Slummy mummies get pyjama warning…

GREAT story in the Andytown News about how the Lower Falls Tracksuit – better known as ‘pyjamas’ – has migrated to south east Belfast. A Short Strand school principal has written to mothers who wear pyjamas while leaving their kids to school that they are being “disrespectful” and setting a “bad example”. St Matthew’s principal Joe McGuinness said up to 50 pyjama-wearing mums leave their kids to school each morning. But he added that European laws exist which prevent principals from banning pyjamas from schools.“There used to be about 15 to 20 pyjama-wearing parents, but there is anything up to 50 now, and they are all women,” McGuinness said.

“People don’t go to see a solicitor, bank manager or doctor dressed in pyjamas, so why do they think it’s okay to drop their children off at school dressed like that?

“It’s about respect and setting children a bad example.

“There is an old word called slovenliness, which means messy and lazy. I think this can be applied to people who spend the day dressed in pyjamas.”

  • missfitz

    I dont understand your outrage at all. I was simply making the point that major assumptions are being made about women who have decided not to be constrained by artificial social constraints any more, and decide to take chidlren to school in whatever form of garb they desire.

    I make no apology for admitting to having done it myself, and I feel that there has been a huge rush to judgement on this issue.

    Nightie + school Does not equal sloth

  • Briso

    Posted by Sammy Morse on Jun 07, 2007 @ 06:01 PM

    Sammy before I start, I want to apologise for using the word ‘typical’ in my first angry post which started this shitstorm. It was man not ball. I’ve no way of knowing whether your opinion on this matter is ‘typical’. I guess the fact you’ve given the same word back to me a number of times proves it rankled. Sorry.

    Now back to the fray.
    >>Who said they were wearing them all day?
    >I did.
    Indeed. And my point was that because they were at the school gate at 8:30 does not mean they were like that all day. You may know know some who are. Fair enough, but you’re still making unwarranted assumptions.

    >>Who said, finally, that even if they fall into all the above categories THEY FORGET TO SEND
    >>THEIR CHILDREN TO SCHOOL!!! Pure snobbery.

    >What a load of bourgeois, sociology
    >lecturer/kitchen sink drama rubbish. Spare me
    >your mawkish sentimentalisation of working-class
    >life. This has nothing to do with snobbery and
    >everything to do with standards. You clearly
    >know nothing about life in working-class parts
    >of Belfast today. These are just the sort of
    >parents who fail to send their children to
    >school from time to time because they aren’t
    >actually out of bed in time to do so, and whose
    >children thanks to their lack of prospects spend
    >their teenage years making the lives of their
    >neighbours a misery, before repeating the cycle
    >at an early age themselves.

    >Although, at least the mothers are there. Most
    >of the fathers get off the scene as soon as they
    >realise that, yes, that’s a real baby and yes,
    >it’s going to cost real money to look after.

    I see, and you know all this because they walk their children to school in their nightwear. I honestly give up. Feckless parenting destroys lives and communities in the long run. I couldn’t disagree with that, but I’m just not prepared to extrapolate the way you are. Does Miss Fitz’s contribution not make you hesitate?

    As for “You clearly know nothing about life in working-class parts of Belfast today.”, you have a point. Ball not man though, OK?

    >>In my day…

    >Which isn’t remotely comparable to what is going on today…
    Really? I don’t know what is going on in the homes of the people of the Short Strand who bring their children to school and I’m not prepared to take your word for it.

    >>Some worked as cleaners
    >That’s some job as a cleaner that doesn’t start until after you get the kids out to school.
    There are many cleaning jobs like that. Most families don’t want the cleaner in until they’re all out of the house themselves. Not that that’s really relevant one way or the other.

  • Briso

    Miss Fitz,

    I agree with every word you posted and you said it better than I could have. Sorry if I wasn’t clear.


  • Animus

    Miss Fitz
    I see your point, but at least you threw a jacket on over your nightie. I draw a distinction between casual attire and pyjamas.

    I don’t think pyjama parents are terrible people, but it does smack of a lack of effort. I also draw a distinction between bringing kids to school ocassionally in pyjamas and making it a regular occurence. If you don’t want to be tarred with the sloth brush, you have a choice here. I still maintain that wearing clothes to school is not an outlandish or unreasonable expectation.

  • kensei

    “That’s some job as a cleaner that doesn’t start until after you get the kids out to school. Must be really popular. Most of the cleaners I know either have to get up at the crack of dawn or work some unsocial twilight shift that mucks up with family mealtimes. Let me know where this cleaning job is, I know a few people who’d be interested.”

    My apartment block hires a cleaning agency and they come in and do a few hours a day. I normally see them going out at 9, but they have a van and move on other places. Work has cleaning staff on all day, and several do afternoon and evening shifts.

    I’d hate to think you are just being snobby, Sammy.

  • I see, and you know all this because they walk their children to school in their nightwear. I honestly give up.

    Oh, I give up too, Briso. I know this because I know the people involved where I live and I doubt that the situation is different a two miles away in the Short Strand.

    If you really can’t see the connection between all day pyjama wearing and feckless parenting then you must be wearing welding glasses to avoid dealing with reality.

    Let’s go back to first principles here, because you and others are not understanding my argument (perhaps wilfully, perhaps not).

    Obviously people are legally entitled to wear pyjamas all day if they want. The state should not legislate for how people dress (and I’m not even sure if it should legislate whether they dress or not).

    Equally obviously, there is no causal relationship between a mother wearing pyjamas and her children performing poorly at school; children to not lose the capacity to do long division or start beating up their mates because of the sight of Winne the Pooh at their dinner. So what is the problem?

    Well, who actually gets away with wearing pyjamas all day? People who don’t have jobs, that’s who. Would your employer let you away with lounging around in your jimmy-jammies in work? Would anybody’s? Nope.

    Of course, you and those who agree with you trot out legions of mythical prosperous bourgeois homeworkers (not too many of them in North Belfast), leisurely housewives and daily women who get to not start work until 10 am. With the greatest of respect, you (collectively) only display your own ignorance of how this phenomenon operates in practice. I know who takes their kids to our school gates in their pyjamas and I know which of them work (next to none), or have a partner who works (a handful). And when people get fed up being on the dole and do get themselves a job… hey presto!, you don’t see them taking their kids to school in pyjamas any more!

    In North Belfast, the standard operating procedure seems to be take the kids to school (in your pyjamas), come home and watch daytime TV for a while, call in to the shop on the way to pick the kids up from school (still in your pyjamas), and maybe nip out for a pint of milk and a packet of fegs about tea-time (still in your pyjamas).

    And here lies at least part of the solution to they mystery of why thousands of people in North and West Belfast are on benefits while thousands of people can step of the plane from Poland, Turkey or Nigeria and find themselves in gainful employment in a matter of days, despite often speaking little English when they arrive in Northern Ireland.

    You can call all this snobbery if you want, but then you’re making that classic hard-left mistake of confusing standards with snobbery. Slugger still drips with snobbery whenever the working-classes do something that annoys the right on Sluggeristas (like, say, going on cheap holidays to Magaluf). But whenever something about standards comes up (like getting dressed properly in the morning before you go out and maybe getting off your arse and getting a job), then down come the hard-left stormtroopers with all the self-righteousness of a Ken Loach film talking about snobbery.

    Do pyjamas matter? Intrinscially, no. But what they signify matters a hell of a lot.

  • PS – this made The Times Women’s section today: