June 24th, 2009

Which Public Schoolboys Does David Davis Mean?

At last night’s Spectator debate on grammar schools David Davis said he owed everything to the opportunity given to him by his grammar school.  He described the failed forty-year comprehensive scho0l system experiment as a catastrophe.

“…out of this catastrophe there was only one winning group. Do you know who they were?  Yes, the public schools. Who teach just 7% of the population.”

The handicapping of the intellectual capacity of the country has definitely given the  children of the privileged who were able to buy a better education, great advantages.  Can’t help thinking he has a particular public school in mind…


  1. 1
    Simon Harley says:

    Ah, but witness the discrimination against Old Etonian Speaker candidates. A good education can’t protect you from prejudice it would seem.

  2. 2
    Nick says:

    Vouchers are the way forward. Pitch the level of vouchers such that people take their children out of the state sector. The level needs to be such that the current 7% in private schools taking up vouchers doesn’t mean that the cost goes up.

    ie. Lets say the voucher is for 2 grand. For every child taken out of the state sector, that means a 4 grand saving.

  3. 3
    Plato says:

    I was hoping for a full house myself.

  4. 4
    Road_Hog says:

    There is no way that George Young should have become Speaker, regardless of which school he went to.

  5. 5
    Totally Unimpressed says:

    Various politicians seem to be calling various other politicians “toffs”.
    If some people called others “oiks” (though god knows that’s an accurate description of some of them) or “plebs” there’d be an outcry.

  6. 6
    Anonymous says:

    Hurd lost to Major because Hurd was an Etonian. Davis lost to Cameron because he made a dreadful speech at the Tory conference whereas Cameron was excellent.

  7. 7

    I can’t believe all this prejudice.
    Us Harrow boys never get a look in.

  8. 8
    Alex says:

    Independent schools are fantastic agents of financial and social mobility. Having just finished paying for three children to go through private education from the age of 5 to 18 I can vouch that it has reduced a comfortable lifestyle to one of penury.

  9. 9
    Hugh Janus says:

    So long as NuLiebour are determined to drag everything down to the lowest common denomiantor, nothing will change. Theirs is the politics of envy and spite.

  10. 10
    Shithead says:

    WE Harrow boys never get a look in. If you can’t tell the difference between the subject and object of a sentence then that would explain it, n’est-ce pas?

  11. 11

    I spend some time, in what I laughingly call my retirement, teaching stuff to local teenagers. I do it for beer-money, as it’s the actual duty that counts.

    There is a worrying trend appearing at some of our “older” Universities – which is to reject out-of-hand the entirety of some of the local private schools’ A-level year, without interviews. These are not scumbag schools – they get the best “results” in the North West.

    There grows a suspicion in my mind that the ZanuLieBorg GramscoFabiaNazis have their fingers round the windpipes of these Universities, and are doing Pol-Pottian social engineering.

  12. 12
    freddie flintoff says:

    i dunno about that , now wheres me pads ?

  13. 13
    Posh Tory says:


    Get rid of the bloody ridiculous one-size-fits-all politically correct nonsense that has been forced onto us. Not everyone is created equally. Those who have the ability, but not the money should be allowed to go to selective state funded schools. Bring back more grammar schools!

  14. 14

    I agree – I was rubbish and I tanked. he did better.

  15. 15
    Grumpy Old Man says:


  16. 16
    freddie flintoff says:

    o/t love the quote of the day

  17. 17
    Agent of Chaos says:

    Would it be such a tragedy if the fallout from this was that the colleges formerly derided as being full of ‘Oxbridge Rejects’ could flourish and wear their label with pride?

  18. 18
    He means this school says:

  19. 19
    Grumpy Old Man says:

    All MPs are oiks. It’s just a case of where they were trained, Eton, St Pauls, or Streetwise Academy for Plebs.

  20. 20
    Sir Keith Vaz says:

    All must have prizes!

  21. 21

    […] June, 2009 · Leave a Comment …interesting thread on Guido Fawkes […]

  22. 22
    sink estate Comp says:

    ‘Which Public Schoolboys Does David Davis Mean?’

    – is that good grammar?

  23. 23
    Moley says:

    The standard of education has been falling ever since Grammar schools were abolished.
    My daughter complains continually that she cannot learn anything in science because of interruptions from badly behaved boys.

    When I raised this with a teacher I was told that the problem in science classes was that the children had not yet been streamed and once they were the problem would disappear.

    A compelling argument against comprehensive education which succeeds only in dragging every child down to the lowest level; a level which renders our graduates educationally impoverished in the global job market.

  24. 24
    Grumpy Old Man says:

    There’s only one Quote of the Day I want to hear.
    ” The Prime Minister must answer the question”.

  25. 25
    T.Bliar says:

    FETTES ???!!!

  26. 26
    Dick Scratcher says:

    Indie schools give children confidence. The state rips it all out. Grammar schools gave those with talent a real opportunity to compete with the indies. Lowest common denominator education will never work.

    Along with immigration, the introduction of comprehensive education has been the biggest change/disaster in this country since WW2. The Tories should have the guts to reintroduce grammar schools immediately. Shirley Williams should by lynched.

  27. 27
    oldrightie says:

    Yesterday’s debate. Education is now a precious jewe,l ergo, only to be bought by the most wealthy. Good old Labour, heh? If they get to destroy Public Schools and Oxbridge, then their power will be set for ever. I want an Etonian PM if only to spite Labour. Bear in mind he would become the second, successive ELECTED Public Schoolboy as PM!

  28. 28
    RobC says:

    The rot set in when the Teaching colleges were hijacked by the so call “progressive”loony left wing in the early sixties and who have placed a stranglehold on education ever since.Balls, currently in charge of education is a logical extension of this appaling system – every failure hailed as a success, traditional teaching frowned upon and if the exam results do not match the hype move the goalposts.

  29. 29
    oldrightie says:


    “precious jewel”

  30. 30
    Penfold says:

    Dotheboys Hall?

    They do a good course in expense account management.

  31. 31
    resurgemus says:

    Given Balls is in charge of schools what chance have kids got ?

  32. 32
    Wossat? says:

    Speaking as a grammar school oik from the 60s/70s I understand only too well how legions of intelligent proles have been educationally disenfranchised by the morons who believe everyone is equal and one size fits all.

