20 November 2009

Sod Eton, Floreat Winstanley!

I have very little to say regarding the proposal of Herman van Rompuy as President of the European Council, primarily as I know very little of him, save that he is Prime Minister du jour of Belgium, a country whose fragile coalitions might appear to serve as a poster for opponents of PR, but in reality serve as a poster for opponents of multinational states.

But I am very excited at the proposal of Catherine Ashton, or Baroness Ashton of Upholland, as High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

Mainly, I'm thrilled for Upholland. My bus to College would, on occasion, pass through the place. Mostly (particularly when we had the old, clapped out bus that couldn't negotiate a particularly steep hill), we'd go from Coppull through Shevington, Gathurst and passing St. Joh Rigby (the Catholic 6th Form College) Orrell, before arriving in Billinge and dropping us off at Winstanley College. But if we had a newer bus that could handle steeper inclines without dying (the old bus even struggled through Gathurst), we'd go through Appley Bridge, Roby Mill and Upholland, then through Tontine and reaching Billinge. The route was longer, but there was less traffic. So I have vague memories of Upholland - or at least, one ugly, ugly junction, where the road effectively turned back on itself, and we would have to make the turnoff on that particularly sharp bend.

So despite a slightly barmy road layout, Upholland has reason to be chuffed. And so do I.

For you see, young Cathy attended Upholland Grammar back in her day. But by then, the school wasn't in Upholland, but in Billinge - on Winstanley Road. It eventually stopped taking pre-16 pupils and evolved into Winstanley College - the same College I got the bus to every day!

It remains to be seen how well she will do in her job. She hasn't made any major muckups as EU Trade Commissioner, but she's only been in that post for a year and her domestic ministerial career involved nothing to do with foreign policy.

Nevertheless, to see her attain such an important post is, however she performs, an inspiring sight for all Winstanley alumni.

If she succeeds in her new role, then we can argue that we can all succeed in this or any field.

If she performs badly, then another alumnus has the potential to be the first former Winstanley College student to do well.

So stuff Eton, sod Fettes and Loretto - as of now, Winstanley College is where it's at!

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