[This is a joke, right?] The Times: Nicola Woolcock: Private school woe over rise of state pupils at Oxbridge

The headline alone has me reaching for the expletives. “Parents fear social engineering, says leading head.” What is the system of private education if not social engineering writ large? Wealth gives them a huge advantage. It engineers the landscape around their needs, excluding the poor. The children of the wealthy are no more intelligent than the children of the poor. Poverty is not a lack of character or intellect, it’s a lack of money. The state even subsidises this privilege, letting these businesses claim charitable status, allowing them to keep huge sums on money that should be paid in VAT. It’s the arrogance of their presumption that is so infuriating. I have a private education so I have a right to a place at Oxbridge. It reminds me of some rosey cheeked fop on Question Time, answering a question about Labour plans to remove VAT loophole from public schools.

The lack of awareness when he says, “it would deny the brightest and the best” is so infuriating. The charitable status he is trying to defend denies revenue to the state. That money could be used to fund an equal or better education system than the one he benefited from. He may well be the brightest and the best. But the brightest and best what? Lightbulb? Nurse? Bus driver? Insurance broker? Hedge-fund manager? The brightest and the best means nothing if you’re standing on someone’s neck to be there. I’m afraid he comes from a long line of likeminded souls who think they’re the cream and we’re the milk. Personally, I think they’re actually the smelter and we’re the molten steel. But who’s comparing? There is one final irony in this story. The full article sits behind a pay wall, keeping out anyone too poor to pay £26 a month for their propaganda.

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