Ban private schools

Ban Private Schools

They perpetuate the gross inequalities in the UK; this can only be addressed if they are erased completely.

The two other alternatives which might be more palatable to our politicians are taxing the life out of those that can afford private education (almost impossible), or paying teachers in state education more than those employed privately to drain public schools of their best resource. We do this in many other public sectors to attract the best talent, so why not in education?

Abolish the Monarchy.

Antiquated, expensive and utterly pointless, as well as perpetuating the idea that status and prestige are a privilege of birth.

Abolish the honour system

Not only is this system open to abuse, but we are an international laughing stock, giving out orders for an Empire that has long ceased to exist.

Roll out London Living Wage nationally

The very idea that anybody should be forced to live on 5.73 an hour should be abhorrant to any UK citizen.

Ensure that no person, financial institution or business can borrow money more than they could possibly ever pay back.

The idea that some financial institutions were borrowing up to 50 times against their assets is ridiculous, in what is clearly a doomed strategy.

Equally, 125% mortgages?!

Our guest writer is Peter Carrol

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39 Responses to “Ban private schools”

  1. BW

    Utterly bonkers…. Please oh please put this irrelivant nonsense into the Labour Manifesto and lets destroy the Labour Party totally.

  2. john

    Do creatures like this still exist in the Labour Party? I see you missed out confiscation of private property, abolition of marriage (sorry female-slavery) and execution of the rentier-bourgeoise-kulak class. Why so reticent? Saving this for the second term? Wrong century brother. I think North Korea would be more to your liking.

  3. Frank


  4. Will Straw

    Will Straw

    You’re all entitled to your opinion but let’s keep it civil.

    John – “creatures” is not on. See our comments policy:

    Comments policy

    We welcome discussion and debate but keep it nice. Comments should stick to the topic, any containing offensive language or personal attacks will be removed. And if we have to moderate a specific commenter three times, we’ll block them. We hope that’s clear.

  5. john

    Sorry old boy, the Labour Party is obviously a lot tamer since I was a member let me rephrase… ‘Do ‘free-thinkers’ like this still exist in the Labour Party? I see you missed out confiscation of private property, abolition of marriage (sorry female-slavery) and execution of the rentier-bourgeoise-kulak class. Why so reticent? Saving this for the second term? Wrong century brother. I think North Korea would be more to your liking’.

  6. Stepney

    The comments that followed this fantastic set of proposals illustrates more than ever the iniquitous spread of bourgeois ignorance. Comrade Carrol has identified core strategies which will echo with the electorate and for that he is to be applauded. However, such proposals are meek. We need to add the nationalisation of selected means of production – the banks (some progress already!), all hi-tech and bioscience industry, the energy supply industry and every landscape gardening business. We must fight for the return of all privately owned land to common ownership and for the dissolvement of the so called sovereign parliament. All decisions that affect people must be made by local workers collectives overseen by the commisars of a national soviet of the regions. Nothing else will do.

    I firmly believe that if Labour were to propose these ideas it would win by a landslide.

  7. Rory Lawless

    I totally disagree with this Bashing the rich isn't the same as helping the poor.

  8. Michael

    ‘Left Foot Forward is a political blog for progressives. We provide evidence-based analysis on British politics, news and policy developments.’

    Think this bit might need a little re-writing.

    ‘We are a non-partisan blog. Because we are progressive and because of the aims we’re committed to, we often find ourselves in agreement with left of centre policies and politicians. But we are focused purely on the quality of policies and furthering progressive goals, rather than on promoting individual politicians and parties.’

    Yeah right – this piece is progressive thought personnified, eh.

  9. Peter

    Thanks for all the feedback. These are Utopian policies; radical solutions to the challenges we face, unfortunately I do not expect to see them anytime soon.

    I concede that they were a bit light on context, so here are a few of the motivators behind my ideas.

    70% of our Judges and Finance Directors come from only 7% of our population. We will never have a dynamic, prosperous society unless we open it up to the best and most talented individuals.

    The richest family in Britain were given 69p by every citizen in 2008, while 1.7 million children lived in ‘extreme poverty’ (inadequate food /clothing)

    The financial sector, which contributes 9% of our GDP, took out loans which were five times our national output, to build illusory, speculative profits, routinely paying out 50% of these revenues in individual bonuses. When the system imploded, the Government picked up the tab. This system is rotten to its core.

    PS: John, North Korea is a slave state; around 8 million of its population are currently threatened by starvation… The idea that my wish-list of policies somehow equates to this ongoing humanitarian disaster is faintly ridiculous…

  10. Paul

    I am a teacher in the Public Sector and my sister is one in the private sector. I already earn £7000 more than her. Why do you think the country’s bust?

  11. Adam

    Isn’t it about time that these sorts of ideas were given the respect that they’re due? None of them are horrendously left-wing at all. There are merits to each of them, particularly the implementation of the London Living Wage on a national basis.

