Sunday, August 16, 2020

Paul aruges with striking teachers (1985)


This news article was from the July 1985 issue of With a Little Help From my Friends.   They wrote it from newspaper stories from the Daily Express (6/6/85) and The Sunday Mirror (6/9/85)

Paul's gotten himself into "trouble" with the press for losing his temper on seeing the teachers at James' school on strike this past June.  When he drove James to school that day he was handed a leaflet by Brian Moses, an English teacher there which explained their case for the strike.  "Take a good look, they're striking teachers,"  he told James, and to Mr. Moses, he said, "Did teachers go on strike when you were at school?"  After the confrontation, he drove James back home.  Mr. Moses said that he was rather taken aback by the whole thing, especially as Paul had been a hero of his.  "It was the first time I had met Mr. McCartney and I felt very sad that he should react the way did.  The leaflet I handed to him and to other parents was just stating our case and explaining how far our salaries have dropped in the last few years.  I did explain to Mr. McCartney and the other parents -- and the leaflet stated it -- the teachers were sad and reluctant to have to take such action.  I wish Mr. McCartney had discussed it with me.  He has a point of view, and a right to his own opinion, which I would now dispute for one moment.  But he didn't give me a chance to talk to him."

Paul, it seems, was so upset because it so happened at that time the kids were about to take a big exam, and he felt that the strike was hurting the kids most of all.  Linda said about a week later, "Paul was just expressing his opinion.  We are just normal people and he is entitled to have an opinion like anyone else.  Paul and I don't believe strikes should affect ordinary people like children preparing for exams.  It's a similar situation to when miners go on strike in the winter and the cold affects old people.  It's the innocent who suffer.  We both simply believe industrial disputes like this school should be sorted out by the people at the top sitting calmly and talking about it. 


  1. people strike when talks have gotten nowhere

  2. He was quite right too. I was one of those kids in the middle of my O Levels in 1985, and it was chaos. It went on and on as well - I don’t think I had a science lesson taught by a qualified teacher in two years.

    The militant left hated Paul for that incident and it was used as a stick to beat him with for years after. It’s in all the biographies written by media luvvies whose kids went to private schools and weren’t affected. His kids went to state schools like most normal kids, and he was pissed off like most normal parents, and I don’t blame him.

    1. Why take your anger out on the underpaid teachers though? It’s the ppl at the top that parents should be angry with. Paul could have had a meeting with the school heads or the media and swayed, if not changed, the situation if it bothered him that much. For him, the school costs he pays in taxes for school upkeep and staff salaries are probably minuscule.

  3. If people suffer when teachers don't work, that proves how valuable teachers are. The question is, what grievance led them to collectvely down tools and forfeit their income? They are important to society - hear their greivances, consider they may be justified - try and understand and try and support them. If you just reflexively attack anyone for going on strike, then no sick pay for you and me, no holiday pay, no protections from unfair dismissal, no safety regulations and so on and so on. We all want those things. They didn't fall out of the sky - working people took a stand and won them for everyone. Support each other.

  4. Only the big powerful unions go on strike but workers who belong to small unions don't have the same clout. Where is the support for each other in this situation? Peaceful protest marches are much more effective than strikes and are more likely to attract public sympathy. Strikes only work in extreme or desperate situations, such as for nurses and junior doctors working 80-100 hour shifts without sleep or proper meal breaks. That is dangerous for very sick patients. With due respect to their hard work and dedication but teachers don't compare here.

  5. "The leaflet I handed to him...was just stating our case and explaining how far our salaries have dropped in the last few years."

    If I were a parent of kids at this school, I probably wouldve been upset too. But cmon, when employees like this are treated like toilet paper, strikes like this will happen.

  6. apparently the mccartneys who were millionaires just didn't get it regarding strikes