    If the socialist “elite” is the acceptable alternative then I say string the bastards up right now and save us a lot of grief.

  33. 33
    J Presscott says:

    Well David Davis did all right didn’t he?

    I mean a Portico and paddock mowing all paid for by the taxpayer can’t be bad for a working class lad.

  34. 34
  35. 35

    Mankind will still go forwards: don’t worry. Chindia is producing as many _proper_ science and engineering graduates as the whole of Europe put together, inc the UK.

    British Universities are closing down science departments, for lack of enough students able to understand what pH means, or what a spectrometer (any sort, you just name three or four or five) does.

    It doesn’t matter. It’s just a minor local tragedy that this nation can’t share in the grand advances and discoveries of the next century, having initially invented the whole idea of same.

  36. 36

    The first person to ever be convicted of homosexuality in Britain was the Headmaster of Eton, Nicholas Udall in 1541.

    The tradition continues….

  37. 37
    Twizzle says:

    Don’t you just love socilaism, ZaNu Labour style?

    ‘Nobody wants a two-tier education system’

    When will they get it. Much better that children get the education they deserve based on their talents than get the education they deserve based on the size of Daddy’s wallet.

  38. 38

    Quite right – back of the queue for you illiterate oiks.

    The Penguin

  39. 39
    Johnny Rotten says:

    As the Sex pistols once sang. NO FUTURE

  40. 40

    Nothing’s too good for the Workers, John – didn’t you say it yourself?

  41. 41
    Dr Feelgood says:

    Perhaps UK can revert to an agrarian society working on state-owned farms. Then we won’t need engineers, scientists, etc. We could call it Year Zero.

  42. 42
    Dr Feelgood says:

    Privatisation of schooling has worked very well in Sweden – not exactly a hotbed of frothing Tories in that country either.

    Why are we cursed with the most unreasonable bunch of socialists in the world running our public education system? It’s bizarre when British private education is still viewed as the best money can buy throughout the world.

  43. 43
    Pampers says:

    I went to a shit comprehensive where the teachers were a bunch of bearded lefty bastards (including the women)

    They did everything in their power to equalize the 300 pupils in our year, we had (subsequently) an armed robber, a drug dealer, a cardiac surgeon, a rocket scientist, a serious football hooligan, a midwife, a GP……. all in the same physics class, needless to say there was so much fucking about with lab packs and throwing batteries everbody got shit grades.

    Comprehensives are shit shit shit

  44. 44

    I’d kick the chair out from under her. And that Hunt Crosland.

    The Penguin

  45. 45
    Moley says:

    With reference to Guido’s comment of the day;

    “Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told Siyasat-e-Ruz newspaper

    “Brown is one of the most inefficient politicians of England who has witnessed cases of financial corruption in his cabinet … and has moved his country towards collapse and destruction…””

    Is that the main reason for Brown expelling two Iranian diplomats?

    If you want to know the truth about your own country, read the foreign press.

    And that applies to the UK just as much as it does to Iran.

  46. 46
    Twizzle says:

    Spot on, Nick. But you really believe that the Tories have the balls to take on Labour, the BBC, the left leaning media (most of it!) and the education establishment?

    Don’t forget, the average voter has been throught the comprehensive system. They know nothing else and, even worse, they are unable to think outside their own experience.

    Frightening, eh?

  47. 47
    costa del Dole says:

    Huuuumaan Riiiites ! !

    Though it should be noted that these apply only to particular cases, and not general rights, such as ‘the right to an education of the highest standard possible for all citizens’.

  48. 48

    And £400 a month on pies, doubling up on that by the old bulimia trick, eh you fat bastard?

    The Penguin

  49. 49
    Tin Cunliffe-Arsely says:

    Not really.
    Teachers shouldn’t let the badly behaved ones interrupt. That was a crap excuse.

    And note the bit about streaming. I’ve come across many comps and not one of them doesn’t use some form of setting/streaming.

  50. 50
    13eastie says:

    Hazel Blears passed the “eleven plus”.
    Her brother did not.

    She went to the grammar school.
    He went to the secondary modern.

    She became a cabinet minister.
    He became a bus driver.

    The comprehensive system would have protected us.

  51. 51

    There is only one man who can take the country forward with education in the next five years.

  52. 52

    Not totally blind then, the ayatollah chappie….

    The Penguin

  53. 53
    ENLA says:

    How many members of the European Commission went to Public School?

    Britain is a dictatorship – the Gauleiter in chief is Mandelson

    Brown is compromised so much he can only do what he is told

  54. 54
    Anonymous says:

    I had a good grammar once, but she died.

  55. 55
    agent of Chaos says:

    Too lazy to Wiki this: was this for ‘homosexuality’ or the altogether different offence of ‘sexual congress with a minor’?

  56. 56
    Tin Cunliffe-Arsely says:

    I went to a bog standard comp, and we had subsequent drugs mules and the like.
    The children were generally well behaved.

  57. 57
    A Blair says:

    Don’t you mean perjury. I came top in my class.

  58. 58
    resurgemus says:

    So what chance NHS reform ?

  59. 59
    freddie flintoff says:

    o/t is there live chat for pmqs

  60. 60
    J.T. Snappernapper says:

    Having attended only the bog-standard local grammar, I for one never knew that a Pink Pussy and Alien Sperm were alcoholic beverages until Paxo raised them with Call me Dave. Nevertheless I have tried to raise my kids to have a clear understanding of the difference between “fairness” and “equality”.

    I myself have spent the subsequent years disabusing myself of such equivocations as between “schooling” and “education”, “intelligence” and “academic worth”, and generally trying to unlearn the things I was not aware I was being taught as I imbibed at the erudition of the public teat, such as Government = God-in-action.

  61. 61
    "When all this nonsense over MP's expenses is over" says:

    Eton have 37 VC’s to their credit.

    They produced numerous PM’s, Diplomats, Admirals, Generals, Air Marshalls.
    More scientists, intellectualls, academics.

    In other words, they produce winners (and a few losers obviously)

    They are either the nicest or most nasty individuals in our Kingdom.

