The affluent bourgeoisie use either fee-paying schools or private tutors to entrench their advantages, while kicking away the ladder of opportunity for bright kids from working-class backgrounds.
The lesson from the story of Georgia Gould is that if you restrict the opportunities of the many, the few will simply lengthen their lead.
Come on comrades, stop beating up on Georgia Gould – you created her
Since no one else is likely to do so, it falls to this column to spring to the defence of Georgia Gould. Telegraph readers may not be familiar with Georgia. One day she will probably pupate into some hectoring Labour health or environment spokesperson, telling us all when to turn the lights off or how many units of alcohol we may consume. But at the moment she is still trying to win the Labour nomination for the London seat of Erith and Thamesmead, and the Labour Party is having one of its amusing fits of hysterics about the matter. Georgia may be brilliant; she may be blonde; she may be captivating. But she is only 22, and the Labour rank and file are furiously protesting.
Continue reading Labour’s pseudo-egalitarian approach to education
I am a kind of slightly wonky poetry jukebox
As anyone who loves poetry will testify, when you learn a good poem, you make a good friend.
I propose universal saying lessons in English poetry … this should involve learning two or three poems a term, off by heart
It is sometimes said of the modern Tory party that it has become a little bit vanilla. A vital and superhuman effort has been made over the past five years to persuade the press and the public that we have changed, that we have made various accommodations with reality, that we finally get the point that Britain in 2009 is not the same as Britain in 1959. Continue reading POETRY: should be conserved and promoted
The idea is to persuade those members of the public who have finally abandoned their dreams of becoming the next Jacqueline du Pré to send in their cellos or flutes or bassoons and, if they have finally given up on the mouth organ, they can become organ donors.
A man’s got to know his limitations, says Clint Eastwood in Magnum Force, although, for most of us, the struggle with reality is very hard. It is only now, after half a lifetime of consistent failure, that I am on the verge of recognising that I was not born to be a musician. Continue reading Musical Instrument Amnesty
What on earth has come over our aimless, feckless, hopeless youth?
Shurely shome mishtake, I keep saying to myself. They must have the wrong country. Continue reading British medals at Beijing Olympics … and 2012?
We have a seat on the UN Security Council and troops in conflicts around the world; and yet this year we didn’t even qualify for the European Championships
Continue reading England’s national underperformance