One of the little things about Stalin’s Russia – Soviet Union if you prefer – was the manner in which your social origins followed you through the system. Children of the bourgeois were deliberately overlooked for such things as university places, those entry portals into the professional classes. True sons of the proletariat were identified and promoted.
Some people seem to be taking Stalinist policies as a guide book, not a warning:
Universities should introduce “privilege flags” so admissions tutors know when students are from affluent backgrounds, it has been suggested.
Dr Rachel Carr OBE, chief executive of IntoUniversity, a charity that raises aspiration among underprivileged children, said this would allow institutions to see who has had a “better start” in life.
“Lots of universities already use participation flags to identify students,” she said. “How about we also use ‘privilege flags’ so we can see the students who already have a much better start and a much better likelihood of success.”
This would not apply to people of proven social value of course – Tony Benn’s grandchildren say, now the fifth – or is it sixth – generation of those to wibble about progressive politics and the necessity of overthrowing inherited privilege. I can’t actually recall Hilary Benn’s antecedents. Was he a third or fourth generation Cabinet Minister? Forth or fifth generation MP?
Can’t say I’m enamoured of such a system, to be honest. Neither the Stalinism nor the Benns.