    It is not a school I would send my son regardless of cost. By all means be prejudiced, but if you give it, remember you must take it.

  62. 62
    Dr Feelgood says:

    Well Brown got a lecture on how to run an economy prudently when he last went to Latin America. So getting a lecture on political probity from Iran just fits in with the global perception that Britain is now one of the most mis-managed countries in the world.

  63. 63

    Yup. That’s what the bastards would like, for us.

    It’s to be our punishment, for trying to teach the planet how to live and go forwards.

  64. 64
    Monkey see, monkey do says:

    Labour education policy has been surprisingly successful in the past decade actually.

    It has churned out millions more simian like Labour party supporters than they ever could have hoped for.

  65. 65
    "When all this nonsense over MP's expenses is over" says:

    Good for you. There is no greater gift to a child than an education. They will be your pension with luck. Serious admiration for you Sir.

  66. 66
  67. 67
    b says:

    Udall was educated at winchester and taught at westminster as well so was exposed to all three of “the holy trinity”!

  68. 68

    I must protest, I have the pictorial evidence here that Brown is the only man who can rescue this country from all its outside interference.

  69. 69
    Sir Reginald Twat says:

    The key words there being “North West”.

    It’s to be expected really. Who’d want those types hindering the education of real people?

  70. 70
    davidc says:

    let our education mission statement be ‘equality of access to mediocrity’

  71. 71
    Gusher says:

    What’s your sons name? Is it Derrick?

  72. 72
    Katie Price says:

    I’m off to watch PMQ’s live and find John Bercow so very sexy that I want to have his babies.
    Now he’s a real man

  73. 73
    backwoodsman says:

    We need more politicians of integrity , like the Ayatollah .
    (Thinks, a little light stoning of harperson , on a Friday.)

  74. 74
    Up Yours, Delors says:

    I ‘ad grammar up the rear, it expired.

  75. 75
    Sir Reginald Twat says:

    The people’s party were outraged at the class warfare raged against the old speaker, Michael Martin…

    The people’s party were happy to wage class warfare against the potential Eton educated Speaker candidate, George Young…

    Go figure.

  76. 76
    Snacks says:

    I went to a comprehensive too. I ended up here for a living.

  77. 77
    I dream of a future with dual-purpose lamp posts says:

    Absolutely right. It’s a long-term plan of dumbing-down that remains on-going to this very day – and shows no sign of reversal. The futures of hundreds of thousands of children have been trashed as a consequence.

  78. 78
    bog standard Comp says:

    O/T Ford to raise its car prices by 4% from July 1 blaming the weak pound(on top of the 5% rise implemented already in 2009). You don’t need the benefit of a £20K p.a. private education and all the bumming you can handle to know that Britain is headed for the economic wastebin.

    Sales of vans in UK are down half and heavy vehicles nearly two-thirds year on year. Production of vans and trucks is down by almost three-quarters. Even the White Van Man courier/builder is a gonner in bust UK.

    You don’t need to be a public school educated twat economist(A E-P, David Smith…) to see that UK is headed the Iceland way along with Spain, the Baltic states and Ireland. It’s over you public school wankers; you and your kind bust the country and all one can do is emigrate.

  79. 79
    Carlos says:

    Indeed, where’s it at, Guido?

  80. 80
    lilolme says:

    I figure… hypocrites.

  81. 81
    freddie flintoff says:

    its getting close

  82. 82
    Sammy Sausage says:

    Jon Mayjor destroyed the higher education system. As a matter of personal spite he decided polytechnics should be called universities (those places where people with small heads walked around shouting, “absolutely” all the time while picking their arse-holes), and that a degree should be awarded to everybody who could outsmart a twig (after 13 years of rote learning).

    Fucking Hunt.

  83. 83
    William says:

    Not only that, if the teaching staff are unable to teach your child, the child gets ignored and are left to fail (this is from personnel experience).

    My son has been moved to a private school which happens to be one of the top 200 (it does not have Electronic black Boards or New Buildings) and he has moved from the bottom stream in what is supposed to be a good state school (because they thought he is not very bright), to being in the middle stream for English and top stream for maths – with independent tests indicting he is about average for English and way above average for maths.

    IMHO – We need to remove the politics of envy from our state Education System and start providing board range of good quality teachers who can teach all children regardless of the child’s needs – some children are easy to teach and why should they be the only ones that do well in the state system.

    Why should children like my son fail because it take a little bit more work to teach them because the teachers are either not upto the task, not allowed to or are to lazy. I often get the feeling would rather blame the Independent sector for there own short comings.

    School Buildings/technology is not the issue (as my son is housed in old prefab buildings without electronic white boards) it’s the quality of the teaching staff – the state system needs better teacher and to pay them more to attract better teachers.

    PS: Grammar schools are not the answer as this is only a solution for the few who are easy to teach not all children. A grammer school would fail my son as the state would not be able to get him into one. We need a state system that can and wants to teach all our children not just some because their the easy ones.

  84. 84
    Moley says:

    My congratulations to Mr Moderator for a job well done.

  85. 85
    The School Matron says:

    The point being is that he did it through grammar schools. Grammar schools, he is saying, you fat oaf, are the means by which the poor can go on to great things. Liebour have closed down that avenue for the poor just out of ideological hatred, and so have decreased the chances of upward social mobility for millions.

    Off course, other poor people get places through their trade unions because they are the biggest bully of a lot of bulllies.

    Now, I suggest you get back to serving drinks on fishing vessels, or whatever it is you used to do.

  86. 86
    Dr Feelgood says:

    Hope Dave hammers Brown on the economy at PMQs – see the latest OECD report just published (now headlining on major news sites).

    UK deficit will fare worst of all major economies. Economy will sink even further than previously forecast in ’09, flat in ’10, unemployment up to 10%…

  87. 87
    Carlos says:

    The Ashes or PMQs, Fred?

    How’s the body holding up?

  88. 88
    Dick Scratcher says:

    At my local school they used to throw used condoms about in class. Squelch.

  89. 89
    Dick Scratcher says:

    yeah, what’s apppenin maaaan?

  90. 90
    Rexel 56 says:

    Ha Ha

    Daily Politics try to stoke fire on second jobs – viewers respond: nothing doing, move on!

