James O'Brien's Passionate Defence Of Striking Teachers In Fear Of Safety

28 June 2019, 13:29

James O'Brien accused the right-wing media of trusting teachers to look after their children, but not to strike when their own safety is at risk.

Staff at the Starbank School in Birmingham, rated outstanding by Ofsted, have taken industrial action, saying there is a gang mentality at the school and they fear for their safety.

And yet James is baffled by why right-wing commentators who will back them now don't also back them the rest of the year.

Speaking on his LBC show, James said: "People who normally talk about teachers having it easy and them going on strike is outrageous, they generally get even more excited by the prospect of putting the boot into other people's misbehaving children.

"So when columnists get their teeth into this story in tomorrow's newspapers, they're going to approve of this strike because it allows them to unleash a volley of verbal abuse at unidentified children.

"One of the reasons that children misbehave in school, perhaps on a scale that is certainly not unprecedented but unfamiliar in recent years, is precisely because the teaching profession has been comprehensively and deliberately attacked and undermined by the sort of right-wing commentators and politicians who will today be putting the boot in to these children.

James O'Brien gave his support to the striking teachers
James O'Brien gave his support to the striking teachers. Picture: LBC / NASUWT

"If you've spent 30 years telling these children's parents that the teachers are having a laugh, they have more holidays than Judith Chalmers and they don't deserve any respect and protection at all and if they go on strike over their pay, then why can't kids go on strike on inset days or some other such nonsense.

"When teachers take industrial action, these politicians and pundits queue up to tell you that teachers are scumbags that don't deserve your sympathy.

"You can trust them with your children's life at 8.45 every morning. But you can't trust them when they tell you that they have little choice left but to take industrial action in pursuit of proper protection and pay."

It was a classic James O'Brien monologue. Watch it at the top of the page.