Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Out of Sobriety

Apartheid — let us give thanks for a word as holy as it is useful in the defamation of all that is private, selective, and independent! For it is with due reverence that we can say today that schools “dedicated to excellence . . . [but] detached from the mainstream national education system” have created “the apartheid which has so dogged education and national life in Britain since the Second World War”. [1] If only we had known it was apartheid all these years! — then we would have done something about it: we would have gone on marches, had benefit concerts, bought posters and t-shirts, and done badly in our exams in solidarity with our state-educated brothers. As it was, we had forgotten “that our work in the sphere of education is part of the struggle for overthrowing the bourgeoisie” [2]; and, as it is, the realisation has come late, such that the situation is now dire:
Privately educated people dominate politics, the civil service, the judiciary, the armed forces, the City, the media, the arts, academia, the most prestigious professions — even, as we have seen, the Charity Commission. [3]
What is to be done? “[W]ho is prepared to fight the necessary class war?” [4] I tell you: there is nothing for it but to shut down these divisive schools, carpet-bomb Islington and Hampstead, and have the Home Counties placed under quarantine, a course of action that would be fully in accordance with our new-found sobriety.
.....
[1] Anthony Seldon, “Enough of this educational apartheid”, The Independent, 15th January 2007.
[2] V. I. Lenin, Speech at the First All-Russian Congress on Education, 28th August 1918, from V. I. Lenin, Collected Works, 4th English Ed., Vol. 28, tr. and ed. by G. Hanna (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1966), pp.87, reproduced online at From Marx to Mao.
[3] George Monbiot, “Only class war on public schools can rid us of this unhinged ruling class”, The Guardian, 22nd January 2008. (Mr Monbiot is one amongst several privately educated people in the media who stands nobly and resolutely by his position in furtherance of the cause of putting an end to the dominance in the media of the privately educated.)
[4] Ibid.

3 comments:

Recusant said...

Says the Headmaster of a leading public school; a minor Russian aristocrat; and a scion of Stowe and Brasenose.

Musn't forget to pull that ladder up behind me.

Deogolwulf said...

Quite so!

dearieme said...

"the apartheid which has so dogged education and national life in Britain since the Second World War": oh balls. When I got to University and met lots of ex-public school boys, I didn't treat them like blicks. True, their education was often clearly inferior to mine, their reasoning often amounted to little more than a confusion of folk-prejudices, and their experience of life was typically rather limited, but did I eschew their company? I did not. Would I have married one of their sisters? Very possibly.