Tuesday, February 17, 1981

“I had to hit him on the back of the head with a truncheon”

First and third periods were History and we talked about Tsarist Foreign Policy up until 1914. Second period was free and everyone sat about drinking coffee or talking. Last two periods went by quickly as they always do; I talked with Deborah until she went to her Social Work course at one, and then I rushed off my Art homework. I felt pretty low today. Deborah and I seem to really get on but I again ended up feeling annoyed at Jeremy's off-handed ways. After crawling to me last week because I went on at him he’s reverted, but it’s probably partly my fault because I’m terse with him when he’s annoying.

I had two pieces of work to do for Hirst when I got home. One was a satirical Jane Austen-style essay and the other a seminar to be delivered in class tomorrow. We've complained to Ingham about the amount of English work we get. It really is a lot more than for any other subject.

I watched the nine o'clock news with Mum (the miners are on strike over pit closures), and after Dad got home at ten we all watched Ireland: A Television History, which was about the civil rights demos of 1969. They showed a clip of riot-equipped soldiers clubbing someone to the ground with huge truncheons in the aftermath of the murder of three British soldiers. I said there was no excuse for acting like that, and soon Dad and I were exchanging violent words. Bloody predictably he made excuses, and said it was “sickening what they did to those soldiers.” I agreed, but said that the British Army dragged itself down to the IRA's level by doing things like that, at which he got really heated, and told me that sometimes as a policeman in Easterby he has had to hit people on the back of the head with a truncheon. “You’ve got a lot to learn. I’ll never accept that sort of behaviour as the norm,” he snapped, and angrily switched the television off.

I came to bed.

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