The renewed debate about the large number of public school educated men at the top of all three major parties represents a significant trend that is working against social mobility, stifling meritocracy and reducing the effectiveness of our ability to compete on the world stage.
We are facing competition from a growing number of active, aggressive foreign economies and we need to have our society and economy working at their peak of effectiveness.
Yet we are crippling them by stifling internal competition in our workforce by the exclusion of state educated children from the highest earning professions.
Despite just 7% of kids being educated privately, they are dominant in Parliament, banking, law, journalism.
Even the bastions of the leftist establishment, the Guardian and the BBC’s yearly intake is over 50% public school/Oxbridge educated.
The loss of grammar schools and assisted places has made it much harder for bright kids from ordinary backgrounds to access the top jobs. This reduces the ability of our economy to compete. The brightest state educated children face an invisible and impossible barrier that now creates conflict in society. In the meritocratic post-war years the class system seemed to be breaking down but the old divisions we thought we had removed for good are in fact still with us.
As a result of Labour’s destruction of grammar schools and the assisted places scheme, the ladders that had reached down and given state educated children an opportunity to access the highest paid professions, were pulled back up.
Would the same opportunity for a grocer’s daughter from Grantham to rise to become Prime Minister exist today?