After clueless bigot Rick Dewsbury had his rant pulled by MailOnline (most presciently, given that his suggestion of an educated mixed race family being hard to find was disproved when the product of such a household won gold for Team GB in the womens’ heptathlon yesterday evening), the argument on sport has flared up again over many medallists having attended private schools.
Tobes organising another piss-up
And the latest pundit to have his ninepence worth on the subject is the loathsome Toby Young, now ensconced at the Super Soaraway Currant Bun, but only for reasons of cultural enhancement and journalistic development, you understand, and not at all anything to do with Rupe’s troops bunging him More And Bigger Paycheques For Himself Personally Now.
Tobes says that private schools have better sports facilities than yer average comprehensive, and when it’s a case of Eton versus the rest, he has a point. But his suggestion that Young Dave’s alma mater is “the most famous public school in the world” is rubbish. There’s Rugby for starters, where they invented a style of football marginally more popular than the Eton Wall Game.
And what about Gordonstoun, attended by Phil the Greek and Prince Brian? Or Harrow, whose old boys include Winshton? The thought enters that the only reason that Tobes cites Eton is because of their lavish facilities. This is coupled with the idea that state schools do not encourage competition in sport, but perhaps he was not paying attention to last night’s events in the Olympic stadium.
Team GB’s gold medal haul had previously been enhanced by Victoria Pendleton, who attended a comprehensive school. The evening was kicked into life by gold for Jessica Ennis, who also attended a comprehensive school, before Greg Rutherford, who, yes, went to a comprehensive, also won gold, before Mo Farah, also a product of the comprehensive system, took yet another gold.
So the idea that state schools equals no competition really is complete and absolute crap (swimmer Rebecca Adlington also attended a state comprehensive). Why is Tobes so fixated on the idea? Well, apart from ideology – which holds that anything that comes from state provision is A Very Bad Thing – he has the small matter of his own very wonderful new “free school” to promote.
So he has to paint state schools as inherently bad to make his place look a better proposition for the parents of likely pupils. Yes, his “free school” does competitive sport, although the example he gives, netball, gets along without Eton-style rowing lakes. And he doesn’t mention how his school does the sports that got Team GB those medals last night better, or indeed at all.
So it’s not much more than a lame hatchet job. No change there, then.