Monday, 24 March 2008


Of course spoilt children are a problem, although there is nothing very new about the behaviour currently vexing teachers. But as Peter Hitchens puts it:

We shouldn't think the middle classes are blameless.

Look at the famous party in Bovey Tracey, Devon, which went wrong, ending with a virtual riot and the trashing and ransacking by ferals of the family's lovely house.

Sarah Ruscoe attends a girls-only grammar school in the supposedly staid South West and obviously has all the benefits of education and money.

Yet nobody seems to have thought it abnormal to hire bouncers for her 18th birthday celebration, or for her to dress as a kinky tart for the occasion.

Too rich to care, still infected by the drivel of Sixties ideas on sex, drugs and selfishness, the very people who ought to be setting standards are busily smashing them up. If you break the rules to suit yourself, you may get away with it because you are well-off.

But you will not like it when your attitudes are adopted by the poor inhabitants of housing estates, who reasonably decide that if it's all right for people who live in manor houses, it's all right for them, too.

Quite. And would the antics of pupils at a school in Kirby Lonsdale have been any sort of news if they had been the antics of pupils at a comprehensive school on a council estate or serving a cluster of former pit villages?

On the contrary, such events are ignored on more than a weekly basis, like those of the only slightly older members of a criminal conspiracy to become drunk and disorderly before committing criminal damage and assault.

If a group of boys the same age set up such an organisation on a council estate or in a former pit village, then they would rightly be imprisoned. Even many years later, they certainly would not be regarded as potential Prime Ministers, or potential Chancellors of the Exchequer, or potential Mayors of London.

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