain Into Zimbabwe”
Quote In Full:
“The ‘rebalancing’ I have talked about here today means rebalancing away from finance towards the high-growth, sustainable sectors of the future. How do we do this? One option would be for the Bank of England to be given a new mandate to upgrade our economy to invest in new large scale housing, energy, transport and digital projects: Quantitative easing for people instead of banks. Richard Murphy has been one of many economists making that case.”
HEADLINE: “Watch Out! Corbyn targets every organisation in Britain as he vows to cut ludicrous salaries” (now changed)
Quote In Full:
“High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. I do think the salary levels and the bonus levels again have got to be looked at. I am looking at the gap in every organisation between highest and lowest levels of pay.”
HEADLINE: “Corbyn slammed over plan for ‘women-only’ train carriages to curb sexual harassment on public transport”
Quote In Full:
“My intention would be to make public transport safer for everyone from the train platform, to the bus stop, on the mode of transport itself. However, I would consult with women and open it up to hear their views on whether women-only carriages would be welcome – and also if piloting this at times and on modes of transport where harassment is reported most frequently would be of interest.”
Other Parents focuses on Cherish Peterson who left her baby at the grocery store. Cherish, 27, forgot her two-month-old son Huxton was still sat in the trolley at Fry’s shop in Gilbert, Arizona.
Gilbert, who was with three of her four children when Huxton was left behind, has been charged with child endangerment.
This being the USA of A, Cherish go on the telly. She tell the nation:
“I consider it a fair trade – the Diet Coke for Huxton. They weigh roughly the same, so, d’uh.”
No. What she really said was:
“I’m a good mom who made a horrible mistake. I got into my car, and normally I put my cart away. But I didn’t need to because I parked at the front of the store and I never park there. And I drove away… As I was pulling into the garage, my three-year-old goes, ‘Where’s baby Huxton?’ His car seat is right behind me. I turned around and realised it was gone…
“There is nothing I love more in this world than being a mum. And there is no one in this world who could love my kids more than me.”
In other news, Macaulay Culkin just turned 35.
PS: In 2012, British Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife, Samantha, left their eight-year-old daughter, Nancy, in a pub after having Sunday drink, Downing Street has confirmed. They were not arrested.
How easy is it to forget your children?
Oliver Sacks has died. The metastatic melanoma finally took the life of the great neurologist and writer. He was 82.
Dr Sacks, most famous, perhaps for his book The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat – a look a case studies of peculiar brain patterns; the book’s name derived from the man who really could not differentiate between a hat and his wife – and Awakenings, which recounted Sacks’ work at New York’s Beth Abraham hospital with survivors of a forgotten 1920 epidemic of sleepy sickness.
You can read more of the prolific author on Flashbak.
Lord, one of hardest things about middle age is losing your heroes and mentors. May Oliver’s memory be a blessing. pic.twitter.com/UvzSQRnRGF
“Apparently I owned this utterly crap caravan for three weeks before actually setting eyes on it.
“My husband drunkenly bought it on Ebay, and neglected to mention that one day he’d taken the day off work and driven halfway across the country to pick it up, deposit it around the back of our office, and failed to declare it as technically a marital ‘asset’ until recently.
“Luckily, I’m the trusting type, and despite appearances I don’t think he bought it solely for the purpose of having a sordid extra-marital affair or taking up dogging, however as you might be able to see from the pictures, it would be PERFECT for both…
“It has been brought to my attention that the “caravan” would also be suitable for use as a rolling meth lab. Apologies for the omission.”
“This is a warning for us to tackle the issue of migration quickly. We have more refugees in the world than at any time since the Second World War. The world’s eyes are upon us.”
Let them in. Destroy the trade in human flesh. Let the desperate not spend their last monies on a gangster with a dingy and a van. Let them in. Let them in with money so they can eat and live.
Earlier this week, 51 dead people were found in the hold of a ship off the coast of Libya. The Swedish coastguard ship arrived too late for them but it did manage to save 400 others, says the BBC. A boat carrying an estimated 500 people capsized in the Med. Two hundred were found alive.
What to do? What to do?
Let them in.
See how they get on in fortress Europe.
Slovakia refuses to accept Muslim migrants. The country has yet to perfect its Muslim-detecting devices. But give it time.
Bulgaria keeps migrants out with 50 miles of razor wire along Turkish border. This fence is 15ft tall and 5ft wide. They say its kept people out, around 500 last month.
Fires, which are currently blocking access to the harbour, have plunged the crisis zone into further chaos.
It comes after Britain’s borders faced more disruption last night as hundreds of migrants including children stormed the Eurotunnel.
David Cameron has said Britain is threatened by a “swarm” of foreigners and the migrant crisis in Calais was likened to a “warzone.”
Migrants were pictured clinging to a lorry as they left the port of Dover, while others in Calais were seen clambering over fences with children in tow.
More than 4,000 increasingly aggressive and desperate migrants largely from war-torn failed African states have stormed through fences in a bid to clamber aboard trains to ‘El Dorado’ UK.
An estimated 150 have made it to Britain’s shores, with some claiming an increased feeling nationwide that the country is under siege.
Mr Cameron, meanwhile, remains in Vietnam and Theresa May has refused to call in military support to help the beleagured French forces.
Despite the numbers of migrants flooding into Britain, Mr Cameron has insisted the border with France is secure although he did admit the threat was very real. . . .