  12. Terence

    I left the Labour party in the 80s because of this kind of nonsense. We used to be a working class socialist party. That meant improving the condition of workers, fighting for higher wages (granted, one point is about that), and improving public services. This nonsense that you dare to call “progresive” makes me unsure whether to laugh or cry. The kind of people who rely on Labour, like me, who live in council houses, are repulsed by this bourgeois socialist nonsense about private schools, and about the monarchy and so on.

    Why do most of you hate the aristocracy? Because it affects the working man? or because of jealousy? It sure ain’t because you care about the working man.

    How about private schools. The Guardian readers are happy to send their kids to comps, so long as they are in the poshest areas of London. What about the rest of us? You can’t get good schools unless you’re in the elite. if you really wanted to improve state education, you ought to advocate bringing back grammar schools.

    When I was growing up, we had it far better than kids now. People had to opportunity to advance themselves, because of grammar schools. You “progressives” ought to be ashamed. One rule for you elites, one for the rest of us.

    And don’t think I joined Maggie Thatcher’s lot – I haven’t voted since 1979. I’m just waiting for Labour to find it’s home again.

  13. Bearded Socialist

    Terence, could you put some ideas forward then?

  14. John77

    To paraphrase Tony Blair “Ignorance, ignorance, ignorance”
    The personal income of the royal family handed over to the government (from the Duchy of Lancaster) far exceeds the “Civil List” paid to cover the costs of the civic duties carried out by members of the royal family.
    The original poster is simultaneously arguing that public schools are available only to the rich (not true, all of them were set up with scholarships for poor children – some eg Royal Masonic were set up only for orphans or children of poor parents). Also he/she does not know whether they are public (UK) or private (USA) schools
    Furthermore his/her idea that living on £5.73 an hour should be abhorrent to any UK “citizen” is ludicrous to over one-third of the self-employed who live on less than that. Maybe he should read “Social Trends” published by his/her New Labour government.

  15. Terence

    Bearded Socialist,

    The form you used to write that said “Leave a comment”. If it had said “Leave a manifesto idea of your own”, perhaps I would.

  16. Anon E Mouse

    Terence – Although I agree this is a complete pile of nonsense and about as credible an idea as man made global warming – sorry glaciers melting – sorry climate change, I would say that on this blog people do converse from time to time.

    It has to be said some of the LFF articles really beg belief but Bearded Socialist is only asking you things in the spirit of this blog…

  17. Cityunslicker

    Despite bein the polar opposite of Paul, I can actually agree on the Honours system and the Monarchy. I have nothing against the aristocracy but even I as an arch-capitalist cannot see the deomcracy of having an unelected Queen and family as our ultimate rulers. A president and elected second chamber would be a much better, fair and more open system. its 2010, not 1010.

  18. Peter Carrol

    I did not intend to comment back twice, but John77s comments on private schools are just bizarre. What do the origins of private schools scholarship have to do with the system in place today? Can you email me with some other historical nuggets please, I would love to hear them…

    Back to the comment chain, lets fast-forward to 2010. Only around fifth of all pupils currently gain scholarships, and this only ever covers up to 50% of their fees.

    Now, if we take a fairly typical boys’ preparatory school fee of approx £2,400 a term and assume inflation of 6 % per annum, then the total cost over 16 years of sending one boy to prep and senior school, followed by university, equals an education which is worth almost £300 grand.

    Meanwhile, 50 % of all UK households survive on about £25,000 or less a year.
    So yes, I am arguing that private schools are the preserve of the rich.

    Re the Royal Family, as the biggest hereditary landowner in Britain, is it not reasonable to assume they have enough assets to generate their own income?

    But if they simply cannot live without their public handouts, should they not be treated the same as the loyal subjects and give them the standard benefit of £60 a week.

    And I think you missed my point on the NMW. I did not draw attention to the fact that a third of people are paid less than minimum wage (thanks for pointing this out however, it is a frightening statistic)

    A 36 hour week at current NWM levels pays £208.80. Not only is this abhorrent, it is unworthy of a human being.

    And to those who called the proposals ‘nonsense’; this doesn’t really mean anything. Politically impossible; yes, utopian; yes, radical; yes… But to suggest they have no coherent meaning requires that you counter my proposals with something more palatable.

    I will set the ball rolling with something nice and wet for you…. Tax breaks for married couples? Oh, did I just hit on the cornerstone of the Conservatives general election platform… Will come back later with another.

  19. GP Winters

    Banning private schools will not solve the problem of a flawed state eductaion system. Instead we should identify why some state schools flourish and others fail; is it poor teaching, lack of enforceable disicipline or the absence of extra curricular activities? They are all in the same system, so why the disparity?

  20. Bearded Socialist

    I was just trying to get someone to put forward some constructive suggestions, rather than just complaining that everything’s rubbish.

