Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Opportunity Society

DD has spoken repeatedly of the Opportunity Society:

"One key purpose for the next Conservative Government will be to allow individuals to climb as high as they dare, wherever they start from. We will do this not by tweaking the current system, but by changing the whole approach."

And the essential building block is education.

Labour has always treated Britain's children atrociously. From the grotesque arrogance of social engineer Tony Crosland (Highgate, Trinity, and "destroying every effing grammar school in the country"), through the Gradgrindian brutality of Commissar Stud, and on to the ineffectual wittering agonies of successive Blair Babes, they've institutionalised underachievement. Timid Tone may talk about giving parents power, but there isn't the slightest chance they even understand what that entails, let alone having the guts to do it.

Alice Thompson has her own rant about this today, linking it to the way that toffs are retaking the high ground:

'This is outrageous. Private school pupils make up only seven per cent of the population (up under Labour), but their influence is out of control...

It's the Government's fault. The state system isn't good enough. It fails children on every level, not just the five million who never learn to read so don't even stand a chance of a decent career, but the pupils who never learn the self-confidence that comes from the good teaching and high standards expected at most private schools...

When Labour scrapped the grammar school, it turned the country back into a class-ridden society, where the children of the rich had a huge advantage...

If Labour really wants to boot out the toffs and give private schools a run for their money, it should bring back selection, not just for sport and drama, but also for academic excellence.'


Yes OK, we last of the council house grammar school generation maybe do always sound chippy about this. But Labour's massive levelling down of educational opportunity for the children of poor parents is a monstrous social injustice. It is something we should neither forget nor forgive.

Which is why it's just no good opting for a further dose of Blairism. As DD says, we need a complete change of approach. Enough talking the choice and competition talk: it's time we actually started walking the walk.
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