Wednesday, October 06, 2010

To Miss With Love – who is she?

Yesterday, a delightful lady with whom His Grace has had the most fulfilling of relationships over many years decided to ‘out’ herself. And she did so at the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham where she received a standing ovation.

A link to ‘To Miss With Love’ has sat upon His Grace’s blog ever since he discovered her existence. She did what all good bloggers do: find a niche, tell it like it is, often letting the heart rule the head, challenging her readers in eloquent and creative prose. Her posts were infrequent, but each one a sparkling jewel upon the blogosphere’s plate of cold baked beans.

Miss Snuffy, as she was known, posted here; His Grace posted there. It will be seen in the right-hand column that Miss Snuffy even credited His Grace with influencing her political development. She wrote:

You have made me appreciate Conservative thinking. I had always believed right-wingers to be evil, selfish, and mean individuals. You, however, are Conservative and delightful. I will indeed be voting Conservative in the next election – your influence in particular has led me down the path of taking an interest in what the Right has to say.
And so this former Marxist did indeed vote Conservative at the last general election.

And she instantly became a darling of conference, with The Guardian, The Times (£) and the Daily Mail all wanting a slice.

Her speech is available on BBC iPlayer (forward to 1:17). It is a superlative account of the manifest deficiencies in the state education system and the root causes of its chronic failure to meet the needs of our children because ‘it keeps poor children poor’ and teachers are too ‘blinded by leftist ideology’.

And now Miss Snuffy, aka deputy headteacher Katharine Birbalsingh, has been forced to take down her blog (it would be quite impossible for her to write about students now that her school has been identified). And she has asked His Grace to bid farewell to her ‘Blogsville friends’.

To have come out as both Miss Snuffy and a Tory on the same day has been more than a little traumatic for her, especially with all the paparazzi and consequent press intrusion. While we can now put a delightful face to ‘To Miss with Love’, her loss to the blogosphere is acute.

She would like her friends and many contributors over her blogging years to know that it is they who brought her to where she is: that when the newspapers asked what helped her in her evolution, she credits blogging and ‘the people she met in Blogsville’. She says: “I want to tell them how grateful I am.”

As we are to you, Miss Snuffy.

Ms Birbalsingh.


Good-bye. You will be missed.

Though it is quite likely that you will be Baroness Birbalsingh before too long.


Blogger Savonarola said...

I am not surprised. I knew it was Miss Snuffy when I read the article in Daily Mail and well done Your Grace with showing KB that all Conservatives are not selfish and nasty.

I wrote to Boris Johnson two years and advised him to make contact with Ms Snuffy since she had more to say on inner City education that any minister or educationist.

I hope Katherine is not smothered by her new admirers. She needs space to be herself.

Good luck Katherine in your new post. You are a teacher in a million. Your courage makes me humble.

6 October 2010 at 11:34  
Blogger Paul said...

I actually jumped up and down at this news! (Not that I'm Tory, I'm just happy she is being heard).

I didn't always see eye to eye with her, but I loved her blog. She had an impact on my thinking.

The weird thing is, I was browsing the Daily Mail, and her picture "caught my eye" ... I had no idea it was Miss Snuffy, ha!

I'm considering getting involved with the Progressive Unionist Party, and am meeting the leader soon, Deo volente. I wonder if Ms. Birbalsingh might consider coming here to give a talk. In Northern Ireland we consistently have the best education results in the UK, but in certain working-class areas affected by the troubles there are huge problems, not dissimilar, I would guess, to those faced in inner city London ... paramilitary culture, Most Oppressed People Ever syndrome, etc.

P.S. Good to see you back, Cranmer. You have spelt Snuffy's name incorrectly, 4th line up from the bottom. I'll forgive you, though, as it was clearly a slip of the fingers due to being as excited as I am, ha!

6 October 2010 at 11:58  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace

This whole episode reveals that all men are natural conservatives only but for a moment silenced by the all pervasive values of Marxist tyranny that stalks the corridors of the State and the university department.

In each department of State and university there are according to Marxist doctrine no criminals or madmen.

There are no criminals as there is no moral law to trespass against (only the thesis and anti-thesis and the eventual synthesis of the class war).

There are no madmen because we are wholly devoid of free will as the iron laws of Marxian historical determinism are not only the ‘scientific’ explanation but the justification in the eyes of the wrongdoer and his victim (in a world where Judaeo-Christian values have fled).

Therefore, every action by the bureaucrat (over whom presides the politician) is in space and time the only possible one.

Marxian madness.

6 October 2010 at 12:07  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Mr Paul,

Typo corrected. Thank you.

6 October 2010 at 12:08  
Anonymous The Vicar's Wife said...

I too guessed that the Deputy Head whose speech was being raved about on Twitter must be Miss Snuffy. I am sad about the demise of her blog but very glad that she now has the opportunity to share her views more widely.

6 October 2010 at 12:15  
Blogger Gnostic said...

I appreciate Miss Snuffy's honesty as both a teacher and as a blogger. Her blog made refreshing reading. However, I'm not so impressed about a former Marxist voting for the modern Tory party. Under Cameron's Big Society, nanny knows best aegis there isn't that big a political difference so it's hardly the great step His Grace would have us believe...

6 October 2010 at 12:19  
Blogger mongoose said...

Good Afternoon, YG. We all liked Snuffy. A fantastic woman. And judging by the pic at the top of your post, not a Deputy Head you would like to cross. Good luck to her.

