Wednesday, 18 June 2008

If It's Not Going To Be MacKenzie

Increasingly, it appears not.

Then who?

Any one of them is even more hilarious than the last. Pointless posh prettyboys like Oliver Kamm and Douglas Murray spring most obviously to mind.

Oh, imagine the pleasure of watching the defeat of such a creature, waving his tenth generation Oxbridge degree in the sincere belief that it proved that he was clever, rather than merely that he had stolen the place properly belonging to someone from a grammar school, if only such an institution still existed.

Imagine his speech after the count, cursing the provincial peasants for their insolence in failing to elect him.

But it would never happen, of course. Such people despise the electorate far too much ever to submit themselves to its judgement. Don't they?

So who, then? And why?


  1. Oliver Kamm's maternal grandfather (Adrian Bell) did not go to university. While his father (Anthony Kamm) is an Oxonian (he read Classics and English), his paternal grandfather was a German (Jewish?) refugee in the thirties, I believe. So 'tenth generation Oxbridge' is inaccurate. No doubt, at some point, Kamm's German ancestory will give you, a follower of the 'universal' church, another oportunity to display your parochial and provincial inclinations.

    I find your commitment to the grammar schools, given your antipathy to IQ tests, rather curious. Incidentally, admissions to Oxbridge from the state sector were about a third in the 1950s, at the peak of the tripartite system, now they are slightly below half.

    Philip Cross

    PS: You are funnier than Neil Clark.

  2. I try my best.

    The Pope is a German, which seems fine by me.

    I do not believe in IQ tests. I believe in academic exams.

    And there are state schools and state schools. Once, there were very academic state schools, there were (far too few) very technical state schools, and there were state schools providing exactly as much academic and technical knowledge as most people ever really need. Now, however, the divide is rather different.

    My general attitude to Oxbridge, considering that Eton sent 95 pupils to one or the other part of it last year, is "How good can the ninety-fifth best Etonian in his year possibly be?" Good enough to be Leader of the Conservative Party, but that's about it.

    One of our candidates went to school with me, went to Oxford, and, like Chesterton, never graduated. Putting him in a fine old Catholic tradition, of course.

  3. Exactly. When people like Philip Cross say state schools, they mean private schools that have the effrontery to send their bills to the taxpayer. The English, especially London, equivalents of the Lenin Academy in Havana.