From the forums - Just say no to toffs, gooey treats and use-by dates

14th January 2011 at 00:00
Public schools, supermarket adverts and mouldy grub kick up an online stink

Earlier this month, The TES Magazine pondered what had happened to that "golden" generation of left-leaning, liberal teachers. So when Richard Knights, who writes an anti-public school blog (abolishpublic posts in The TES online staffroom that about two-thirds of the current Cabinet were educated at public schools, and only 10 at state schools, you might expect a left-wing battle-cry.

Instead, the response is surprisingly conservative (with a big or small "c"). As Lilyofthefield points out: "Successful committed parents throw money at their children's education. Children do well. Dog barks." Other posters point out that Mr Knights' findings only highlight that a public school education can do wonders for your career. "Most who had a privately paid education tend to not end up flipping burgers," says CelticQueen. Nomad, meanwhile, takes a less serious view. "I think (Mr Knights) should be de-bagged and given a jolly good thrashing after lights-out for being such a bounder."

The effects of the festive blow-out are still being felt by some, who write to object to Marks amp; Spencer's advertising campaigns, which spent most of December tempting us into buying gooey, chocolatey treats and then used the same actress, Caroline Quentin, to sell us their "healthier" options now that everyone is on a diet. Eggnchips rants: "What is she telling us? You can slurp a few vinos and dig your spoon into salt, fat and sugar and it'll all be alright."

To which Professor Dumbledore replies: "You obviously can't though, as she is now advertising their Simply Fuller Longer range. In other words... now spend #163;3.50 a pop on their 'healthy' meals to make yourself feel better for splurging."

On another culinary note, staffroom fridges across the country could be harbouring all manner of nasties, judging by some posters' behaviour. CrazyChemist announces he is happily munching through a well-known brand of cheese spread that is a month out of date. Egyptgirl also has a penchant for a product with a questionable shelf life, but her husband hates it.

"If I eat something out of date, he goes mad and then for days afterwards keeps asking me 'are you alright?' to see if I've got salmonella," she says.

A simple sniff test is enough for some: "If it looks okay and smells okay then I'm happy," adds musings85. Let's hope a sudden wave of listeria doesn't hit.

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