On the Committee
It was soon after this that Pinkie decided to set up an Ideas Forum for the lower school. People were to put in ideas (anonymously) about how to make things better. There was a Suggestions Box and people put their suggestions in there.
I was really pleased when I was picked by Pinkie to be on the Committee. In fact I was to be the guy who was actually to pick out the suggestions from the Suggestions Box and read them out.
I had really arrived. I was becoming part of the inner circle.
Making the Suggestion Box anonymous was a huge mistake. Repressive Systems don’t like anonymity – and not just repressive regimes.
It is not only the repressive regimes who are trying to remove anonymity for those who post on the Internet. Anonymity is the great enemy of those in power. Anonymity means that people can say whatever they want.
How horrible must that be to those who are in power? It is not just repressive regimes who want powers to find out who is doing what and who is saying what on the Internet. It is the US, the British and leading European democracies who are trying to stop us saying what we want under the guise of anonymity.
At the first meeting, held in the adjoining First and Second Year classrooms, the Committee (Pinkie, myself and a couple of others were at the front). Now, when organisations have Suggestion Boxes, the real reason they are having them is so that they can find suggestions that benefit themselves. However, staff (or pupils) sometimes get the wrong idea and make suggestions that are for the benefit of those who work for the company or the organisation.
This is mainly what happened here. The suggestions tended to be not to have the horrible porridge that we had for breakfast (which I actually liked) but to have Cereal instead. Another suggestion was to for the sisters to stop putting huge amounts of pepper in the dandelion leaves soup (picked from the grounds) that they were always giving us. Surprisingly these two ideas were implemented.
However, there were several ‘suggestions’ and criticisms of the regime put into the Suggestion Box. To my great shame I picked them out, but instead of reading them out, I handed them over to Pinkie with a disapproving look as if I was handling a rotten fish.
The first one or two came as a big surprise to Pinkie and he gave a stern lecture about the kind of person who would make suggestions like that. However, when the next few came out he simply put them in the bin. I can’t remember what they said now but I wonder if any of them made criticism of Pinkie and what he was up to with the boys.
I think under any regime when you give the people an opportunity to say something without the fear of being caught and punished a lot of true feelings and grievances will come out.
Helped the System
I was glad I was able to help the system by intercepting some suggestions from what I saw as some very sad boys who didn’t appreciate what was being done for them.
Pinkie seemed to appreciate what I had done. I could be trusted. Things were looking up. I was in Pinkie’s good books. Better than that, he appreciated what I could bring to the organisation. I was pleased. The future was looking very bright indeed.
It is a shame that this was the last ever Suggestion Box meeting. It was scrapped after that. The boys had been given an opportunity and they had abused it.