Monday, 22 February 2021
Boris Johnson had already been born when Harold Wilson became the first ever state educated Prime Minister. We did not last two generations. There will never now be another state educated Prime Minister, but there were only ever six, and three of those, half of the total, never won a General Election.
The only Prime Minister to have attended a comprehensive school was one of those three, and she was born as long ago as 1956. We are onto our second Prime Minister to have been born in the 1960s, and they both went to the same school. Guess which one. The next Prime Minister may very well have been born in 1980. He was Head Boy of Winchester. While Tony Blair was Prime Minister.
Three of the six, so again half of the total, are dead, and Margaret Thatcher was not one of them. She sometimes made carefully worded statements that allowed the unwary to draw the inference that she had attended a state grammar school. But in the words of Simon Jenkins in his award-festooned Thatcher and Sons, her father, "was ambitious for [his daughters'] advancement, paying for them at the fee-paying Kesteven and Grantham Girls' Grammar School."
If any single party other than the Conservative Party is ever again going to win an overall majority in the House of Commons, then that party has probably not yet been founded. We need to act on the assumption that for the rest of our lives, the Prime Minister would always be the Leader of the Conservative Party, who would always have been privately schooled and who would almost always have been so at a major public school, usually Eton. Don't hate the players.
It will be all very well to try and change this at the ballot box. In between elections, someone will still have to work with the actual Government to strengthen families and communities by securing economic equality and international peace through the democratic political control of the means to those ends, including national and parliamentary sovereignty.
To build on Brexit as a double opportunity, both to reorganise the British economy under the direction of a more democratic State, and to develop a fully independent and a peaceable British foreign policy. To exercise the leading role in the pursuit of economic equality of those who suffered most from its absence, namely the working class, and the leading role in the pursuit of international peace of those who suffered most from its absence, namely the working class and the youth, insisting that the working class in Great Britain was indivisible.
To celebrate the fact that Britain was ethnically diverse down to every ward, that Britain was home to people from every inhabited territory, that Britain had a large and growing population of mixed ethnic heritage, and that Britain was therefore the world centre of the liberation struggle of the Global South, accepting no definition of anti-Semitism beyond, "Hostility to or prejudice against Jews." To use that celebration against the central role of the City of London, and of its network of tax havens under British sovereignty, in the oppression of the Global South.
To insist on an approach to climate change which protected and extended secure employment with civilised wages and working conditions, which encouraged economic development around the world, which upheld the right of the working classes and of people of colour to have children, which held down and as far as practicable reduced the fuel prices that always hit the poor hardest, and which refused to restrict travel opportunities or a full diet to the rich.
And to reverse deindustrialisation at home, while bringing an end the harvesting of young men in endless and pointless wars abroad, as two of the many policy implications of the scientific fact of binary and immutable biological sex, implications that also included action on men's health and on fathers' rights.
This list is not exhaustive. I am beavering away on the creation of our think tank, of our Fellowships at one or more sympathetic universities, of our qualification for aspirant parliamentary candidates of any party or none, of our weekly current affairs magazine, of our fortnightly satirical magazine, of our monthly cultural review, of our quarterly academic journal, and of our arrangements to secure representation on public bodies by bypassing the right-wing Labour machine and the metropolitan liberal elite.
Of course, I would vote for candidates whose election would advance our cause, and I would encourage other people to do so. I may even encourage other people to stand. I would particularly like someone who was at least broadly of our mind to take more votes than the margin of victory of the winning candidate here at North West Durham in 2024.
But I myself have been contesting elections throughout my adult lifetime, and with only very limited success. The voters have dismissed my efforts to enter the House of Commons, Durham County Council, the old Derwentside District Council, and at the most recent attempt Lanchester Parish Council. I can now honestly say that no one can come crying to me, because people have had more than ample opportunity to vote for me. It feels good to say that.
There we have it, then. No more elections for me. Ever. As much as anything else, I trust that that will reassure those who did not wish to be seen to be associating with a political opponent by participating in one or more of our think tank, our Fellowships programme, our qualification, our weekly current affairs magazine, our fortnightly satirical magazine, our monthly cultural review, our quarterly academic journal, and our arrangements to secure representation on public bodies by bypassing the weedy brains of the Liberal Establishment and the brainless brawn of the municipal Labour Right.