The LiBeL column from The Nation newspaper
I started a website for English teachers, Ajarn.com, back in 1999. It grew pretty quickly and within a couple of years I was asked to write a weekly column for the Education Section of The Nation newspaper.
The late Bobby McBlain ran that section and he wanted something that wasn’t your typical, dull teaching column. He enjoyed the same sarcastic humour as myself and so the Life in the Bus Lane (a.k.a. LiBeL) was born. The aim was simple – to take the piss out of teachers and the education system in general and see what we could get away with.
Writing for a national newspaper sounds impressive. But it was more a case of being in the right place at the right time. Rather than me having any real talent.
The column ran for about 15 months from Feb 2001 – May 2002. By that time I’d upset quite a few people and the higher ups at The Nation decided that it was time to redesign the Education section and have a real teacher write a column instead.
The columns are below. Some are quite good, others aren’t. All are the result of a few beers on a Thursday night as I struggled to think of something to write for the Friday deadline.
What is most impressive are the number of song titles I managed to use and the number of references to bars, hookers, dead kids, pedophiles etc which wouldn’t be allowed anywhere near a newspaper column today.