NOT everybody has been happy with our stories about drivers using mobile phones and doing other stuff they shouldn’t.
A lot of drivers who use mobile phones and do other stuff they shouldn’t have been particularly unhappy.
Some of them have been in touch via social media to say we’re evil.
Some hope we suffer unspeakable fates, up to and including being stalked and murdered.
If you’re one of those unhappy people, I have only two things to say to you.
Firstly, if you sent your messages from your phone, I hope you weren’t driving at the time as you might have caused a nasty accident.
Secondly, you have apparently misunderstood our feelings toward you. In fact, you have apparently misunderstood not just our feelings, but the feelings of the countless people who have been in touch to thank us for highlighting potentially lethal idiocy.
You see, we have no prejudice against stupid people.
Stupid people have just as much right to exist and to be happy as anybody else.
They have just as much right to a home, to family life, to holidays, to success and to all the other things which bring us joy.
They have the right to choose the TV shows they watch, the music they listen to, the political and other opinions they hold and so on.
Stupid people also have the same moral right as anybody else to embark on courses of action which might compromise their safety. Sticking a metal knitting needle in a plug socket to see what happens, for example, or storing clear drain cleaner in an old vodka bottle in the drinks cabinet.
Or using a naked flame to investigate a large puddle of petrol on the garage floor. Or saving on the grocery bill by heading down to the woods and gathering random mushrooms and toadstools.
Or getting out of a car in the middle of the big cat enclosure at the safari park to take a selfie with an especially bad-tempered tiger.
Or preventing their hat from being blown off in the winter wind by attaching it to their head using a dirty great nail gun.
Or doing any of a million things which might draw down death and destruction on the stupid person and the stupid person alone.
What stupid people are not entitled to do, however, is inflict the consequences of their stupidity on other people.
Consider the example of that dung-for-brains driver who was in the news recently after wiping out a woman and three children. He did so because he was too busy looking at his phone to be bothered controlling his truck.
If the only people endangered by the behaviour of halfwits like that were the halfwits themselves, nobody would have the right to object.
Unfortunately for the rest of us, the danger is not confined.
We and everybody we love are at risk of dying needlessly or suffering horrific injuries.
That is why people who behave in this way shouldn’t be surprised if everybody else is a bit peeved.
Technically, the UTC is brilliant
THERE has been some confusing news from Swindon’s University Technical College.
Hot on the heels of Ofsted’s rather strange blanket criticism of the entire local education system, some people are calling for the inspectors to head for the UTC.
New information from the Department of Education includes the revelation that the number of students obtaining GCSE Grade C or above in maths and English is well below the national average.
So far, so damning, but there’s other data, and here’s where I begin to get a bit confused.
You see, although the figures for English and maths combined are below average, the ones for maths alone are above average.
In addition, the UTC is also above average when it comes to physics, chemistry and engineering, and 100 per cent of leavers have gone on to employment, apprenticeships or further study. That’s according to the college’s own figures, anyway.
It’s also worth pointing out that the college only takes on pupils after they’ve already spent many years at other schools.
The overall gist of the data, then, is that a thing called a technical college, set up as a technical college, advertised as a technical college and originally hailed by education officials as a technical college, is pretty damned good at teaching maths, chemistry, physics and engineering. In other words, technical subjects.
It is seemingly less adept at teaching arts and humanities.
Perhaps we should see what can be done to improve English provision there, instead of slating a place which is evidently good at what it was supposed to be good at in the first place.
Simply check it out
DID you read about the former soldier who was outraged at being abused for giving a supposed military charity the swerve in the Brunel Centre?
The ex-Para said he was accused of being unpatriotic. His research afterwards revealed that 80 per cent of what they were promoting went to a fundraising company.
These outfits and their pop-up stalls often appear in our shopping centres. They are usually staffed by people in combat fatigues who become a bit cagey when asked whether they serve or have ever served in the Forces.
The best thing to do when somebody invites you to support a charity you’ve never heard of is ask for a web address, check it out later and look up the accounts.
No charity worth supporting will object.