  91. 91
    Rog says:

    No live chat today Mr Fawkes?

    Thought this would be “a good ‘un”.

  92. 92
    PT Barnham's shit shoveller says:

    There has been a factor in university student recruitment of ‘widening participation’ where funding is attached to attracting students from lower socio-economic backgrounds, creating a discrimination against the public schools.

    However, having retired from such an institution (a Russell Group university) I can say that there is an inverse correlation between A level results and degree performance. The ‘best performing’ schools coach their pupils to within an inch of their lives and erase all forms of individual thought and feeling in order to score well in league tables. These pupils make very poor undergraduates. And their parents are a nightmare.

  93. 93
    I dream of a future with dual-purpose lamp posts says:

    The members of the Royal Society of the late 17th Century would never be able to conceive how abrupt our reversal of fortune in this area has been. Such endemic mis-management cannot be accidental; there must be some willful mal-intent behind it. Some flawed ideology or worse….

  94. 94
    the Fettes Faggot says:

    copious buggery never did me any harm.

  95. 95
    The Beast of Clerkenwell says:

    The Beast highly reccomends two books (yes I do read)
    “Our Kid”
    “Back to Nab End”
    Both about working class Mancunian life and how the authors were actualy “lifted out of poverty” by the Grammar school system.

  96. 96
    J.T. Snappernapper says:

    It sounds like you had premature exposure to life’s rich tapestry. Now wasn’t that a valuable “learning experience”? Lots of opportunity for “role play”, not to mention “reflective practise”.

  97. 97
    Ed U Kayshen says:

    Harrow started in America.

  98. 98
    Ed U Kayshen says:

    But ZaNu are determined to destroy our agriculture. Haven’t you noticed ?

  99. 99
    Sam Spade says:

    But were you ever gated ?

  100. 100
    James says:

    it isnt academically that the crappy comp squashes you. i did well out of mine academically and extra-cur.

    it’s when they say (10yrs ago mind) ‘dont apply for Oxbridge it’s not for people like you.’ and under-predict your A level grades on your uni application form (whereas public school friends all had theirs over-estimated).

    then every other thick posh git has a 2:2 from some dumb ass uni cos Tony wanted everyone to go, so you cant differentiate yourself academically so easily. then you get out and find that unless you know the right people (finance) or can study post-grad unfunded (law) or work unpaid in London for a year or so (media) or all 3 (politics). you havent a hope.

    getting the grades is the easy bit – anyone can do that. it’s the self-promotion and arse-kissing that comps dont teach and the contacts and money that cant provide.

  101. 101
    nell says:

    Dave and Clegg did a good job today.

    Poor gordon looked quite rattled – couldn’t tell the truth – was stabbing his finger at the papers in front of him and at one point almost seemed to be shouting .

    Notice Mr Squeaker never got around to telling him to address the questions properly – but then what did we expect from this insignificant little man.

  102. 102
    Indigo says:

    Could I mention here, apropos schools: I have just become aware of “remote backup” services made available to schools – that is, offsite data backup of pupils’ work and personal data – and run by the local authority (the one I am thinking of is a very “red” council). These services are marketed to schools in fuzzy huggy language (“convenience”, “peace of mind”).

    It looks to me as if this is a wheeze hit on by Nulabour to enable it to build the national database (for the ID cards) without any scrutiny and circumventing the UK/EU data privacy legislation. For instance, I can’t find any reference to how these two data controllers (the school and the backup service) seek the express and informed permission of the data subjects (the pupils or their parents/guardians) to transfer the personal data from one to the other.

    V. depressing. If you are a school parent governor or teacher, please start asking awkward questions at your school.

  103. 103
    (yes I am a cunt / no I am not nu labour) says:

    It is heart-rending to see those poor Estonians suffer victimisation and discrimination due to their unfortunate backgrounds.

    Someone send them some pizza!

  104. 104
    Simpleton says:

    Was I the only person here to be shot at school, and then caned for being shot?

    And no, I am not kidding.

  105. 105
    Michael says:

    I recall that public schools were going through a terrible phase during the (err…) 70s and that the success of the grammar schools was leading to falling numbers of pupils whose parents were willing to pay school fees. Witness as a result the construction of the New Houses at Charterhouse which were built in the expectation that the school would become a sixth form college.

    Fortunately the government of the day intervened to prevent their demise by introducing the comprehensive system, at a stroke ensuring that those with sufficient funds would happily pay to have their children escape the chaos.

  106. 106
    (yes I am a cunt / no I am not nu labour) says:

    Not everyone is created equal some are created rich some are created poor lets fucking keep in that way. Except there’s not enough poor folks so lets create more.

    There used to be a middle class. Let Cons/labour get rid of the of that for a start it only took 30 years.

    String ‘em up.
    Eh. . anybody.

  107. 107
    Last Post says:

    I am sure that when your children are four they will proudly look down on their father and wonder why.

  108. 108
    Sir Mufbourne-Harbor says:

    Winstone Churchill went to ‘arrow didn’t him?

  109. 109
    (yes I am a cunt / no I am not nu labour) says:

    Huge subsidies.
    Second highest tax in the world.
    The system works very well and is the basis for a pretty decent and fair society.

    Can you imagine the shitheads of England ever agreeing to that?


  110. 110

    I actually attended school IN Harrow not AT Harrow.
    Hence the well dodgy granma init.

  111. 111
    solopolis says:

    “Sales of vans in UK are down half and heavy vehicles nearly two-thirds year on year.”

    At last! The REAL tractor production figures. Keep spinning Brown; you’re just going to get very dizzy and vomit over your nice shiny shoes.

  112. 112
    Anonymous says:

    I understand that, unfortunately, Margaret Thatcher, while Education Secretary, let through rather a lot of comprehensive schemes from Labour councils that destroyed good grammar schools.

  113. 113
    Mike Hunt Stinks says:

    Though of course it was the public school education that made Cameron such a confident public speaker

  114. 114
    Longshanks says:

    You’re right , the liberal concensus has removed the ability to make value judgements about behaviour and capapability therefore all the kds are brought down to the same level.

  115. 115
    Longshanks says:

    It was definitely shirt lifting as there are no pits in Windsor.

