These people have never met a human, have they?

So, bird sends kid to private school. Guardian reading friend asks newspaper’s readers what she should say about this:

On average, private schools have nearly four times the income of state schools (figures from my recent report for Common-Wealth). Could they justify why their child is worth four times more than another? Prof Sol Gamsu, Durham University

What sort of idiot tosspottery is this?

It’s *my* child. The most precious thing in the world to me. Sure, intellectually I know that other people have children, they might even quite like them. There’s a certain importance to there being those other children otherwise I’m not going to have grandchildren, am I?

But how can anyone who has actually met the occasional human being wonder why or whether parents value their own children more highly than those of other people?

26 thoughts on “These people have never met a human, have they?”

  1. Sol Gamsu is a vociferous campaigner for the abolition of private schools. He wants education to be “equal”, as in equally bad instead of striving to match the best.

  2. From his bio page. There’s lots of buzzwords, slogans and meaningless drivel on there, but this caught my eye: “Theoretically my background is Bourdieusian with a good dose of Doreen Massey, Antonio Gramsci and Stuart Hall but I try to be theoretically open and heterodox”.

    Not sure an educator of young people admitting they were impressed / admired Stuart Hall is a good idea.

  3. From the comments there:

    “Well done! Maybe Jemima will make enough posh friends to get a job at the Guardian.” Steven Whittard

    Skewered.

  4. “Could they justify why their child is worth four times more than another?”

    Of course they can, and they do so every term when they pay the fees. The reasons are many, but the most common is that they will willingly pay to avoid the education offered by the state.

  5. It’s more than four times as the parent’s taxes and mine are already paying for that child to go to a state school.

    I suggest the child’s parents get some new friends.

  6. Talk about arguing from a false premise. I value the service the private school offer and frankly avoid the local state system and peer groups. The local state primary had a fight in the school yard and someone had their ear bitten off, and that was between parents! A ex local temporary head was arrested for child porn.

    By sending my child to a private school I am also voluntarily giving up my right to the benefit of state funding a place for my child, a net benefit to the state of c£5k a year.

    The private school is also a subsidy providing free help and resources to state schools and the local community – having rescued the local playing grounds and providing them as a community resource further acting as voluntary net contributor to the state system and wider community. They used the D&T resources to make PPE etc etc etc

    The children also do extra curricula charity work from social support to eco schemes.

    I am funding education innovation and social liberalism – this school was historically the first to have science labs as far as we can tell and now has the first openly gay headmaster (err yeah apparently this was news – I mean how woke is the rest of the school system really instead of virtue signalling ffs?).

    The real issue is why we should trust our children to the state if we can afford the alternative?

  7. oh and I think they have met our local left wing councillor who is against sending children to any non local school not in walking/cycling distance thus excluding grammar schools and preventing social mobility and want to close the area (not the school street mind, the area) to cars and export the local traffic to the boundary roads most of the local school kids use thus ensuring the buses don’t work and increase the pollution for the poorest in the borough. Never forget some parents are selfish and dogmatic woke socialists …

  8. Looking through those comments, this one stood out:

    “Well done! Maybe Jemima will make enough posh friends to get a job at the Guardian.” Steven Whittard

    Well done that man.

  9. I’m rather impressed that the answers contained so many ‘MYOB you prodnosed git’ type ones………

  10. Bloke in North Korea (Germany province)

    Retort, if you’re supposed to not value your kids more highly than other people why does she value her child more than M******d who just washed up in a dinghy? Why isn’t she taking M******d in, meeting all his costs? Putting him up in her daughter’s bedroom? Hypocrite!

  11. ‘ On average, private schools have nearly four times the income of state schools…’

    A bit of sophistry there perhaps. Income is not the same as what is spent directly per pupil, which on average I believe to be the same as State schools.

    That income for a private school has to cover capital expenditure, repair, maintenance, insurance, and reserve fund, whereas a State school gets these expenses met by the State.

    Because there is no specific education tax, and education is funded from all sources of tax revenue, the UK taxpayer has no idea how much it actually costs per pupil when taking into account capital and expense budgets. The same is true of the NHS, people know what their house, car or even pet insurance is, but not their NHS ‘insurance’.

    It’s set up that way to keep everyone in the dark, just in case people twig the competitive private sector could supply better a,d cheaper. The only certainty is a high proportion of cash will be wasted and the staff will be on a cushy number and guaranteed jobs for life.

  12. “It really is a terrible waste of money. Core GCSEs can be achieved by any student who works steadily. Ten A*s are of little value in the scheme of things. Why pay crazy fees for that? Core GCSEs are a stepping stone to vocational training or A-levels. These are more important for work and university. Remember, too, there are wonderful committed teachers working in our state schools.”

    found the NUT pilgrim.

  13. I’d use the Diane Abbot defence: As a Jamaican / Irish / Indian /anything-but-English it is my right to be as hypocritical as I need to defend the interests of my children.
    She only got brilloed for her racism, not for sending her son to a private school. (Sadly, this may have been a mistake.)

  14. I love this Guardian idea of “What’s the right response for…?”

    I know we have to get our ideas and ideologies from somewhere, and we are all influenced by others. But this is all a bit obvious and clunky. Surely anyone who takes this sort of shit seriously will gradually come to realise that they are the sort of insecure middle class liberal who has never really grown up, and wants a set of reach-me-down glib answers from others in the group that they aspire to be accepted by.

  15. These are hardly new arguments being put forward. They’re actual the educational equivalent of what Richard Murphy proposes for private sector pensions. It’s an enormous levelling down to the lowest common denominator.

    What I would propose is that people like the author, Hard leftist academics, are seen as inherently dangerous and removed from their positions in academia. With any luck that could lead to a huge decrease in the number of universities (especially in the newer ‘humanities’) and these people could be redeployed to doing something useful.

  16. @ Van Patten
    These people could be redeployed – but are they capable, let alone willing, of doing anything useful?

  17. John77

    That’s a very valid point to make – in many cases (you could point to Murphy as a classic example as well as this guy) their productivity is in effect negative. The disharmony and toxicity they create has an extreme negative effect and if we look at Richard Murphy I have to agree even with his proclivity for ‘shovel ready’ projects I find the notion of him getting a shovel and digging anything faintly risible….

  18. “Could they justify why their child is worth four times more than another? Prof Sol Gamsu, Durham University”

    Why does he think his own children are worth a quarter of his friend’s?

  19. A pound, or twenty thousand pounds, is worth more to some people than to others. The problem is whether they have freedom to choose how to spend those pounds or should somebody who has never met them and don’t give a fuck about them be deciding for them.

  20. I suspect many parents would simply like to limit their kids’ exposure to those who would object them going to a private school.

  21. The basic problem with this Gamsu chappy is that he fails to understand the basic concept of private property. I choose to spend more on the education of my child, it is my money. I choose to spend more on a car, it is my money. My money after the state takes an enormous chunk to spend on public services including education. What the little tit is suggesting is that we abolish private property rights with regard to education. To what end? Just another neo-Marxist piece of bollox.

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