Wednesday 30 May 2012

Social Mobility: A Tsar Reports

Alan Milburn, a socialist who is now the coalition government's 'social mobility tsar'(!), has published a report, and was on the radio this morning talking about it. Deploring the very high proportion of privately educated people in various top jobs, he said that it looked like the product of 'social engineering on a grand scale'. He's dead right there: it's the product of that grand social engineering project that effectively swept away the grammar schools and replaced them with comprehensives. The grammar schools were the most effective engine of social mobility this country ever had - a route to the top that was open to all with ability, that created five successive Prime Ministers and propelled the likes of me to the 'top universities'. The comprehensive system has proved itself unable to deliver social mobility at all (except in a reverse direction), with the dismal results that we see today - the posh, the rich and the well-connected firmly back on top. I don't suppose that was the intention - or that this was the 'social engineering on a grand scale' that Milburn had in mind. Funny old world...


  1. couldn't agree more Nige, bring back the grammar schools!!

  2. Same here. I was one of the last beneficiaries, from council estate to what everybody seems to call "uni" these days. (When did that start?)
    What I fail to understand is that somehow the very idea of grammar schools is now taboo, and those who call for their return - Peter Hitchens, UKIP - are treated as deranged pariahs. Funny old world indeed.