STRAIGHT TALKING Education by ability ...not wealth
FROM UKIP’S DEPUTY LEADER
ON a recent trip to Istanbul calamitous German Chancellor Angela Merkel held out the prospect of Turkey’s application to join the European Union being fast tracked.
Not content with telling everyone in Syria they can claim asylum in Germany and encouraging more people from the Middle East to make their way to Europe, she now wants the Turks to join the club.
Less than 10 percent of Turkey is actually in Europe – the rest falls into Asia.
It is also an extremely poor country with the average wage less than the equivalent of 400 euros a month.
And its population of 70 million is made up of around 95% muslims – so it’s not even culturally European.
It also borders with nice safe places like Iran, Iraq and Syria. You know, those countries which want to blow us off the face of the planet.
So well done, Frau Merkel. In your stupidity, I reckon you’ve just helped push the UK nearer to the Exit door. LAST week the Education Secretary Nicky Morgan announced she will allow Weald of Kent Girls’ Grammar in Tonbridge to build a new ‘satellite’ school in Sevenoaks, some nine miles away.
Sounds all very sensible and uncontroversial to me.
However, you’d think from the reaction of some in Westminster that Morgan had announced we had decided to send ground troops to Syria or pardon Jihadi John.
Unsurprisingly, this is Labour – the party that hates social mobility – that has come out swinging the most and accused the Education Secretary of subverting the law.
Labour’s beef is that they claim it breaks the 1998 Education Act which bans the setting up of new grammar schools.
But to be frank, it’s a bad law passed in the bad Blair years and it should be ripped up anyway.
Morgan, however, has been forced to concede that this is merely an ‘annex’ to an existing grammar school and that this is an exception rather than a rule.
But she is weak and wrong to be so defensive.
Grammar schools were the greatest vehicle of social mobility that this country has ever seen.
They allowed poor kids the opportunity to break out of their communities and achieve things they could only have dreamt of in the past.
When we had grammar schools, we had more working class kids at Oxbridge than any time before – or since.
Now, the top seven public schools send more students to those illustrious universities than the bottom two thousand state schools put together.
And as a result of their closure we have a society which is dominated by the rich in a way that we haven’t seen since the turn of the last century.
The judiciary, journalism, the City and politics are now disproportionately dominated by former public school pupils.
It always gets my back up when I hear someone who was privileged enough to go to public school telling people that grammar schools are “elitist”. You hear it all the time.
But there are only two reasons for opposing the creation of new grammar schools.
One is that you want to keep working-class people trapped – so they continue to vote for your party.
This is of course what the Labour Party wants and why they oppose grammars. It is I suspect one of the spiteful reasons they passed the stupid 1998 act in the first place.
The second thing is that you want to maintain the status quo and make sure that the people who have always been at the top stay at the top.
This is why many in the Tories and the Establishment don’t want to see a return to grammar schools. Well, stuff them both. I want to see a society where clever working class kids have the same opportunities as those born into the middle class.
I want to see a country where we have education based on ability and not wealth.
And I want to see a political class that is made up of people who are representative of the public at large and not the seven percent who were lucky enough to go to a public school.
If we want to see a country which is truly based on merit and not class and wealth, then let’s put a grammar school in every town.