On my mind

Llanelli Star - - LETTERS - With Gra­ham Davies ■ Fol­low Gra­ham on Twit­[email protected]

ROBERT Verkaik, in his polemic against pub­lic school, Posh Boys, wrote: “An Eton ed­u­ca­tion teaches bom­bast, blus­ter and buf­foon­ery”. Some may say that his ob­ser­va­tion has been painfully ver­i­fied.

Even more wor­ry­ing is the praise and wel­come for the new Prime Min­is­ter by Don­ald Trump and Euro­pean lead­ers of the right – Ital­ian Mat­teo Salvini, Ger­man Alice Wei­del and Brazil’s Jair Bol­sonaro.

Sadly, John­son’s band of Brex­i­teers are the most privileged and elit­ist gov­ern­ment lead­ers for gen­er­a­tions. Some 64% of cab­i­net mem­bers at­tended feep­ay­ing in­de­pen­dent schools.

When only just 6.5% of the wider UK pop­u­la­tion at­tended pri­vate schools it makes it clear how un­rep­re­sen­ta­tive it is of the coun­try at large.

Yet Bri­tain’s ob­ses­sion with pri­vate ed­u­ca­tion is part of its love af­fair with priv­i­lege and class, and is a moral blot and an ab­sur­dity.

That such a small per­cent­age of the pop­u­la­tion cur­rently dom­i­nates nat-ional pol­i­tics, the civil ser­vice, the ju­di­cial sys­tem and the me­dia is an af­front to equal op­por­tu­ni­ties and drives fur­ther the wedge be­tween the pow­er­ful and the pow­er­less.

It is clear that ar­gu­ments about of­fer­ing choice to par­ents are now fatu­ous – the av­er­age they now pay for a child’s place in a pri­vate school is £27,600 a year whereas the UK av­er­age salary is cur­rently £26,500.

Our leader at­tended the £40,000-a-year Eton Col­lege (al­though last year 9th in the Top 100 In­de­pen­dent Schools by GCSE re­sults and 18th for A-level grades).

Not so spiff­ing. This is only one of a grow­ing num­ber of the nurs­eries of aris­toc­racy.

How­ever, iron­i­cally and pre­dictably, this ed­u­ca­tional ideal was even­tu­ally usurped by the wealthy and the pow­er­ful who were able to buy their ad­van­tage and priv­i­lege. Sense of déjà vu?

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