At high school my English teacher called me sly. She told me that at least with the others, the other trouble makers – the disruptive, the loud, vulgar, obvious – she knew what they were – she could handle that – she could categorise, attach a label, put into a box … treat the same way.

She didn’t know if the work that I had presented was my own work or that of someone else – something I’d copied.

At first she marked me high, I passed CSE English literature with a grade high enough to gain an O-level – not that it mattered to me – and then she pondered, and she thought, ‘he must have cheated,’ so she marked me down.

I wonder what she would make of my writing today, I wonder if she still thinks I cheat?

In the course of writing a book to be published in September I have opened many memories. I have dug into my past, into England’s past. And how shocking some of it is.

So the question I’m sure you ask is …

“Did he cheat?”

And the answer is …

 “Of course.”




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