THE LAST DITCH An Englishman returned after twenty years abroad blogs about liberty in Britain
Shame on us all
One can dream...

Professions 'increasingly dominated by the wealthiest.' Duh.

Professions 'increasingly dominated by the wealthiest' - Telegraph.

...the Government and the professions must "widen the talent pool" if the seven million new professional jobs it estimates will be needed in Britain by 2020 were to be filled...

Oh really? And I suppose that the politicisation, dumbing-down and general degradation of state public education has nothing to do with this situation?

When I joined my learned profession 26 years ago, there were a large number of bright, ambitious state school school types (educated in grammar schools or early comprehensives which had only begun to go bad) winking smilingly at each other amid the older public-school boys and girls for whom we worked. Not that we resented them (except those who occasionally revealed near-New Labour Minister levels of insulation from ordinary life). They didn't bother us, because we confidently expected to see their numbers trend to the proportion they represented in a wider society. After all, grammar school boys and girls were rather more to the fore in Margaret Thatcher's Cabinet than comprehensive alumni are in Brown's. The greatest English judge of that time (a personal hero of mine, whose signature on my admission certificate I treasure) was one of three superstar sons of a railwaymen. Social mobility was greater than at any time in our country's history and we were cheerfully riding that wave.

Thanks to Labour, the sons and daughters of those public school chaps now outnumber those rising below me more heavily than ever. When I retire, my successor will almost certainly be privately educated. It's not for the professions to dumb down in order to meet the declining standards of state education. It's up to a future government to fix what Labour has broken, in the interests of all - ideally by getting out of the management (if not the financing) of education altogether. No nation can survive on the educated talents of only that minority of children whose parents can afford (under the current fiscal regime) to pay for private education.

I told some Russian colleagues this morning that, in some ways, I would rather Britain had had 80 years of Communism to innoculate it forever from the Leveller virus that has infected it since Cromwell's day, than 30 years of an education system so poisonously Marxist that that it would never have occured to Stalin. Before someone points it out, yes I must re-read The Gulag Archipelago to cure myself of such hyperbole. Nonetheless, buried beneath tons of angry poetic exaggeration, there is an important point somewhere. A very important point that needs to be made, angrily or otherwise, on a daily basis.

Labour's Fifth Column in education is trashing your culture and stealing your childrens' future - at your and their expense.  If that doesn't make you angry, I don't know what will.


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


Boris expands on this theme. He does this quite often. I wonder if he visits this site.

If he doesn't, he should.

Young Mr. Brown

As TYO says, Scotland did go fully comprehensive. It was Norn Iron that didn't. They still have grammar schools there. And not only that, but low property prices. In other words, great education for your family at bargain rates. The funny thing is that there hasn't been a huge influx of people from England, Wales, and Scotland into the province. On the contrary, there has been a considerable migration of people educated at Northern Irish grammar schools to England, Wales and Scotland. Clearly secondary education isn't a big priority for some people.

The Young Oligarch

Agree with you completely , Tom . I recently revisited one of the Unions at my old University and was astonished by the preponderance of what we in the 80's used to call "Yahs" . State school chaps were predominant in those days . It seems that , in any once-prestigious organisation , money gets you ahead now , not the education we benefited from .
You are , however , mistaken , when you say Scotland "never went comprehensive" . It did , only more so . There are no grammar schools at all left in Scotland . Any institution in Scotland with the words "Grammar School" in its title is either a) private or b) comprehensive and kidding no-one .
We have several examples of b) in my county . All of them , while not the worst , are "comprehensives" .


James, the largest single expenditure of my life has been school fees to ensure that my own children don't suffer as crappy an education as my wife and I did. Based on our experiences as pupils and hers as a teacher, we swore that we would not procreate unless we could afford out of post-tax income to keep our children out of the bear gardens that pass for English (not Scottish, notice, oh no they never went comprehensive) schools. We will retire in discomfort because Labour messed up education in pursuit of ideological goals. I am convinced their objective was to STOP guys like me escaping their heartlands so that we would spend our lives as embittered idiot Northern activists like Derek Draper. Cock up usually explains more than conspiracy, but can anyone REALLY believe that Britain's current state education system is a good thing?


No nation can survive on the educated talents of only that minority of children whose parents can afford (under the current fiscal regime) to pay for private education.

i was privately educated but I agree in principle. There's something incestuous about it, isn't there?

The comments to this entry are closed.