    Mr Carrol makes some very good points, and in the post at 11.29 in a very measures and intelligent way. This is somewhat unusual for the comments section of a blog

  21. Bearded Socialist

    the public school system, or stream really, is hugely devisive. The number of top people who went through the public school and Oxbridge system means they are hugely over-represented in important strata of society. This is ethically wrong and inefficient as it’s more ‘jobs for the people i went to school with’ than who’s best for it. in some cases those who went to these schools are cleverer and more able, i have no problem with that. my problem is that if David Cameron went to my school he wouldn’t be the next PM no matter how bright or able. And i went to good schools, if he went to Shitheap Comp he’d be even further.

  22. Paul Clifton

    Ban private schools | Left Foot Forward

  23. Jeffrey Andreoni

    Sorry but if you get rid of the Queen then whose picture do you propose to put on the currency, or do you want to abolish that too?
    Can we change the position of ‘Queen’ to something like the EU’s ‘Rotating Presidency’ where a member representing every social stratum gets to be Queen for a brief period and be commensurately ignored by society EVEN MORE than they do in their everyday lives?

  24. Bearded Socialist

    it’s been a few years since i’ve been called a queen, but i think my beard would go on there nicely

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  26. Smudge

    I would take this all seriously if I didn’t think this was a spoof website. Is this Life on Mars? Are we still stuck in the seventies. Surely no sane person thinks like this?

    Will you only be content when every single person in the country is living in the gutter (other than the Metropolitan Labour ruling elite of course).

  27. James

    No wonder this blog is becoming a laughing stock with articles like this. Student politics of the 70s making a comeback?

    Labour are suddenly discovering inequality exists in the society they have run for the last 13 years and start hand wringing about it. A little late in the day for this isnt it?

    You’re Totally Bonkers.

  28. Progressive manifesto ideas – have your say | Left Foot Forward

    […] Peter Carrol has called for the London Living Wage to be rolled out nationally outlining that the “idea that anybody should be forced to live on £5.73 an hour should be abhorrent to any UK citizen.” […]

  29. Tim Worstall

    Leaving aside entirely the question of whether these are good or bad ideas how about an examination of the ignorance being shown here?

    “The idea that some financial institutions were borrowing up to 50 times against their assets is ridiculous,”

    There’s not a single financial institution on the planet that has ever done something so blindingly, ludicrously, stupid.

    When a bank borrows it is called a liability to the bank. When a bank lends it is called an asset of the bank. What you’re suggesting then is that banks were borrowing 50 times what they were lending out. Since you have to pay interest on what you borrow and only get interest on what you lend, clearly, anyone who did this would be bankrupt in about 3 minutes.

    What you mean is that some financial institutions (Lehmann Brothers for example) were borrowing up to 50 times their capital base or equity. They increased their liabilities so as to be able to increase their assets (and yes, liabilities must equal assets at the end of every day, this is what the overnight markets are about).

    But if you don’t know the difference between equity and an asset in a financial company then you probably shouldn’t be commenting upon what financial companies should or should not be doing.

    “The very idea that anybody should be forced to live on 5.73 an hour should be abhorrant to any UK citizen.”

    No one is. You might have noted that we have a system which increases the income of the low paid if we, the society at large, think such incomes should be increased. Known as the welfare state, it’s been around for quite a long time.

    “Roll out London Living Wage nationally”

    Err, you have noted that living costs in London are higher than anywhere else in the country? And that the whole point of the “London Living Wage” is to take account of this? That specifically and distinctly, the national minimum wage is not enough for a living wage for London alone? That the whole point of the basic campaign is that wages in London have to be higher than they are elsewhere in the country?

    As that tax dodger who used to own The Guardian said, comment is free but do come along now, facts are sacred aren’t they?

  30. Kay Tie

    Why not do something radical: abolish the state schools and pay for all children to be educated privately. Then they’d all have the advantage of a decent education and social mobility problems would be solved.

    Ah, but we can’t have that, can we? How would Comrade Balls tell the children what to think?

  31. Kay Tie

    “Equally, 125% mortgages?!”

    You mustn’t believe everything you read in the Daily Mail. There weren’t any 125% mortgages. Northern Rock was lending a 100% mortgage and then also making an unsecured loan on top. Anyone could do this by going to another bank and taking out a loan to buy a car. Northern Rock just made it a one-stop-shop.

    Or are you saying that it should be illegal to borrow any more money than the equity in a house? No credit cards, car loans, store credit cards, loans to buy a telly or a carpet, if the total adds up to the value of the equity in a house. And what to do with renters? They have no equity at all, so they should be forced to buy everything with cash?

    The joys of the authoritarian socialist state: you bend your life to fit the prescribed model. Or else.

  32. Frenchy

    First visit to this blog and the last! Never read so much rubbish as this.

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