  116. 116
    Sir William Waad says:

    I suppose Mr Davis is referring to indpendent schools, rather than to the small subset known as the public schools. Unfortunately most people are so thick that they can’t read the words ‘independent school’ without thinking of a top hat. (Death Duties forced my parents to send me to the local comprehensive, however).

  117. 117
    (yes I am a cunt / no I am not nu labour) says:

    Do we really need boys in our schools?

  118. 118

    Personally I favour the state loaning parents the money to educate their own children (with the state their to make sure children ARE being educated).

    When people spend their own money they’re more careful with it.

  119. 119
    Sir William Waad says:

    Tell us more!

  120. 120
    Aristotle says:

    But don’t forget, everyone who can afford it, and many who can’t still do their best to give their children a decent education. Those who can have their children schooled privately, those who can’t risk imprisonment by lying about their residence (how could anyone possibly consider that a crime?), move house and pay a ludicrous premium just because of the location of a half decent state school, or pay for tutors to try to get their children through exams.

    Even bloody Jade Goody said she wanted her children educated privately.

    But we do have the Lumpenproletariat whose main objective is to do nothing, maximise benefits and make sure that no-one gets ahead of them. And they have votes (even if someone else fills them out).

    I can understand the Labour party wanting to maximise ignorance stupidity and dependency, it’s the raison d’etre of socialism, but why does Cameron? It must be some kind of Rawlesian ‘veil of ignorance’.

  121. 121
    Wetbob says:

    Slough grammar-now there’s a school.

  122. 122

    Yes, and we need to change the education system from being totally weighted towards the way femaleslike to do things.

  123. 123
    Road_Hog says:

    Well bugger me, I never knew that.

  124. 124
    Diablo says:

    Shouldn’t the Estonians be in Baltic State schools?

  125. 125
  126. 126
    Sir William Waad says:

    I went up to Cambridge when there was still a heavy infestation of public schollboys who got in via closed scholarships. The genuine aristocrats weren’t too bad – one just regarded them as one does one’s cat, as amusing, decorative, expensive and superior beings. The upper-middle-class left-wing politicals were total arsewipes, plotting the downfall of capitalism from Daddy’s castle in Tuscany. Charles Clarke was chief among them at that time.

  127. 127

    The current education system is merely a crèche to enable both parents to pay income tax and NI to Brown.

  128. 128

    Don’t worry Old Europe is even more fooked as they hollowed out their economies to chase exports.

    The economy will be built with BRICs

  129. 129
    Wetbob says:

    Why bother kissing arse-just blow the interviewer and the job’s yours. It worked for Osborne.

  130. 130
    MarkE says:

    Many years ago I read an article in the Economist about “who runs Britain”. Although I can’t remember all the details it looked at Cabinet ministers, Directors of large companies, heads of the professions and such like. The conclusion was that for the first time since they had started looking they saw that most of these people were not the products of independent schools; grammar schools provided the majority with independants second, foreigners third and a handfull of home schooled or state comprehensives. Looking forward they asked what would happen when those who had been educated after the effective death of the grammars (remember, most people in these roles are well into their 50s, so there is a delay) and concluded that we would be seeing a return to the dominance of the independant schools with a very large foreign element, and little room for those without the means to escape British state “education”.

    A lot of time has now passed since I read that article, and it is one of the few I remember where the Economist appears to have got it right.

    Thanks to my own grammar school education I could afford to pay for my children to attend independant schools. My hope is that they use their education to gain qualifications that will allow them to leave and raise my (as yet unborn) grandchildren somewhere better.

  131. 131
    MarkE says:


    Slough grammar was OK, but Herschel offered a more rounded education (for one thing we had girls, which you didn’t IIRC)

  132. 132
    R.McGeddon says:

    I applaud your endeavours; your anecdote is not dissimilar to my own.

    We are the very people that this government revile utterly and are trying very hard to eradicate. We stand between them and a Country being ‘ruled’ by Labour for many years to come.

  133. 133
    (yes I am a cunt / no I am not nu labour) says:

    yes but the office workplace is designed towards the way females like to do things.
    And as schools are training for work, and “good jobs” in the western world will soon largely by done by women,

    What’s the point in most boys going to school?

  134. 134
    Steve Expat says:

    Grammar schools are undoubedly the best device for enabling social mobility, why they are not more popular among politicians is worrying.

    The current system is absolute chaos, to the point where people of modest means are prepared to spend a massive proportion of their incomes on school fees to escape it.

  135. 135
    Darkside says:

    Doesn’t seem to stop boys from Merchant Taylors in Crosby getting to Oxford or Cambridge, which is why I send my Son there. As I grew up in a Northern mill town which was so ‘backward’ it still had Grammar Schools in the 80s, my excellent education didn’t cost my parents the £9k a year my Son’s will cost me. £12k a year when he goes to Seniors.

  136. 136
    MI says:

    I hate the way this government on the one hand wants to get more state school pupils into Oxbridge, and when we make it there they shit all over our universities and call us toffs.

    Motherfucking socialist bastards.

  137. 137
    Steve Expat says:

    I don’t think many people reasise just how shit some of these schools are – take this story from the other day about a teacher who was raped by a 15 year old pupil at a school in London.


    The system has to be pretty fucking broken for things like that to happen, there is no discipline whatsoever in so many schools.

  138. 138
    Sir William Waad says:

    According to wiki and other internet sources, there was no such offence of ‘sexual congress with a minor’ in those days. Interestingly, Udall’s habit of flogging pupils for no reason other than that he got a thrill from it was regarded as buggery.

  139. 139
    DZ says:

    OH God! not Joe Lyons?

  140. 140
    A Silent Emission of Bowel Gas says:

    Mostly, people simply can’t help which school their parents decide to send them to. So it’s daft to sneer at them for it.

    I’d have blown my school up if I could.

    What did I get out of it? A classical education, an unassaulted fundament, and a ludicrously undeserved sense of superiority.

    I might be a pathetic wanker, but it’s not my fault, guv.

  141. 141
    Anonymous says:

    Why has dave been removed?

  142. 142
    Anonymous says:

    DD is right of course. Two years into an Eton gov should show the truth.

