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From The Socialist newspaper, 2 February 2011

TV Review: Posh and Posher Why Public School Boys Run Britain

ANDREW NEIL is a Tory-sympathising BBC journalist. It must say a lot about the present state of British politics that he would present this documentary, Posh and Posher: Why Public School Boys Run Britain.

Jethro Waldron

He laid out the balance sheet right at the start. While only 7% of the population attended private school, one in three MPs are privately educated. Over half of the Con-Dem cabinet were educated at elite public schools like Eton.

Neil's documentary was surprisingly provocative. From the beginning, he asked whether millionaire Con-Dem MPs can really understand the implications of their cuts programme for working-class people.

Representatives of all the establishment parties were asked why so many politicians come from elite backgrounds. Lib Dem MP Sarah Teather could only say that the issues involved are 'subtle' and couldn't suggest how inequalities in education could be solved.

But she expanded on this 'subtlety' in the next breath: "if you come from a wealthier background you're more likely to get a good education, you're more likely to reach the top."

The question of access to a good education is a question of wealth and a question of class. Teather had unwittingly implied the necessity of a socialist programme to solve these deep-rooted inequalities.

This is why the Socialist Party goes further than Neil, who quite rightly suggested that working class young people should have better access to high-quality education. Unfortunately, his suggestion was to bring back the two-tier education system of grammar schools and secondary moderns.

The Socialist Party believes in comprehensive education. However, we believe that the comprehensive system should receive a massive increase in resources and funding. This means more teachers, on better pay and conditions, smaller class sizes and better facilities.

We believe that the 850 billion used to bail out the banks should be pumped into public services like education.

We need to take the banking sector into genuine, democratic public ownership, with the profits being used to benefit society rather than line the pockets of a tiny handful of billionaires.

All of the establishment parties, including Labour, stand for cuts in education and we need to build a mass campaign to stop them in their tracks. At local level councils controlled by all three parties are savaging public services. It was Labour who bailed out the banks and asked working-class people to foot the bill.

We need a new mass workers' party as an alternative to the Con-Dems and New Labour - to argue the case for a socialist way of running society in the interests of people, not profit, and to create a well-funded, inclusive and equal education system.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
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In The Socialist 2 February 2011:


International socialist news and analysis

Egypt in revolt


Socialist Party NHS campaign

Defend the NHS!: Fight the Con-Dem cuts

The madness of King George cuts


Anti-cuts campaigning

Scottish Anti-Cuts Alliance established

Stop attacks on disabled claimants

Liverpool: Jobs axe must be fought

No to the racist EDL! Unite to fight the cuts

Hands off our forests!

Protesting against all of the cuts


Socialist Party news and analysis

Tommy Sheridan jailing: Political vendetta ends in draconian sentence

John Macreadie memorial

TV Review: Posh and Posher Why Public School Boys Run Britain


Socialist Party feature

'Struggle or starve!' 1932 - when Birkenhead workers beat the means test


Socialist Party youth and students

Young people march for a future

Tories have no solutions to youth crime

Police attack 'save EMA' protest in Leeds


Socialist Party workplace news

Justice for Unison Four

Unison self-destructs at TSA but unionism stronger than ever

Building action against cuts

Defending jobs at Leeds council

Ford challenged in legal bid: Pay the Visteon pensioners now!

Arriva Trains Wales - strike called off

Defend democracy in the CWU

Keep the post public demo

Discussing an electoral challenge to service cutters


Socialist Party Marxist analysis

'In reality, Britain is facing a savage economic ice age'


 

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