Well, miserable is not exactly the word I would use for my life. More like agonised, the irresistible drive meeting the immovable resistance, just like my education.
I remember when my mother came to fetch me from college after the degree exam, in which I knew I had not done well enough. Toeing the social line as usual, she said, ‘I know how you feel, disappointed.’ Disappointed is not the word you use for someone who has just been sentenced to be deported for life to Devil’s Island.
But I should make the point, which is routinely overlooked, that it is only lack of money that prevents me, or has ever prevented me, from being extremely happy and successful. People tend to talk as if money was no consideration, whereas it is the only one. And if they talk about money at all, they talk rather strenuously as if money could only be given by institutions, and never by individuals to other individuals. Another line of argument is that, since they cannot give us enough to enable us to do large-scale laboratory work, there is no point in giving anything.
Actually it is more like a starving community, which certainly appreciates a few loaves of bread, even if it does not guarantee that no-one will die of starvation.
I mean this metaphorically, of course. I would not really appreciate a cheque for the price of a few loaves.
I have thought of suing the Essex Education Authority or the Ministry of Education for a few million pounds. When I went to see my MP John Patten, formerly Minister of Education, he tried to make me think I could only sue individuals, but on my understanding of the law, they were acting as servants of collective entities, and the collective entities should be suable. Not that I have any hope of this, since any judge would be a representative of the current ideology. However, I reject the view that there should be a statute of limitations, since there is no statute of limitations on the harm which a ruined education does to someone’s life.