Sam Mitchell and public schools

Sat on the Piccadilly line this evening as usual, I rub the oily sweat from my grubby face whilst looking round for something to focus on.

Opposite, an overweight bloke reading Nuts magazine at arms length sweats profusely and grins as Nikki from Big Brother ‘Bares all’. He slouches in his seat and periodically tucks a greasy lock of hair behind his left ear. Sat next to him is Sam from Eastenders, alias Kim Medcalf from real life, reading the metro from back to front and looking as though she has her own air-con unit up above.

Never has the phrase ‘Chalk and cheese’ been quite so apparent.

At Barons Court she looks sideways at Mr Nuts magazine in disgust, sighs, and moves two seats away.

Suddenly I’m trying not to laugh as outrageous thoughts rush into my head.

“So! Will we be seeing your lovely self within the folds of Nuts magazine any time soon Sam?… I mean Kim!….. No? Oh well, I hear the amateur scene can be quite lucrative.”

That, of course, would be both unkind and unnecessary. One of those situations when the thought of doing something is funny enough. Anyway, the last time I sat next to her on the tube I ear wigged her conversation with her friend and she sounded entirely down to earth.

Ear wigging on the tube, is this not stalking? Oh well, so be it.

At Victoria I buy the Evening Standard for my weekly dose of self righteous and reactionary right wing rage. I’m interested by a column on page 7 entitled, Priority for state pupils at Oxford is immoral says head.

Basically Martin Stephen, headmaster of a public school in Barnes is quoted as saying, “…..we are time and time again asking universities to compensate for failures in secondary education…The absolute travesty would be if Oxford turned down candidates who had done well, That makes a complete travesty of moral and social justice.”

He is of course wrong on both his interpretation of justice, as well as his moral and social high ground.

A moral travesty is a deeply unfair system in which opportunity is afforded only to those from a privileged background. What is a social travesty is that we have created a two tier educational system that celebrates the class and wealth divide from which it derives its exclusivity. That a headmaster from a public school feels it necessary to criticise those trying to readdress that imbalance, demonstrates not only my point, but also lays bare his ignorant contempt for everything the comprehensive system has to offer.

Further, judging by the revolting quartet of landed Oxford students on Gordon Ramsey’s F Word this evening, we definitely need more failures from secondary education at top universities, not less.

You have been told!

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