Most amusing

The Guardian asks us about mediocre students getting into Oxbridge to which the correct response is Polly Toynbee.

15 thoughts on “Most amusing”

  1. As I like to point out, Our Pol wrote a gushing and damp-gussetted foreword to the 2012 edition of GB Shaw’s “The Intelligent Woman’s Guide to socialism, capitalism, sovietism and fascism”. An openly-eugenicist, patronising tract written by an open-fan of mass murder as a tool of public policy. Shaw didn’t deny Soviet human rights abuses, he revelled in them and was proud to have been amongst the first to propose them.

    The entire foreword can be seen on Amazon “Look Inside”. It’s quite something.

  2. Shaw didn’t deny Soviet human rights abuses, he revelled in them and was proud to have been amongst the first to propose them

    Yep, an evil bastard. Feted for some reason, probably by other evil bastards.

  3. From what’s coming out, a crumpled bus ticket would be good enough to get into a Russell Group university.

  4. I might add (speaking as a guy who was so bad at rugger that I couldn’t get into the fourth XV) that the sneer about rugby players is really unfair and was already (just) out-of-date by the time Polly Toynbee went up aged 20. Based on a legend about the previous Principal of St Edmund Hall. My college had two Rugby Blues in my time, one of whom was a Senior Scholar (so almost scarily brilliant), the other a highly intelligent law student who got entrance on his academic merits a good degree and ended up as Executive Chairman of an Insurance Company, but was subject to unfair insinuations by those with lesser academic ability that his place in an academic non-sporting college was due to his sporting ability. To get a good degree while earning a Rugby Blue requires a lot of talent as well as a lot of work.
    It was American Oarsmen who had an advantage and that was only one or two every few years so much less than one in ten million Americans.

  5. Surreptitious Evil

    Based on a colleague’s opinion of BoJo, who was at Eton with him, although he might have been “idle, complacent and late”, he was always frightening intelligent.

    I suspect the competition for the King’s Scholarships is more than a wee bit fierce.

  6. The blonde in the Afghan I remember hanging round Portobello Road, back end of the sixties, was more noted for going down than up John.

  7. @Surreptitious Evil

    BoJo “frightening intelligent”

    Yep. Speccie & Teleg colleagues have written similar. Also why Cameron didn’t like him – insecurity?

  8. Coincidentally (not) there’s a very similar opinion piece in The Times (behind paywall). I’ve raised the Polly Twaddle analogy in the comments.

  9. Also why Cameron didn’t like him – insecurity?

    Modern politics – anything slightly off-message (Progressive message) is a ‘gaffe’, hence the production line of identikit drone politicians who can say nothing with absolute sincerity for ten minutes and so fill an interview slot.

    The modern media hasn’t the patience or the intellectual ability to understand anything approaching a true political argument between genuinely competing philosophies. It’s just “Hey, they’re arguing! FIGHT!!”

  10. @ Pcar
    Cameron and BoJo both attended Eton (BoJo was two years older) and were in the same club at Oxford where Cameron got a First (albeit in PPE), while BoJo, despite getting a Classics scholarship at Balliol, traditionally considered la creme de la creme intellectually, only got a Second – so the dislike may well be personal rather than from insecurity.

  11. Wasn’t BoJo at Eton on a scholarship? I doubt that they get handed out like sociology degrees from UEA.

  12. Back in the 1980s, top public schools like WInchester and St Pauls Girls would get 85% into Oxbridge, today it is nearer 30%. In effect, it has switched from being only fourth quartile rejected to only top quartile accepted. This is causing huge angst to middle ground former public school parents who have spent the last 30 years quietly smug about their ‘proven’ intellectual superiority who now find themselves explaining why Edinburgh and Leeds are really jolly good universities these days.

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