By Kola Animashaun

Politicians  can  die anytime.  And   that  was  the  case  of   56-year-old  Christopher   Shale.  He  was   as   big  as they  come. He  is  a “big”, what  they  call,fish in  the  conservative  party! Christopher  was  chairman  of  the  West  Oxfordshire  Conservative Party  Association. And  that  covers  David   Cameron ‘s  constituency.

And he was  not only a  do-nothing   Chairman, he was also a  wealthy  businessman.

Of  him , the  prime  minister  said:”A  big  rock  in  my  life has   suddenly  been rolled   away. Christopher  was   one of  the  most  kindly  generous  people  I  ever met. He  was   always   giving  to  others-his   time, his  enthusiasm and,  above  all, his   love of  life”.

Of  course,the Prime  Minister  said   Mr  Shale  was “a  great  friend  and   has  been   huge support over  the first decade in West  Oxfordshire”.

Mr  Shale  died on  26/06/11 during the  Glastonbury  Festival  at  the  VIP   section, in  a portable    toilet. His  body  was   found lumped  in  the   toilet by  the   backstage. He  was  staying with his wife  and two  sons  in  a  luxury camper van.

The  senior  Conservative   Party  officer  did  not  kill  himself,as   he  is more likely   to have  suffered   a   heart  attack.

I  wrote  about  Mr.  Shale   to  see  how  not   to   carry  out  our  politicking. No  one is   accusing  anybody  of  killing the Conservative  kingpin.

And   the   kingpin  would  say  his mind as he  said  before  his  death: that the fall  in  the  Conservative  membership could  be  attributed  to  people’s  suspicions  that  if   they  get   involved,”we’ll  beg and steal  from  them”

He  added:And  they are  right” over  the  years, we’ve   come   across  as   graceless,  voracious,crass, always  on  the take. When  we’re together  we’re  not  always  a   group    to  whom  many  of  our potential members are going  to be  magnetically   drawn”.

Fail in English, fail…
In   my  secondary  school days, one     would   have to pass  in English  language to  make any  headway.    So,   they   say: ”Fail in  English,  fail  in  all”. That was  a long  time  ago.

For  many  years,  many  can  fail  in English  and   still  forge ahead. I have  to be  at  the  throat of  my   children as  they   write their English  and  other subjects. You would remember  some 30  years  ago,I  went   to   the open-day  of the   Ikeja  Grammar  School to see my daughter. I   particularly went  to  see her  teacher  who I did not think she  was  doing  a  good  job  in   her  composition, spelling  and   grammar.

As far as my girl was concerned, she could  compose  compositions which I do not  consider  everything. So,  I  confronted  her teacher  who  said   she  was  doing  a  good   job.

The teacher   told  me she  was  not to  teach   grammar   or    fine   points   of   it,  but   to   teach   communication.

So,   I  was   not  surprised,   progressively till   now  it is   easy to see capital  letters    where  they  have no reason   to appear. The  fine  points  of   punctuation are   merely   used  as dressing. Such  is the case   that all over the  world or a majority of the   world-  many    people   write   the  same way.

Now,  Michael  Grove,  the  Education   Secretary of    the  Conservative  Party, has  promised  a   radical  shake  up of  the  GCSE  examinations. More  weight,he  said,  will  be  given  to   grammar, punctuation  and   spelling, not   only  in  English  but  all   subjects. He has  set  up   the  stage   to  announcing  the  sweeping    changes. Emphasis  will  be placed   on   final   exam  at the   end of  two  years   of  study.

Marks will be awarded  in   all subjects for good grammar, spelling and punctuations.  This   would  be like  a   return    to traditional  end-of-year  examination. Teachers  may  oppose this. The  Education   Secretary  thinks  “standards in Britain   were  not  rising  as   fast  in other   nations”,   for  instance,  Canada, Singapore and   South  Korea. The   changes  he  means to introduce  would”  prepare   people   better for   real life  and   universities”.

Since   we  always   do   what   the UK does, let  us  also improve the  teaching of our  subjects in grammar, spelling   and  punctuation.  Of  course, we  cannot do that unless  we   improve   the  training  of  our  teachers.

As I clock 72
“When people say, she’s got everything, I’ve got one answer – I  haven’t  had tomorrow” -Elizabeth   Taylor

This  Tuesday,  July 5, I  shall, inshah Allah,  be  72. And,  that  shows  you   how   quickly  time  flies.

I   do  not know how much more I will do. Some of my friends and  classmates have gone.  In the last few months I have lost Hassan Folawewo at 76. He was a pharmacy-technician and a unionist. He was on the slight side and no one can say he was that  aged and he was active to the  end.

I also lost Kaman Alli-Owe, a  surveyor. He was 72, like me.  He was very active at the 50th anniversary of our class re-union last February. By March, Kaman was gone.

When I take an inventory of our  classmates, I noticed some have left in various ages. I am not being melancholic, it is just to remind ourselves (as if we needed reminding) that when your number  is up, it is up.

But do we do enough to be remembered?

P.S: I  am in the UK.  Send  your  SMS  to  +44-75796544447, my  mail box  remains [email protected]
-Kola  Animasaun

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