‘Working class pupils ‘perform better in Slovenia than in UK‘ is the headline of an astonishingly crass article in today’s Telegraph. I can’t be bothered to regurgitate all the reasons it’s stupid, since I already had to do this last year when the Daily Mail’s headline news was that Slovenian live longer than women in the UK (see my rant A geography lesson for Mail-readers). If Telegraph readers knew what a great country Slovenia was, they’d probably be sending their kids to school there.
Feeling just a bit odd today, as had it not been for commitments in London, I would be at the England-Slovenia match, having won a five-day trip to SA and a ticket to the match in a competition.
I hope Slovenia win, and that’s not out of any anti-English sentiment, it’s because I want them to teach the Daily Mail and their readers a lesson (see previous rant ‘A Geography Lesson for Mail Readers). Since the Mail first published that ridiculous article (which began ‘Healthcare in England is so poor that women live longer in the former Communist state of Slovenia’), there have been 261 corrective comments (mostly by Slovenians in perfect English) which are food for the soul. So if you want to blame anyone for my lack of support for England today, don’t blame me, blame the Mail.
It’s probably wrong to punish the readers, though – it would be hard for them to be as vacuous as the journalists that write that stuff, or who make TV ‘news’ reports. A friend told me a story about her nephew and his friend who went to a West Ham match and were approached by a TV crew, hoping to get some footage of ‘stupid’ English football fans. The presenters handed the boys a map of Europe, and asked them to point out Slovenia. Since they were both pretty bright anyway, and one had a Slovenian grandmother , that wasn’t difficult. They then proceeded to answer all the questions about Slovenia correctly, at which point the TV crew asked if the boys would mind retaking the interview, but faking wrong answers so they could get the story they wanted.
And for this you think we deserve to live longer?