Of course much depends on how you define success. By the standards used in the recent OECD report, the British educational system appears to be an abject failure.
A survey of teenagers aged 16 to 19 in 23 developed countries placed our youngsters at 23 in literacy and 22 in numeracy, which – by such retrograde criteria – wouldn’t exactly qualify our education as a rip-roaring success.
However, if you define success as I do, achieving the desired result, then our education qualifies with bells on. For producing two generations of dysfunctional ignoramuses was precisely the aim of our governing nonentities.
Literate youngsters would be tempted to read books without pictures in them, thereby developing their minds. Hence, when they grew up, it wouldn’t have taken them long to realise that those who govern us are indeed nonentities.
Today they’d be able to see through the illogical, mendacious drivel extruded by our politicians, which would keep the likes of Dave, Tony or Jeremy away from any elective office above the proverbial dog catcher.
And if they were numerate, they’d do some basic number crunching to see how phoney our prosperity is. The British economy is like a man commenting on the quality of the tobacco in the cigarette he smokes while sitting on a powder keg – and one wouldn’t need to study integral or differential calculus to realise this. Just knowing how to add up would be enough.
Hence our spivocrats rely on an illiterate population to maintain their hold on power and shove what they consider progress down our throat.
This cynically mendacious notion is based on the idea of equality, understood in the crudest possible sense. However, while heavenly equality before God is the founding tenet of our civilisation, equality of all on earth is but a slogan in the war fought against our civilisation.
Whenever this idea is bandied about, a whiff of tyranny is in the air. For, since earthly equality isn’t a natural human condition, it has to be mandated and enforced. Whoever does the mandating and enforcing thereby places himself above presumably equal hoi-polloi – some animals have to be more equal than others, in Orwell’s phrase.
In other words, an attempt to equalise people by political action is ipso facto tyrannical and destructive. Our educational system, concocted 60 years ago in the name of equal learning for all, is a case in point.
The OECD survey helps establish the exact time when the educational catastrophe befell. For the same study shows that British pensioners, who escaped the full force of the comprehensive education blow, are among the most literate and numerate in the developed world.
When Anthony Crosland, then Education Secretary, set out in 1965 to destroy what he called ‘every f***ing grammar school’, he must have been aware that by doing so he’d be destroying f***ing education in any meaningful sense.
Yet that was exactly the aim for which his progressivist loins ached. Education, or for that matter anything else, didn’t have to be good. It just had to be equal – equally abysmal for anyone not blessed with parents able to pay for private schooling.
As a side effect, it consigned to eternal misery the very poor in whose name progressive socialists are destroying our civilisation.
The boot straps of free grammar schools by which the poor could pick themselves up out of state dependency were cut – with the spivocrats rubbing their hands with glee. The more people were dependent on them, the greater their power. QED.
The knock-on effect of this policy has nearly destroyed higher education as well. Universities stopped being institutions of higher learning and instead became battlegrounds of egalitarian social reform.
When he was Prime Minister, Tony Blair, the worst spiv of all, set the goal of half the population being university-educated. He was being either stupid enough not to understand that this would trivialise the university into de facto extinction, or else subversive enough not to care.
Predictably, the level of university education in Britain has dropped way below the level of a pre-1965 grammar school. Twenty per cent of young university graduates are only marginally better than our teenagers in literacy and numeracy.
Just think about it: one in five university graduates can’t read and add up properly. We’ve come a long way since the time mortar boards could only be seen on the heads of scholars, philosophers and scientists.
Things have degenerated to a point where most people don’t even understand what education means. They equate it with acquiring practical skills to survive in the rough-and-tumble of the economy.
The role of education as a developer of minds, morals and souls has been forgotten. I fear for our country and, more generally, our civilisation.