  143. 143
    sed miles says:

    You are Michael Portillo or Diane Abbott. And let’s have some respect: you can’t blame your grandma for everything.

  144. 144
    T.Bliar says:

    Did you like the ‘Fettes’ government ???????

  145. 145
    Ratsniffer says:

    The tories are playing straight into nulabour hands by not backing grammars.

    Labour hates grammars. Why? because grammar schools aid social mobility. Labour wants to keep working class people poor and struggling. That way they will be more likely to vote labour than if they had gone to a grammar, mixed with middle class kids, got a taste for a better life, learnt to think, got a good job, became middle class, realised that labour is shit, and started voting tory.

    Grammars are not elitist. They simply cater for clever kids, from whatever class. The reason they are now packed with middle class children is that there are so few grammars.

    People who can afford it move right next to them to get their kids in. The answer is to open more grammars, and at the same time reform secondary education to offer things that less accademic kids want to learn, that will help them get a job. Lose all the poncy social engineering PC non-subjects.

    Under this government we have seen educational standards plummet…NuLabour….ruining kids life chances. It’s what we do.

  146. 146
    Popeye says:

    David Davis is absolutely correct. Grammar schools were the best for academically inclined children. Technical colleges best for the others.
    I did not realise that about the 7% public schools, makes sense however.
    David Davis for Prime Minister.

  147. 147
    The Beast of Clerkenwell says:

    I was privately educated and cant spell recommend
    My Ma is so proud of me

  148. 148
    ColonialVoice says:

    This is a genuinely interesting thread, Guido, unlike most of those in your ‘Comments’ section. So, for the frist time, I add my two cents (for what it is worth). I went to an American ‘comprehensive’ (local state high school) in the 1970’s. They had streaming for three different sets by academic ability, but in spite of this, there was a strong school spirit and very few divsions between those who were university bound and those who weren’t. I have lived very happily in this wonderful country for nearly 25 years, but I have often wondered if the solution to its ‘class problem’ might not be to mix children together in streamed comprehensives.

  149. 149
    Tin Cunliffe-Arsely says:

    err… eh?

    Who from a state school has been branded a toff?

  150. 150
    Lestweforget says:

    Please note that the extra funding argument is a farce. In real terms, sopending on degree courses equates to that spent on an A level course in 1976.

  151. 151
    Tin Cunliffe-Arsely says:

    What you describe is probably fairly similar to what happens often the uk.

    The big problem is when they become “sink comps” – which actually happens whenever you get towns much over 100,000 population.

    Comps work in small towns, and rural areas. Even chris woodhead says so.

  152. 152
    aswinsterstale says:

    @bog standard
    The reason we are in this state is because the average person on the street wanted something for nothing, and with someone else having to do the work. 12 long fucking years our electorate elected this government, of their own free will, no-one made them.
    Toffs didn’t create this britain, look to the people on the street, and judging by the fact that our little miss chipmunk, blears keeps her job, and at the next election it points out they still haven’t learnt the lesson.
    No-one takes ownership of britain, it’s always someone else’s fault and always some-one else’s problem to sort out.

  153. 153
    G.Brhoon says:

    It’s in Labour’s D–N–A

  154. 154
    Anonymous says:

    And there were how many?

  155. 155
    Whaaaaaa? says:

    So you would have the state take money off people then give it back to them in the form of a loan? And you post a Milton Friedman video for justification. So not only do you endorse the state spending other peoples money you would endorse… people being able to spend other peoples money as well meanhile the government increase the debt burden.

    And the point of this education would be what exactly? Train people for government jobs? Jeez why dont you just embrace fabian big government insanity and sail the human race down the river.

  156. 156

    For all their education, qualifications, and experience, do they know how to fix this?


  157. 157

    Anybody got a copy of the T Bliar class list or dodgy acquaintance list mentioning those individuals who became successful as consultants, in real estate, or car sales?

    Particularly interesting would be those by HMG appointment, say through the OGC….

  158. 158
    T.Bliar says:

    Just me. But then it was only me, ‘Bobby’ Mandelson and Alastair Campbell making ALL the decisions…. L’Etat; C’etait NOUS.

  159. 159
    Golden Days says:

    I’ve long considered that when the History of Nulab is written, it will be the damage done to Education and the general culture of our country as much as to its economy that will be its saddest legacy. Just look around you.

  160. 160
    Golden Days says:

    “Grammar” may be a typing error, but “their” is ignorance.

  161. 161
    Golden Days says:

    I’m astonished, given your level of eloquence, that you were not considered suitable for Oxbridge.

  162. 162
    Golden Days says:

    It’s “independEnt”, old chap.

  163. 163
    Anonymous says:

    Quite! And who HAD Dave for a fag?

  164. 164
    T.Bliar says:

    Anonymous 160: Socratic dialectic is usually highly entertaining but you know what it did to Socrates !!

    If you know the answer to your own question, out with it !!

  165. 165
    wetbob says:

    You say winners, I say wankers.

  166. 166
    wetbob says:

    Happened all the time when we went drinking before OTC.

  167. 167
    Doctor Mick says:

    Regrettably the only qualification it seems necessary to have to become a politician is to have oratory skills. Whereas common sense, and accountancy, are way down the list.

  168. 168
    Doctor Mick says:

    Rite! SHirlly Willyams has a lot to anser fore.

  169. 169
    The Master says:

    OECD and Merv King in particular have just dumped on Gorgon & Darling
    Sorry to have gone off topic. Well it sort of is on topic because if the 2 scots had been any good at mathematics then the country may not be in such a fiscal mess. Blimey, Galloway was just allowed to speak in Parliament!

  170. 170
    decimus says:

    Bring back “Grammars”,the sooner the better!As one of 10 kids,3 of whom went to the local Grammar School,and did well in later life.The rest were just as smart,but went into “industrial/office”type jobs,after comprehensive schools failed to motivate them.They blossomed at work,in spite of schooling.Teaching unions and Social engineering politicians under Wilson/Callaghan ruined a generation.Equality of opportunity is vital,not equality of outcome.

  171. 171
    Doctor Mick says:

    Now, now Golden Days!

    University degrees do not guarantee anyone a job. By and large they may help you better to learn one or to gain a profession. Graduates to tend to think they are the bees knees so it takes a few years to slap that attitude out of them and get them earning their way in life.

