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Public school education for free

File under hypocritical lefties:

Fiona Millar, AKA Mrs Alastair Campbell, is a journalist and a prominent campaigner for comprehensive education. Comment is Free regularly provides a pulpit from which she can unleash fire and brimstone at anyone who might be tempted to interest themselves in selective admission procedures, school choice or similar heresies against the Church of the Bog Standard Comp Triumphant.

Her latest jeremaiad was this piece at CiF on Monday, if you can bear it.

The amusing part about her article was not what she wrote herself (or even the sad fact that she can't seem to find a photo of herself in which she doesn't look like a harpy), but is actually a posting by a commenter calling himself Gerry M.

What Mr M points out is that Ms Millar seems to have contracted that strange affliction of well off left-wing parents which compels them to ensure that their own children get a rather different education to the one they demand for us proles. Well known examples like Ruth Kelly and Diane Abbott abound. The establishment our Fiona chose for her darling son Rory was the William Ellis School in Highgate. This is a state school quite unlike any other state school you've ever come across before. In fact, it's quite hard to find many differences between it and a rather expensive private school.

According to the Wikipedia article linked above, it has a budget of £13 million to spend on around 1000 pupils. For those who learned mathematics at a more traditional comprehensive school, that's £13,000 per pupil. It's pupils are all boys (which doesn't seem very comprehensive to me). It has playing fields, blazers, celebrity visitors (Alastair Campbell, Sir Clive Woodward, Michael Palin, June Sarpong, Brian Lara, David Miliband and Professor Tim Brighouse), and "newly completed Art studios, Technology and Science teaching spaces and [a] state-of-the-art Sports Hall". If music is your thing it's got a "24-track  sound and music editing suite with the latest computer technology" and can offer music tuition in just about any instrument you care to mention. All that seems to be missing is the stables for darling Rory's ponies, but hey, this is central London.

All I can say is "Wow!" And to think that some people pay to go private! 

Our Fiona is, of course, very much against academies and trust schools - she says that LEA control is the ideal that schools should aspire to. How then to explain her choice of a "voluntarily maintained" school, a majority of whose governors are appointed by an independent trust? Shouldn't she be repulsed by a school which became a specialist language school in 1997?

It's hard to imagine the mindset which would allow someone to justify this sort of hypocrisy to themselves. A normal person, with a normal conscience would cringe every time the thought crossed their mind. Is Fiona Millar such a person?

She doesn't look bovvered, does she?



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Reader Comments (4)

This is how socialism works. Read Simon Sebag Montefiore's excellent biography of Stalin "In the Court of the Red Tsar", for lots of interesting technical details of how the Red Elite secured its privileges.What is now understood everywhere but in a Britain fuddled by its entrenched Marxist educationalists, is that Socialism was only ever a different way to select a ruling elite.
Nov 21, 2007 at 7:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterTom Paine
I remember talking to a retired miner in the kent coalfield, he said that the local union official had told the miners they must not use the buy your own council house scheme. Only to find out years later that the said official had bought his house when the scheme had started.
Yes socialists have cornered the market in hypocrisy
Nov 22, 2007 at 8:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterChris
Hypocracy, thy name is Socialism.
Nov 23, 2007 at 2:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoger Thornhill
william ellis - public school education? who wrote this?

william ellis is your typical all boys roughed up inner city comp!?

I don't thinks its comparable to a public school, I think someone needs to take a walk down paly hill on a weekday afternoon.
Jan 12, 2008 at 3:21 PM | Unregistered Commenterjack b

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