I sometimes wonder if as a nation, we will ever move on from that tired and worn out have/have not old chestnut… So many people, generally leftwing politicians I have to say, continually trot out their inane attempts to further a perceived but non-existent class war.
It’s another example of the lengths politicians will go to in their attempts to court public acceptance of their ideals. A factor obviously very important to their very existence but one that still appears so pointless to me.
This week the media have jumped on this topic (more from an ethnicity point of view) to make big news out of a non story. It was brought to the fore when the issue of ‘social exclusivity’ was raised by David Cameron who said; it was “disgraceful” that “only one black person went to Oxford last year”. However, as the BBC asks, should leading universities actually be expected to shape their intake to reflect wider society? Or should they simply pick the best from among those who apply to them for places?
The Daily Express seek to suggest that ‘Class not Race is the barrier to success‘ and say the “PM is missing the point” about why so many in our society are excluded from the university system. I would suggest it is neither a class nor race issue, in many respects it’s simply reflects the ability and drive of the individual. So long as you discount the argument about the failings and reduced standards within our secondary school education.
Oxford University has repeatedly made the point that; it can only choose from among those candidates that put themselves forward – and that it can’t put right the inequalities of wider society. Irrespective of the quoted figures about undergraduates from minority ethnic backgrounds (and they are in dispute); growing up in Oxford I recal there were students of differing colours and ethnic backgrounds, even then.
I am firmly of the belief that in general, we all have the same opportunities in life and, to suggest we are in some way excluded from taking them, due to some class or ethnicity legacy of our birth, is a simplistic and often lame excuse for our own failings. Failure to work and strive towards personal goals and achievement. Yet another example of that all too common social trait; “society owes me”.
Well pin back your ears and listen to the shocking truth; NO it bloody doesn’t and, to borrow that famous quote from across the pond…
“Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country” (John F Kennedy)
Our expectations of state support, handouts and the gift of an education, which was once an important aspect of our social framework, has become something of a joke. The state is seen by many as a simple and convenient umbrella to shield them from the showers of their own failings.
Unfortunately this constant drain on the public purse, has been increasing for years and by an ever-growing group of people. Is it therefore any wonder the bloody money ran out?
- David Cameron brands ‘all white’ Oxford University a disgrace (telegraph.co.uk)
- Clegg backs Cameron over Oxford. So that’s two Oxbridge graduates talking piffle (blogs.telegraph.co.uk)
- David Cameron locks horns with Oxford over racism, as dons demand he withdraw ‘one black student’ claim (dailymail.co.uk)
- David Cameron clashes with Oxford University over black student numbers (guardian.co.uk)
- David Cameron: Oxford University a ‘disgrace’ for only accepting one black student (telegraph.co.uk)