    You will stand a better chance if you stop worrying about the “posh gits” who had it easier than you. There’s a lot more on this Earth who have it harder than you. [Cue the Four Yorkshiremen..]

  172. 172
    Doctor Mick says:

    That and milk snatching too! The state funeral is looking less and less likely.

  173. 173
    barefootcontessa says:

    The problem of state v private schools lies in the attitudes of the children, and their parents toward the rest of society. The separation of children between private and state schools as they are growing up is not healthy. If every child HAD to go to the same school the ongoing prejudices and snobbery might cease, and the standard overall would considerably improve. The middle classes would soon see to that! Also cliques and tribal loyalties would be kept to a minimum.
    Men tend to stick together as they grow up, viz the incestuous club like atmosphere that has grown up in the House of Commons

  174. 174
    Glaswegian says:

    I agree. As a product of a state senior secondary school in Glasgow, I am horrified that the education my children received from a fee paying public school in England was inferior to that which I received in a state school.
    The dumbing down of educational standards is the most evil act of social engineering ever perpetrated on a nation’s children.
    If you were a conspiracy theorist you would believe that the Communists infiltrated the upper echelons of our educational establishment to destroy our ability to compete.

  175. 175
    anonymouse in the department of Balls says:

    Isn’t that a good reason to bring back interviews?

  176. 176
    snafu says:

    Glaswegian, you’re right. I went to a Merchant Company school in the 60’s, tough but a great education. I too sent my kids private – the state schools in inner London are a bloody disgrace – and thought it worth while to beggar myself on their behalf. But thanks to the league table / tick box mentality, they have come out less well educated than my generation did. They know enough detail to get the exam result, but they don’t understand how it all fits together. It’s a disaster for UK plc.

  177. 177
    Harold Bryanston-Pickle says:

    The real problem nowadays is nearly every school, state or private, is more obsessed by their position in the School League Tables than in “educating” their pupils.

  178. 178
    Anonymous says:

    Is that where you learnt to spell

  179. 179
    Anonymous says:

    paxo, clarkson, rigg and geoff boycott

  180. 180
    Anonymous says:

    Its so refreshing to see the nuremburg defence used ed in such patronising manner

  181. 181
    Spartacus says:

    I bet your working class mam and dad would be proud to hear you say that.

  182. 182
    Arthur Scargill says:

    I predict a riot

  183. 183
    JFK says:

    A grammar school education and you don’t know who runs the country.

    Who controls the money supply?

  184. 184
    Jethro says:

    Yes, typically, a perhaps correct diagnosis (‘The Education System is failing a large proportion of the Nation’s children.’) was not prescribed the right treatment (‘Secondary Modern and Technical Schools must be improved, and not be defined by what they are not – Academic – but by what their pupils need: Education and Training that builds on and draws out their innate aptitudes. Thus, rather than ’11+ failures’ being taught a watered-down academic curriculum, by failed-academics, children selected for Technical/Secondary Modern Schools, must be taught by craftsmen, Engineers, practical people, who will pass on skills and nurture abilities…’) but the utterly wrong (‘Your Appendix, Mr. So-and-so, is giving you these abdominal pains and bouts of severe indigestion: I propose an operation to remove the rest of you.’).
    Of COURSE Crosland hated ‘those f***ing Grammar Schools’ and set about to ‘destroy them'; he was educated at one of England’s oldest and most academic Schools – Winchester: as a ‘Socialist’ he should have determined to ‘destroy’ all the ‘f***ing Public Schools’, but … how could he destroy something that had formed him? It was so much easier to turn away the fire from them, and direct it instead, full on those blameless chariots of social mobility, the Grammar Schools!
    I went to one, and went on to Oxford, often aware of supercilious disdain from those who would pack Radcliffe Square in CND Protests, as a respite between the enforced conformity of their School and the beckoning conformity of Daddy’s Merchant Bank/the Inns of Court/the Diplomatic Service…
    Both ‘Socialists’ and ‘the Establishment’ feel threatened by the socially-mobile (‘Who is he?/Who’s he think he is?’), both the ‘top’ and the ‘bottom’ of the social scale hating the middle with equal fervour.

  185. 185
    Jethro says:

    My ineffective Grammar-school memory failed me: Crosland was educated at Highgate School, not Winchester.

  186. 186
    troglodyte says:

    Exactly why Dave and his mates will no more return to the grammar schools than give us a say over Europe. If the grammar schools had continued for another generation 95% of the public schools would have closed down. The ruling class ,vicious and always greedy , would rather end up ruling over a broken bankrupt country than give up their historic belief in their right to rule. They will never change.Their real enemy is the independent English middle class and my God how they all hate us.

  187. 187
    Jethro says:

    So, not only a Socialist (“…if every child HAD to go to the same school…”) but a Feminist (“men tend to stick together as they grow up…” AND WE MUST STOP THEM!). Wymmin don’t ‘stick together’? ‘The Sisterhood’ is a projection of the male mind?
    And what about that lovely, all-purpose, Revolutionary’s boo-word ‘unhealthy’?
    “The separation of children between private and state schools as they are growing up is not healthy.” Like ‘unacceptable’, ‘unhealthy’ is a powerful smear-word: the thing might not be ‘immoral, illegal, or fattening’, but say it is ‘unhealthy’ – avoiding the word ‘wrong’ – and how maiden-aunts’ pupils will dilate and their eyebrows arch! In a sense, ‘unacceptable’ is even worse: no-one dare ask, ‘To whom is it unacceptable?': its vagueness gives it a spurious aura of near-universal agreement/condemnation – while, of course, appealing to the Liberals, for whom notions of Good and Evil, Right and Wrong, are ‘problematic’. Some would argue that “The separation of children between private and state schools as they are growing up…” IS healthy: learn to get on first with those nearest to you in terms of class/income/…, then try to do what seems to be even more difficult (but actually isn’t!) – get on with those from totally different backgrounds. But ‘healthy/unhealthy’ is a quite Stalinist means of shutting down argument.
    “If every child HAD to go to the same school…”: “If every woman HAD to go to the same shop…”; “If every man HAD to go to the same Pub…” – what a boring, homogenised, sterile, lack-lustre, gossip-free, factory-farm, supermarket-friendly, TOTALITARIAN society it would be!

