Sunday, 28 April 2013

Etonians are not taught to serve but to rule.

Tory MP Jesse Norman  has at least started a debate in defending  the number of old Etonians in government or claiming that Eton was better than other schools at promoting a "commitment to public service".

Jesse Norman, the Tory MP for Hereford and South Herefordshire, himself an old Etonian, suggested on Saturday that its pupils received the best grooming for office because of the values the school instils in them. "Other schools don't have the same commitment to public service. They do other things," said Norman, who was one of two old Etonians to be promoted to top policy roles by Cameron last week.

He added:
 "It's one of the few schools where the pupils really do run vast chunks of the school themselves. So they don't defer in quite the same way; they do think there's the possibility of making change through their own actions."

Actually this is not something new . The public school system  has always claimed that they instill a superior ethos on their pupils previously instiled by as system of fagging and bullying.

But of course even they could't claim that these days.

The Duke of Wellington is supposed to have said that the Battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton. (Though it unlikely .)

What this was supposed to have meant was that the British system of education which educated and formed the character of those who became the elite officers of the British Army was responsible for that  victory.

Of course the contribution of Blucher's Prussians  is nearly always conveniently ignored.

The University of Oxford and Cambridge often claim that the high percentage of public school pupils in the dreaming spires is because they enthuse more confidence than similarly academically gifted state school pupils.

It's all utter nonsense of course.

What the public school system does is not a commitment to public service",. but a belief in their own superiority an right to be in charge.

You could equally argue . That the slaughter on the Somme was due to the arrogance of the Officers Class  brought up on the public school system.

Actually that may have more truth.

Cameron and his elite cabinet are there not  out of a sense of service but because they believe that they have been groomed to run Government and have an absolute to do so.

It is a system that sees Harry Windsor enter the Army Officer Class after  he completed his education at Eton with two A-Levels after achieving a grade B in art and D in Geography having decided to drop history of art after AS level.

At least he probably can read a map.

Qualifications which would see him finding it hard to get a University place and probably a junior office job.

But that doesn't matter. It is assumed that he has been bred and educated to lead.

People are still swayed by a Etonian accent. If Boris Johnson spoke like an ordinary Londoner he would find it hard to get elected to Camden Council people regarding him as a buffoon

What we need to do is stop regarding arrogance as confidence and that some people are more gifted than the rest of us simply because they had a more expensive education.

1 comment:

  1. I'd go a lot further, and claim that the class divisions, which persist in the UK, and almost entirely in England, is a root cause of the decline and malaise the UK has undergone, and will continue to undergo. The monarchy, the aristocracy, the landed classes, the elite, are there not on merit for the most part, yet they hold the reins of power.

    Good luck to the Scots. I hope they decide to sever themselves from that particularly English disease, and opt for a more equal, civilised, democratic society, which I'm convinced will benefit every resident of Scotland.

    I wish and hope that it will come our way in Wales too.

    Btw, I'm heartily sick of hearing about Kate and her bump. Royalty is thrown at us from every direction. How I long for a republic with an elected non-executive head of state.