Recently friends attended a briefing by an new headmaster at a public school. The first thing the new broom said was that he 'aimed to raise academic standards.' Now I suppose most people would think this is a praise worthy aim but I am afraid I am in a minority who think it is deeply suspect. Firstly of course any boarding school can 'raise academic results' if not 'standards' by the simple expedient of increasing the number of hardworking and intelligent Chinese in the school - a race who seemingly have an insatiable desire to fill every boarding place in the UK. Alternatively he might simply try raising the bar at the Common Entrance (CE) stage to get rid of any 'thick' boy or he may indulge even further in the 'great con trick of modern public schools.' This 'con trick,' which nearly all top public schools now operate, is that they are quite willing to take your boy aged 13 provided he passes CE but what you don't know, as you celebrate, is that they are planning a big cull of these little boys if they fail to achieve 'necessary grades at GCSE.' They will do this as they can easily fill the VI form with bright boys and girls from overseas or the State system, thus improving their A level results.
But enough of 'con tricks' why are 'improving academic standards' at a successful public school important anyway? For some reason we have allowed ourselves to be brainwashed into thinking the most important thing in the world is academic achievement and that only those who have achieved high academic achievement are the best people qualified to rule over us. What bollocks. The banks - who fucked up - were - and are - simply stuffed with people with academic brilliant brains and -as a result -virtually devoid of anyone with that under valued commodity -common sense. As for the Foreign Office - recently in the news because of it's incompetence -it selects only from the finest brains in the country. The track record in fact of 'acadmic brains' versus 'thick school rejects' is appalling. Look into the history of most companies big and large and you will find they have been started and run by 'rejects.' This of course makes me belive that if only the Foriegn Office
had had a policy of always recruiting thickies - like me -rather than clever little shits we might still have an Empire and we certainly would not have gone into he Common Market .