A superb article by Charles Moore, The misguided social mobility measures that take us for fools – Telegraph:
Last month, I suggested to colleagues an April Fool for this newspaper, but it was rejected on the grounds that it would cause our entire computer system to crash. The cod story was this: a government study has discovered that not nearly enough women, ethnic minorities and 17-year-olds in receipt of free school meals are passing their driving test. Therefore, in pursuit of social mobility, the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, has decreed that, from now on, the “fee-paying” British School of Motoring and other driving schools must improve the “access” to the education they provide.
In order to create a “level driving field”, the April Fool reveals, pupils from privileged backgrounds will not automatically pass just because they satisfy the test criteria. Pupils from deprived backgrounds, on the other hand, will have their fees subsidised by the rich kids, and their innate driving talents will be recognised. Even if they cannot do three-point turns, emergency stops and so on, they will pass their test if the examiners, benchmarked by the Department of Transport Access Regulator, deem that they show potential to be good drivers one day.
As one who comes from a modest background – Dad was a carpenter, Mum an administrator – and who believes in equal treatment, freedom from arbitrary government and advancement on merit, I find this socialist nonsense infuriating.
Is it any wonder I am on record suggesting the abolition of the Whip?