Cheap alcohol

I am very worried about the Coalition’s idea of introducing a minimum price for alcohol. Many Fitton residents are semi-alcoholic. The school PTA is awash with cheap wine and beer. Parents lurch from one drunken occasion to the next, barely pausing to sober up in between. On recycling day, pavements are littered with empty bottles. But these drinkers are already struggling with rising food bills, increased petrol prices and staggeringly high gas and electricity bills. They simply can’t afford to pay more.

Hypocrisy abounds. You have only to come across the Twitter ‘handle’ DrunkGeorgeOsborne (@OsborneDrunk) to realise the truth of what everyone’s saying.  There’s one rule for the millionaires and another rule for the rest of us.

Although, in the interests of accuracy, I should point out that I rarely drink myself. I don’t like losing control, and I don’t like hangovers.

I am slightly tired of having to explain that when I collapsed at Amanda’s party at the beginning of our PTA campaign, I was reacting to heat, not alcohol. It was very crowded, and I was wearing wool.

No amount of sniggering will make me change my story.

Headteachers axed

A new survey says that headteachers are being sacked like football managers if their schools don’t perform well. I don’t think Rachel Jensen should worry. The results at St Jude’s are consistently good. It may be nothing to do with the teaching, of course. Or the leadership of the school. The children in Fitton are very bright. And their parents are enthusiastic in their support of learning outcomes.

The maiden speech

How lovely the Duchess of Cambridge looked when she made her maiden speech this afternoon at a children’s hospice in Ipswich. (Do take a look at the clip on YouTube.)

I do admire a woman who can tackle public speaking, especially when she knows the eyes of the world are on her £139 blue dress from Reiss rather than on anything she is actually saying.

Unfortunately, during our campaign for the St Jude’s PTA, I was never really able to demonstrate my range. The speeches were often made by Rachel Jensen, our headteacher, who has many and varied qualities but whose pronouncements were often as welcome as leftover vindaloo.

We all have our own special talents. I would suggest that Rachel’s lie in teaching and learning rather than standing on a podium.


Portrait of the artist as a young man

Robin’s drawing of me, him and David. I am not entirely sure why David’s legs are so enormously long. Or indeed why he is smiling. But you can’t expect a five-year-old to be accurate on all points.

Belated recognition

Mumsnet founder Jane Hopkins received an MBE  today. If you feel I deserve recognition for all the work I put in to make St Jude’s PTA such a resounding success (please read the first chapter of my book, How I Seized Power: A Handbook for Leaders Everywhere), contact Buckingham Palace immediately.

Hose pipe ban

We’re heading for a drought in the south-east, apparently. I am always at a loss to understand why such a wet country should be so dry. In my experience (and Berta agrees), it always rains every day at precisely 3.30pm when you collect your children from school. You can spend a whole day delighting in clear skies and sunshine only to be rewarded by a sudden deluge. Perhaps the government should insist that parents doing the school pick-up should arm themselves with several empty buckets. You could probably collect enough in that miserable half hour to water the average parched garden.