  188. 188

    Yup, they want us to starve to death too.

  189. 189

    They did it on purpose.

  190. 190
    Bob the Squaddie says:

    To Wossat . speaking as another grammar school oik but this time from the 70s/80s I would just like to say that you have hit the nail on the head. Socialists are the scum who have kept this country from being ruled by those people who have achieved on merit and merit alone. If you wish to organise a mass execution of vile leftie control freak fascist Untermenschen then I would be only too pleased to help you out. Can we please start with Haridan Harmsmen???

  191. 191

    Delete and cancel the entire “GCSE English syllabus”, for a start.

    It is slanted to appeal to socialist white teenage girls who hate Western Civilisation and also know why they do this thing (we instituted slavery and apartheid – didn’t you know? These two things were unknown to innocent humanity before the British Empire….)

    AQA poetry “anthology”,
    “To kill a mockingbird”
    “Lord of the Flies”
    “Blood brothers”
    “Our Day Out”
    “Roll of Thunder, hear my cry”
    “Nicholas Nickleby – (the Mr Squeers stuff only) (You’re allowed to study Dickens if he’s being a lefty in that book)
    “The long, the short and the tall”

    And proscribed authors, of whom there is nothing, are:-

    Rudyard Kipling
    John Buchan
    Dornford Yates
    Winston Churchill
    Nicholas Monsarrat (and he’s even a scouser for f***’s sake)
    George Orwell
    Arthur Conan Doyle
    William Shakespeare (except for Act 1 scene 5 of Romeo and Juliet)
    Jules Verne
    Anything by Asimov, Wyndham, Heinlein, Pournelle, Blish, Poul Anderson, Niven, and the like (and you’d think some of these counted as “other cultures!”)

  192. 192
    Bob the Squaddie says:

    To barefoot contessa. Why are you such a hypocrite? Of course it is because you are a feminist! Why can’t men stick together ? After all women stick together . So why according to you should there be one rule for one gender and a different rule for the other gender? Surely that is sexist? Who are you to tell me who I can and cannot asspociate with? or is it like all your kind you believe that everyone is equal but some are less equal that others?

  193. 193
    Some can see and are preparing says:

    The top always use bottom as a reason to spend the middles money.
    The art of politics can be defined as the means in which the middle are made to give up the money voluntarily. All ISIMs boil down to differing ways to launder money.

  194. 194
    albacore says:

    Jethro @ 186, there is something about the word “unacceptable” that raises my hackles. Its common usage by politicians and quangocrats rings an alarm bell every time it’s spouted.
    Similarly with, for instance, “clearly” and the now moribund “at this moment in time”. You know anybody talking that trash is either a lying commie or a pushover for commie conditioning.

  195. 195
    albacore says:

    ‘Ere, Guido, why do the numbers keep changing?
    Jethro was at 186 when I replied. Now he’s at 187.

  196. 196
    Susie says:


    All the new cars and foreign holidays my parents did without in the ’60s to send us to public schools paid off… eventually, despite all of us encountering discrimination at work because of our education.

  197. 197
    UK Fred says:

    I’d like to add two points.

    The first is that we have dumbed down education to such an extent that John Clare, the former Education correspondent of the Telegraph was able to tell me that what I expected from a school leaver with GCSEs is what should have been well within the capabilities of an average 11 year old around 50 years ago, but was beyond the capabilty of a student with B grade GCSE in the subject I was interested. Grammar schools, just like I went to, would give me an option to recruit from the state sector, and not have to recruit from the local public schools.

    The second is that with an illiterate and an immunerate population, no-one will be able to either see the flaws in Labour’s figures and no-one will be able to put an argument together against the fascist Zanu Lie Baaah fantasies

  198. 198
    barefootcontessa says:

    Jethro, well argued. I’m not, by the way either a Stalinist or a feminist! I believe passionately that if only the state system were good enough everybody would want to participate, then we would have a happier society. I concur that it isn’t!

  199. 199
    barefootcontessa says:

    Education, education, education!

  200. 200
    Doctor Mick says:

    Two hundred

  201. 201
    Tin Cunliffe-Arsely says:

    and one.

    LAST !

  202. 202
    Harriet Harman says:

    The horris sort wot keeps Ethnics and women out of power so leading to the credit crunch which would not have happened if it had been Lehperdaughter Daughters!

  203. 203
    boulay says:

    you are confusing him with richard crossman – another old labour minister – who was a wykhamist

  204. 204
    Mr. ForFucksSakeUseTheCorrectTerminology says:

    For Fucks Sake !!!

    Stop using the ridiculous title ‘public school’..

    They are PRIVATE schools

    The term ‘public school’ implies that any member of the public can attend .. about as far from the truth as you can get ..


    Going for a lay down now

  205. 205
    Ben Elton says:

    It is, as always, Mrs thatcher’s fault!

  206. 206
    George Galloway at TalkSPORT says:

    That is the origin of the term. Anyone with money could pay for an education. It was open to the public as distinct from closed schools.

  207. 207
    Templeton Peck says:

    This would be the incestous club like atmosphere that gave us Harman, Smith, Flint, Jowell, Primarolo, and Blears to name some promoted because of the incestuos club like atmosphere that led to them being elected.

  208. 208
    Templeton Peck says:

    Equality of opportunity not equality of outcome

  209. 209
    I, I'm Bland says:

    The tractor production up in the Ukraine current incumbent in Number 10 is an example of this is not so.

  210. 210
    Archie says:

    Quite so!

  211. 211
    Mr. ForFucksSakeUseTheCorrectTerminology says:


    Yes of course anyone can go to Eton


  212. 212
    Mr. ForFucksSakeUseTheCorrectTerminology says:

    Thats better


    It would be very very nice if presenters of talkshows and guests would , these days, refer to them as PRIVATE schools. Which is what they are

    Going for a cup of tea and another lay down….

  213. 213
    dazed and confused and fed up says:

    I think the likelihood of the state schools being good enough – in the near or far
    distant future – that everyone would want to participate is about as likely as
    the existence of fairies at the bottom of the garden

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