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It's time we stopped persecuting Britain's real strugglers: the privately educated

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The plight of the privately educated in Britain is now, apparently, akin to the plight of Jews under Adolf Hitler’s genocidal regime. Stare in bafflement all you like, but this was the claim, splashed on the front page of the Times on Saturday, of the head of Stowe School, a mediocre Buckinghamshire private school, who argued that questioning the disproportionate numbers of privately educated people in positions of power was akin to “the conspiratorial language of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion”, and the language of “Hitler and his henchmen”. Do you have concerns about the privileged buying their children places at the top table? That those from less privileged backgrounds are drastically underrepresented in key British institutions? And think widening educational access is fundamentally a good thing? I’m sorry to report that you are a Nazi.

It is a story that future historians may regard as a fascinating insight into Britain’s crumbling social order. When those with wealth and power fear that their privilege is even mildly challenged, they invariably clothe themselves in the garbs of victimhood. The crux of the Times’ splash was the fear that Oxbridge was discriminating against the privately educated in favour of state school pupils, constituting “social engineering”. Let’s leave aside the fact that private education is the most striking example of social engineering in our society. The line of........

© The Guardian