No, don’t get too excited. Oh, you weren’t.
Remember the Polly Conundrum: ‘Is she a moron or a liar?’ Hm, tricky.
Polly Toynbee, rousing the comrades to continue flogging their dead horse fighting the class war, writes without a trace of either irony or self-reflection:
The postwar years did see an exceptional upward surge, as a great increase in white collar and middle managerial jobs changed a two-thirds working class society into two-thirds middle class: it’s worth noting it happened not via education but the changing labour market.
‘Not via education’? Oops, missed the critical link, there, Pol. See, in that expanding labour market, the new, better-paid, white-collar, ‘middle-class’ jobs increasingly went to the millions of people educated in the ’11-plus’ education system of the 1944 Education Act, the system which you and your privately-educated and relatively wealthy friends so hated and still do, and which your party ‘of the working people’ abolished purely for ideological ‘class war’ reasons. And ‘up the workers’, you might say, because look what happened next:
Then social progress stopped – a study comparing the fate of children born in 1958 with those born in 1970…
… (almost all of them forced into your mate Tony Crosland’s comprehensives)…
… shows the latter more hermetically sealed into the social class of their birth.
No! Well, fancy that.
Is this the law of unintended consequences swinging into play? Or could it be (perish the thought) that the aim was not merely to épater la bourgeoisie (that comes later… now, in fact) but erode them to destruction, ‘via education’? Cynically and nihilistically, to replace the increasingly educated and socially mobile (translation: ‘increasingly liberated’) lower- and middle-middle classes with an unemployable lumpenproletariat, a rioting, looting, business-destroying, terrifying, socialism-dependent advance guard of the violent revolution-in-England (sic) so long the objective of the Hard Left, as dreamed of by both Marx and Lenin?
We need the real, nation-wide terror which reinvigorates the country and through which the Great French Revolution achieved glory.
No, not Polly. I doubt she’s that brave. That was Lenin.
And remember that it was the evil idealist Lenin, not the cynical opportunist Blair, who coined ‘education, education, education':
- Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted.
- Give us the child for 8 years and it will be a Bolshevik forever.
And – we’re back in the room. Here’s Stephen Pollard in the Times (no £)
The proportion of public-school-educated undergraduates at Oxford was, for instance, on a steady downward path after the Second World War. In 1946 65 per cent of male students were from independent schools. By 1967 only 53 per cent of male students were from public schools. The pattern was even clearer with women, the share falling from 57 per cent of arts undergraduates in 1946 to 39 per cent in 1967. For all the problems with technical and secondary modern schools, grammar schools did a fine job of lifting children out of poverty and into opportunity. Yet today, our comprehensive system has one of the worst rankings in the developed world.
And still Toynbee can’t or won’t see it. That Polly Conundrum just keeps on giving.
But, of course, she is casting her pearls before swine. Well, all right, Guardian readers. She doesn’t matter much to anyone else, outside Labour royalty and the BBC, who incidentally have given her another series. On ‘class’. Hahahahaha. Now, aren’t we all looking forward to that? I know everyone at the BBC is.
Me, I’m torn between the old rage and… pity.
An old lady I know is entering her dotage and a certain bewilderment is overtaking her. Kind confusion shields her from the terrible truth that she and her friends were not only wrong but guilty of blighting the lives of millions of children, and the lives of their children, too. She plucks at our sleeves and breathes her rank breath into our faces as she insists that we look at her faded snaps. She spends hour after hour on her insane and incomprehensible scribblings which she is leaving to posterity which, will of course, vindicate her.
She warbles the old rebel songs to anyone with the patience to listen and says Billy Bragg could almost be her son if it were not for his dreadfully common accent. She dotes on that handsome Marcus Brigstocke and shouts at people to pipe down when he’s on the telly. Most of the time she just hobbles around muttering, ‘historical inevitability’, and ‘dialectical materialism,’ but no-one pays any attention any more.
We all hope she’ll be with us for years yet, making us laugh with her delightfully batty encouragement to fight the Kaiser evil Thatcher what’s his name… Eton… no, it’ll come… give her a minute…
Something like this appears at my own blog.