The parents, staff and children of South Primary School are still standing, still defiant, make no mistake about it the SNP/Lib.Dem. administration in Renfrewshire Council and the education officers did not expect resistance of this kind. The campaign to save the school has been to every corner of Renfrewshire and beyond, it cornered Alex (the spiv) Salmond in Glenrothes and now intends to chase him to his Bute House bolt hole in Edinburgh after he reneged on his promise to visit them at the school. It has been gratifying to see the struggle these people have put up, to watch them grow in confidence and determination as they boldly refused to buckle before the might of Renfrewshire Council and the SNP led administration who intend to close their school, this is local politics at it’s very best and it is not party political, it is community politics and it has stunned the SNP/Lib.Dem councillors who are now in full retreat from the campaigners.
These administration councillors have been conspicuous by their absence, they are afraid to face the parents and kids, they have even banned the advertising of councillor’s surgeries to make life more difficult for the campaigners to see their councillor, they have hidden from the consultation meetings, they went missing when the protest march visited council headquarters, they refused the school permission to display the children’s work and achievements, what does this tell us ? Well you could suggest many things, are they cowards ? absolutely, are they hiding ? no doubt about that, have they got a clue what they are doing ? not really. I believe that the biggest problem that these councillors have is the fact that the protesters have managed by dint of their hard work and zeal to shine a very unflattering light on the powers that be; because the public are firmly on their side. This is due to their diligence at getting their argument across, they have massive support and the SNP know that, hence their absence, “let them turn and flee” someone once said.
There is no one out there who does not have a locus here, I’m 60 and my children are long out of school but, my grandchildren haven’t started yet, how many of you out there are in the same position ? how many of you have nieces and nephews who are in the education system in Renfrewshire ? how many of you have small children who live around you, some at school and some not yet started ? they are the important ones, not me or you but them, they are the future, nothing is more important than this and don’t make the mistake as some are doing by saying “my school is OK” because it’s not.
There is a principle at stake here; do you believe that money can be found to prevent this closure? I do, is education vital, well? I also fear for the future of other schools if they get their way and close it, anyone who thinks that this will not impinge on them or their families or neighbours or just on any children at all are taking a risk, think of children you might never meet or see, they also are important, that’s what separates us from other creatures, we care about others, we are prone to being collective and we should be proud of that.
To those who have not been concerned by this struggle; I ask you to start by considering the children, all children, whether you have children at school or if you have had children at school in the past. What would you be doing if your children were in South School ? consider also that the director of education to his credit had the courage and integrity to state that we have 10 primary schools too many, consider also that South Primary is not the lowest attended school other schools are in a poorer situation, that is, if you take the SNP/Lib.Dem. definition of what a poor situation is and believe me, that situation to them is about money not the children, if I were a parent with kids in school in Renfrewshire I would consider it vital to familiarise myself with the facts, ask the questions, contact the campaigners and, having done so,
I WOULD DO WHAT I CAN TO SUPPORT THE SOUTH PRIMARY CAMPAIGN.