6 October 2010 at 13:17  
Blogger Man in a Shed said...

I'm going to miss Miss Snuffy also. I fear the hard left will make life very difficult for her - the are viscous and hateful and very protective of their ability to keep people in poverty.

She's a brave as well as talented woman.

6 October 2010 at 14:36  
Blogger I am Stan said...

Yo Your Grace,

Marxist to Tory! I hope that`s a big leap in ideology and the two are not cut from the same cloth.

She has amazing hair eh?..;)

6 October 2010 at 14:43  
Blogger Oswin said...

Ooooo I do love an imposing woman of the slender persuasion!

6 October 2010 at 15:34  
Anonymous Michal said...

I'll be honest with you, this has blown my mind. I wish ms. Snuf...Birbalsingh much success in her life. It's heartwarming to know that people like her can influence politics. Reading her blog has been a joy, and very insightful.

6 October 2010 at 15:50  
Anonymous gyges said...

Please draw the lady's attention to the law of confidence.

6 October 2010 at 17:11  
Blogger Not a sheep said...

Miss Snuffy's blogging will be missed but hopefully Katherine Birbalsingh will be able to make a bigger difference to educational standards now dhe is out and proud.

6 October 2010 at 17:16  
Blogger Jared Gaites said...

I have also exchanged emails in the past and if I had any clue that she was so gorgeous then I would have pretended to be a little more conservative. Dam!

6 October 2010 at 17:18  
Blogger Chromatistes said...

Mrs S's contributions will be missed. Perhaps she could invent a new alias...

6 October 2010 at 17:22  
Anonymous not a machine said...

Its rather like watching a torpedo made by a flawed evil genius turn around and return back from where it came. Unusual for your grace to highlight a worked conviction in such a manner , but I never inhabited her blogg so I cant criticise

6 October 2010 at 18:05  
Anonymous not a machine said...

Its rather like watching a torpedo made by a flawed evil genius turn around and return back from where it came. Unusual for your grace to highlight a worked conviction in such a manner , but I never inhabited her blogg so I cant criticise

6 October 2010 at 18:05  
Blogger BJ said...

To Miss With Love was one of the great "public servant" blogs, and didn't get enough recognition. I am the husband and the son of teachers, and it took her (and Frank Chalk) to make me realise just how hard some teachers work, and how little they are rewarded. My wife, who works in a London comprehensive, deals with great problems caused by nothing more than a retrenched public sector mindset.

Good luck in future Ms Birbalsingh.

6 October 2010 at 20:08  
Blogger Ir'Rational said...

Your Grace
Topical and informative (revelatory?) as always. I kept faith with both Your Grace and Miss Snuffy through the long respective silences. Your Grace has returned to Your Grace's blog, she for only two posts to hers. I watched her speech - not knowing.
I come from a family of teachers ... and alcoholics(!). But, with all the resultant cynicism, I was inspired. This comment is overused - but in my case, an understatement.
Thank you and God bless her. May the road rise to meet her ...

6 October 2010 at 22:36  
Blogger English Viking said...

Is it just me, or is it 'Side-show Bob'?

PS I don't care what she say says, thinks, wants, etc.

7 October 2010 at 00:50  
Blogger English Viking said...

Is it just me, or is it 'Side-show Bob'?

PS I don't care what she say says, thinks, wants, etc.

7 October 2010 at 00:51  
Blogger OldSouth said...

Thank you for sharing this account of Katherine Birbalsingh, and OS looks forward to hearing/reading much more from her.

Sadly, the BBC video clip is unavailable to view here in the colonies. Here's hoping some enterprising soul will find away 'round that inconvenience.

It is soooo good to have you back, Your Grace. You were missed!

7 October 2010 at 12:46  
Blogger Little Black Sambo said...

I am most grateful to have been directed to her blog by yourself and shall very much miss reading it. Let us hope that her public adoption will not be the kiss of death.

7 October 2010 at 21:20  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please pass this message on to her:

"As soon as I saw your beautiful face, I knew it was you! I'm not a bit surprised at this turn of events, because it was only a matter of time really, wasn't it? Thank you from a long time fan in Japan. Miko"

8 October 2010 at 04:14  
Anonymous Alex said...

As soon as I saw the story in the Daily Mail, I knew it was Miss Snuffy.

I think what she has done is marvellous. She is a role model, blazing the way, telling us not to be scared to say what we think and believe.

She has my utmost support. I wish I'd have seen her speech live.

8 October 2010 at 13:36  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dont blame Irene Bishop. She is ( hopefully) trying to repair the destruction of the school by her predecessor and the useless bunch of senior managers and c.o.e.sponsor. 117 teachers left during her headship.Katherine has specifically exposed the car crash left by the preevious head but this is merely an example of the culture of left-wing lunacy controlling the educational establishment

10 October 2010 at 11:43  
Blogger Idle Pen Pusher said...

I'll miss her!

12 October 2010 at 13:03  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's Katharine - as in Hepburn - not Katherine

12 October 2010 at 14:52  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Novel ?

13 October 2010 at 02:56  
Anonymous Jock said...

Having worked with KB, I can see she is exactly the person needed to speak out like this. She is extremely professional, dedicated and enthusiastic individual. Some people online have made comments about her motives, I can be certain her motives are purely for the benefit of one thing only- the students.

Having experienced life in one of the schools she has, I can agree with her conclusions almost without any variation whatsoever, for those of you who haven't worked in London schools- it has to be experienced to be understood.

19 October 2010 at 22:57  

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