Natalie Chapman, of the Freight Transport Association, likened the scenes of chaos in Calais to a “warzone” and fears it is only a matter of time till a British driver gets killed in the French port.
She said: “The situation in Calais has been escalating over the last few months and you think it can’t get any worse – and then it does.
“For lorry drivers trying to get to the UK it’s like a warzone. You’ve got people who have made in many cases very long and dangerous journeys to try to get to the UK who will stop at nothing to try to get on board.
The desperate are now invaders. They do not come to escape, but to conquer.
The language is hard-edge. But it’s honest, at least. All mainstream political parties agree with the Express. They bluster at the language, point to the man who says “swarm” and demand he retract the slur, but they all agree with the sentiment that migrants must be kept out.
They force David Cameron to explain why he referred to migrants as a ‘swarm’ – he says it was not ‘dehumanising’. Was it? Was it worst than the Labour Party who made Bulgarians and Romanians second-class Europeans, and who dismantled Libya and Afghanistan by bomb and bullet, dead countries from which migrants are escaping? Was it worse than ignoring the plight of ordinary Syrians, looking on as the country fell into disorder?
A confident Europe would not argue the toss and draw up a glossary of acceptable terms. It would let them in. These are the people who want to be here. Let them in
John Stones wants to leave Everton. Chelsea have been tapping on the player’s door all summer, keen to spend all that filthy lucre on the great English hope. Everton are not a big brand. They cannot offer Stones Champions’ League football and massive wages. Roman Abramovich’s Chelsea can.
But Everton can offer Stones a home where he can make mistakes and learn his trade. They can offer him loyal fans who do not turn up only to see their side win, and a young talented manager who wants to keep him.
The theory throughout an increasingly tortuous transfer saga has been that there would be an offer that would make Everton buckle, but by adopting such a strong position through their manager, the club have given themselves the best possibly chance of keeping Stones.
Should they do so, they will send a message to clubs in a similar position that they do not have to yield to the league’s biggest fish; that even when a player has formally expressed his desire to go, they can ensure that he sticks to the contract he signed and prevent a scenario in which a club as powerful as Chelsea make themselves even stronger at your expense.
TV Medium Colin Fry has died aged 53. The spiritualist, who appeared and made a handsome living from relaying impressions of messages from long/short-gone friends and family via programmes such as 6ixth Sense with Colin Fry, Psychic Private Eye and Most Haunted, had been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer back in April.
His manager David Hahn said: “Because of what he does (did surely?) he had no fear of dying”.
Anyone had a call from Colin, any flying objects around the house or non-alcoholic induced sense of the Fry presence? The perpetual tv’s very own Stephen Fry does not count.
No? Thought so.
Fear not, there’ll be another medium warming up to present Colin’s cold, sympathetic but very deadpan thoughts in half a failing heartbeat.
In readiness to shock to deadline on the corporate VMA awards, host Miley Cyrus appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live with most of her breasts exposed.
Kimmel was thought by many to be one of the three remaining human being not to have seen Cyrus’s breasts. Miley is now actively seeking an audience with the Pope and Lord Lucan, preferably both at once to save time before she can move on to stage 2 of Operation Primary Sexual Characteristics and show us her massive beefy knob.
Kimmel was keen to know if Miley’s dad had appraised his daughter’s naked chest.
“My dad’s cool, because I’m sure he’d maybe rather me not have my tits out all the time,” said Cyrus. “But he’d rather me have my tits out and be a good person than have a shirt on and be a bitch.”
Those are a pretty limited set of life choices in the Cyrus household.
“You know what I’ve learned? It’s not the tit—are you allowed to say ‘tit’ on your show?”added Cyrus. “Humans aren’t afraid of the human breast. It’s the nipple that’s the issue…Like, I’m showing my boobs and no one has a problem, but the nipples are covered, so somehow that’s OK. So America’s actually fine with tits. It’s nipples they don’t like.”
Which is great news for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.
Today is 26th August, 2015 – the date that will echo throughout history as the day Sir Alex Ferguson joined the LinkedIn.
For those blissfully unaware, LinkedIn is a social networking site aimed at professionals. It is also responsible for generating almost 70% of the internet’s entire quota of unsolicited emails, but that’s really by-the-by. It is utterly useless.
Anyway, Sir Alex has created an account, billing himself as a “Director, Ambassador, Visiting Fellow and Author”. Yeah, we fibbed about the ‘dreamweaver’ bit. Apologies where due.
It should be visible here if you happen to be a LinkedIn member.
The 73-year-old former Manchester United manager has joined LinkedIn to coincide with the release of his latest book, ‘Leading’, in which he details the various managerial techniques he used to transform United into the global success they are today – screaming indecipherably in people’s faces, lacerating people’s eyebrows with flying Adidas Predators, that kind of thing.
Sadly, users will only be able to contact Sir Alex if they know him personally, thus depriving fans of rivals teams the opportunity to engage in direct slanging.
Damn shame. There could have been some decent mileage in that.
The Mayor of Warren in Michigan, Jim Fouts, is upset that youths are spending their pocket money on flamethrowers, which retail at a bargain $1,000 a go.
“This is something that is so potentially dangerous that it’s just unacceptable,” he says.
Fouts says he has no argument with the right to carry arms, it’s just that he only wants police to have flamethrowers. This way, after they’ve shot you in the face they can purify the crime scene and bar-b-cue your remains.