Private schools are blocking social mobility – Telegraph


education (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

This is an interesting article from the Telegraph. I would rate it as RECOMMENDED READING. Check it out!

via Private schools are blocking social mobility – Telegraph.

As a product of state education, I have long been interested in this subject. Many of my state-educated contemporaries have been remarkably successful in their respective lives; this is based on drive, energy and personal risk-taking.

During my corporate career, I observed that many of the most successful and driven people were from very ordinary backgrounds; they had either got to university based on their ability or often were educated in the “school of hard-knocks”.

By comparison, I often felt that people educated privately were frequently uncomfortable in dealing with ordinary people; their privileged backgrounds were a burden.

Unfortunately, my reflections should have one important caveat, I am a post-war, baby-boomer, born in 1948, and when I was growing up in the sixties, social mobility was real. Hard-work and focus could take an ambitious person far.

Sadly, in 2013, with record high youth unemployment in many countries thanks to policies of excessive austerity, privilege is all important, in my view. Privilege guarantees superior education, regardless of ability, and doors still seem to open miraculously for career opportunities.

Let me turn this to an open question:

Do you think that private schools are blocking social mobility?

Any thoughts?

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Opinion: US pays a price for spying on Merkel ex FT – John Gelmini

Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany

Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dr Alf raises an important point about cyber warfare in that China has at least 4 million people engaged in it and is penetrating our networks in Government, the media, Big Business, the military and the inboxes of the rich and powerful.

Russia has 2 million people doing this, mostly in the GRU and India has started to develop its own capability in this area.

We (in the UK) have been spying since Queen Elizabeth I was on the throne, when the first “C” was appointed to her secret service which became the forerunner of what is MI5 and MI6 today.

We under Sir William Stephenson taught the Americans who developed the OSS in World War 2 which then became the CIA with the other bodies like the NSA coming into prominence more recently.

Spying is necessary for our own security but we seem to have reached a point where the only privacy we have will come from entrusting our thoughts to Basildon Bond and sending an old fashioned letter.

Certainly I have no illusions that any e mail I send and any telephone call and Skype call I make is not being monitored by one of General Alexander’s machines and by ourselves.

The same applies to this and the rest of Dr Alf’s blogs but as concerned citizens who want people to do well, get on and prosper the UK Government and its allies need to focus on really dangerous troublemakers in our midst and further afield who wish to undermine our way of life, establish Caliphates and damage Western interests.

What Angela Merkel‘s mobile has to do with this is another issue which relates to her rising power within Europe , the extent of her relationships with the Chinese, Russian and Brazilian leaderships and her position on Israel vis a vis Iran and the plans for regime change in the Middle East and later Eurasia.

Whereas David Cameron does not get on with these regimes, Angela Merkel does, thus creating mistrust over her long term motives which I think have to do with trade, business and exports rather than geopolitical maneuvering.

John Gelmini

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