Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Social Mobility Blocked in Britain Says Milburn Report

The picture is a bit antique but it still makes the point that such young men, privately educated, represent a hugely privileged race apart in Britain. As the Milburn Report on social mobility makes clear, 7% of this privately educated elite go on to provide 75% of judges, 70% of finance directors, 45% of top civil servants and 32% of MPs.

As I've banged on more than once, The Spirit Level, by Wilkinson and Tippet, make it clear that countries with high socio-economic inequality manifest the highest degree of dysfunctionality. So we see that when the wealth of the top fifth are compared to that of the poorest, we see how leading countries stack up: USA, 8.5 times, UK, 7.1, Italy, 6.6, France, 5.6, Germany 5.2, Sweden 3.9 and Japan 3.4.

We are close to the top when it comes to inequality and this is a major reason why it is so hard for someone from a lower socio-econiomic class to make it 'upwards' into the professions. It is not surprising young people become angry when they feel locked out from the better things of life. As so many jobs in the future will require high degrees of expertise, those who are privately educated start with one hell of an advantage. On 29% of university students- 16% in the elite Russell Group- come from working class backgrounds, even though they constitute one half of young people.

Milburn's suggestion is a 5000 pound training budget to all young people to use as they think fit- apprenticeships, professional training, H.E. or whatever. It might be a start but:
i) Does it begin to compare with the up to a quarter of a million pounds a well-off middle class family might spend on educating its scions.
ii) Will a cash strapped Treasury contemplate shelling out even this relatively small amount? personally I doubt it and even if Labour enacted it the Tories would rescind it.

How about free education, remember the good old days of going to University for free like the Blair's did like Brown did.
In all of this debate, noone seems to have picked up on the blindingly obvious. But then accepting the blame is never easy. Especially when you are to blame.

By annihilating grammar schools, the lefty establishment removed the one chance ordinary decent (but not loaded) families had to allow their children to complete for places at the top universities and thus the opportunities to progress into the professions.

Is anyone really surprised that our crappy comprehensives are not producing results? "Oh yes but it's more equal" I hear the fools say. Well yes. State schools are all very equal now. Equally bad for all. Congrats. Meanwhile anyone with enough money in this derelict economy scrambles for the cash to send their kids to a decent school, away from yob parents and their moron offspring, and the loony teachers who have spent a generation ruining the education system.

Talk about a glass ceiling all you like. The left caused this and (like most things they have ever done) decent middle and working class families suffered. Quelle surprise.
F*cking rubbish I passed my eleven plus to go to Grammar school, but my parents had the interview and I was rejected on the grounds that I did not meet the requirement of the grammar school, rose tinted glasses and I was not the only one either.

They actually said my input to the social life within the grammar school would be curtailed by the lack of funds, in other words I'd not be able to spend buckets going on trips and holidays.
Sounds like sour grapes to me. What you describe would not even be legal. Did you take it to court? No I thought not.

The truth is some people will always reach for the easiest excuse. Maybe the local comp allowed you to do that with a clearer conscience.
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