Sunday 26 September 2021
From Charity To Status
Even without the VAT, the fees for commercial schools are far beyond the reach of anyone in the middle of anything. You can go to school for free in this country, and most people do. But this needless expense makes very affluent people feel as if they are struggling, since they really do have to make certain sacrifices, by their own standards, in order to meet it. In turn, that makes them very vocal against, for example, a modest increase in their own direct taxation.
The condition of a commercial school’s continuing charitable status, including its exemption from VAT, should be its having been adjudged good or better by the same body, and using the same criteria, as for state schools, with the reports published, and with the value-added measure applied, thereby requiring those schools to have demonstrated how they had improved pupils’ abilities.
But while we are seeking to make the world better, then we still have to live in it as it is. It is not hypocritical to do so as best we can. The hypocrites are the highly activist Education Ministers, usually Conservatives, who buy their own children out of the practical application and implications of their policies. Their hypocrisy is never, ever called out. Well, it would certainly be called out by me.
And it must be said that the schools that they favour do regularly provide left-wing figures with a platform that they are seldom or never afforded by the schools of the municipal Labour Right. The Left and the working class, and perhaps especially the rural working class, need to bypass both the municipal Labour Right and the Liberal Establishment both in education and in the media. The EU referendum and the 2019 General Election have confirmed that the workers, and not the liberal bourgeoisie, are now the key swing voters who deserve direct representation on local public bodies, on national public bodies, in the media, and at the intersection of the public and media sectors.
It is in the running of state schools that the Liberal Establishment in academia and the media meets the right-wing Labour machine in local government. By all accounts, Jeremy Corbyn turned down several invitations to speak at public schools. George Galloway regularly accepts such invitations. Yet it is impossible to imagine that a state school might offer a platform to anyone from the Left.
We ought to be bypassing the weedy brains of the Liberal Establishment and the brainless brawn of the municipal Labour Right, in order to secure the representation that had never been afforded by those who had presumed to speak for our people, but never to our people. Yes, that would indeed involve doing deals with the Conservatives. We could not possibly get less out of them than we had ever managed to get out of the Keir Starmers of the world.