WHAT A loss to the world of English teaching is Graham Lane, the Man Who Speaks For The Education Authorities. At least, so it appeared during a stunning debate during last week's Local Government Association's general purposes committee meeting. (Still awake at the back?) Lively opinions were being exchanged about the notorious Section 28 of the Local Government Act, the one which made the "promotion of homosexuality" illegal and under which no one has been prosecuted. Labour members were keen to see it repealed, Tories were not.
And then up piped Mr Lane. "One or two people had expressed the opinion that children should not be exposed to this sort of thing, so I told them you'd have a job to teach Twelfth Night without it. There's women dressing up as men and falling in love with a woman who happens to be a man. It's riddled with homosexual ambiguity. There's transvestism. You can't avoid the sexual innuendo, and people do it for O-level (sic)."
Warming to his theme, Mr Lane continues: "There's Romeo and Juliet about under-age sex, Julius Caesar is about assassination. How Shakespeare gets on the syllabus I don't know."