Thursday, 21 August 2008

Common people

Introducing Cameron's new policy adviser, Jonty Olliff-Cooper. I would say more, but Recess Monkey has already beaten me to it, as has the Mirror.


DaveA said...

Kerry, are these inverted snobbery articles worthy of printing? I think most of us have moved on from the class war of the 70s.

As someone who failed his 11+, went to a comprehensive and whose A level grades are fail, O level standard and E, I sent my daughter to a private school. £63,000 later I will be paying the fees off for the next 17 years.

The schools in Hackney where she lives are simply a disgrace and the only qualifications many of the children have are in teenage parenthood, drug dealing/taking and violent brainlessness. So I commend anyone who makes sacrifices to get them out of the state system, where the state schools are an abject failure.

I will never forgive Shirley Williams and the Labour Party for scrapping grammar schools and the present Labour Party should also hang their head in shame for wanting to rid the country of the remaining ones. Yes 95% of pupils tend(ed) to be middle class, but the 5% of working class who went, were given a great opportunity which many of them took advantage of. Now they do not have that option, along with Labour scrapping assisted places to private schools. How many bright working class children have been lost in the comprehensive system, and been denied on career opportunities?

Looking at his qualifications Jonty looks a very bright young man and I am sure he will do a good job.

I have met many titled and upper class people and provided you have good manners are welcoming. My only criticisms would be that they are a bit cliquey and occassionally patronising. But I think they felt comfortable that they finally knew someone working class!

As someone who by socialist standards would often be described as "disadvantaged" I believe that we do have, in principle, a meritocracy in the UK. Of course we are not perfect and certain stratas of society will have an edge, but most people are not excluded from most positions in this country.

One of the reason I have not been left leaning is that Margaret Thatcher encouraged everyone to improve themselves by hard work and "pulling yourself up by your boot straps", Labour seem to be saying, "stay where you are, we'll look after you".

BTW do we know if Jonty smokes?

Devil's Kitchen said...


It says an awful lot about you that you would criticise the Tories for appointing someone who is intelligent and well-educated as a poli9cy advisor.

Presumably you have someone thick and poorly-educated as your advisor?


Northern Lights said...

So no one else thinks that a potential future Government should be representative of more than a privileged few?

Kerry said...

I don't have a particular problem with people being posh or privileged. I do have a problem with those who combine being posh and privileged with being completely clueless and knowing next to nothing about the real world.

Dave, I suggest you check out my post 'School' by way of a response to your comments on grammar schools. Academies benefit 95% of deprived kids in an area; not just 5%. But what are the chances of one of the kids from an east Bristol academy ever ending up as a Conservative Party Policy Adviser, no matter how bright they are, when they're up against someone with a privileged upbringing who went to public school/ Oxbridge (who probably knows someone who knows someone... what's meritocratic about that?)

Your perception of the Labour Party - stay where you are, we'll take care of you - might perhaps reflect the Labour Party in the 1980s (although it would be something of a caricature). But New Labour wholeheartedly espoused the aspirational agenda, including previously controversial measures such as right to buy. The Labour Party believes in giving people the opportunity to make something of themselves - which, yes, includes state action to iron out some of the disadvantages of birth/ circumstance which could prevent someone being able to fulfil their ambitions and use their abilities to the full. Not just opportunity for those who can afford to pay for it.