Chris Roynon and Rev Sian Yates fail to respond to Hunger Striker after 23 days on raw-juice in Mousehole School capitalist take-over stand-off, summer 2016 - latest.
The 'forced-academisation programme' that's being rolled out across the world always reminds me of a land-rush, a nineteenth-century colonial phenomenon in which colonists would race into a 'new' territory, eager to carve out the best bits of turf for themselves (having stolen it from the original owners, of course). The stakes were high, competition was fierce and this frequently led to behaviour that was less than scrupulously honest, to say the least.
When the educational gold-rush rolled into our little town I tried to fight it, as I thought it was a cynical plan to run schools as businesses and pit them against each other in a sort of pseudo-Darwinian competition for resources that should be readily available to all schools.
Mousehole School is well thought-of in the area, like all schools and there seemed no reason why it should be forced to be something that people did not want it to be. Sadly, my attempts to set up a genuine dialogue with those involved, for example head teacher Chris Roynon, or the secretary of the school, Nigel Carter-King, or even the vicar of Penzance, the Reverend Sian Yates, who sits on the board of directors of Penlee 'Academy' 'Trust', the 'chain' that 'oversees' 'academies' in the West Penwith area of Cornwall, met with a brick wall. With a series of refusals, delays, evasions and further delays the 'public consultation period' was frittered away fruitlessly. The whole sorry tale appears in previous blogposts and issues of The Limpet. These people were determined not to engage with me in conversation. The vicar just totally failed to respond to letters and emails - no response whatsoever.
Finally, with time running out fast I decided to do just that and went on one - a fast that is. After a final appeal was spurned, I declared a state of hunger-strike until dialogue was commenced. I lived on raw plant juice for three weeks and two days. At the beginning of this little adventure I had naively assumed that my tactic would bring some kind of result fairly rapidly. How wrong I was. I'd kind of given up on getting any response from Nigel, even though he is a governor, and an employee of the school, who has been aware of the 'academy' agenda for years. I suppose I thought Chris would eventually hold out some sort of token gesture, or that Sian, as a woman of 'God' would perhaps respond out of some kind of Christian attitude, or some such thing. After 23 days on the juice-fast there was no response whatsoever from any of them (apart from the aforementioned bicycle adventure/free speech clash with Chris!) It was obvious that these folks were not going to respond at all, and having felt that they'd had their pound of flesh, I decided that that banana lying in the fruit-bowl looked pretty good... followed by various other foodstuffs that also took on a curious aura of attraction.
I felt that I'd done what I could and that they couldn't have beat me in a fair fight, but this is about money, so expecting fair treatment is again the mark of naivety.
So the land-rush rolls into town and another bastion of culture becomes commodified and 'procured' by the capitalist victors. But hey, look on the bright side - Burger King will be sponsoring the new ping-pong rackets...